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The Global Impact of Open Data by Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young

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Part V. Case Studies: Solving Public Problems

Open data is playing an increasingly important role in solving big public problems—from health crises to cases of institutional discrimination. Solutions often arise as a result of citizens and policymakers accessing new forms of data-driven assessment of the problems at hand. Open data also enables data-driven engagement between stakeholders, producing more targeted interventions and enhanced collaboration.

The case studies in this section examine:

  • The coordinated sharing of data among government and international actors during the response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
  • The identification of discriminatory water access decisions in the case Kennedy v the City of Zanesville, resulting in a $10.9 million settlement for the African-American plaintiffs.
  • Increased awareness among Singaporeans about the location of hotspots for dengue fever transmission.
  • Improved, data-driven emergency response following earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Troubling privacy violations on Eightmaps related to Californians’ political donation activity.

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