The Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) has been launched today. Kenya becomes the first country in Africa to launch a national open data initiative.

The data is available online through the Socrata platform, which allows users to view different data at national, county and constituency levels. They can compare different data sets, create maps and other visualizations.

Paul Kukubo, CEO of Kenya’s ICT, the state corporation in charge of the development and marketing of the information, communications and technology sector in the country, outlined the hopes for the program in greater detail.

“For the first time ever, people in our communities will be empowered to choose the best schools for their children, locate the nearest health facility that meets their needs, and use regional statistics to lobby their constituency representative for better infrastructure and services in their county. The research community, on the other hand, can use this consolidated resource of valuable new data to discover practical insights that can guide economic and human development in Kenya. For example: What effect does access to drinking water have on school attendance in children? What is the correlation between access to healthcare and school grades? Where does it make sense to build the next hospital? School? Irrigation project? All Kenyans can now participate in finding solutions to these crucially important questions.”