How we can help you

The Open Knowledge Foundation offers a range of services including consultancy, technical work, and other support, to organisations large and small around the world.

Professional and Technical Services

It’s about more than just technology. The Open Knowledge Foundation is helping people solve the technical, social and legal challenges of opening up data. We offer professional services and technical expertise to clients all over the world. We can work with you to help establish your needs around open data, develop policies and best practices and build capacity in your organisation, and can help you create data-driven websites, or help you work with open source tools to create solutions for collecting, storing, analysing, and visualising data of all kinds. Get in touch with us at services@okfn.org and we can discuss solutions which are tailored to your needs, based on our extensive open data experience and knowledge.

Specialist Technology Services

CKAN

The Open Knowledge Foundation created CKAN, the world’s leading open source data portal platform, and our top CKAN team has worked on data.gov.uk, data.gov, and the European Commission’s Open Data Hub, as well as many more. We love helping local and national governments and other organisations work out how to open up their data, and can also assist with creating, customising and hosting open data portals using CKAN. To find out more about how we can help you open your data, email info@ckan.org.

OpenSpending

OpenSpending is the world’s largest, online community-driven database of government budgets and spending. You can upload and visualise your own data, investigate the data or develop new visualisations or applications based off the data. If you want to do more with financial information, we can help! For example, we can develop custom budget and spending visualisation sites such Where Does My Money Go? for other countries, regions and organisations. Other examples are available in our portfolio. We can also organise support and training for NGOs to acquire, work with and visualise government spending information, to help them explore public finances in their area of interest. We also work with governments to help them regularly publish data and check that departments are complying with their publishing requirements. See the spend browser and spend reporting dashboard from Data.Gov.Uk to give you some ideas of what is possible. Please contact info@openspending.org to find out more.

Software Development and Technology Advice for civil society

Our team is experienced in working with NGOs and charities to get the most out of their data. Whether you are looking to use technology to remove the pain points from a workflow, use a data tool to increase your impact in advocacy work or present the results of your findings in an engaging way, we can talk through and develop affordable solutions for your project. We know that technology can be intimidating and sometimes it’s hard to know what you need or where to start with a specification, let alone how to implement it, and we can help you simply get started working out what you need, as well as providing cost effective solutions if that’s right for you. Get in touch with us to discuss how we could work together to help you achieve your aims.

School of Data: training and skills

School of Data works to empower civil society organisations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively, through both online and in-person “learning through doing” workshops.

We run:

  • Data Expeditions – data driven investigations with a focus on learning through doing – on a variety of topics.
  • Data clinics and workshops for investigative journalists and NGO workers. From the 101 – “What is Data” up to advanced visualisation and data handling.

We create:

  • Custom courses and materials to suit your data-driven project or campaign
  • Domain specific data wrangling guides e.g. data wrangling for spending data, or ethical fashion campaigns, in collaboration with domain experts

Please contact schoolofdata@okfn.org to find out how we can empower you with the data skills you need to fight for change in your area.

Research, analysis and writing

The Open Knowledge Foundation has been working in the open data space since 2004, but we’re still always happy to explore new areas in depth, including developing principles and standards as part of our analysis if required. The report on Technology for Transparent and Accountable Public Finance was prepared for GIFT, a multi-stakeholder action network working to advance fiscal transparency, participation, and accountability in countries around the world. Our research for AidInfo led to the publication of the report Unlocking The Potential of Aid Information, which discussed legal and technical aspects of opening up information related to international development. As well as researching, we love to help people work with open data, and Handbooks are a great tool to help people learn how to get started. We co-authored the Data Journalism Handbook, an open source reference book for anybody interested in the field of data journalism. It was developed in collaboration with the European Journalism Centre, and is published through O’Reilly media – both as a physical book, and available online as open content.

Drop us a line at services@okfn.org to find out how we can help you with research, analysis, and other authoring work.

Collaborations

Our best work is always done in collaboration with others. If you’re building a consortium or coalition for a new grant-funded project or activity, we’d be delighted to take part. We’re happy to discuss at the early ideas stage or to join in later on as a project takes shape, and can offer great open data expertise in a wide range of domains, as well as experience with dissemination and community building. Some of our current collaborations include LOD2, LinkedUp, Apps4Europe, DM2E, and the Global Open Data Initiative. Email us at collaborations@okfn.org to discuss how we can work together.

A home for your project

The Open Knowledge Foundation provides a community in which projects with similar goals can thrive – open projects around any kind of open data and content, including software, datasets, visualisation tools, standards, communities and others, are welcome. We’re always delighted to bring more projects on board, and can offer a range of support services depending on the project, potentially including hosting a website, access to a community of open data and open knowledge enthusiasts and experts, and an organisational name which can help a project gain respect. In addition, the Open Knowledge Foundation can amplify the message of the project, helping showcase great work to the world, and can connect a project with potential volunteers in the community. We can also act as the “owner” of project assets such as copyright assignment for open source code, datasets, or domains if needed. For funded projects, we may be able to provide administrative, legal and financial support, and additional technical or specialist support in some cases, by agreement.

Projects joining the Foundation need to meet various criteria, such as:

  • Open Data and Content: data and content, or any other kind of resources, produced by the project will be openly licensed in a way that is compatible with the Open Definition
  • Free/Open Source Software: software created by the project will be openly licensed (i.e. in conformance with the OSI Open Source Definition)
  • Public process and politeness: the project will be run in a public way and encourage participation from outsiders.

If your project or community is looking for a home, get in touch with us at communityprojects@okfn.org.