OpenData Kenya: Africa’s first Open Data portal

A great development today: Kenya has become the first African government to launch an Open Data portal.

The data catalogue includes a large amount of detailed spending data, including the audited public expenditures for 2002/3-2008/9, and the Community Development Fund.

The fact that Kenya has published such detailed spending data is good news from the perspective of linking recipient country budgets to the aid information that is beginning to be released through the International Aid Transparency Initiative. We hope it won’t be long before Kenya’s Open Data portal includes current aid information alongside the domestic budget, and we can begin moving towards showing total resource flows in Kenya.

The Open Data portal includes some tools to help users easily visualise the data released, which includes diverse datasets such as details of all secondary schoolscorrelations between respiratory illnesses and the use of fuel wood, and the use of bed nets in relation to incidences of malaria.

The site is openly licensed, although there appears to be some lack of clarity about the exact terms of the license: while one page  states that “In short, anybody is free to use this data for commercial or non-commercial purposes”, the specific terms and conditions suggest that this only extends to non-commercial use. We would encourage the Kenyan Open Data portal to clarify that their license conforms to the Open Definition.

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