Uganda: Embrace Open Data for Development

Bernard Sabiti | allAfrica | August 24, 2012

...this entire problem could be avoided if all the stakeholders involved embraced open data, a new phenomenon that is increasingly becoming the new normal in development. Open data, or open development, as some are calling it, in a more comprehensive sense, is where organisations are using Information technologies to provide and share information using simple computer applications.

Actually, there is no specific definition for Open Development, other than the fact that the idea represents a new vision about development, how it comes about and the role that different stakeholders can play. It is about people having the information and resources that they need to hold duty-bearers to account and to make well-informed decisions to improve their lives.

Open data enhances transparency and accountability about resources that are available to be invested in development, how those resources are invested and what results they achieve. But besides juts resource information, other data on several aspects of human development, like crime reports, weather, roads availability, traffic, examinations, health, etc can be shared as well

For example, Kenya Open Data initiative, a government led platform for providing information, dumps various troves of information on district/county poverty status, school performances, budgets, etc on a website and these data are just a click away! Luckily, even in Uganda, the Open data idea is not entirely without precedence. UNICEF had a wonderful tool known as Devtrac, where information on health centres, water (like boreholes) and schools upcountry can be got an interactive website...

Open Health News' Take: 

I did a quick search of collected news clips by Open Health News (OHN) about Uganda and 'open' eHealth activities. The results were quite interesting. Find out what they're doing with FrontlineSMS, iHRIS, mobile apps, etc. Check out   -  Peter Groen, Senior Editor, OHN