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Open Data for Development (CA0033)



Action Plan: Canada, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Capacity Building, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Canada Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



The Government of Canada will work together with developing countries to harness the potential of open data to enhance accountability, create new solutions for delivery of
public services, and create new economic opportunities around the world.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 4. Open Data for Development

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will work together with developing countries to harness the potential of open data to enhance accountability, create new solutions for delivery of public services, and create new economic opportunities around the world.

Open data holds an enormous potential to enhance development efforts around the world. As co-chair for the OGP Open Data Working Group, Canada is committed to strengthening a truly global open data movement and exploring ways to use collaboration and technology to strengthen democracy and build prosperity. As noted in the OGP's Four-Year Strategy (2015-18), national action plans are meant to provide an organizing framework for international networking. The OGP is in many ways a global platform for connecting, empowering, and supporting open government reform across member countries.

In recent years, Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has supported initiatives in developing countries to better use open data for development, establishing a global network of partners around the Open Data for Development (OD4D) initiative. The OD4D initiative aims to support the global and regional efforts of governments, civil society organizations, and entrepreneurs harnessing open data to achieve development outcomes, and enrich the international sharing of open data solutions and best practices.

Deliverables to be completed in 2014-16:

  • Build the capacity of the open data initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, and establish important partnerships with the open data movement in Canada:
    • Support developing countries to plan and execute national open data initiatives;
    • Develop international data standards and solution-driven networks that can help to bring about social and economic innovation; and
    • Measure and evaluate the relationship between open data initiatives and socioeconomic development, informing the quality and reach of future open data initiatives.
  • Host an International Open Data Conference in 2015 to bring together experts from around the world to share knowledge and experience to strengthen international collaboration on open government issues.

Responsible institution: International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: November 2014   End date: 30 June 2016


Commitment Aim:

This commitment aims to support global and regional efforts of governments, civil society organizations, and entrepreneurs harnessing open data to achieve development outcomes and to support the international sharing of best practices and solutions related to open data. Specifically, the commitment is focused on supporting open data initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. As a means of bringing people together, the commitment includes hosting the 2015 International Open Data Conference.  This commitment builds on existing open data work of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and expands that effort’s geographical scope.


Mid-term: Substantial

At the mid-term review of the national action plan, the International Open Data Conference had been held: it included over 200 speakers and over 1,000 attendees. Open data for development networks were established in Latin America and the Caribbean; planning workshops had taken place to establish similar networks in Asia and Africa.

End of term: Complete

The Open Data for Development Network (OD4D) expanded during the second action plan.  Open Data For Development,  Open data hubs are currently in operation in in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caribbean. These include the Latin American Open Data Initiative,  Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos,  Open Data in East Europe and Central Asia,  Open Data in Europe and Central Asia,  Caribbean Open Institute,  The Caribbean Open Institute,  and Open Data Lab Jakarta.  Open Data for Development,  The OD4D Network “organizes work through the guidance of a Donors Committee and the consultation of a group of dedicated implementing partners who are experts in Open Data issues around the world”  Canada’s Third Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership 2016 – 2018,  and is hosted through the institution responsible for this commitment. That group, the IDRC, also funds the network along with the Government of Canada, the World Bank, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

While the government did note that plans for an African Open Data Hub were slowed due to limited partner capacity, a hub was scheduled to be launched later in 2016 and technical support has been provided in African countries, including Burkina Faso and Tanzania. Such support has also been provided in Peru and Jamaica.

In addition to the regional initiatives, OD4D has also engaged in activities supporting the development of international data standards, as well as the measurement and evaluation of open data initiatives. These include supporting the launch of the third edition of the Open Data Barometer   Open Data Barometer,  and development of the Open Data Impact Map. The Centre for Open Data Enterprise,

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

The fulfillment of this particular commitment does provide a range of support and infrastructure that could be used to enhance openness in the regions in question.  It also highlights Canada’s adherence to the Open Government Declaration, which specifically references international engagement and support of global open governance.  Open Government Declaration,

Given the importance of OD4D, the coding for the ‘did it open government’ variable necessitates detailed explanation.  The coding and analysis in this end of term report focuses explicitly on the extent to which openness is enhanced within Canada. Under this narrow lens, the commitment has had perhaps open government marginally. It is recognized that this assessment is likely to differ within the countries and regions where OD4D activities are being carried out. Studies have indicated that OD4D can enhance knowledge of open data, best practices, engagement, and peer learning, among other things.  Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries,  This would suggest that the activities supported by this particular commitment may have ‘opened government’ to a greater extent in the regions supported by the commitment than in Canada. Assessment of these regions is outside of the scope of this particular report, and the narrow focus of this report makes it difficult to fully capture the importance of the contribution made by this commitment. According to government officials, an independent evaluation of OD4D is scheduled to be completed in May 2017.

Carried forward?

While this commitment was not carried forward in the same form as it was in the second action plan, elements of it are reflected in the third action plan. Commitment 18, ‘Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives around the World,’ is co-led by IDRC and seeks to:

•  Provide training and peer-learning to at least 500 open data leaders in government and civil society in developing countries.

•  Provide technical assistance to at least 10 developing countries, increasing the quality and ambition of their open data policies.

•  Assess how capacity-building activities affect communities.  

•  Work with international organizations and partners in developing countries to implement innovative open data projects with impact on anti-corruption, local governance, health, and education.  Canada’s Third Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership 2016 – 2018,  


  1. User-Friendly Open Government

    CA0064, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Financial Transparency and Accountability

    CA0065, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Corporate Transparency

    CA0066, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  4. Digital Government and Services

    CA0067, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  5. Open Science

    CA0068, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Healthy Democracy

    CA0069, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Access to Information

    CA0070, 2018, Access to Information

  8. Feminist and Inclusive Dialogue

    CA0071, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Reconciliation and Open Government

    CA0072, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Open Government Community

    CA0073, 2018, Access to Information

  11. Enhance Access to Information

    CA0042, 2016, Access to Information

  12. Streamline Requests for Personal Information

    CA0043, 2016, E-Government

  13. Expand and Improve Open Data

    CA0044, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Provide and Preserve Open Information

    CA0045, 2016, E-Government

  15. Define an Approach for Measuring Open Government Performance

    CA0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Develop Open Government Skills Across the Federal Public Service

    CA0047, 2016, Access to Information

  17. Embed Transparency Requirements in the Federal Service Strategy

    CA0048, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance Access to Culture & Heritage Collections

    CA0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance Openness of Information on Government Spending and Procurement

    CA0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Increase Transparency of Budget and Other Department of Finance Information

    CA0051, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Starred commitment Increase Transparency of Grants and Contributions Funding

    CA0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Improve Public Information on Canadian Corporations

    CA0053, 2016, E-Government

  23. Increase the Availability and Usability of Geospatial Data

    CA0054, 2016, Access to Information

  24. Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)

    CA0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Stimulate Innovation through Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0056, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Align Open Data Across Canada (Open Data Canada)

    CA0057, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

    CA0058, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  28. Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives Around the World

    CA0059, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Engage Civil Society on Open Government

    CA0060, 2016, Public Participation

  30. Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making

    CA0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Promote Open Government Globally

    CA0062, 2016, Access to Information

  32. Engage Canadians to Improve Key Canada Revenue Agency Services

    CA0063, 2016, Access to Information

  33. Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0030, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Starred commitment Open Data Canada

    CA0031, 2014, Access to Information

  35. Canadian Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0032, 2014, Access to Information

  36. Open Data for Development

    CA0033, 2014, Access to Information

  37. Open Data Core Commitment

    CA0034, 2014, Access to Information

  38. Starred commitment Open Science

    CA0035, 2014, Public Participation

  39. Starred commitment Mandatory Reporting on Extractives

    CA0036, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  40. Open Contracting

    CA0037, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  41. Open Information on Budgets and Expenditures

    CA0038, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  42. Digital Literacy

    CA0039, 2014, Capacity Building

  43. Open Information Core Commitment

    CA0040, 2014, Access to Information

  44. Consulting Canadians

    CA0041, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  45. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency Initiative: Publish Plan to Make CIDA Activities Available and Accessible

    CA0010, 2012, Aid

  46. International Aid Transparency Initiative: Implement Plan

    CA0011, 2012, Aid

  47. Opening Government of Canada Records: Increase Access to Archived Federal Documents at Library and Archives Canada

    CA0012, 2012, Records Management

  48. Opening Government of Canada Records: Issue New Mandatory Policy on Document Classification

    CA0013, 2012, Records Management

  49. Opening Government of Canada Records: Make Classified Information Available Online

    CA0014, 2012, E-Government

  50. GCDOCS: Deploy Wave One of Electronic Record and Document Management Solution

    CA0015, 2012, E-Government

  51. GCDOCS: Deploy Across Federal Government

    CA0016, 2012, E-Government

  52. GCWEB: Develop Consolidated Web Presence

    CA0017, 2012, E-Government

  53. GCWEB: Implement New Platform

    CA0018, 2012, E-Government

  54. Data.Gc.Ca: Expand Number of Datasets Available

    CA0019, 2012, Access to Information

  55. Data.Gc.Ca: Implement Data.Gc.Ca Portal

    CA0020, 2012, Access to Information

  56. Data.Gc.Ca: Improve Standardization of Data

    CA0021, 2012, Access to Information

  57. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Publish Resource Management and Performance Data

    CA0022, 2012, Access to Information

  58. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Enhance Search and Data Tools

    CA0023, 2012, Access to Information

  59. Consulting Canadians: Develop New Platform for Consultation

    CA0024, 2012, E-Government

  60. Consulting Canadians: Develop Standard Approach to Use of Social Media

    CA0025, 2012, E-Government

  61. Consulting Canadians: Pilot a Crowdsourcing Initiative

    CA0026, 2012, E-Government

  62. Consulting Canadians: Enable Use of Common Online Tools

    CA0027, 2012, E-Government

  63. Open Regulation: Federal Regulators to Post Forward Regulatory Plans

    CA0028, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  64. Open Regulation: Simplify Engagement Activities

    CA0029, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  65. Open Government Directive: Issue Directive on Open Government

    CA0001, 2012, E-Government

  66. Open Government Directive: Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0002, 2012, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Issue Open Government Licence

    CA0003, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  68. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Adopt Open Government Licence

    CA0004, 2012,

  69. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Pilot of Online Request and Payment Service

    CA0005, 2012, Access to Information

  70. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Implement ATI Solution

    CA0006, 2012, Access to Information

  71. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Make Completed ATI Request Summaries Searchable

    CA0007, 2012, Access to Information

  72. Virtual Library: Begin Design of Virtual Library

    CA0008, 2012, E-Government

  73. Virtual Library: Launch Virtual Library

    CA0009, 2012, E-Government

Open Government Partnership