Senior Program Manager – Open Data Watch

“Open Data Watch (ODW) is a nonprofit organization promoting open and high-quality development data. ODW works with national statistical offices, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations to increase the availability and impact of development data. ODW monitors and reports on the degree to which countries and agencies have succeeded in implementing open data policies and disseminating their data. Its Open Data Inventory (ODIN) is a widely used measure of the openness of official statistics.

ODW also conducts research and provides guidance to strengthen countries or agencies’ data management and dissemination practices and supports or coordinates partnerships leading to improvements in statistical capacity and support for statistics. ODW has a rich and growing work program on improving the quality and use of gender data as well as civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS).

ODW is hiring a Program Manager to work closely with management, team members, partners, and clients on the activities described below. The Program Manager will be responsible for overseeing the achievement of strategic organizational goals, coordinating efforts between different projects, and helping to lead the overall program with strong attention to strategy, implementation, and delegation….”

A reproducible picture of open access… | Wellcome Open Research

Abstract:  Background: Open data on the locations and services provided by health facilities have, in some countries, allowed the development of software tools contributing to COVID-19 response. The UN and WHO encourage countries to make health facility location data open, to encourage use and improvement. We provide a summary of open access health facility location data in Africa using re-useable R code. We aim to support data analysts developing software tools to address COVID-19 response in individual countries. In Africa there are currently three main sources of such open data; 1) direct from national ministries of health, 2) a database for sub-Saharan Africa collated and published by a team from KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and now hosted by WHO, and 3) The Global Healthsites Mapping Project in collaboration with OpenStreetMap.     

Methods: We searched for and documented official national facility location data that were openly available. We developed re-useable open-source R code to summarise and visualise facility location data by country from the three sources. This re-useable code is used to provide a web user interface allowing data exploration through maps and plots of facility type.

Results: Out of 52 African countries, seven currently provide an official open facility list that can be downloaded and analysed reproducibly. Considering all three sources, there are over 185,000 health facility locations available for Africa. However, there are differences and overlaps between sources and a lack of data on capacities and service provision.

Conclusions: These summaries and software tools can be used to encourage greater use of existing health facility location data, incentivise further improvements in the provision of those data by national suppliers, and encourage collaboration within wider data communities. The tools are a part of the afrimapr project, actively developing R building blocks to facilitate the use of health data in Africa.

Balancing Privacy With Data Sharing for the Public Good – The New York Times

“This data protection agency could be combined with Data.gov, a government website created in 2009 that assembles and hosts hundreds of thousands of data sets for public use. Together they could form a kind of federal data library, democratizing knowledge for the digital age.

Just as traditional libraries curate and organize their collections, so could a digital library, adding new data sources and cleaning and assembling them for public use. A federal data library could also take the lead in developing and using new tools such as differential privacy, a technique designed to preserve important features of data while protecting individual identities.

Data’s increasing value as an economic resource requires a new way of thinking. Strict privacy protections are needed to make socially valuable data available for the public good.”

About Open Data | data.gov.au – beta

“Quite simply, open data is information that anyone can find, explore and reuse.

A vast amount of this data is collected during the course of normal government activities, including service delivery, research or administration.

Open data, by definition, should be freely available, easily discoverable, anonymous, accessible and published in ways and with licences that allow reuse.

By releasing this information in a central location – on data.gov.au – it’s now easy to find, explore and reuse.

Examples of how open data is used include creating an app, doing research, in support of evidence-based decision making, developing a business plan for creating goods or services, or simply to improve knowledge and understanding of social, economic and environmental trends.

Government open data does not hold any private or sensitive information as the data is anonymised prior to release.  This is done to ensure the highest privacy standards are met, and security is not breached….”

The SHRUG; Development Data Lab

“The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India (SHRUG) is a geographic platform that facilitates data sharing between researchers working on India. It is an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s 500,000 villages and 8000 towns using a set of a common geographic identifiers that span 25 years….”

Development Data Lab

“Data limitations are a major constraint on good policy in developing countries. The sample surveys conventionally used for development policy and research are sparse, geographically imprecise, and weakly integrated. We collect many new kinds of data, including measures of well-being generated from satellite images, data exhaust from government programs, and archival administrative records not previously used for policy design. Our open data platform (the SHRUG) seamlessly stitches these data sources together, making it one of India’s first high-resolution geographic frameworks for socioeconomic analysis.

Our research uses cutting edge econometric and machine learning tools to generate policy-relevant insights that would be difficult to arrive at using other data sources. We focus on understanding how people born into poverty can live fulfilling and productive lives—and which policies and programs can help them do so….”

Big Data for Justice. An open-access dataset of 80 million legal case records

“The 7000 odd courts that make up India’s lower judiciary processed more than 80 million cases between 2010–2018. That huge backlog and scarce resources plague Indian courts is well-known. But which districts bear the greatest burden? Where has delay in due process been the most crippling? Are the benches diverse — do they mirror the underlying population of a state? Have crimes against women been on the rise — are specific districts particularly notorious? These just scratch the surface of pressing questions on law and order in India, that can now be answered in a matter of minutes using the largest open-access dataset on judicial proceedings in the world….”

Suggested changes to the Open Courts Act

“We write on behalf of a group that has extensive experience building large public sites on the Internet. The purpose of this letter is to advance action on improving public access to federal court records, which are presently offered by the government through an outdated PACER system. We have extensive experience putting large government databases on the Internet and then working with public officials to help government do this work better. Our experience includes making available federal databases such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark database, the Securities and Exchange EDGAR database, the IRS Form 990 database, 14,000 hours of Congressional video from hearings posted at the request of the Speaker of the House, and over 6,000 government videos from the U.S. National Archives posted in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States. We have extensive experience working with legal information, and operate some of the largest sites for access to federal court filings, as well as the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the regulations of all 50 states, and much more….”

Suggested changes to the Open Courts Act

“We write on behalf of a group that has extensive experience building large public sites on the Internet. The purpose of this letter is to advance action on improving public access to federal court records, which are presently offered by the government through an outdated PACER system. We have extensive experience putting large government databases on the Internet and then working with public officials to help government do this work better. Our experience includes making available federal databases such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark database, the Securities and Exchange EDGAR database, the IRS Form 990 database, 14,000 hours of Congressional video from hearings posted at the request of the Speaker of the House, and over 6,000 government videos from the U.S. National Archives posted in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States. We have extensive experience working with legal information, and operate some of the largest sites for access to federal court filings, as well as the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the regulations of all 50 states, and much more….”

Providing Public Access to Grey Literature at the National Transportation Library: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  The National Transportation Library (NTL) at the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) provides national and international access to the crucial transportation information that falls within the scope of grey literature, including the results of U.S. government funded research. Founded as an all-digital library in 1998, NTL’s collections include full-text-born digital and digitized publications, data products, and other resources. All items are in the public domain and available for reuse without restriction. Since 2016, NTL has led the implementation of the USDOT’s Official Public Access Plan issued in response to the February 22, 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies entitled Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. This paper discusses the effect this plan has had on a grey literature library and the efforts to create and maintain a public access repository, as well as exploring relationships between repository platform, contents, and people.