iHub, a Nairobi-based innovation hub, released the results of their research to develop a crowdsourcing framework for elections. This study, which includes analysis of which social media tools produce the best real-time picture of the “on-the-ground reality” in Kenyan politics, now available online, was retroactively applied to the recent elections in Kenya as a first test case.
The Sunlight Foundation started an experiment this week to crowdsource a list of reasons governments have given to not release data. They are inviting members of the open data and civic technology community to add reasons governments have given for not opening data to a public Google document. As we discussed in our blog post about open postal code data, another common reason is that crown corporations like Canada Post generate revenue from the sale of data.
A recent masters thesis by Liam Currie from the Department of Geography at Queen’s University takes an in-depth look into the diverse open data initiatives in Canadian municipalities and concludes with seven important recommendations to municipalities who are considering starting their own open data program. It also cites Open North as an example of an organization whose work benefits from the availability of open data to build democratic engagement and information tools that do not rely on government buy-in.