Friday Lunchtime Lecture at the Open Data Institute: Why joined-up data is a political, not technical, challenge

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Friday Lunchtime Lecture at the Open Data Institute: Why joined-up data is a political, not technical, challenge

More data is being produced than ever before, and more and more of it is becoming openly available. Open data has great potential to help drive poverty eradication and improve glob ...

More data is being produced than ever before, and more and more of it is becoming openly available. Open data has great potential to help drive poverty eradication and improve global development outcomes. Data usage, however, remains relatively low. In the UK, for instance, a third of the datasets found on the government’s online portal have never been used.

One reason for this is because it is hard to join-up data relating to funding, people and outcomes since it is published in different formats, and to different standards. This means that potential users of the data can’t easily see how various bits of data relate to each other.

The Joined-Up Data Standards project has been exploring how data standards can be joined-up, using linked data and semantic mapping. While it is technically possible to join-up data standards in this way, political will and cooperation are key to making it happen.

In this lecture, Tom Orrell will explain the work of the Joined-Up Data Standards project and outline political solutions at the international level for more interoperability between data standards, with the ultimate aim of improving decision-making and accountability.

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Tom is the Senior Advocacy Advisor on Joined-up Data Standards, based at Publish What You Fund’s London office. His role is to highlight the value that joining up open data standards can deliver for standard setters, data producers and users alike. Tom’s experience lies in the links between the development and humanitarian, digital and data policy, and human rights sectors. He has previously worked as a Consultant for UNICEF in Ethiopia and Togo, as a Programme Manager and Associate at Global Partners Digital, as a public law caseworker with Hansen Palomares solicitors and as a Consultant for organisations including the Overseas Development Institute and ARTICLE 19. Tom was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2011 and holds a BA in International Relations from Keele University.

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