This Year: Looking back on 2013 and looking forward to 2014

Ok so we aren’t the first to say it, but we still mean it when we say Happy New Year! 2013 proved to be a busy year for us at AidData and a great year for open data, citizen engagement and transparency. Let’s take a moment to relish the progress made.

The Open Government Partnership gained seven new countries in 2013 who pledge to work with civil society to develop an OGP action plan. You can read the OGP’s top blog posts via this Storify.

The US stepped up their game this year with a new open government data portal-, an executive order to make government data more accessible to the public, as well as 13 new open data policies at the state and local level throughout the country as noted by the Sunlight Foundation.

At AidData we launched our new website, which features more tools, more maps, and more data, including a release of a new database that captures China’s development finance activity in Africa.  As part of the Higher Education Solutions Network, we also geocoded where development projects are taking place throughout Nepal, Senegal, Uganda, Haiti and Timor-Leste.

2013 meant the solidifying of open data as a part of worldwide development. The Post-2015 High-Level Panel Report called for a new Data Revolution. Take a look at Alex Howard’s Storify of the top open data tweets of 2013.

Citizen engagement made strides with the Citizen Voices conference, as well as the creation of Feedback Labs which focuses on closing the loop between citizens, government and development partners. FBL is still hosting their competition to #closetheloop, the new year didn’t mean a close to applications.

With such a good 2013, what can we expect from 2014?

Let’s keep it positive with 11 Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2014 and Open Data’s Hottest Contenders for 2014. We have good stuff coming! Predictions made on the IDS blog Development Horizons argue that momentum made this year in regards to decreasing poverty, “cutting the green crap,” nutrition, and even minilateralism will continue.

Brookings pulled in an array of experts to give #ForesightAfrica opinions on what the critical issues for Africa will be in 2014. Check it out and tell us if you agree with what they are saying. Meanwhile, Nancy Birdsall is still deciding what her final global development wish list for 2014 is, and she is asking for input from readers.

What’s in store for AidData in 2014?  Check back with us tomorrow for more information about our work in the coming year and how we hope that will advance the open data movement. 

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.

Tags: open dataopen government partnership2014post-2015feedback labs