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Is Open Data Working for women in Africa?

Type of Resource:
Research report

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- Solutions or Strategies
- Trends

- Digital Literacy And Skills
- Internet Access, Affordability And Use

Author(s): World Wide Web Foundation

There is little in the way of open data in Africa due to the lack of an open culture, insufficient legislation and processes that are not gender-responsive. Cultural and social realities constrain women from using the open data that is available. Key datasets to support the advocacy objectives of women’s groups (e.g., data on budget, health and crime) are largely absent as open data. There is no strong base of research on women’s access and use of open data, due largely to a lack of funding, little collaboration and few open data champions. Recommendations include: Link national gender policies to the use of data and make open data policies gender-responsive; Publish data online in a machine readable format for easy use and reuse ; Publish relevant and timely datasets to drive government transparency and accountability and improve public trust in their leaders; Publish comprehensive datasets, giving users — including civil society, students, researchers and journalists — a granular view of public information; Ensure available statistics are sex-disaggregated, and of high quality; Encourage or mandate the use of public funds to expand opportunities for women’s internet access and use; Engage data specialists to re-package open data in compelling formats (e.g., infographics, charts) in order to strengthen advocacy efforts and support public outreach


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