This report reviews current theory and practice behind open data challenges as a mechanism for driving open data improvement, engagement and innovation.

Its main purpose is to equip and enable organisations, governments and community organisers to deliver high-quality open data challenges while helping them to recognise nuances within their local contexts.

The report explores the case for implementation, explains the key attributes of a challenge prize and provides seven recommendations for prize delivery to help others design, deliver and evaluate open data challenge prizes effectively.

  1. Set clear objectives that reflect the primary interests of all core stakeholders.
  2. Design a bespoke challenge structure that reflects these primary objectives throughout.
  3. Commit to open design principles and be prepared to iterate or adjust plans as you go.
  4. Sustain focus on open data from launch to completion. Support participants to understand, access and use open data.
  5. Take time to plan, deliver and review each stage of the challenge process.
  6. Do not stop at one challenge.
  7. Undertake an impact and process evaluation and share it.

This report was supported by the Open Data for Development (OD4D) programme, a partnership funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the World Bank, The UK Department for International Development (DfID), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC).