Kenya Open Data today marked its fourth anniversary with a launch of its Open Data version 2.0 website to make core government developmental, demographic, statistical and expenditure data available in a useful digital format for researchers, policymakers, ICT developers and the general public.
Four years since its initial launch, Kenya Open Data supplied the public with datasets from Government ICT Infrastructure, and beyond the portal the Open Data Initiative is supporting the digitalisation of Government records and processes that will supply the portal in the future.
Speaking during the launch Linet Kwamboka , Open Data Project Co-ordinator said “The four years have been a great journey for us with lots of lessons to learn. We looking into working with a lot of people so as to make data accessible to as many people as possible through our portal.”
Congratulating the Kenya Open Data team, Victor Kyalo CEO ICT Authority also said,” We got a lot of critics a few years back as many thought that the Open Data was a failed project, but then we were in an incubation period and during the same period we have really grown in provision of data from different Government entities. It is easy to do a lot of things once you get comfortable with data. We plan to launch the Open Data version 2.0 in various phases to different people as we also allow the team to make enhancements where needed. “
The Open Data Initiative has maintained its strategic partnership with Socrata Inc to deliver open data to the public through a unique user-friendly platform that allows for visualizations, multi-format downloads and API access for software developers.
Kenya is the first developing country to have an open government data portal, the first in sub-Saharan Africa and second on the continent after Morocco. The initiative has been widely acclaimed globally as one of the most significant steps Kenya has made to improve governance and implement the new Constitution’s provisions on access to information. As of May 2015, there were close to 500 datasets that had been uploaded to the site.
Here are the six main tools that you should try interact while accessing the site
Data Release Calendar
The Data Release Calendar gives indicative time periods when specific government agencies regularly produce and publish public datasets. For the Kenya Open Data Initiative the calendar is a working document to inform us about new data releases and what we can expect to add to the portal over the coming months or in the long term over the next few years as soon as ongoing surveys mature.
Data lens is also an additional tool in the new site that will help users to do filters and easily customize on the data they really want to access.
Open Budget App
The Open Budget App provides a dynamic perspective on Kenya’s Financial budgeting, in support of ongoing transformation and transparency initiatives within the government, and the wider adoption of Program Based Budgeting principles to improve efficiency, and effectiveness of public spending. The App currently takes data from key systems within the National Treasury, including the Program Based budget report of 2015, and the e-ProMIS system, with plans to bring on-board debt repayment data (CS-DRMS the Common Wealth Secretariat debt Recording management System)and IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System).
This application also provides a guided view of budget allocations, allowing citizens to drill down and explore budget allocations to all government departments by vote and broadly track changes and projections for past and future years.
The site is also intergrated with maps that will help users visualize on the nature in which Government services have emerged and spread themselves across various counties.
The catalog hosts open data generated from the counties and customized views of open data that reflect the characterized and features of the county from other Government institutions such as school facility datasets. Currently, data available in the county data category are from three counties, Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos County.
This tool comes with a search engine that actually allows the users to easily search and access data they really needed. The tool currently covers 11 key areas that include: water and sanitation, population and census, infrastructure, health, Government accounts, Governance, finance, agriculture, education, energy and environment.