Why the case studies were produced

The goal of Data Impacts is to explore success stories (and instructive failures) in the ongoing Data Revolution. The path from data to impact can be long and complex. Crucial improvements can happen at every stage of data generation and collection, methodological development, data analysis, insertion into policy and program planning processes, and practical implementation. Present and future initiatives can benefit from understanding the technical, logistical, and political factors that drive success and threaten failure at each stage.

After an initial scoping exercise, reinforced by expert interviews and an extensive review of print and online materials, the Data Impacts project identified over 80 candidate cases. From these, outstanding cases were selected on the basis of rigorous impact measurement, the scale of impact and the potential relevancy of lessons learned to others. Drawn from countries around the world, the selection of Data Impacts case studies is designed to span a wide range of themes, from health to agriculture, the environment, urbanization, and humanitarian crises.



Authors: Bapu Vaitla, Cheney Wells, and Carolina Van Horn. Funding: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Publication, dissemination and website: Open Data Watch. Print design: Julia Van Horn. Website design: District Design Group. Interviews, photos, graphic materials, and guidance: Christopher Lourenço, Bradley Didier, Elizabeth Whelan, Samuel Hauenstein-Swan, Daniel Maxwell, David Lazer, Laurie Liskin, Erica Nybro, Sarah Lake, James Anderson, Daniel Jimenez, Andrew Jarvis, Marcel Holyoak, Neil Palmer, Jonathan Kos-Read, Rod Waddington, Jonathan Batty, Sean Davis, Jackie Klopp, Rogier van der Weijden, Ki-Byoung Kim, Rodrigo Guerrero, Chris Hillbruner, and Swetha Manohar.


Data Revolutions

Data Revolutions – How Information Turns Into Impact

The promise of the data revolution is being fulfilled. This report summarizes the lessons from the case studies on how data leads to impact. View full report