Open Data Leaders: ODI grants to support government-led open data projects

Providing four grants of up to £6,500 for government-led open data projects in developing countries that solve problems and create positive real-world impact


The ODI has supported individuals leading open data initiatives and implementing change in government since 2014 through the Partnership for Open Data, and then the Open Data for Development Network. Our programmes have included the ‘Open Data Leaders Network’, and in-country support programmes.

In this time, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to achieve impact from government-led open data initiatives.

We have found three key pillars present in successful open data initiatives to help achieve impact:

  • Vision – open data projects with a clear problem to solve
  • Collaboration – leaders have worked with organisations within and outside government to succeed
  • People focused – often ultimately solving a problem for citizens

This project helps to make it easier for open data leaders to solve one particular challenge: many leaders have had to lobby government departments to get open data released, and so have created small proof-of-concept projects to create the buy-in needed to scale open data programmes. These programmes are often novel and, although inexpensive, can be hard to fund.

Apply for the grants programme

The ODI’s Open Data Leaders grants programme will offer up to £6,500 to support, develop or amplify four government-led open data projects that create rapid impact in developing countries

Projects might include:

  • A visualisation of open data that helps to solve problems or enable better decision making
  • A data-driven tool for a specific event
  • An app that enables people to get more value from government open data

What we’re offering

To catalyse impact from government-led open data initiatives, we’re offering:

  • Up to £6,500 to fund contained a government-led open data project in a developing country
  • Remote mentoring
  • A platform to tell your story through and opportunities to promote your work

Judging criteria

Applicants will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Feasibility – can they feasibly be completed with the budget provided and within four months of their commission date?
  • Solving a problem – what is their likely impact and what potential subsequent stories can be generated?
  • Demonstrated experience within the team

Download application form

Key dates:

  • Application closes on 23 May 2016
  • Interviews with shortlisted applicants will take place in the week commencing 30 May 2016
  • Successful applicants will be notified on by 2 June 2016

Please read our terms and conditions before applying.

For further information or questions, please contact [email protected].

These grants are supported by the Open Data for Development Network (OD4D) programme. OD4D is managed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and it is a donor partnership with the World Bank, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC).