ODI data institutions programme graphic

– This opportunity is now closed –

4 October 2021

Opportunity provided by the Open Data Institute (ODI)


At the Open Data Institute (ODI), we’re interested in data institutions – organisations that steward data on behalf of others often towards public, educational or charitable aims. We think data institutions have a vital role to play in ensuring that data is used to create vital new technologies, products and services, as well as limiting the harm that misuses of data can cause people and communities. You can read more about data institutions here.

We’ve done a lot of work describing the different ways data institutions can steward data for responsible use. We would like to develop our understanding of data institutions further by quantifying the economic impact they may have on the ecosystems within which they operate. While there is a body of evidence for the impact of open data and open standards (some conducted and commissioned by the ODI) this research will look at the specific role of data institutions and the data stewardship that they undertake.

Our aim is to generate evidence for policymakers to use to make the case for continued interest and investment in piloting data institutions. We also hope that data institutions themselves will be able to point to this evidence base for continued support for their work.


The research we are commissioning is part of our ongoing effort to increase awareness and understanding of data institutions, and support interventions from policymakers, funders and others to create an ‘enabling environment’ for them.

Through this particular research project, we want to:

  • begin to generate evidence for the economic impact of different kinds of data institutions on their immediate ecosystems, and possibly within their larger domains or industries.
  • explore methods for quantifying the value various stakeholders derive from the roles performed by selected data institutions.
  • produce output that policymakers, funders and other enabling actors - and additionally, data institutions themselves - use to inform and reference in their work.
  • communicate our findings in a way that enables diverse audiences to engage with data institutions.
  • continue to demonstrate that there is an array of data institutions of different shapes, undertaking different stewardship roles, and creating value in varied forms.

Considering the diversity of data institutions, this study will focus on microeconomic analyses of three to five data institutions performing varied forms of data stewardship. For example, some may facilitate safe access to sensitive data, and others may empower people to take a more active role in stewarding data about themselves or their communities.

With this project, we also aim to commence a broader workstream within the ODI that employs more quantitative approaches to our study of data institutions. Further work may potentially involve exploring valuation methodologies for data institutions or producing macroeconomic estimates for the impact of specific categories of data institutions (for example, health data repositories, data exchanges and marketplaces).


We require an expert organisation to undertake the following activities:

  • Engage with the selected data institutions and their stakeholders to understand the value they generate through their stewardship roles. This may involve conducting semi-structured interviews, or workshops to develop metrics appropriate to the context of each institution. However, we are open to respondents proposing appropriate methods. 
  • Develop a framework to estimate the data institutions’ impact in quantitative terms. This may entail reviewing various approaches to quantifying the impact of (open) data, open standards, data sharing etc, and adapting them to the novel framing of data institutions.
  • Create case studies on data institutions with estimates for their economic impact.
  • Explore how the estimates from case studies may provide broader insight into the impact of data institutions at the domain, industry or economy level.
  • Produce an internal report, from which we will develop ODI-authored outputs to communicate findings to relevant audiences. We will of course attribute the role played by the successful organisation in the final ODI output.

This research project will be supported by a member of the ODI research team, who will work closely with the successful organisation to provide relevant context and knowledge around data institutions, support in the design and implementation of the research, and provide review and feedback on the report.


This research project will be undertaken between 25 October and 14 January 2022. A more specific timeline with milestones for each of the contracted activities will be agreed upon contracting.

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Working pattern

You will work closely with the ODI team for the duration of this work and take part in weekly progress calls with them. These will likely be via video call for the duration of the work. In person meetings are possible, at the ODI offices or otherwise, if necessary and/or required for certain activities.

Terms of payment

50% of the total amount will be invoiced halfway through the work, and the remaining 50% will be invoiced on satisfactory completion of the work, including responses to feedback from the ODI, and paid within 30 days.

Application requirements

Interested parties should submit an initial research plan (in English) to [email protected] with reference DIPP019, which includes:

  • A maximum 2-page proposal outlining how you would approach achieving the objectives of the project (in particular, we are open to suggestions on the quantitative methods used).
  • A CV that outlines your skills and experience, with examples of relevant previous work.
  • A daily rate and confirmation of the number of days you would anticipate the work to take, along with your availability.

Proposals will all be assessed equally based on the contractors’:

  • proposed approach to and quality of the work or service
  • background and experience
  • commitment to work collaboratively and in the open
  • price competitiveness
  • commitment to the ODI’s mission


If you have any questions about the opportunity, please contact [email protected] quoting DIPP-019. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.