Open Data Watch (ODW) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 2013 by three development data specialists: Shaida Badiee, Misha Belkindas, and Eric Swanson. The co-founders are passionate about data, know its importance for solving development issues, but also recognize that there are many gaps in the global data set and much of the value of data produced remains untapped. Our vision is a world in which the products of national statistical systems are recognized locally and internationally for their quality, reliability, and accessibility. The co-founders have extensive experience in development data management and statistical capacity building in developing countries and are committed to understanding, analyzing, and assisting in the removal of the many obstacles to making open data a reality in all countries and key development agencies.

Because the uptake open data has been slow, especially in developing countries, the mission of Open Data Watch (ODW) is to assist countries realize the full potential of their national statistical systems by providing open access to high quality and timely statistics. Reliable data are essential for policy analysis, research, and making decisions that improve the lives of people. This is particularly critical for countries facing complex social and economic development challenges. We believe development data is a public good that should be available to everyone.

We use innovative methods to measure the openness of statistical data and monitor data and capacity gaps. One example is the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) which assesses coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices and data users. To achieve open data and data quality improvements in low capacity countries, ODW builds partnerships among national and international statistical offices, donors, and expert groups. By sharing knowledge, creating incentives, and helping remove barriers to open and more effective statistical systems, the work of ODW and its partners contribute to the social, economic, and the overall development progress of societies.

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

To maintain and refine the Open Data Inventory (ODIN), which will assess the openness and coverage of data on national statistical websites for 120 countries. This resource will highlight gaps in country-level data production and provide a valuable resource for locating official statistics on development indicators. The Open Data Inventory will lead to a higher level of engagement with producers and users of official statistics within the open data movement. It will clearly identify where gaps lie in measuring key development indicators and will provide simple guidelines for making official statistics more useful.


Initiatives in Open Data Watch


Interoperability Data Collaborative

GPSDD Initiated | Looking for Partners | Resources Available
Working to enhance interoperability of systems related to data and the SDGs.

Data Roadmaps

GPSDD Initiated | Resources Available
Data roadmaps support countries in developing and implementing multi-stakeholder data ecosystems for sustainable development.

More and Better Financing for Data

GPSDD Initiated | Resources Available
This initiative will secure better cooperation and action on data financing by strengthening the evidence base on the value of investing in data, challenging donor behavior and prioritizing country-level needs, and advocating for more financing.

News about Open Data Watch

September 26, 2016

Financing SDG data needs: What does it cost?

Two reports argue that financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) data needs -- effectively measuring and monitoring SDG implementation -- requires modest additional investment in data and statistical capacity.
April 26, 2016

Lessons from the 2015 Open Data Inventory

The 2015 Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessed the openness and coverage of official statistics for 125 countries in 20 data categories and provided recommendations for National Statistical Offices (NSOs) to improve their online data offerings.
March 18, 2016

How Open are Official Statistics?

Although open data initiatives are advancing at different levels, open access to the important data produced by national statistical agencies remains, at best, limited. The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) provides an assessment of the statistics commonly produced by national statistical systems.

Resources contributed by Open Data Watch

More Resources
Platforms and Applications

ODIN: Open Data Inventory

The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices (NSOs) and data users. Scores allow comparisons across topics and countries. In 2016, 125 countries were assessed.
Research, Methods and Good Practices

Making the Case: More and Better Financing for Development Data

Meeting the data challenges of the SDGs will require increased investments in international and national data and statistical systems. This resource makes the case for investing in data, highlight the current state of financing for statistics, identify funding gaps, and make the case for not just more but better financing for data.
Research, Methods and Good Practices

State of Development Data Funding

The State of Development Data Funding report provides updated estimates of the cost of producing the final set of SDG indicators agreed by the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs).
Research, Methods and Good Practices

What Do We Know About the Value of Data?

There is strong rhetorical consensus that better data are a prerequisite to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind, but the demand for better data has not translated into corresponding growth in funding. To confront this challenge, this paper seeks to better understand what we know about the value of data. How have economists and other researchers attempted to measure the value of data and how well do they do at painting the picture of what data are really worth?

This Partner Works to Achieve These SDGs