Open data, sustainable development goals and the data revolution

Web Meeting - September 2014 - Wednesday 24th, 12 noon GMT


The UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda have called for a ‘data revolution’, and in the process of setting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there has been much discussion of whether the Right to Information and proactive disclosure of data should be explicitly named as goals or whether they should form part of cross-cutting governance measures.


In the latest draft outline of the Sustainable Development Goals, there are no explicit mentions of open data, with “ensure public access to information…,in accordance with national legislation and international agreements” the strongest relevant principle included under goal 16 to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The current emphasis in work towards the data revolution places the emphasis on strengthening central statistical capacity, rather than opening up processes for the creation, access and use of data.


Partners in the Open Data in Developing Countries project have been exploring what open means on the ground in a wide range of settings around the world. In this Web Meeting we aim to bring their findings into conversation with the current advocacy agenda for post-2015 and with current action on building a vision of how a data revolution might connect with open data.



Open Data Research Network web meetings are one-hour online discussions held through GoToMeeting. They start with input from speakers, before opening to voice and text inputs from other attendees, similar to a panel discussion. Each is structured around a specific topic, with optional background reading and a write-up shared after the session. Sessions are recorded and made available for others to view and listen to afterwards.

Invited speakers:

Speakers will be invited to each give a 5 - 10 minute presentation on the post-2015 process, data revolutions and the role of open data.


Jeannet Lingan, Publish What You Fund  on the need for open data commitments in the Post-2015 Agenda

Jason Maglaughlin - CIVICUS - on the Big Development Data Shift project and the need for bottom up approaches to a data revolution.

Cecillia Makonyola - Restless Development - The Big Idea on Youth Led Data Revolution and Accountability


A panel of respondents from the Open Data in Developing Countries project, led by Sumandro Chattapadhyay of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, will share their reflections based on the presentation inputs, and drawing on their own research into the use of open data in governance and decision making.


The session will then open to discussions.