In recent years, open data and open government have quickly risen in popularity among transparency advocates and innovative international development practitioners. Beyond theory and buzzwords, how much demand actually exists from citizens on-the-ground for this movement? What kind of impact can we reasonably expect from open data platforms and open government to have in the life of the "offline citizen," which comprise roughly two-thirds of the world in 2015?
To date, many efforts to measure demand or evaluate the performance of open government activities have relied on simple web metrics and anecdotes. We conducted a discussion on the current limitations and opportunities to assess and respond to citizen demand through an exploration of new hi-tech and low-tech approaches piloted in Indonesia, Kenya, and Morocco.
Sam Lee is an international development professional with over 10 years of experience spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Most recently, Sam served as an open data specialist at the World Bank Group applying open data and technology to the Bank's work and portfolio.