Researching the emerging impacts of open data: revisiting the ODDC conceptual framework


  • Tim Davies University of Southampton, Web Science Doctoral Training Centre
  • Fernando Perini International Development Research Centre



Open data has rapidly moved from being a niche interest, to being part of the global policy mainstream. Government-led open data initiatives have spread across the globe, and civil society or technologist experiments using data to improve governance have been spreading organically, from budget monitoring in Nigeria, to court transparency projects in Argentina. It is increasingly seen as enabler of a “data revolution” in the process of decision-making and accountability.  However, understanding how experience of open data will vary from country to country and context to context, and, understanding the common features of open data that are shaping its implementation in these diverse settings, requires broad-based research framework. It requires research that can engage with both existing realities of decision-making in sectors, acknowledging the growing complexity of this process in an increasingly networked society. In this paper we have reviewed the framework of the “Open Data in Developing Countries”(ODDC) project, the largest research project on the impact of open data in developing countries to date.  The framework was designed to help explore the link between openness in the data ecosystem, decentralized changes in decision-making, and positive and negative emerging impacts such as transparency and accountability, inclusion and empowerment as well as innovation and economic development.  It was tested to generate cross-learning from 17 in-depth cases studies in 14 countries, as well as generate policy-relevant findings.  This paper reviews and updates the original framework based on the findings and reflections developed during the research project.

Author Biographies

Tim Davies, University of Southampton, Web Science Doctoral Training Centre

Currently studying for a PhD in Social Policy and Web Science focussing on open government data.

Fernando Perini, International Development Research Centre

Fernando Perini is a Senior Program Officer for the Information and Networks program, and an expert on information and communication technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. His work focuses on how information networks affect citizens in developing countries, particularly in creative industries like music and film, as well as governance, education, and science.

Perini is trained in innovation management, and has previously investigated the interaction between multinational corporations and national innovation systems in developing countries. Before joining IDRC in 2007, he taught management at the University of Sussex, in its Science and Technology Policy Research Unit. He has also worked as a consultant, advising technology companies on how to use innovative technologies to improve their management processes.






Articles, Special Issue on Open Data for Social Change and Sustainable Development