Kenya Open Data Pre-incubator Research (code4kenya research)

The Kenya Open Data Pre-Incubator is a six-month experiment to help accelerate the public's ability to make sense of data and to galvanize engagement around critical public issues. The experiment, conducted by a consortium consisting of AMI, Open Institute, @iLab Africa, iHub Research, the World Bank and the Kenya ICT Board, is to test a model that will be put to use in a broader two-year Incubator effort, endorsed and supported by the highest levels of government led by public mobilization agents with support from the technological community.

Currently, four Open Data Fellows have been embedded in civil society and media organizations (the Star , the Standard Group , Nation Media Group and Twaweza ) and will each work to build an application or service or platform around key thematic issues. They are supported by a team of four experienced developers who will support in the creation of these services, platforms or applications.

The focus themes that have been selected for this pre-incubator are water, education and health, with cross-cutting issues based on counties/local government data. Host organizations and fellows are to conduct a close consultation process with issue-expert working groups who will provide insight into specific use cases and technical insight into available data resources.

The specific goals of the pre-incubator process are to:

1. Create one app or service or platform per team that is used at scale across Kenyan society and drastically increases the use of open data,
2. Develop use cases, recommendations, toolkits and a critical analysis of the pre-incubation process, and
3. Create an Advisory Board to work on how to formalize the incubation process over a two-year period.

The Research Component
The iHub Research Team is responsible for documenting the process of building and running the open data pre-incubator; critically analyzing the entire process; and delivering use cases and recommendations that can be used for actionable planning.

The specific goals of the research process are to:
1. Document the Open Data Outreach process in order for it to be replicable in other communities and countries,
2. Use evaluation mechanisms and the documentation to understand how to make the Open Data Outreach initiative sustainable and scalable.

Based on this, iHub Research will be able to create a toolkit and draw out a more accurate action plan and model to be used when the actual incubator comes into force.

iHub Research is also training and mentoring in design thinking approaches, which the fellows will use to amalgamate the insights from experts with extensive end-user research and their technical expertise to create applications that will try and solve the issues raised.

Outcomes of this research are expected to be published in December 2012.