A Repository of Open Data Repositories: Open Data Impact Case Studies and Examples

(compiled by David Sangokoya, Shruti Sannon, Alexandra Clare and Stefaan Verhulst)

As part of its core mission, the GovLab has been engaged in a series of ongoing efforts to build awareness and gather evidence about the value, use, and impact of open data around the world – including the GovLab’s Open Data 500.

The GovLab is currently scoping a project with Omidyar Network to build a repository of in-depth, global case studies on existing examples of open data demand, use and impact. The goal of the project is to develop a more nuanced understanding of the various processes and factors underlying the value chain of open data.

As a part of our literature review in undertaking this scoping project, and in time for the 3rd International Open Data Conference, we first mapped several repositories of open data cases and examples that may serve as an empirical foundation for further case-studies.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of organizations that have compiled open data case study repositories in a complementary fashion.

LET US KNOW if you are aware of other compilations of open data examples and case studies we should include as to complete the below overview… by emailing Stefaan Verhulst (stefaan at thegovlab.org) and/or David Sangokoya (david at thegovlab.org).

1. Open Data Case Study Repositories
2. Open Data Portal Repositories
3. Open Data Intermediary Repositories

OPEN DATA CASE STUDY REPOSITORIES  (alphabetically listed) 

  1. ePSIplatform’s Cases

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.27.51 AMWho: ePSIplatform

What?: A collection of examples on Public Sector Information (PSI) Re-use, with the main focus on Europe

Number of Case Studies: 221

Countries covered: 31 – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada (2), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand (1), Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States (1)

Contact: Phil Archer, W3C; Martin Alvarez-Espinar, CTIC; Daniel Dietrich, OKFN; Makx Dekkers (according to website)

Case Studies URL: http://www.epsiplatform.eu/list/case?field_countries_tid=47&field_keywords_tid=&field_themes_tid=All&sort_by=created&sort_order=DESC


  1. Follow the Money

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.28.33 AMWho: A global network of more than 100 organizations supported by ONE and the Open Knowledge Foundation. Other partners include the Transparency & Accountability Initiative, the World Bank, Development Initiatives, and the Revenue Watch Institute

What? The network enables organizations working on “various aspects of the Follow the Money agenda – from resource availability, to spending, to service delivery and results in particular sectors to share information, campaign for the inclusion of open data principles in transparency policies, and identify opportunities for collaboration to drive policy change, including through Follow the Money campaigns in specific countries.”1 The repository has a summary of each initiative including the stage of the project and its categorization.

Rationale: The aim of the initiative to “support and strengthen the community of activists and advocacy organizations pushing for the transparency that is needed for citizens around the world to “follow the money” and hold decision-makers to account for the use of public money.2

Number of Case Studies: 266

Countries covered: Africa, Indonesia, India, USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait, UAE, Algeria, Libya, Peru, Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Bangladesh, Estonia, China, Spain, Costa Rica, Nepal, Chile, Georgia, Romania and South Korea.

Contact: Alan Hudson, Policy Director (Transparency & Accountability) at ONE and Jonathan Gray, Director of Policy and Ideas at the Open Knowledge Foundation (@jwyg)

URL: http://followthemoney.net/

Database: https://docs.google.com/a/one.org/spreadsheets/d/1Rj47jJzF-lBoaF1_cvvY4rM9DIQ3Bw2b6dy-BEQuDno/edit#gid=1240396981.

  1. Open Data Partnership for Development (ODP4D) Case Studies: Open Data Institute (ODI), The World Bank and Open Knowledge Foundation

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.28.44 AMWho: Partnership between ODI, The World Bank and Open Knowledge Foundation

What: As noted in the project announcement, the overall objectives of the partnership are to: “support developing countries to plan, execute and run open data initiatives;
to increase re-use of open data in developing countries;
to develop an ecosystem of skills, support and peer-learning; and grow the base of evidence on the impact of open data for development.”3

Project activities include “scoping the state of open data; assessing the readiness of countries to open up – and use – their data; training government officials, other policy makers, and civil society; undertaking research and producing guidelines on the best use of open data; and producing case studies of impact.”4

Rationale: “There needs to be a credible evidence base focused on developing countries and socio-economic development in order to both win the support of officials and to better execute future open data initiatives.”5

Number of Case Studies: 13

Countries covered: Burkina Faso, Mexico, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Macedonia and South Africa

Contact: Tom Heath, Head of Research, ODI; (@tommyh)

Project URL: https://theodi.org/odp4d

Case Studies URL: https://theodi.org/case-studies


  1. Open Government Partnership Case Studies

imgres-2Who: Open Government Partnerships

What? The case studies are submitted by participating governments and give a concrete example of an initiative they have launched featuring open data. The case study provides a brief overview of the project, the challenges faced, results and the opportunities that could be maximised.

Rationale: OGP aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to drive open government reform and innovation at the country level, in an effort to stretch countries beyond their current baseline in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement.

Number of Case Studies: 7

Countries covered: Mexico, Israel, Indonesia, Tanzania, Croatia, United States, Moldova, Chile, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Brazil, Canada, Albania, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Norway

Contact: Munyema Hasan, Program Officer

Case Studies URL: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/topics?f[0]=type%3Acase_study&f[1]=field_topic%3A1196


  1. Open Knowledge Foundation’s Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency Report (GIFT)

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.09 AMWho: Open Knowledge Foundation with funding provided by the Omidyar Network

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.15 AMWhat? The report examines two main areas: “technology for transparency and technology for accountability around public finance.” In particular it looks at “who builds these tools, who uses them, and who benefits from them.”6

Rationale: With an increasing emphasis on opening up government data, “it is prudent for governments to start to look into new ways to open up their data, to save time, money and effort in opening up a backlog of data and to get necessary workflows in place.”7

Number of Case Studies: 12 (as well as 2 examples of internationally recognised standards)

Countries covered: United Kingdom, Canada, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, India, Uganda

Contact: Rufus Pollock, President & Founder of OKF; @rufuspollock

URL: http://community.openspending.org/research/gift/standards/


  1. Sunlight Foundation Case Studies on Social Impact of Open Data

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.27 AMWho: The Sunlight Foundation, with funding from the Open Data for Development Research Fund

What? The Sunlight Foundation has produced “a searchable repository of more than 100 examples on the outputs, outcomes and impacts of open data and digital technology projects.”8

Rationale: The case studies “aim to illustrate the social impact of open data and digital transparency initiatives in different countries, cities and communities. We gathered examples on how users are empowered by open government initiatives as well as how open data and digital transparency projects are changing the behavior, relationships, activities and actions of users.”9 The cases create an “evidence base that can empower further generalizations in the open government field.”10

Number of Case Studies: 142

Countries covered: Worldwide – 64 cases from the Global North, 37 from the Global South and nine with impact on both regions.

Contact: Julia Keseru, International Policy Manager; (@jkeserue)

Project URL:

Case Studies URL: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jP6WIkEPczb8MBn6DNOU2PhKp9Prwe4HokqhUQVsxE0/edit#gid=0


  1. Technology for Transparency Network

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.36 AMWho: A project of Rising Voices and Global Voices, sponsored by the Open Society Institute and the Omidyar Network.

What? As noted on the project site, “the Technology for Transparency Network is a research and mapping project that aims to improve understanding of the current state of online technology projects that increase transparency and accountability in Central & Eastern Europe, East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the former Soviet Union.”11

Rationale: The case studies aim to document in-depth as many technology for transparency projects as possible to gain a better understanding of their current impact, obstacles, and future potential.”12

Number of Case Studies: 63

Countries covered: Argentina, Burundi, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, Sudan, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Tanzania, Uganda, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

Contact: Renata Avila, Project Leader, @avilarenata; Rebekah Heacock, Project Leader, @rebekahredux and/or Hazel Feigenblatt, Editorial Advisor, @HazelFeigenblat

URL: http://transparency.globalvoicesonline.org

Case Studies URL: http://transparency.globalvoicesonline.org/projects/all


  1. World Bank’s Pipeline Project

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.43 AMWho: The World Bank Group

What?: A collection of examples of “open data companies in emerging markets, specifically in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, as well as India and Russia.”

Number of Case Studies: 315

Countries covered: 21 – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uruguay, Vietnam

Contact: Haishan Fu, Tariq Afzal Khokhar, Amparo Ballivian (to be confirmed)

Case Studies URL: https://finances.worldbank.org/dataset/Pipeline-research-open-data-driven-companies-in-em/u4wq-7b6m


  1. The World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF): Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC)

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.49 AMWho: The WWWF, with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

What? The ODDC Project is a multi-country, multi-year study led by the World Wide Web Foundation. As noted in the project announcement, the ODDC Project “explores how open data can foster improved governance, support citizens’ rights, and promote more inclusive development through looking at the emerging impacts of existing open data projects in developing countries.”13

Rationale: The ODDC project is “designed to inform the development of planned and on-going open data initiatives in the South. The project will work through a series of open data case studies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. These case studies examine initiatives, the governance challenges they propose to address, and emerging outcomes and impacts from the application of open data in these contexts. The project is also developing cross-cutting data collection instruments and analysis approaches to help explain if and how open data is bringing change to developing countries. Finally, it is engaging with global and local policymaking and practice in order to improve developmental outcomes of these initiatives.”14

Number of Case Studies: 17

Countries covered: 14 (Initial case-study countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Uruguay)

Contact: Tim Davies; @timdavies

URL: http://www.opendataresearch.org/emergingimpacts



  1. Open Data 500 Global Network

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.29.57 AMWho: The Governance Lab at New York University

What? Network of organizations collecting case studies on open data use and impact by companies

Rationale: “Coordinated by the Governance Lab (GovLab), the OD500 Global Network enables participating organizations to analyze open data in their country in a manner that is both globally comparative and domestically specific. The OD500 Global Network starts from the assumption that only by mapping the use of open data within and across countries, can new approaches for understanding the economic and social impact of open government data be generated.”

Number of Examples: 1100

Countries covered: U.S., Mexico, Australia (Italy and Korea forthcoming)

Contact: Stefaan Verhulst, Chief of Research and Development; stefaan at thegovlab.org

URL: http://www.opendata500.com/


Open data portals have been increasingly used by local, city and national governments to release data in open and reusable formats. These portals have encouraged increased use of open government data and led to the development of applications, new products and services. encouraged users of open government data to build applications, new products and services.

Launched at the 2011 Open Knowledge Foundation Conference in Berlin, DataPortals.org curates a list of over 400 open data portals from around the world, including Data.gov and New Zealand’s Open Data Case Studies. These portals specifically also provide a collection of case studies on how these portals have been used and contributed to social impact.

United States – Data.gov Impact Case Studies 


In addition to providing access to numerous government datasets, the site also highlights examples of open data impact, including impact in “cost savings, efficiency, fuel for business, improved civic services, informed policy, performance planning, research and scientific discoveries, transparency and accountability, and increased public participation in the democratic dialogue.”

New Zealand – Open Data Case Studies


New Zealand’s Office of the Chief Information Office provides a list of case studies that highlight “the innovative implementation of government ICT initiatives, the successful contribution to the delivery of ICT functional leadership, and the impact of innovative re-use of open government data.” The portal showcases over 30 open data case studies from 2012 to 2015 across various open data use categories, including apps and tools; new skills; central government releases; statistics; and local government releases.

Several Open Data intermediaries have also developed a set of client-studies, including:

CKAN Case Studies


The CKAN data management platform helps “numerous governments, organisations and communities around the world” catalogue, search and display data.15 The site showcases 116 instances of use across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Australasia as well 5 in depth case studies from the UK, the European Union, Helsinki and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

DKAN Case Studies


DKAN is the Drupal-based open source data platform that includes a full suite of cataloging, publishing and visualization features that allows governments, nonprofits and universities to easily publish data to the public. The 8 case studies featured on the site present an overview of the client, the project, the goal of the work and the impact of the project.


Esri Case Studies

Esri provides enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) to help its clients “make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.”16 Esri provides over 80 case studies on how businesses, government agencies and nonprofits across sectors have used map-based data for decision-making and social impact.

Granicus Case Studies


Granicus manages “the world’s largest and most reliable legislative content network—containing more than 5 million government media files and public records and maintaining a 99.98% uptime track-record.” Granicus provides 30 case studies of cities across the US who are “leveraging their technology to successfully run their day-to-day government information tasks including webcasting public meetings, managing and delivering legislative information, collaborating with citizens, and more.”17


IBM Smarter Cities Case Studies


The IBM Smarter Cities projects “help government leaders manage complex city environments, incidents and emergencies with a city solution that delivers operational insights.”18 Tools from the IBM Intelligent Operations Center (US) offer integrated data visualization, near real-time collaboration and deep analytics to help city agencies enhance the ongoing efficiency of city operations, plan for growth and coordinate and manage response efforts.” The aim of the initiative is to help power more collaborative working relationships across businesses, industries and state and town lines—and draw in an ever more active and engaged citizenry.19 There are 5 in-depth interactive case studies from cities around the world available with details on what IBM did and how they did it.

Microsoft Case Studies


Microsoft open government solutions “allows governments to reach and interact with citizens when and where they need through secure and effective data sharing and open access across mixed technology environments.” The solutions help to “provide effective information between various government agencies and with constituents while not sacrificing security and privacy.”20 The diverse case studies set out the business needs of the organization (including governments, non-profit organization and companies), the solution developed by Microsoft and the benefits of the initiative.

Socrata Case Studies
The Socrata case studies provide descriptions of Socrata lead initiatives with governments at the municipal (e.g. Boston), state (e.g. Hawaii) and federal levels (e.g. Spain). Each of the 29 case studies provides a description of the initiative, why it was developed and the main highlights of the project.

Please share with us any repository we may have missed (via email: Stefaan at thegovlab.org or below)




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