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November 2020

AODN November Resource List

AODN November Resource List

The AODN monthly resource list for November 2020 puts together content including a reading list, avenues for capacity building, and events from different stakeholders across the globe on the use of (open)data and for better service delivery in sectors such as Agriculture, Education, and Health. 

The Potential Role of Open Data In Mitigating The COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities

This article describes several use cases whereby open data have already been used globally in the COVID-19 response. It highlights major challenges to using these data and provides recommendations on how to foster a robust open data ecosystem to ensure that open data can be leveraged in both this pandemic and future public health emergencies. Read more 

Lessons for Open Data for Development Programmes

As more initiatives emerge, there is a need for stronger evidence to inform effective design and implementation that can mitigate inequities in access and maximize the development potential of open data. To address this evidence gap, this IDS Policy Briefing draws lessons from a performance evaluation of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative to make recommendations for funders and managers of similar open data development programs, as well as for those influencing governmental or organizational data policy. Read more

Leveraging OGP for a Transparent COVID-19 Response in Africa

Like governments around the world, African countries have shifted enormous resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given such massive spending, fiscal transparency is more important than ever to minimize financial mismanagement and corruption. Through OGP commitments, countries in Africa have embarked on important governance reforms to strengthen fiscal transparency. Read more

Open Data Standards Design Behind Closed Doors?

Sometimes (when building open data standards) we focus so much on building the technology that we forget to focus on power and to address the new power dynamics formed. Even if we try to contain it to technical spaces, standardization is more than a technical process. It is an exercise that enables data production and use to be reconsidered. Standards are not only shaping how data is produced but are also bringing about the silent, localized changes in bureaucracies. Therefore, it is important for us to not only understand how powerful open data standards can be in creating changes but to also address some of the challenges that are part of their design and implementation. Read more 

Third Wave of Open Data: How To Accelerate the Re-Use of Data for Public Interest Purposes While Ensuring Data Rights and Community Flourishing  

Even as ever greater amounts of data are generated and stored, the capability to actually access and re-use this data to spur positive social change remains stunted. This discrepancy occurs despite the success of the open data movement, which built on earlier Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation in pushing at the boundaries of transparency and accessibility. Around the world, open data has played an important role in improving government accountability and service delivery, empowering citizens to make better decisions, creating economic opportunity, and solving big public problems. But recent developments—including the struggles to use data effectively to address COVID-19—show these successes are not enough. Read more

Global Procurement Responses to COVID-19: How To Do Better In An Emergency

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have been forced to procure essential goods and services quickly, in order to save lives. Some procurement agencies have also recognized that being transparent about emergency purchasing is crucial to discouraging corruption, ensuring market confidence, and maintaining public trust. Accordingly, they have established new portals or websites for disclosing contracting data relating to coronavirus procurement. Read more

Reinventing How COVID-19 Data Is Shared

As disinformation continues to spread, civil society organizations and academics are developing new ways to share data about the pandemic. Read more

Individual, Collective and Intermediated: Three Roads To Data Empowerment

We don’t yet have a definite answer on how to handle and govern ‘our’ data and what perspective is best suited to shape the data empowerment concept. However, we do recognize the limitations of the approaches and models that put the individual at the centre. Having more of a say in how one’s data is used, does not automatically result in greater control, actual decision-making power or agency. And so we see value in exploring in more depth the practical use of collective and fiduciary approaches, including data trusts, data cooperatives and certain forms of data commons models that could facilitate more inclusive and fair data governance and data sharing. Read more.

A Global Movement for Better Data And Better Lives

This report sets out how partners from the private sector, civil society, academia, and government are coming together to respond to common challenges that can be addressed by leveraging data and technology in a thoughtful and inclusive way. Read more 


BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: Situating Open Data:  Global Trends in Local Contexts. Thu Nov 19,2020 at 18:00 – 19:30 (EAT)

Open data and its effects on society are always woven into infrastructural legacies, social relations, and the political economy. This raises questions about how our understanding and engagement with open data shifts when we focus on its situated use.

The new book Situating Open Data sheds light on these questions, providing empirical studies of open data practices, their local implementation, and the development of open data ecosystems. Meet the authors and editors to get first-hand insights from their recent publication on open data, global practices, and local use. Register here

WEBINAR: How can data help cities to address concerns around COVID-19? Wed Nov 18, 2020 at 14:00 (GMT)

Data is integral to making decisions about the Covid-19 pandemic in your city. But do you know what data you have? Do you make the best use of it? Do you know where the gaps are? Register here

WEBINAR: Taking stock of the Socio-Economic and Political Impact of COVID-19 in Africa Wed Nov 18, 2020, at  17:00 ( EAT)

ICYMI: The ODI Summit 2020 

The ODI Summit is the ODI’s flagship event, bringing people from a broad range of sectors, backgrounds and countries together to discuss critical issues around the future of data. Watch the recording

Available Training 

Open Data in a Day -ODI Wed Dec 2, 2020

Learn how to discover, use, and describe the benefits of open data, and how it impacts your organization on this live, instructor-led, online, and interactive course.

Open Data for Data Users-World bankSelf-Paced

The “Open Data for Data Users” e-learning course is designed to provide a broad overview of Open Data from a user standpoint, and empower anyone to take full advantage of Open Data. This course is intended for anyone who wants to make better use of Open Data, including ordinary citizens, and assumes no prior knowledge of Open Data or technical skills. It is particularly intended for users in developing countries. This course provides users with the knowledge and specific skills they need to understand and use Open Data effectively and responsibly, and to participate fully in the Open Data community. 

Open Data for Policy Makers- World Bank 

This course is primarily intended for public policymakers in governments that are considering the establishment or expansion of an Open Data program. It assumes no prior knowledge of Open Data or technical skills.

Open Data Essentials- ODI

Learn all the essentials of open data with this easy to follow, online course. This program has been designed to enable you to discover what open data is and how it is changing the lives of everyone on our planet.

Big Data, AI, Public Service, and Covid-19 Response

Big Data, AI, Public Service, and Covid-19 Response

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence continue to evolve rapidly with use cases especially in the private sector mushrooming across the African continent. With very few public use cases of AI and Big Data within the public service across African countries, there is potential for greater uptake and thus greater benefits of AI and big data within the public service across Africa. It is however important to situate this optimism in the context of realities, constraints, challenges, and discourses on ethics and rights that come into play when implementing Big Data and AI-driven solutions in the public service sector.

AODN’s August webinar on Big Data, AI and the Public Service explored the use of  Big Data and AI in the public service by exploring the current Big Data and AI ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa and Kenya, the opportunities and challenges for Big Data and AI within the Kenyan public service and across Africa, opportunities for big data and AI-driven solutions addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, ethics, and digital rights and how other stakeholders can also support these efforts. 


Elizabeth Thuo is a data scientist at Qhala where she is involved in building data platforms and ventures that solve key societal and economic problems. She holds a Masters of Science in Statistics with Data Analytics and a degree in Actuarial Science. She has previous experience in customer experience and financial reporting.

Watch it on YouTube


Read our report on The State of Big Data for Development in Africa

If you have questions for our presenter, please tweet @networkfordata or submit your comments via YouTube.

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