Decimation workshop of the study, “How open data could contribute to poverty eradication in
Kenya and Uganda through its impacts on resource allocation”
Key Takeaways From the interactive Discussions
1 Providing Open data should not be an end in itself – it’s a means. Open data
can be useful in resource allocation and poverty eradication by knowing
statistics on services delivered, numbers of people accessing them, gaps in
service delivery and data on demands for services among others. Data
should be more accessible – collected, interpreted and stored
appropriately, make it more available to the wider public, make data re-
usable, make it relevant to information and data needs,
2. There are economic, social and political changes in Kenya and Uganda;
regionally and globally that cannot be ignored. For example:
• Technological transformation which has led to increased access and use
of ICTs in government, non-state organisations and among citizens.
Kenya has a government Open Data portal. There is increasing ICT
literacy among citizens and this is an opportunity to build awareness on
• The world is being compressed into one global village and no single
country can remain closed in the conduct of business.
• Demographic changes - the youth bulge. The youth are big technology
users, they can even do better for development-oriented purposes,
• Culture changes – increasingly public officials are more willing to share
data, though the Secrecy Act is still prohibitive. Whilst some citizens are
yearning for data others still need to use the available data. More needs
to be done to change our mind-set about the strategic goal and how the
open data can help us get there.
• The EAC integration is on and countries are in the process of
harmonising policy, legislative and institutional frameworks, Uganda has
an Access to Information Act, Kenya has an Access to Information Bill.
Either way, it is important for us to promote the implementation of
• The global development challenge remains to be the eradication of
poverty. It has been transformed from ‘halving poverty by 2015’ to
‘eradicating absolute and extreme poverty by 2030’.
3. Data collection is an expensive venture, but resources for doing so are
• Some data is available, for instance, government MDAs such as MAAIF,
MoLG, MFPED, UBOS, etc produce data, information and knowledge but
most of it lying unused. It is important to transform data into useable
information, analysis and messages for it to be used by citizens in
• What is the demand for data and information? What kind of data
needs do citizens have to improve their wellbeing? It is important to
start with the immediate data needs and build on them for further
• It is important to go beyond availing data on web portals, data can be
simplified through varied means such as visualisations, analysis,
• UBOS enhances access to data – through anonymising it, putting on
• DI is trying to develop a model that can be used to bring together the
different stakeholders in the ‘ecosystem’ to work together.
4. It is important to recognise the role of various stakeholders – data
producers, data analysts, information and communication specialists, info-
mediaries, etc. More needs to be done to harmonise this community for
greater impact, cross sharing and learning.
5. Technical capacity deficiencies are limiting use of available data. Some
stakeholders should be doing capacity building for potential data users – e.g
to build capacity of journalists to produce stories from data.
6. Sustaining the momentum for openness remains a challenge. We need
• sustain the release of data,
• build technical capacity to re-use the available data,
• bring together the different stakeholders in the open data community,
• harmonise existing legislations and policies,
• advocate for new legislation on Data Privacy and Protection,
• Undertake continuous assessment of citizens’ information and data needs,