Open Development Technology Alliance supports African programs
The Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA) is “a knowledge platform aiming to give voice to citizens and improve accountability by offering ways to provide feedback on public services.” It provides knowledge products, links experts with projects and facilitates the development of ICT tools. ODTA provides direct support to World Bank operations to ensure that the lessons learned, communities engaged, and experience from tools deployed can be used to inform others around the world with similar needs.
The group has initiated numerous activities in Africa to develop sustainable models of engagement with external partners. Six African programs ODTA has supported in the past two years involve open data, community mapping, an SMS survey, and a hackathon:
- Kenya Open Data Initiative – A Government of Kenya endeavor to make datasets available to the public. Goals include the promotion of transparency and the development of public service apps around open data.
- Mapping Dar es Salaam – Students with GPS tools geocoded key landmarks in a neighborhood on August 25, 2012. The hope is that all neighborhoods be mapped as part of a greater city-wide project.
- Mobile Survey Empowers Citizens to Assess Justice Services in Niger – More than 65,000 Nigeriens participated in an SMS program to improve the delivery of justice services. The survey found a lack of awareness of a government hotline.
- The Sanitation Hackathon – The global Sanitation Hackathon was held in forty cities, including multiple in Africa. The initiative developed mobile applications addressing obstacles to safe sanitation.
- Participatory Budgeting Cameroon – In Yaoundé, citizens have been able to be involved in budget planning. SMS services were used to provide information and include community members in the decision-making process.
- Code 4 Kenya – The World Bank, African Media Initiative, and Kenya ICT Board recently came together for a 6 month fellowship that placed fellows and developer teams in the largest media companies in Kenya. Code for Kenya fellows helped media companies translate this data into stories and services that are relevant to all Kenyans.