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Friday, 15 July 2011

Kenya's open data revolution

This site makes public government data accessible to the people of Kenya. High quality national census data, government expenditure, parliamentary proceedings and public service locations are just a taste of what's to come. There's something for everyone: maps to start exploring, interactive charts and tables for a deeper understanding, and raw data for technical users to build their own apps and analyses. Our information is a national asset, and it's time it was shared: this data is key to improving transparency; unlocking social and economic value; and building Government 2.0 in Kenya
From the Kenyan government's website designed to open up government - . Having data and using it are of course two different things, but this is giant step in the right direction by the Kenyan government.

Instead of the current cries in the media for Freedom of Information legislation, why not push for something like this as a first step? Equally shambolic is that the Banda administration seems to have little regard for transparency because their idea of transparency is a personal presidential website with the so called "development map" - which does not actually live up to the name "development". What Zambia actually needs is a government data framework along the lines being taken forward by the Kenyans, and was called for in the recent Diaspora Survey Report. But that will never happen until we have a government that recognises that it does not exist for itself, but for the benefit of its people. Only such a government can genuinely say "our information is a national asset, and it's time it was shared". 

1 comment:

  1. It seems the Kenyans have used the 'crisis'they had during the last elections to think critically about the way their country is governed. Out of the 'crisis' was a new constitution voted for by the majority in a referendum. Out of the 'crisis' was the decentralisation of power to the provinces now called 'Counties' which will have elected governors and assemblies together with spending powers. Other institutions like the Judiciary and Civil Service are also being reformed to bring them in line with their new forward looking constitution. The 'open data revolution'is also part their reform process. It is a pity that Zimbabweans have not used their 'crisis' intelligently. Zambia unfortunately also still has a long way to go. We sadly have two octogerians schooled in Kaunda's 'big man' politics as the two main contestants in the 2011 polls. I doubt very much that either RB nor Sata are prepared to institute any meaningful reforms. I can't wait to see the back of this underachieving and deceitful generation!


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