Open data efforts to date have been driven by innovative practitioners around the world. Many of these pioneers have needed access to resources in order to innovate, create new knowledge, and develop new partnerships. As a global “open data field” has emerged and matured over the past decade, the role of international donors and investors has become more instrumental.
The State of Open Data review is an excuse for some healthy introspection, and a chance to reflect on where international donors and investors have been helpful, a hindrance, too directive, or too absent. The Environmental Scan for Donors and Investors is now live and we are looking for your comments by April 8.
One benefit of our tardiness on this chapter is that we were able to make use of the all of the other Environmental Scans for the project and review their references to funding.
Explore our first attempt to map donors supporting the different open data communities, and help us crowdsource other key actors.
At first glance, it suggests that the pool of donors supporting different open data communities is quite diverse, creating an interesting global ecosystem.
Yet, we still have questions:
· Are these investments growing, reducing, or changing in nature? (That is harder to answer at first glance, and is not helped by the fact that there is no effective tagging of open data funding under IATI).
· How many of these are investments in core infrastructure to consolidate the “open data field”?
· How successful were the funding mechanisms, modalities, and partnerships used by donors?We are particularly interested in your specific examples of donor actions to illustrate the chapter (positive and negative).
We are also planning to look ahead:
· Will the current donors and emerging mechanisms be appropriate to maintain the diversity (and growth) of the increasingly specialized open data communities?
· Is it time to mainstream data funding into sectoral funding approaches, or is it too early for donors to walk away from funding “open data” per se?
· Can donors be helpful in navigating some of the bigger trends that affect the “ open data field”?
We may not have clear-cut answers ahead of the IODC 2018, but your comments will help us get closer.
This story first appeared on The State of Open Data blog