The growing partnership for open data is notable in its diversity. It includes energetic champions in governmental and international agencies, civil society, academia, foundations and professional associations. Open Data Watch draws on and works with these groups in many different ways. The list below is an alphabetical quick reference to some of the notable sources within the open data community and with a focus on open data policies, capacity building, best practices and other issues related to open data for development.




AidData is a research lab at William & Mary. They equip policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. They use rigorous methods, cutting-edge tools, and granular data to answer the question: who is doing what, where, for whom, and to what effect? Housed in William & Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, AidData’s work crosses sectors and disciplines, and serves the unique needs of both the policy and academic communities, as well as acting as a bridge between the two.​

Center for Global Development

The Center for Global Development (CGD) conducts research and analysis on a range of topics related to how policies and actions of the rich and powerful affect poor people in the developing world. Examples include aid effectiveness, climate change, globalization, health, migration, and trade. Drawing on research, they actively engage with thought leaders, policymakers, and others to move ideas to action. CGD channels independent research into practical policy proposals that help to shape decisions in Washington, other rich-country capitals, and the international financial institutions.​



Data2X is a collaborative technical and advocacy platform dedicated to improving the quality, availability, and use of gender data in order to make a practical difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide. Data2X works with UN agencies, governments, civil society, academics, and the private sector to close gender data gaps, promote expanded and unbiased gender data collection, and use gender data to improve policies, strategies, and decision-making. Data2X is a gender data lead within the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.



Food and Agriculture Organization

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.​


International Labor Organization

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency dealing with labor issues. The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. Unlike other United Nations specialized agencies, the ILO has a tripartite governing structure – representing governments, employers, and workers. The rationale behind the tripartite structure is creation of free and open debate among governments and social partners.


Open Data Foundation

The Open Data Foundation (ODF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to adoption of global metadata standards and the development of open-source solutions promoting use of statistical data. It focuses on improving data and metadata accessibility and overall quality in support of research, policy making, and transparency, in economics, finance, healthcare, education, labor, social science, technology, agriculture, development, and the environment.


Open Data for Development

The Open Data for Development (OD4D) program, housed within the International Development Research Centre, brings together a network of leading implementing partners, with a wealth of experience in developing countries, working to harness open data initiatives to enhance transparency and accountability and to facilitate public service delivery and citizen participation. The goal of OD4D is to scale innovations that are working, and to strengthen coordination among other open data initiatives to ensure they benefit people in developing countries.​


Open Knowledge Foundation

The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a nonprofit promoting open knowledge, including open content and open data. The foundation has published the Open Knowledge Definition and runs several projects, e.g., CKAN, the data portal software used by many governments for their open data projects and Where Does My Money Go, a service to monitor government spending. As well as technical tools, the foundation also provides advocacy and licensing advice around open content issues. OKF wants everyone to have information and ability to use it to understand and shape their lives.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organization of countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.



The PARIS21 consortium was launched as a catalyst for promoting a culture of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring in all countries, especially in developing countries. It is a partnership of policymakers, analysts, and statisticians from all countries of the world, focusing on promoting high-quality statistics, making these data meaningful, and designing sound policies. PARIS21 fosters more effective dialogue among producers and users of development statistics via international events, country-based activities, regional workshops, and subject matter task teams.​​



​UNICEF is a United Nations fund which upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF was created to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. ​It works to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. UNICEF works for the Millennium Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. It is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and National Committees.

United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation supports the UN to execute its programs worldwide. It links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to tackle issues such as climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, and energy access. The UN Foundation is the largest source of private funding to the UN and encourages other donors also to support UN activities.


United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) is the central group in the UN Secretariat to meet the needs and coordinate activities of the global statistical system. It brings together chief statisticians from countries worldwide and both compiles and disseminates global statistical information, developing standards and norms for statistical activities and supporting countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. UNSD regularly publishes data updates and in-depth reports on statistics and statistical methods.


World Bank

The World Bank promotes economic growth and poverty reduction. It provides developing countries with low-cost financing for projects ranging from building roads, schools and hospitals, to improving overall government operations. Beyond financing, it provides countries with access to teams of experts who help design and implement the World Bank-funded projects and provide technical advice and assistance. Its Open Data Policy in 2010 has led the way in opening organizational data to ensure countries can access the most current knowledge via free access to statistics, data tools, and research.

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the UN specialized agency concerned with international public health. As the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, it is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. WHO publishes the World Health Report and the worldwide World Health Survey.​​