Openness I - Open Data

Openness I – Open Data, is the first in a series that looks at the role of openness in global development. In this Issue, we focus on the efforts being made by open data groups around the world and what truly meaningful data should look like. We look at how data on air pollution is being released through open portals to urge accountability for this major environmental justice issue. We consider how meaningful the data collected and opened up is to the cities, communities and programs it’s meant to aid in the UK, a country held as an example for openness, and for participants in social programs in India who are often asked for personal information without being given ownership of their own data. We hear how civic tech groups in Latin America work to empower their governments through collaboration, and we get a look at what we lose without data systems that are interoperable.

Consulting Editors: Nisha Thompson and Sumandro Chattapadhyay

Cover Image: The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

May 2016


Issue 2, Recovery, looks at what it takes to rebuild communities, cities, and nations after devastating natural disasters. We’re looking at disasters that no longer appear on global headlines to see how incremental actions have led to transformation, the challenges that impede recovery, and signals of hope that keep nations moving forward. We trace the small, sustained responses that contributed to transformation in Myanmar, hear local voices and perspectives on a persistent desert drought in La Guajira, Colombia, and reflect on an image of hope after the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Cover image: Jennifer Dunn

April 2016


Sludge, our inaugural issue, deals with the often ignored, decidedly murky, yet undeniably crucial topic of fecal sludge – a subject that exemplifies the problems of reconciling new solutions with old practices. We get a glimpse into how the Indian Railways plans to use new technology to deal with their open defecation dilemma, the value of informal responses for waste reuse in a peri-urban town, and question the ownership of fecal sludge solutions in developing cities. We also see a powerful portrait of city employed manual scavengers in a country where the practice is outlawed. And finally, a photojournalist’s documentation of his failed latrine project in Watungu, Ghana.

Cover Image: Linda Strande

February 2016