Uganda Open Development Partnership Platform : How can the platform be improved?

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Handelshögskolan


Poverty and corruption are problems that developing countries fight everyday. Politicians andleaders abuse their influence to gain property and wealth by unacceptable means. Open data is away to challenge these problems and make a positive change in the society.

Open data can be freely accessed, used, reused and re-distributed by anyone. Open development isabout providing the means for organizations to share open data. The process for open developmentin Uganda has just begun and there are many reasons to have an open development platform thatgathers open data, which the society demands when the government are not willing to share theirdata. The Uganda government denied invitation to join Open Government Partnership, that wouldmean a commitment to open development. This leaves non government organizations to take thefirst step to introduce open data to the society and other organizations. The Uganda OpenDevelopment Partnership Platform is an initiative by non government organizations that combinestheir knowledge to promote open development. The development of this platform has just begunand it needs further assistance to be ready for the public. The available data sets and documents onthe platform are released in proprietary formats, without the alternative of open formats. A portalfor open development that releases documents and data sets in proprietary formats alone aresomething that collides in the platform's purpose of being a portal for promoting openness.

The purpose of this report is to promote open data with an overview about the subject and explainimprovement proposals on flaws in the Uganda Open Development Partnership Platform. Theinitiatives and organizations that practice open data can get initial guidelines from this report onhow to apply open data. The research should display the current state of the platform to identify theflaws and get an understanding how the platform works. The research was performed throughinterviews that were conducted in Kampala, Uganda, for three weeks in the beginning of 2013. Thisgave the chance to meet numerous citizens of this developing country which offered information ofinterest for the research. Observations were made by visiting the partners of the platform, in order tosee how they work with current means of visualization and to get an understanding of what can beimproved. The Uganda Open Development Partnership Platform can be improved with thepresented proposals to introduce the open license, multiple formats for material and structured datasets.

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