Open Data for SDGs Spurs Inclusive Development

Open data began as a movement to enhance transparency, accountability, and public engagement. It’s now evolved into a potent catalyst for sustainable development. As Ai reshapes societies, open data partnerships will play a pivotal role.

Open Data Matters: Spurring Data Use and Impact in Malaysia

Allowing Malaysia to analyze, absorb, and share new information released by various parties, open data is now a core tool for improving the use, sharing, and impact of government data.

Charting a Course for Gender Equality: Introducing the Gender Data Compass

Through monitoring, research, and advocacy, the new Gender Data Compass offers practical, informed guidance for strengthening national gender data systems and gender equality policies. The Compass covers all 50 gender indicators of the Open Gender Data Index (OGDI).

Open Data Matters: Generating Major Benefits in Mexico

Mexico is finding that open data is a strategic resource with major transformative impacts at every level. Its Open Infrastructure initiative, so far involving 23 institutions and 55 organizations, is a prime example.

Open Data Watch at the 2023 UN World Data Forum

Don’t miss the events that Open Data Watch is co-hosting or speaking at during the 2023 UN World Data Forum in Hangzhou. Topics span a broad range — Data in the Care Economy, Data Graveyards, Gender Data, Data & Misinformation, and Data for the Public Good and Achieving SDGs.

Open Data Matters: Getting Back to Basics

Official statistics face many challenges, but let’s not forget the basics. Open data is one that provides a foundation to ensure data are available for all to use and reuse. It cuts across the whole data value chain, from transparent methodologies to tracking data uptake and use.

Open Data Matters: Palestine’s Path Towards Progress

The Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) recognizes the many benefits of open data — for performance, transparency, economic growth, innovative services, new business models, and measuring and monitoring progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

5 Lessons from Open Data Workshops in Latin America and the Caribbean

To promote national technical capacity to open and use data, Open Data Watch and the Inter-American Development Bank hosted a series of workshops in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Open Data Day 2023: Tracking Progress and Charting a Path Forward

Open Data Day 2023 comes at a particularly important time as wars and humanitarian crises need accessible,high-quality data to respond effectively to complex social, cultural, economic, and political issues.

First Look at ODIN 2022/23 Rankings

The sixth edition of the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) is now online with results for 192 countries. ODIN assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices (NSOs) and data users. 

Climate Change Data: Playing by the Paris Rulebook

To make progress on climate change, countries need to know how to measure their goals and spur innovation in both the collection and use of climate change data.

Open Data Roundtable Assesses Recent Progress and Future Risks for NSOs

The push for Open Data has made phenomenal progress in the last five years, but are there risks ahead for National Statistical Offices, data users and partner groups?

Freeing Energy Data

Reliable, open energy data are vital to building green economies, adapting to climate change, and even, as in Ukraine, to track the impact of conflict. But the largest collection of energy data is locked behind a pay wall at the International Energy Agency. How to open?

Open Data Day 2022: Open Data to Improve the Lives of All

Without open data, informed decisions and accountability are not possible. When data are locked behind paywalls, innovation is stifled. But change is underway to improve access to data.

Moving from Data Production to Impact: The Role of the NSO

A UN Statistical Commission event, “Moving from Data Production to Impact” discusses the role of NSOs in facilitating greater data use and avoiding “data graveyards.”

The Power of Open Data: Moving from Concept to Action

A UN Statistical Commission event, “The Power of Open Data: Moving from Concept to Action,” reports on the latest best practices for NSOs to implement open data, including “Open Data by Default,” Interoperability, and local-level data sharing that safeguards confidentiality and privacy.

2021: A Transformative Year for Open Data Watch

What a year 2021 has been for Open Data Watch as we navigated the pandemic, grew our team, did new research, published the 5th ODIN report, fortified partnerships and doubled-down on our commitment to high-quality, open, timely data for sustainable development.

UN World Data Forum 2021: Moving from “What” to “How”

The UN World Data Forum 2021 was the first major opportunity since the pandemic for development data experts and users to assess the lessons and impact of COVID-19 on Sustainable Development Goals. Four main takeaways show a move from “what” to “how” data can be used to achieve SDGs.

Find ODW at the World Data Forum!

The UN World Data Forum 2021 gathers data experts and users from governments, civil society, the private sector, donors, international and regional agencies, the geospatial community, the media, academia, and professional bodies to spur data innovation and mobilize high-level support for better data for sustainable development.

Open Data Day 2021: Open Data in a Changed World

Today is Open Data Day! What have we learned since the last Open Data Day, during the pandemic, during this week’s UN Statistical Commission and in light of the findings of ODIN 2020/21? Where can data producers and users go from here?

Interview: First Build the Foundations

In this interview with Matt Ross of the Global Government Forum, Shaida discusses the potential for data to have a huge impact in developing countries, but warns that many nations…

Countries Share Success Stories using ODIN

Country representatives gather to discuss the 2020/21 ODIN Open Data Inventory Annual Report and to share success stories, challenges and experiences in implementing open data to promote environmental, social and economic progress in their countries.

Podcast: DataJournalism Conversation with Shaida Badiee

This podcast by and Open Data Watch covers topics ranging from the genesis of Open Data, to monitoring tools like ODIN, to issues of transparency, susustainable development, gender equality, statistical capacity, and COVID-19.

ODIN Website to Get Major Overhaul in 2020

In anticipation of the research results later this year for the 2020 Open Data Inventory (ODIN), the ODIN website will get major updates based on a survey of user experiences and needs. View first round feedback and add your own.

Is Open Data at Odds with Citizens’ Privacy

Countries and citizens benefit greatly from opening official data for public use. But as governments collect more microdata about their citizens, how can data be released in a way that balances the right to public information with the right to privacy?

Open Data Day 2020: Where do we go from here?

Today is Open Data Day 2020 as well as the end of the 51st session of the United Nations Statistical Commission. It offers a good occasion to reflect on the current state of open data and what’s next.

ODIN 2020 – New Indicators & Updates

In April 2020, Open Data Watch commences the 5th Open Data Inventory (ODIN). The updated ODIN will feature much of the same features from previous editions with a few key updates.

Is Website Downtime a Barrier to Open Data?

It is a serious problem for data users when critical official datasets cannot be accessed because an NSO website is offline.  How do NSOs compare to businesses that work hard to ensure constant uptime for their websites and what lessons can be learned?

Book Launch: The State of Open Data

A new book from the OD4D network, The State of Open Data, looks at current and future challenges facing open data advocacy and practice. The book includes a chapter on National Statistics written by Open Data Watch.  

SDG Reporting Platforms Show New Progress & Priorities

National reporting platforms (NRPs) are showing progress in accessibility, usability, interoperability and openness, according to a new study by ODW and CODE. The 36 NRPs analyzed were found to be…

ODW Brief Tackles Public Data Sharing Approaches

Data have new significance, due to sheer volume and importance for decision making. Calls to make publicly-produced data freely available are increasing in step. But the potential of data to…

Open Data Day Takes Stock of Progress

The 9th annual celebration of Open Data Day on 2 March is not only an opportunity to highlight the benefits of open data and encourage open data policies by governments,…

IODC 2018: New Perspectives, Finding Common Ground, Listening & Learning

For the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Buenos Aires, where the focus is on a key action item of the Cape Town Global Action Plan and a related report to the UN Statistical Commission — Open Data — the ODW team arrives with three main goals.

What are the principles of joined-up data?

Five practical principles can help clarify the real gap in guidance about global data interoperability – the ability to access and process data from multiple sources without losing meaning, and integrate them for mapping, visualisation, and other forms of analysis…

“It’s Not Just About Bragging Rights”

When Open Data Watch began work on ODIN, we asked ourselves, “Does the world need another index?” We recognized the tendency for indexes to be glanced at to see who’s on top, and then forgotten.

Breakthroughs for Open Data at UN World Data Forum

The UN World Data Forum helped create a better understanding of open data opportunities and accelerated the connections between official statisticians and open data experts. But it left some things remaining to be accomplished.

UN World Data Forum Bridges Communities of Open Data and Official Statistics

The United Nations World Data Forum in Capetown (15-18 January) marked a decisive moment in the race to harness the power of the Data Revolution in service of Sustainable Development Goals.

Open Data Inventory 2016

The 2016 Open Data Inventory (ODIN) provides a comprehensive review of the coverage and openness of official statistics in 173 countries around the world, including most OECD countries. It features a methodology updated to reflect the latest international open data standards.

Three Takeaways from IODC

Several sessions were convened at the 2016 International Open Data Conference (IODC), from Oct. 3-5 in Madrid, connecting the open data community and national statistical offices (NSOs) with the aim of fostering and strengthening linkages between them.

Open Data Inventory 2016 is Underway

After the positive reception of ODIN 2015, ODW is pleased to announce that work has begun on the 2016 Open Data Inventory. See what’s new and improved in ODIN 2016.

What Makes an Effective National Statistical Office Website?

National Statistical Office websites are the vital connection between data producers and users. There is no single, correct design, but providing open access to reliable data to the widest range of data users is essential.


The purpose of data is to inform and catalyze action. The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics in 125 countries and 20 data categories. The ODIN scores allow for a multitude of applications that can generate insights in many topical and regional areas of interest.

Lessons from the 2015 Open Data Inventory

The recently released 2015 Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessed the openness and coverage of official statistics for 125 countries in 20 data categories. Only 7% of the categories got full points for data coverage, and no category in any country got full points for data openness. But there are ways National Statistical Offices (NSOs) can readily improve this.

Modernizing NSDS to Open Data

The landmark report by the Independent Expert Advisory Group to the United Nations Secretary General — A World That Counts: Mobilizing the data revolution for sustainable development — spotlights the increasing demands and opportunities for national statistical systems.

Indexes of Data Quality and Openness

This article reviews three indexes that assess the openness or quality of data produced by national governments: The Open Data Barometer (ODB), the Open Data Index (ODI), and the World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Index (SCI).

Overcoming Open Data Worries

In the last five years, many national governments have announced open data initiatives, and states and cities have joined in. Releasing data openly should make governments more credible.

Strategic Planning Resources for National Statistical Systems

Solid, practical, technical assistance must always leverage the energy and diversity of many partners. Many governmental and international agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions, private foundations, and professional societies are already deeply committed to improving the quality and accessibility of development data.

How Open Are Official Statistics?

Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation.

Open Data from the Ground Up

The call for open data has been closely linked with the global advocacy campaign for good governance founded upon the principles of transparency and accountability. Starting in North America and Europe and now spreading to developing economies, country after country has announced open data policies, mined archives for releasable data sets, and remade websites to highlight data releases.

Better go mobile!

If you are developing Open Data applications, best to keep in mind the growing mobile market. While you may think your clients are still sitting behind desktop machines or balancing laptops on their knees, there may also be lots of data hungry mobile users who should not be neglected.

Making an Open Data site desirable

What makes an open data site special, desirable, and impressive? How relevant and useful are the data? Clearly identified and well documented? Up-to-date? Unless data are meant to be stagnant (e.g. for research), typical users want data to be very current. But are there “typical” users? Are there “best” open data formats?

Open Data for Africa

During my time as an intern at Open Data Watch, I reviewed the availability and openness of data in poor, developing countries. I wanted to get a general idea of what the data environment looks like in the developing world. I asked myself: “If I were a citizen of country X and I wanted to find data about my country, could I do so and how difficult would it be?”