ABOUT US

Open Data Watch is an international, non-profit organization of data experts working to bring change to organizations that produce and manage official statistical data. We support the efforts of national statistical offices (NSOs), particularly those in low- and middle-income, to improve their data systems and harness the advancements of the data revolution. Through our policy advice, data support, and monitoring work, we influence and help both NSOs and other organizations meet the goals of their national plans and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Our aim is to make lasting changes to improve the coverage and openness of official statistics. Only with the high-quality and open data will new and ongoing efforts to monitor and achieve the SDGs be successful.

Since its founding in 2013 by three development data specialists, Open Data Watch has established itself as a strong source of expertise working at the intersection of open data and official statistics. As an organization, we have grown quickly and are pleased to have earned the trust and respect of both communities. We have built direct connections to support NSOs as our main clients. We have also established strong partnerships with other groups working towards our shared goals. Intellectual and financial independence is something we carefully maintain as an effective “watchdog” knowledge agency. As we help hold those working in the international development space accountable to their commitments, we also provide the support and knowledge needed to achieve development goals. We produce knowledge materials and share them widely as global public goods to achieve the greatest possible benefits and impacts.

OUR PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

Open Data Watch builds and maintains partnerships with a diverse range of organizations working across the domains of open data for development, statistical capacity building, and government transparency. In addition to our long-standing partnerships with organizations such as Data2X, PARIS21, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Open Data Watch has worked closely with many other international organizations and governments working to promote prosperity and equality in a wide range of contexts. Click below to learn more about our partners and supporters.

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STAFF

Open Data Watch carries out an ambitious work program through the dedication of a small team with experience and education in open data, official statistics, and international development. Through extensive on-the-job training, the skills and expertise of our staff are always growing.

Policy, Advisory, and Partnership

Shaida Badiee
Managing Director

Shaida directs the strategic planning, partnership, and fund-raising work of ODW. She is a Senior Advisor to Data2X focused on gender data, co-chairs the SDSN TReNDS group, is part of Technical Advisory Group for GPSDD, and is a member of the PARIS21 board and a number of others. Before co-founding ODW in 2013, she worked at the World Bank for 36 years and was the Director of the Development Data Group for many years. She holds an MS degree in Engineering, specialized in information management.

Deirdre Appel
Program Manager

Deirdre is responsible for the planning and coordination of work program activities at ODW. She works closely with Data2X on gender data, maintains partnerships, and supports policy and advisory lines of business. She also manages all social media communication. Deirdre holds a Master of Global Policy Studies with a specialization in International Development from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Caleb Rudow
Program Associate

Caleb conducts research on the state of open data, financing for data, patterns of data use, and technical issues around data policy at ODW. He has specialized research experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods, specifically running randomized control trials, and in GIS. Caleb has a Master of Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Research, Monitoring, and Reporting

Eric Swanson
Director of Research

Eric is a co-founder of Open Data Watch. He supervises the research and analytical work of ODW. He was previously program manager and senior adviser in the World Bank’s Development Data Group with responsibilities including the World Development Indicators. He holds a PhD in economics. He has previously worked on topics of measuring educational achievement, economic modeling and forecasting, and jury selection.

Jamison Crowell
ODIN Project Manager

Jamison is responsible for overseeing the research and review of 180 annual Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessments, as well as training and helping governments strengthen their open data strategies. His research concerns the measurement of open data activities and data gaps within the SDG framework. Prior to his career at Open Data Watch, he worked on the Open Budget Index, an independent measure of government budget transparency.

Amelia Pittman
Data Scientist & Designer

Amelia supports a wide range of projects at ODW through technical research, analytical work, and data management innovations. She is also responsible for data visualization, infographics, and materials for online and print publication. Prior to working at ODW, she conducted qualitative and quantitative research for USAID, Innovations for Peace and Development, and AngelouEconomics. She holds a Master of Global Policy Studies.

Tawheeda Wahabzada
Senior Research Associate

Tawheeda is a lead reviewer of assessments for the Open Data Inventory (ODIN). She manages ODW’s country engagement and communication with over 80 national statistics offices on a daily basis. She also supports research projects pertaining to data use and the availability of gender data. Tawheeda holds a Master of Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

Chandrika Kaul
Consultant

Chandrika helps with the ODIN work program. She has 20+ years of experience compiling and analyzing data and statistics for search engines such as Microsoft and Google. She has been a geography and statistics editor for leading reference publishers and has authored three statistical handbooks and several geography reference books. As a Research Manager at Wolfram|Alpha, she contributed to the expansion and improvement of its knowledge base. She holds a PhD in economic geography.

Admin, IT, Media, and Budget

Reza Farivari
Director of Admin and IT

Reza manages ODW’s administration activities including IT work and contracts. He headed Information Services and Systems at World Bank’s Development Data Group for 10 years. There he oversaw development of the largest set of systems products for Open Data and related communications. He has developed systems for managing and disseminating statistical information for over 35 years. Before World Bank, he operated the Computer Center at the School of Engineering at George Washington University.

Martin Getzendanner
Media & Communications Advisor

Martin coordinates media and communications at ODW. He has worked in several international agencies, as a business information solutions manager at World Bank, climate change information manager at UNEP, chief of information for the WHO Western Pacific Region, chief of information management at UNICEF European Headquarters, and correspondent for NBC News in Geneva.

June Demafeliz
Budget Officer

June takes care of budget management work and interactions with the accountant and the group managing our payroll. Her background includes work at a CPA firm and a decade in the European Department of the IMF, handling economic data analysis and management, budget projections, and production of reports for country lending assessments, as well as related web design. She has a master’s degree in business administration.

Misha Belkindas
Founding Director

Misha provides advisory services to ODW on a range of operational and administrative topics. He is a member of the ODW Board and a co-founder since 2013. For many years, as a manager in the World Bank, he was responsible for statistical capacity building operations, the work of International Comparison Program, and the Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building. Misha holds a PhD in economics.

CHECK FOR JOB OPENINGS

As demand for our work grows, Open Data Watch is often seeking dynamic and self-motivated individuals interested in making a difference in the world. Check to see whether we have any current job openings.

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