Data transparency effort – successful in U.K. – to be tested in U.S.

Press Release

October 28, 2013


Knight Foundation pledges $250,000 to implement Open Data Institute’s model

Oct. 28, 2013 – A team of American transparency advocates will test a British model for open data standards in the United States, with $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

Led by open data pioneer Waldo Jaquith, the U.S. team will work with the UK-based Open Data Institute to replicate its model and determine its effectiveness stateside. The institute’s goal is to encourage governments and businesses to adopt open data standards as a way to promote economic growth, innovation and social change.

Related Link 

"New project aims to connect the dots in open data" by Waldo Jaquith on KnightBlog

The U.S. team, for example, will connect government agencies, businesses and nonprofits with experts and vendors who can help them be more transparent. The effort will also help these organizations overcome the barriers preventing them from sharing their data, by hosting convenings and creating open source projects that can fill the gaps.

“Data, whether it be from governments, businesses or the public, is helping us define the world’s biggest challenges. But we need to ensure that data is standardized, so that communities can use it to create solutions, and entrepreneurs to create businesses,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation. “The Open Data Institute offers a promising model that we hope will bring more players into the field in the United States.”

The U.S. team is guided by an advisory board consisting of Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. chief technology officer, Daniel X. O’Neil, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, and Max Ogden, a noted open data developer and alumnus of Code for America.

“The U.S. has a fast-growing open data community. What the institute’s model can do is to further create a culture of open data, ensuring that members are connected and more organizations have the capacity to participate,” Jaquith said.

The idea for this project emerged this summer at Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society, which focused on open government issues and is supported by Knight Foundation.

Also today the Open Data Institute announced it is creating a global network, consisting of 11 additional hubs around the world, where organizations from Dubai to Moscow will connect groups that support open data projects and people. The institute unveiled its expansion effort at its first summit in London.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit



Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, (305) 908-2677, [email protected]