ODI and the Open Government Partnership launch challenge series in South Africa
The ODI are supporting the Open Government Partnership in launching the Responsive Cities Challenge, a challenge series in South Africa to help local governments tackle social issues through the innovative use of open data
Challenges are a simple way to solve a problem: identify what's not working, create and publicise a challenge framework, and offer a reward to the person, team or organisation who can find the best solution. They're deceptively simple, and as recent research from Nesta shows, they are also making a comeback.
The ODI and the Open Government Partnership are at the forefront of this resurgence. The Responsive Cities Challenge, launched earlier this month in South Africa, invites innovators and problem solvers from across the country to solve social challenges using open data.
Each participating city has identified a problem that could be tackled using open data:
- In Tshwane, we ask how open data can be used to reduce cable theft
- In Ekurhuleni, we ask how open data can assist residents that are at risk of natural disaster, crime, or disease
- In eThikwini, we ask how open data can better connect governments to citizens
- And in Northern Cape, we ask how open data can improve water management in cities and towns
The challenges are open to anyone within the country who feels they have a solution to these issues, from startups, to NGOs, to individuals.
In mid-November, participants will have a chance to work with city representatives, ODI mentors and other key stakeholders to build out their value proposition and workable prototypes. Winners will receive cash awards, incubation and/or seed funding up to R300,000 (GBP ~17,000) to develop their solutions further.
After the resounding success of the Open Data Challenge Series, run in collaboration with Nesta in 2014, this new Responsive Cities Challenge demonstrates again how a challenge series format provides an innovative framework through which to create social value. Keep an eye on the ODI website for updates on the project.
If you have ideas or experience in open data that you'd like to share, pitch us a blog or tweet us at [@ODIHQ](https://twitter.com/odihq “@ODIHQ”).