4th IODC

Blog IODC 2016
Madrid. October 6-7, 2016


Highlighting use cases from the Open Data Impact Map: Farmerline empowering farmers through mobile technology and information

This blog is part of a short series by The Center for Open Data Enterprise. The purpose of the series is to highlight use cases from the Open Data Impact Map, which will be launched October 3, 2016 in preparation for the 4th International Open Data Conference.

Around the world business, nonprofits, governments, and citizens are using open data as a valuable resource in their work. The demand for open government data provides a compelling rationale for growing open data programs. Understanding who uses open data, and how it is used, helps prioritize the most important datasets. It can help inform investments in open data, and inspire novel uses of this public resource.

One example of open data use is Farmerline, an SMS-based service that provides small-scale farmers with up-to-date agricultural information and advisement based in Ghana. Farming accounts for over a fifth of the country’s GDP, and 42% of the workforce. Many farmers in Ghana operate small-scale farms and face an uphill battle for agriculture information due to a lack of Internet access and the diversity of local languages.


Farmerline addresses both of these issues, providing local farmers access to accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts and market prices. In turn, the farmers gain immediate knowledge of competitive pricing and if not larger, steadier yields due to the agronomic tips and support.

Open government data is at the heart of this effort. Launched in 2013, Farmerline gathers open data on weather and market prices, and then repackages the information into outbound text and voice SMS messages, servicing over 5000 farmers in Ghana and available in nine different local languages. Fully incorporating voice messages in its service, Farmerline has expanded to farmers in rural areas, where literacy rates remain under 50%.

This example, and many others, will be featured on the Open Data Impact Map (www.OpenDataImpactMap.org), officially launching October 3rd for the 4th International Open Data Conference. The Open Data Impact Map is a public database of organizations using open data from around the world. It allows users to explore a database of 1700+ organizations in from 80+ countries, and learn more about the types of data they are using, how they are using it, and the impact it has on their work.

The Open Data for Development (OD4D) network in partnership with the Center for Open Data Enterprise will be launching the Open Data Impact Map at IODC. For more information, visit the OD4D booth during the conference.


Cover photo by Marta Serrano

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