From Theory to Practice: Open Government Data, Accountability, and Service Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa"

Recently, Open Data, and Open Government Data (OGD) in particular, have attracted much attention as a means to innovate, add value, and improve outcomes in a variety of sectors, both public and private. While some of the benefits of such data-sharing initiatives can be easily assessed, particularly their economic and financial returns, it is often more difficult to evaluate their social and political impacts. In the public sector, a murky theory of change has emerged that links the expansion of OGD with greater government accountability as well as better service delivery outcomes in key sectors including health, education, and water/sanitation, among others. Current research in this area is limited to case studies and impact evaluations, which, respectively, offer limited proof of concept and external validity. In the absence of systematic, cross-country empirical studies on this topic, it is the aim of the present research to provide an initial estimation of the effects of OGD on government accountability and service delivery. Accordingly, this research will first attempt to determine whether a statistical association actually exists to support the purported relationship between the variables. To do so, this research will develop and rely on a unique data set that operationalizes OGD, government accountability, and service delivery using available indicators as well as other intervening and control variables that capture critical conditions for improved accountability and service delivery. Once initial statistical relationships are tested, this research will employ qualitative methods, including process tracing and comparative case study analysis, to draw inferences regarding contextual political economy drivers, the presence or absence of which may have a determining effect on the success or failure of such initiatives. The primary focus of this research will be a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa for which data exist, since these are the environments most in need of improvement in accountability and service delivery and have the most to gain from scaling up OGD initiatives."

PhD Director(s):
PhD Director: C├ędric Dupont
Jury Member: Liliana Andonova

 Record created 2016-08-05, last modified 2018-01-29

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)