ODDC Context - The use of open data in the governance of South African higher education


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Presentation in the first workshop of the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries project. Looking at the context of open data, and the research case study planned for 2013 - 2014. See http://www.opendataresearch.org/project/2013/uct

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ODDC Context - The use of open data in the governance of South African higher education

  1. 1. The use of open datain the governance ofSouth African higher educationAn Introduction to the ProjectLondon, Thursday 25 April 2013
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Using the Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET)as a case study, this project proposes to examine:• the value of the emerging CHET open data initiative touniversity planners as well as higher education studiesresearchers;• the limitations of the open data initiative in its current form;• role CHET plays as an intermediary in making the dataavailable; and• some of the unintended consequences of opening accessto the dataset.As an additional sub-component, the project will undertakea situational analysis of the use of open data in the SouthAfrican higher education and research context.
  3. 3. governance Two governance contexts:• Governance of the higher education system by the State• Governance of individual institutions by Council anduniversity managementOpen data allows for:• comparisons between inidividual universities and betweenclusters of universities• decision-making being emperically based rather thanideological informed• transparency and accountability of public institutionsby external stakeholders
  4. 4. OPENDATA23publicuniversitiesHigher Education Management InformationSystem (HEMIS) DatabaseConsultants
  5. 5. Governmentopen datalandscapeDATACAPACITYPOLITICAL WILLBudgetCensusCrimeElection SAPSDHETNRFTreasuryLEGAL ENVIRONMENTProtection of State Information Bill(“Secrecy Bill”)IP laws(copyright/patents)The Promotion of Access to Information ActThe ConstitutionPRESSURES FOR OPEN DATA• Advocacy groups – supply sidepressure through policy intervention (e.g.Open Democracy & Data Initiative; OpenUCT)• Research – supply side pressurethrough policy intervention viaintermediaries (e.g. ODDC case studyresearch)• Funders/donors – supply side pressurethrough conditional funding terms• Hackers – demand side through productdevelopment (e.g. HacksHackers CapeTown; OKFN-ZA)PRESSUREINTERMEDIARIES
  6. 6. OPEN DATASupplyHEMIS DHET CHETDoes the data exist?   Is it available online in digital form?   Is the dataset machine readable?   Is the machine readable data available in bulk?   Is the dataset available free of charge?   Is the data openly licensed?   Is the dataset up-to-date?   Is the publication of the dataset sustainable?   Was it easy to find information on the dataset?   Are linked data URIs provided?   4 7 9HEMIS data captured as student and staffrecordsOnly non-personal data available publiclyCHET data only available in the form ofperformance indicators
  7. 7. RESEARCHQUESTIONS1. How does the specific case of the CHET open data initiative fit intocurrent open data policy and practice in South Africa?2. What is the value of opening data on higher education in South Africato practitioners and researchers?3. What are factors which inform operability of open data in termsof data packaging/delivery and user interface? And, (i) assumingdata needs to be curated rather than simply stored, and (ii) that thesystematic organisation of information is not a neutral act, who shoulddetermine how data is presented?4. What are the implicit and explicit roles of intermediaries in the dataflow process in the context of the case of South African highereducation open data?METHOD Open data landscape in South Africa: desk study and unstructuredinterviewsUse of CHET open data (uptake, operability, etc.): structured interviewswith representative sample drawn from 23 public universities + interviewswith higher education studies researchers in South Africa
  8. 8. END