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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OUR BOARD MEMBERS

The members of our Board offer strategic input while providing oversight and accountability to ensure the successful achievement of ODW’s mission. We are pleased to rely on the extensive experience that each one brings in the areas of official statistics, international development, and transparency.

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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.

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.

Jamison Crowell
Open Data Manager

Jamison is responsible for managing a number of ODW’s research projects, including the Open Data Inventory (ODIN), as well as facilitating workshops for government agencies on topics such as open data and data accessibility. Prior to ODW, he worked on the Open Budget Initiative at the International Budget Partnership. He holds a Masters of Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lorenz Noe
Research Manager

Lorenz is responsible for research on a wide range of analytical projects at ODW.  He specializes in food security, extreme poverty, the global middle class, and development financing. Prior to working at ODW, he served as a Senior Research Analyst at the Brookings Institution for four years where he managed the Ending Rural Hunger project. Lorenz holds a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Jahanara Saeed
Program Manager

Jahanara is responsible for the planning and coordination of work program activities at ODW. Prior to joining ODW, she was an associate director at EAB, an education research and technology firm, where she conducted best practice research on student success and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Jahanara holds a Master’s degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. in economics from Smith College.

Taylor Hadnot
Research Analyst

Taylor conducts research on open data use and accessibility, coordinates between projects, and assists with strategic policy and methodology review and report writing. Taylor has specialized experience both in monitoring and evaluation methods, and in researching and implementing programs serving vulnerable and marginalized communities. Taylor holds a Master of International Policy and Development degree with specialization in Program and Policy Research and Evaluation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Amelia Pittman
Data Visualization and Design Manager

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 from the University of Texas at Austin.

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.

Tawheeda Wahabzada
Data and Policy Specialist

Tawheeda is the research manager for the Bridging the Gap regional projects, where she developed a foundational knowledge and expertise on gender data gaps, methodologies of SDG indicators, and ways to incorporate official statistics into existing national gender strategies and policies. She is also the lead reviewer of assessments for the Open Data Inventory, and she provides support on country engagement and on other gender data-related projects. Tawheeda holds a Master of Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

Elettra Baldi
Research and Communications Associate

Elettra supports various research projects at ODW and conducts data assessments for Bridging the Gap. She also handles communication activities such as the What’s Being Said and What’s Happening blogs and assists with preparing social media materials. Elettra holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

Jessica Espey
Senior Advisor

Jess is a political economist with 14 years of experience in research and policy work on inclusive economic and social development. An expert on sustainable development, including SDGs, urbanization, inequality, and data governance, her research findings have appeared in 30+ publications. She has a decade of experience working with and within the United Nations. system, and is currently a Doctoral candidate and teacher at the University of Bristol, a Senior Adviser to UNSDSN, and a member of SDSN TReNDS.

Reza Farivari
Director of Administration

Reza manages ODW’s administration activities including facilities 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 & Technology Advisor

Martin coordinates media and technology 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 Europe, and as NBC News correspondent in Geneva.  He has degrees in Asian Studies from Harvard, Political Science from Stanford, and International Development from IHEID.

Deirdre Appel
Communications Advisor

Deirdre manages communications activities at ODW.  This work focuses on promoting public awareness of and access to data and reports on key sustainable development themes, increasing the visibility of ODW initiatives and research, and strengthening communications cooperation with ODW partners through blogs, social media, and events. 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.

Hamadoun Cisse
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Hamadoun is the Certified Public Accountant of Open Data Watch.  He helps ensure that ODW accounts are properly recorded and are auditable.  Hamadoun previously worked with UNDP in Burkina Faso. He has a CPA from the Virginia Board of Accountancy and a Master’s in Information Technology Management from George Washington University.

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.

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.

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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