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Research project: Open Data Educational Research & Capacity Building

The open data movement is gaining momentum and we are witnessing a rapidly growing number of open data initiatives both in developed and less economically developed countries. Whether spearheaded by governments or international funding agencies, a common feature of most of these initiatives is the focus on making more datasets openly available (supply side). While making the data available is a crucial step towards promoting and facilitating inclusion, innovation and development of societies, data must be utilized effectively and innovatively in order to maximize its value (demand side). Therefore, there is an urgent need to educate the potential users of these data and provide them with relevant skill sets to achieve the above goals. As more datasets are being released, there is a need to prepare the next generation of data analysts, journalists, and visualization researchers and professionals. This demand to develop capacities underscore the role of universities in developing educational programs, supporting research and encouraging advocacy. This project will work towards the creation of an Open Data Educational Research Institute (ODERI) as a virtual institute supported by a consortium of universities.

In the first phase of activities, the project will focus on developing and piloting open data capacity building resources and programs relevant to adult education and less economically developed contexts, and upon building academic engagement with open data across a number of institutions.

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