Open Government Data for Effective Public Participation: Findings of a Case Study Research Investigating The Kenya's Open Data Initiative in Urban Slums and Rural Settlements

In 2013, the year that Kenya Celebrated 50 years of independence, a new constitution came into force, including fundamental principles focussed on public participation and the promotion of a more open society. Article 35 of the Bill of Rights emphasises that every citizen has a right to information held by the state, challenging a long established culture of government secrecy. Against this background, the Jesuit Hakimani Centre sought to explore the landscape of open data in light of the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) launched in 2011, and to investigate the impact it is having in lives of Kenyan people, particularly those in marginalised area.

The study, conducted in two urban slums in the Counties of Nairobi and Mombasa and a rural settlement in Isiolo County, employed quantitative and qualitative research techniques, including focus groups, questionnaire and interviews designed to assess awareness and use of KODI data, and to understand the ways in which citizens seek out, access, use, and place trust in, government information.