The Open Data Foundation

The Open Data Foundation provides a place where the members of different communities can come together and work on the alignment of technology standards and software tools which will facilitate visibility and re-use of data at all levels of the statistical information chain. By promoting automated access to statistical data and metadata in this way, better decision-making becomes possible in many fields of research and policy-making.

The ODaF is committed to meeting its goals in a way that is of practical utility. Because of the focus on technology, it is possible to undertake projects which have measurable deliverables and perform some useful function in implementations, whether this means providing running code or a document detailing how one standard set of metadata maps against another. Below is a list of activities, to give some idea of the goals and type of concrete deliverables for which projects could be organized:

  • Promote the adoption of standards and best practices in data management through capacity building and mapping of standards in these areas.
  • Provide a global access facility to micro-level and macro-level metadata through the use of a standards-based registry mechanism, based on a set of common metadata standards.
  • Make open source data and metadata management tools available to producers, librarians and users, based on the use of open standards, whether for location, navigation, presentation, or processing of data and metadata sets. This includes working with existing free tools to provide the ability to exchange appropriate data and metadata using standard formats.
  • Facilitate and support the adoption of new technologies in developing countries and emerging economies, by providing suitable toolkits and freely useable infrastructure.
  • Provide reference and training materials to help with capacity building around the use of open standards and tools.
  • Provide access to global socio-economic (and other) indicators such as the Millennium Development Goals, working with the data, metadata, and standard tools provided by concerned national and international organizations, and in cooperation with them.
  • Advise global, regional and national organizations and initiatives concerning the coordinated use of aligned open standards and tools.
  • Support evidence-based policy and facilitate impact evaluation based on the use of free tools and freely available data and metadata.
  • Improve overall data quality by supporting the links between related data and metadata, and by supporting transparency within the aggregation process.
  • Facilitate countries' compliance with metadata standards such as the IMF's GDDS and SGDS recommendations through free training and tools.

Because the ODaF is not a standards-setting organization, but is instead a group that works with the standards produced by others, the emphasis is on implementation issues and capacity building. While many standards organizations do undertake actvities in these areas, they are often constrained by their focus on the production and maintenance of the standards themselves. The Open Data Foundation will assist standards organizations and implementers through supplemental efforts, helping especially to address issues arising from the coordinated use of mutliple standards.

Top of page