The Uganda Open Development And Open Data Process: Is The Tide About To Change?

Charles Lwanga-Ntale | Development Initiatives | October 1, 2012

Convened on 11-12 September 2012, the ‘Open Development and Open Data’ meeting took place in Kampala, Uganda with a cross-section of representatives from government, civil society, private sector, development partners and academia. All were eager to share, learn from one another  and explore collaborative opportunities in promoting development effectiveness through improved transparency, accountability and openness.

The event was billed as the first civil society-led effort in the country to bring together a wide array of institutions, sectors and individuals with an interest in advancing openness and the access and use of information in development. Development Research and Training (DRT) the Uganda National NGO Forum and Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) played a lead facilitating role with support from Development Initiatives.

There is currently a sea change in the East African governance landscape and you only need to go back to just over a year ago – to Kenya – to understand this. On 8 July 2011, President Mwai Kibaki launched the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI), making Kenya the first developing country to have an open government data portal, and second only to Morocco on the African continent. Those who crafted KODI did not mince their words. They wanted to see Kenya take steps to improve governance, and they saw availability and access to data and vital development information as one way of achieving this...