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ODDC Evaluation Webinar
Transcript of ODDC Evaluation Webinar
Capacity Building for Open Data Research
Lessons Learned from an Evaluation of the Open Data in Developing Countries Research Network
WF commissioned 2 independent evaluations
January - August 2014
Developed an M&E Framework
Conducted a Process Evaluation
Conducted an Outcome Evaluation
February - April 2014
Surveys and Interviews with Partners and Mentors
: is ODDC meeting the needs of research partners and mentors?
: how effectively is the WF managing the network?
: how efficient is management of the network?
: what is the impact of the network on members?
: what are the major influences for the sustainability of the network?
May - July 2014
Surveys and Interviews, document analysis and external input
Relevance - were activities & outputs consistent with objectives?
Effective - were activities & outputs realised?
Efficiency - Where objectives achieved on time & in a cost efficient manner?
Impact - what have been the real world changes and how has it built capacity?
Sustainability - are the results sustainable beyond the project timeframe?
ODDC Objectives in Short
17 partners from the Global South
Academic Institutions, NGOs, research consultancies and independent researchers
Some highly knowledgeable about social research, but not open data, others vice versa
The Web Foundation
"on-demand" support in designing research proposals
periodic content support on open data concepts
Project (Partner) Management
Strong leadership & steering from WF
High enthusiasm for maintaining network structure
Partners play a passive role in running network and WF continues as main driver
Time and geography are still important in 'virtual' space
Set clear expectations about commitments for all parties
Mentoring is more rewarding for both sides when involvement is regular
At onset, networks need a leader/driver to invest significant time
Face to face meetings build trust and buy-in to larger network
Inherent tendency to cluster in regional/national subgroups
(Over time) a strong brand can help solidify membership and external representation
Research Projects Can have Lasting Effects on Capacity by:
Building knowledge, skills and familiarity with (new) technical concepts
Build Confidence to engage in global debates, engage stakeholders and take on new work
Connecting individuals to global and local knowledge & policy networks
Build and sustain enthusiasm for new topics
explore how OD promotes development
support knowledge sharing
build capacity in developing countries for working with open data issues
The Research Partners
Via IDRC, the WF provided funding for a project:
The WF built a network including
researchers in developing countries
Open data research experts (mentors)
to carry out project objectives over a 2.5 year time frame
conducting case study research
building capacity for data collection and analysis
engaging global and local policymaking and practice
To explore the emerging impacts of open data on development and help explain if and how open data is bringing change to developing countries
+/-8 Mentors (group
Academics, specialists in
research of open data and/or
Guidance on research proposals and methodological issues
Focal point of project
Mentorship, project administration, overall project and research guidance
1 research coordinator +1 programme manager + 2 part time managerial and admin support
Very strong support for and appreciation of mentor role as a support function for building capacity
So what are the main successful elements of the ODDC project (so far) and what have been the biggest lessons learned?
Overall lack of clarity about the scope of the mentor's role, despite guidance from WF
Result: frustration, confusion, disengagement and some dissatisfaction
The more mentors were engaged, the more projects benefited (knowledge, capacity, networks)
17 partners with separate budgets, research deliverable and timelines
Most results were delivered on time (but with strong push from WF)
WF and for Partner Institutions
(difficulty and delays when payments go through multiple institutions)
Delivery of outputs
Set more internal milestones and checkpoints to ensure work is on track
design intervention plans where expectations are not being met
Building a Cohesive Network
Results: Capacity Building
How can these lessons be applied in other (current) projects?
What sort of systems of tools could be used to ensure future projects benefit from the lessons learned and recommendations of the ODDC network? How can learning become embedded in the WF's approach to programming?
What would be your recommendations for how the ODDC network can be sustained with minimal resources in the future?