In 2016, our flagship product, Open Data Inventory (ODIN), was launched. After a grueling assessment period, we published scores on the coverage and openness of official statistics in 125 countries. Several countries reached out to us for advice on how to improve. We expanded our knowledge and research on the quality and openness of country strategies for statistics. Several new or deeper partnerships were initiated, such as one with PARIS21 to work together to revise and guidelines on open data for country planning. Support for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data helped establish and solidify its place at the forefront of harnessing the data revolution to achieve the SDGs. All this, and more, has made us want to celebrate 2016 and look ahead to what we can accomplish with great optimism.

Our Projects


The intersection of open data and official statistics is where ODW focused in 2016. Our efforts were organized along three interdependent work areas: Monitoring & Reporting, Knowledge & Partnerships, and Strategy & Guidance. All three aimed at making lasting marks on strengthening statistical systems and expanding use and impact of data on policies.

Monitoring & Reporting

The open data movement has had a global impact in many countries leading to opening of government-owned data. An important, but largely missing part, has been the inclusion of the national statistical system in this movement. To support the global interest in open data, ODW developed a monitoring system and support team to promote open data in national statistical offices around the world. Key activities in this area include:

odw2016_02Eric Swanson (ODW) introducing ODIN at March 5 launch in New York.

odw2016_03Shaida Badiee (ODW) shows the ODIN 2015 Report with Neil Jackson (DFID) and Lisa Grace Bersales (PSA)

odw2016_04Misha Belkindas and Jamison Crowell (ODW) with the RAS team in Russia.

o   The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessed the coverage and openness of official statistics. ODIN 2015 included detailed scores for 125 countries. This allows country National Statistical Offices (NSOs) identify data gaps and barriers to the access and use of official statistics.

o   The ODIN 2015 Report, summarizing findings and methods, was well received as part of the ODIN launch during the UN Statistical Commission meetings in New York on March 5th.

o   Several countries and agencies, reached out for insights on how to increase openness for statistics.

o   Training and support was provided for a pilot project with RAS in Russia for an ODIN-inspired assessment of 83 subnational regions.

o   A second round of assessments, this time for 173 countries, took place throughout 2016 with refined methodology that incorporates feedback received from the 2015 round.

Strategy & Guidance

Working with country and agency partners, ODW provided technical assistance to strengthen data management and dissemination practices and offered strategic advice and guidance on implementation of projects leading to overall improvements in statistical capacity. Some highlights include our work in the following areas:

o   The National Strategy for Development of Statistics (NSDS) guides country efforts to improve the quality of official statistics. In 2016, ODW research laid groundwork for increasing attention on open data in NSDSs.

o   The revision of the PARIS21 NSDS Guidelines is periodic process, and in 2016, ODW was invited to help with updating the Open Data Chapter.

o   An analysis was conducted on how current NSDSs adhere to PARIS21 guidelines and how countries cover planning for openness with the goal of building knowledge on best practices. This work will be published in 2017.

o   The Ready to Measure (R2M) joint paper with Data2X documented the availability of gender indicators required by the new SDG monitoring system. This popular paper helped show where gender data gaps exist. Two other gender data work include:

o   Using the Gallup World Poll and World Values Survey, ODW evaluated data from questionnaires that address issues of gender equality and empowerment. This exercise has further expanded the R2M database using new data sources.

o   Further research was conducted for a gender data strategy and guidance note on sources and methods that could support the R2M gender data framework.


knowledge and partnership

Knowledge & Partnerships

We worked hard on building partnerships to advocate for open data. Overall, ODW became a go-to place for strategic and technical advice. We shared knowledge, helped with set up of partnerships, and helped to address policy issues, such as financing for the SDGs. Some or our accomplishments were:


o   The startup of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership), with ODW as a proud member. We participated in Partnership activities and supported a number of projects, including:


odw2016_06 o   The State of Development Data Funding (SDDF) report which was developed and managed by ODW with partners including PARIS21 and Development Initiatives. A side event was organized around the UN General Assembly in September 2016 to launch the report and stimulate discussions around the topic.

o   The second edition of the report on Aid for Statistics was produced, providing an update to the survey of financial instruments. This was also included in the SDDF report.

o   A track on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and role of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) was organized for the International Open Data Conference (IODC) held in Madrid. ODW hosted a workshop and a main session focusing on links between open data and official statistics. Resources were mobilized to support travel costs for 11 NSOs. odw2016_07Eric Swanson (ODW) and Rachel Quint (Hewlett) collect feedback during the NSO workshop at IODC.
odw2016_08The main session panel at IODC linking open data and official statistics.

o   The Open Data Module of the Global Partnership’s SDG Country Toolbox was supported with content contributions on ODIN to this product. This work was presented at several country workshops.


o   Members of the ODW team participated in working groups of the Global Partnership. These working groups included the data collaboratives, data roadmaps, and others. Shaida Badiee co-chaired the Resource Mobilization and Alignment working group. The Interim Secretariat included two members of the ODW team in 2016.


o   With the expertise in open data for official statistics, policies to support the data revolution, costing and funding issues for data activities, and gender data knowledge, the ODW team has also been requested to participate in a number of seminar and roundtable discussions including: SDG country roadmap roundtables in Colombia, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, co-chairing the SDSN Data Thematic Network, speaking at the annual conference of sustainable development, and attending technical data forums such as the Global Forum on Gender Statistics.


o   The “What’s Being Said” segment on ODW’s website highlighted blogs and articles related to the data revolution and open data. In 2016, “What’s Being Said” was published every quarter to track the discourse and help keep everyone abreast of it.


o   The Data Impacts Case Studies explored success stories of the data revolution. The case studies showed the initial positive impacts of providing data on a wide range of themes, from health to agriculture, environment, urbanization, and humanitarian crises. In 2016, ODW continued to collect new stories showing the impacts of development data.


Our Partners and Friends

We were delighted and proud to collaborate with so many outstanding organizations in 2016. Together, we conducted research, produced reports, and hosted events.

Center for Open Data Enterprise
Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE) – Colombia
Development Gateway
Development Initiatives
El Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) – Ecuador
Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
International Open Data Conference (IODC)
Open Data Charter
Open Data for Development (OD4D)
The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21)
Project Everyone
Publish What You Fund
Russian Association of Statisticians (RAS)
Statistics Sierra Leone
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
World Bank



About the author