Kenyan government has yielded to the pressure from developers to release important data to the public domain. This data was previously only accessible to the government and its departments for use in planning, resource allocation and other tasks for the running of government. The same data can be of very great use to developers and other stakeholders in that they will be able to use real data when measuring the importance of the solutions they will be providing in the future for consumption by the public.
In Kenya, data includes: various dimensions of population data; local and national government authority expenditure; public health indicator data and statistics including hospital locations; education data such as enrollment rates and school locations; parliamentary proceedings (digital Hansard); weather information and detailed census statistics on topics such as access to electricity, water and sanitation.
This data will be available in a format that will be easily manipulated and processed to use for each need, either by the public who wish to get informed of what is happening in their county (Resource allocation, population etc) or be the developer who will use the same data to produce applications that will have an impact to the community. Its time we had this leverage to use real data when, say developing an application that will scale and in some while be monetizable.
Worldwide, developers have been making money due to the advantage of having access to data that “matters”open for use to provide scalable systems. Kenya prides itself to be the first country in the continent to open this data and am proud of that. Lets see whether we will pick this up fast and make better decisions in our various endeavours.