Introducing the Open Development Toolkit!

February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new project from School of Data together with Development Initiatives, the Open Development Toolkit!

Open Development Toolkit

The toolkit will act as a hub around open development, bringing together tools and training materials in one place. The toolkit’s content will be focused on increasing data literacy among civil society and journalists in aid-receiving countries, and it is envisioned that much of it will have a high reuse factor among other audiences.

To begin with, the toolkit will focus on data that is available around the aid sector. In large part thanks to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), there is a lot of data out there, but it is not being used by those living in countries affected most by aid. We hope that providing easy-to-follow and simple training materials (in the style of other School of Data courses), together with accompanying tools, will be a good way to bring together the community around development data.

There are already many data portals and tools around aid data, and this is where we’ll begin—by curating training documentation around these and seeing where the gaps are in tools that already exist. We won’t be building anything from scratch but rather building upon the great work that has been done by others in the sector and learning from their experiences to try and make it as easy as possible for newcomers to the data to access and really make the most of what’s available.

In addition to curation and community-building, the toolkit will also have a software aspect. Where gaps have been identified, we’ll be building open-source, interoperable, modular tools to fill those gaps. Development of these tools will be very user-centric: we’ll be starting from user needs, and that means we’ll be relying heavily on community input, so keep an eye out!

We’d love to hear from the target audience—civil society and journalists in aid-receiving countries—and find out what their needs are and where gaps have been found. We’d also love to work together in developing an aid curriculum for School of Data. If you have any workshop or training session opportunities coming up, let us know.

We’re looking for funding for specific parts of the toolkit that are yet to be built: development of specific open-source tools, translation of materials, and further developing prototype tools. Please get in touch if you’d like to further discuss any funding opportunities.

For more information, please see the Open Development Toolkit site (under construction!), and to be kept updated on progress on the Toolkit, sign up to the Open Development mailing list.

If you have any other questions, drop Zara an email on zara.rahman[at] We look forward to your input!

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