Data available from Research ICT Africa 

Research ICT Africa conducts public-interest research on ICT policy and regulation that responds to national, regional and continental needs. It provides African researchers, governments, regulators, operators, multilateral institutions, development agencies, community organizations and trade unions with the information and analysis required to develop innovative and appropriate policies, effective implementation and successful network operations that can contribute to sustainable development. The network will contribute to the gathering of up to date ICT data and establish repository of information for furthering research and policy formulation. The programme will promote interaction between researchers and their peers at national, regional and international levels to harmonize methodologies, tools and standards for conducting public-interest ICT policy research.

Data is available, by country, for:


Information and Networks in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa  (INASSA)

The Information and Networks in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (INASSA) program focuses on producing and sharing credible, high-quality evidence on the influence of digital initiatives in governance, science, learning, and entrepreneurship.

The program disseminates and shares knowledge to enhance policy dialogues and practices on the networked society in developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development established INASSA with a joint investment of CA$18.5 million over four years. The program identifies effective strategies to harness digital innovations in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is building an evidence base that shows the links between the increasing use of digital information networks and economic growth, democratic reform, and greater educational opportunities in developing countries.

Mobile message app for pregnant women launched in India

The National Health Mission in the Indian state of Haryana has launched a mobile messaging system to create awareness among pregnant women, parents and health workers on the importance of ante and post natal care, institutional delivery and immunisation. From the second trimester of pregnancy till the child is one-year-old, the application will deliver 72 time appropriate audio messages to registered mobile numbers on pregnancy, child and childbirth care every week,

Source: The Asian Age, 22 April 2017

Visualising census and electoral data – Wazimap and Census Reporter

Wazimap is a Django application for exploring census and other similar data. It makes it easy to understand a place through the eyes of the data, and to explore data across a range of places. It is most suited for census data but can easily be used with other data that is similarly focused on places in a country.

Wazimap is a fork of the Census Reporter project which was funded by a Knight News Challenge grant. You can also find Censusreporter on GitHub.

Wazimap builds on Census Reporter and makes it easier to re-use. Wazimap was originally built by Code for South Africa with the support of Media Monitoring Africa. It is maintained by Code for South Africa.

Other deployments can be found for Nepal, India and Kenya.

World Bank 2011 Assessment of Computer-Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Applications

This 2011 World Bank study – Comparative Assessment of Software Programs for the Development of Computer-Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Applications – was a forerunner to the Bank creating its own solution.

The World Bank, national statistics offices, and other institutions are keenly interested in moving from household surveys based on paper-and-pen interviewing (PAPI) to those based on computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). However, most organizations migrating from page to screen–from PAPI to CAPI–know neither their software options nor what software package best meets their needs. This dilemma underscores the paucity of consolidated information on CAPI software.

There are five dimensions to this informational problem.

First, there is no standard in CAPI software… Second, there are no CAPI user communities… Third, there are no prior systematic, publicly available comparisons of CAPI software packages… Fourth, there is a glut of publicly available information. However, none of it offers an immediate answer about whether and to what extent a given package meets the needs of complex household surveys… Fifth, a limited share of the publicly-available information is informed by hands-on experience.

The paper assesses the following applications:



FAO launches Water Productivity Open-access portal (WaPOR)

FAO has today launched the beta version of a new Water Productivity Open-access of Remotely sensed portal (WaPOR) to monitor and report on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East.

It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments. The portal’s services are directly accessible through dedicated FAO WaPOR APIs, which will eventually be also available through the FAO API store.

WaPOR will be increasingly improved during the course of 2017 and beyond.

Achievements in earth observation science have indicated that nowadays it is feasible to determine key data on sustainable agricultural production on the basis of spatial satellite measurements, but a comprehensive methodology, both scientifically robust and effective at various scales is currently not operational. The programme will assist the Member Countries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps and contributing to a sustainable increase of agricultural production, while taking into account ecosystems and the equitable use of water resources, which eventually should lead to an overall reduction of water stress.

Components of the database include:

  • Water Productivity Assessments
  • Land Productivity Assessments
  • Evapo Transpiration
  • Net Primary Productivity
  • Above ground biomass production
  • Crop calendars
  • Harvest Index
  • Land cover / crop classification
  • Precipitation

How good is Southern Africa extractives data? 

The Mineral Governance Barometer from Southern Africa Resource Watch contains this observation in its introduction.

Despite increasing attention to mineral governance, our ability to compare the records of Southern African countries systematically has remained limited. Some studies offer sweeping analyses of the adverse consequences of failed resource governance throughout Africa (Bond 2006; Burgis 2015; Kabemba 2013). Others provide qualitative detail on specific aspects of mineral governance or in specific countries – for example on international efforts to promote diamond certification (Grant and Taylor 2004) and on the impact of uranium mining on local livelihoods in Malawi (Kamlongera 2013). The World Bank (2016b) recently initiated a project to collect detailed information about mineral governance, though its current coverage is limited, and it emphasises single-country diagnostics. Important cross-national data sources, such as those compiled by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (2010) and Revenue Watch Institute (2013) are concerned primarily with revenue transparency, and their coverage of Southern Africa is patchy. Meanwhile, extensive quantitative research on the “natural resource curse” primarily compares developmental outcomes in resource-rich versus resource-poor countries, rather than analysing differences in resource governance among resource-rich countries (Alence 2015). This all points to a gap in the understanding of mineral governance in Southern Africa. The urgency of Southern Africa Resource Watch’s call for “instruments that will allow for an easy and correct assessment of the manner in which resources are being managed in the region” (2013: 7) is difficult to dispute.


Innovation Africa Digital Summit 2017

Innovation Africa Digital Summit 25 – 27 April 2017, Kampala

The IAD summit will be attended by a unique blend of around 300 high level decision makers from across Africa, including those people responsible for the development and implementation of Smart public sector projects e.g Smart Cities, Smart Government, Smart Healthcare, Smart Education. These CIOs, Project leaders, State Governors, City Mayors etc. will be joined by Policy Makers and Regulators from across Africa who are responsible for creating the facilitating environment. Communication Service Providers, Financial Institutions, UN Agencies and NGOs who are looking to Smarter Thinking as a way of improving services, profitability and efficiency will represent Civil Society and the Private Sectors and we are also inviting the best in class, global Consultants, Vendors, Solution Providers and Investors who will represent an effective solutions community who can facilitate Smart transformations.


What would legislation for data infrastructure and open data look like? 

A useful summary from the Open Data Institute (from last year) of what the legal framework for a sustainable data infrastructure should look like

Legislation should:

  • Define a set of roles and responsibilities around data infrastructure assets such as data collectors, maintainers, publishers and regulators. It would give basic requirements for the responsibilities of each of these roles (eg that publishers must make the data available in machine-readable form) but provide for future flexibility by stating that standards and guidelines will be specified through separate materials published outside legislation.

  • Define what it means to be open data within the data infrastructure, what additional roles and responsibilities this incurs, and what kinds of data should be designated as open data. Not all data infrastructure assets will be designated as open data infrastructure assets. For other data infrastructure assets it should be specified what the sharing regime is for those assets.

  • Provide a legislative framework that enables someone (for example the Minister from the department responsible for the data, or a Chief Data Officer) the power to designate a particular dataset as being a data infrastructure asset using secondary legislation. This enables the list of data infrastructure assets to grow over time. Primary legislation would need to define what secondary legislation needs to say about data assets. For example, secondary legislation might define spending data as data infrastructure. It would need to state what items are included (eg the granularity of the spend items), what information about them must be provided (eg the category of the spend), and under what access regime (eg that it should be published openly). Legislation should not include technical details such as the format in which it should be published because technical best practice is likely to change.

  • Designate certain assets as data infrastructure assets and indicate who the collector, maintainer, publisher, access regime, and so on are for each of those assets. These would fall into three general categories:

    • classes of materials, such as public records and national statistics
    • existing data infrastructure assets defined by legislation, including various registers where there is already a designated registrar
    • new data infrastructure assets which have been mandated by policy as part of the government’s open data initiative, such as spending data or election data
  • Set some limits about the removal of data assets from the list of data infrastructure assets, eg that changes to their status (both whether they are listed or not and what their access regime is) can only happen with at least a year’s notice. This ensures that businesses can expect and rely on stability from data assets listed within the data infrastructure.