How to make the most of Open Data opportunities?

“Over  the  next  decade,  cities  will  continue  to  grow  larger   at  a  rapid  pace.  At  the  same  time,  new  technologies  will   unlock  massive  streams  of  data  about  cities  and  their   residents.  As  these  forces  collide,  they  will  turn  every  city   into  a  unique  civic  laboratory—a  place  where   technology  is  adapted  in  novel  ways  to  meet  local  needs.”  Anthony Townsend, Institute of the Futures, 2020 Forecast.   December 2010.

Where: Rm 2.27, Davies Room, Engeo Building, Upper Campus, UCT, Cape Town

The coming decade holds an opportunity to harness information to improve government services, alleviate poverty and inequality, and empower the poor. Key uncertainties are coming into view:

• What economic opportunities will urban information provide to excluded groups?

• What new exclusions might arise from new kinds of data about the city and its citizens?

• How will communities leverage urban information to improve service delivery, transparency, and citizen engagement?

About the Author

Jay Bhalla is an innovation strategist, who has helped pioneer Kenya’s digital revolution.

He helped design the Kenyan government’s 2006 ICT policy that kick-started the nation’s digital start up culture and more recently played a leading role in shaping the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI).  He continues to advise both the Kenyan government and the World Bank on tech strategies for civic engagement and appropriate technology. He has also helped build proof-of-concept grassroots community tools for monitoring government delivery and tracking State expenditure.

Outside of his Open Data work, Jay spearheaded East Africa’s largest mobile web gathering, Pivot25, and also co-founded the world’s first Kiswahili text-to-speech start up.  Jay is currently the co-founder and executive director for the Open Institute think tank.

Source:  African Centre for Cities