Last week, the GovLab and Omidyar Network launched Open Data's Impact a new repository collecting original case studies on open data initiatives from around the world. The case studies were conducted by a team at the GovLab under the leadership of Network coordinator Andrew Young and Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst, and in close collaboration with Laura Bacon of Omidyar Network. In addition, Becky Hogge contributed six case studies focused on the United Kingdom. 

In a blog post announcing the release, Verhulst describes the repository and project: 

"...[A]fter receiving and integrating comments from dozens of peer reviewers through a unique open process, we are delighted to share an initial batch of 10 case studies, as well three of Hogge’s UK-based stories. These are being made available at a new custom-built repository, Open Data’s Impact (, that will eventually house all the case studies, key findings across the studies, and additional resources related to the impact of open data. All this information will be stored in machine-readable HTML and PDF format, and will be searchable by area of impact, sector and region."

The 25 total case studies examine projects along a four-pronged taxonomy of impact:

  • "First, open data is improving government, primarily by helping tackle corruption, increasing transparency, and enhancing public services and resource allocation.
  • Open data is also empowering citizens to take control of their lives and demand change; this dimension of impact is primarily mediated by more informed decision making and new forms of social mobilization, both in turn facilitated by new ways of communicating and accessing information.
  • Open data is also creating new opportunities for citizens and organizations, by fostering innovation and promoting economic growth and job creation.
  • Finally, open data is playing an increasingly important role in solving big public problems, primarily by allowing citizens and policymakers access to new forms of data-driven assessment of the problems at hand. It also enables data-driven engagement producing more targeted interventions and enhanced collaboration."