|Title||Understanding the Impacts of Kenya Open Data Applications and Services|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Mutuku, Leonida, and Mahihu Christine M.|
The Kenya Open Data Initiative was launched in 2011 and received great government support to provide access to and utilization of open datasets by the population. Technology tools have also been built to synthesize and visualize the data in simple formats in order to improve access to this government information. Three years later, there has not been substantial documentation of level of use of these datasets or of technology applications built using this data. Further, there is little or no recorded evidence to support consequential social impact of these initiatives and technologies or the way grassroots citizens engage with government data.
iHub Research set out to study and assess the implementation and impacts of initiatives that use data from Kenya Open Data Initiative’s (KODI) portal (opendata.go.ke). These initiatives include Code4Kenya, an outreach initiative supporting intermediaries to work with government datasets to develop applications and services that make data more accessible and that improve governance, as well as independently created open data applications. The research aimed to explore the extent to which these open data applications affect access to and use of government information in relation to service delivery within the sectors of Water, Health and Education.
The research used a mixed method approach, which combined qualitative, quantitative and experimental methods. This was necessary to provide a holistic view of the status of open data awareness, access and use in the country and help us better understand the underlying factors that affect the roll out, adoption and use of open data. These methods included a literature review, a user perception survey, dashboard data analysis of the open data applications, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and a user experience experiment on three open data platforms. Findings from these techniques were aggregated and cross-analyzed to measure the extent to which technology intermediaries have increased the accessibility and utilization of open data in Kenya.
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