In 2013, the Government of Tanzania began the Open Data to provide monitoring and analysis of progress in three targeted areas: water, health, and education. The Open Data Initiative of the Government of Tanzania is supported by the World Bank, and funded by the Department for International Development of the Government of the United Kingdom. A team of four students conducted an evaluation of the progress to date of the initiative, specifically assessing the Open Data Portal. The researchers examined four key areas to measure success of the initiative: efficiency and effectiveness, public sector improvement, government transparency, and innovation. The team conducted over 30 interviews of individuals in Dar es Salaam who are involved in the use or production of Open Data in Tanzania.
The key findings of the study were that the Open Data Initiative has achieved significant steps towards improving efficiency and effectiveness. The initiative has helped the data of the government become more accessible through publishing it on the Open Data Portal, and the government ministries have improved their knowledge sharing. The public sector has also improved in that the government has become more accountable to its citizens and there has been an increase in interest around using Open Data to make decisions. There are also reduced redundancies, which means that the government and NGOs will waste fewer resources on collecting data that has already been collected by another agency.
The challenges remaining range from administrative and technical challenges, to program-related issues, to structural challenges. The team recommended working on these individually, focusing on quick-wins to continue the improvement and usefulness of the Open Data Initiative in Tanzania.