Kenya Launches Socrata-powered Open Data Site

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Jul 08, 2011 -- President Mwai Kibaki today launched The Government of Kenya's Open Data site, powered by Socrata. The site is one of the most comprehensive open data projects anywhere in the world. Kenya aims to democratize access to vital data about economic and human development at the national, provincial and county level.

The Socrata-powered site, accessible at http://opendata.go.ke, is part of a national effort, led by the Ministry of Information and Communications, to create enabling infrastructure that can accelerate human and economic development throughout communities in Kenya. The site provides ordinary Kenyans, the research community, and software developers with unprecedented access to high-quality, high-impact datasets covering spending, budget, location of key infrastructure, availability of community services and various datasets from the 2009 census. Data is provided by various participating ministries as well as the World Bank.

The Socrata-powered site features newly-authored geospatial boundaries for 47 counties as well as geocoded datasets to enable a contextually-relevant, location-aware data exploration and visualization experience for users. Geo-enablement also extends to programmatic access via the Socrata Open Data API (Application Programming Interface) which facilitates the development of broadly-accessible mobile applications to improve the lives of ordinary Kenyans.

"We are accomplishing our main objectives which are to engage Kenyans in the development of their communities and to give them unfettered access to data that affects their daily lives," says Paul Kukubo, CEO of the Kenya ICT Board. "For the first time ever, people in our communities will be empowered to choose the best schools for their children, locate the nearest health facility that meets their needs, and use regional statistics to lobby their constituency representative for better infrastructure and services in their county. The research community, on the other hand, can use this consolidated resource of valuable new data to discover practical insights that can guide economic and human development in Kenya. For example: What effect does access to drinking water have on school attendance in children? What is the correlation between access to healthcare and school grades? Where does it make sense to build the next hospital? School? Irrigation project? All Kenyans can now participate in finding solutions to these crucially important questions."

Kevin Merritt, Socrata's founder and CEO adds, "Socrata is proud to partner with the Government of Kenya and the World Bank to provide the enabling platform to transform data into an accessible and reusable national resource. We are particularly excited that this Open Data site takes advantage of new product offerings - the Socrata Open Data Site Creator™ and the Socrata Open Data Story Editor™ - which enable customers to create a finely customized and curated web experience for their users."

Since 25.9% of Kenyans have internet access(1) and 63.2% have mobile access, the Ministry of Information and Communications, through its ICT board, is also giving grants to support the development of innovative high-impact web and mobile applications that use the newly available data. The developer outreach program is being supported by iHub, a large and growing community of 4,250 techies in Kenya, dedicated to fostering technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

About Ministry of Information and Communications

Among its functions, the Ministry of Information and Communications is in charge of dissemination of public information. It is led by the Minister Hon Samuel Poghisio, MP.

About Kenya ICT Board

HE President Mwai Kibaki established the Kenya ICT Board as a state corporation in February 2007. Its mission is to champion and actively enable Kenya to adopt and exploit ICT, through promotion of partnerships, investments and infrastructure growth for socio economic enrichment. It delivers its work through five pillar projects: Digital Inclusion, Public Sector Applications, Government Shared Services, Business Processes Outsourcing/IT Enabled Services and Local Digital Content.

About World Bank

The World Bank is an international development finance and knowledge institution. It is a vital source of financial and technical assistance for developing countries around the world. The mission of the Bank is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors. In April 2010, the Bank launched a new data access policy, providing free, open and easy access to statistics and indicators about development for all users through a new website: data.worldbank.org. Visitors to the site can search for, select, download, and then manipulate, use, and redistribute data from the World Bank's databases.

About Socrata

Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data Services, a category of cloud-based Web 2.0 solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments to dramatically improve the reach, usability and usefulness of their information assets.

The FISMA-compliant Socrata Open Data Platform™ accelerates the flow of accessible and reusable data and its transformation into powerful new applications and services for improving the lives of citizens, while eliminating the need for costly infrastructure, scarce IT resources and custom development for government organizations.

The Socrata Open Data Platform™ is the most widely-adopted Open Data solution in government. Socrata customers include Medicare, State of Washington, State of Oregon, City of Chicago and City of Seattle. Socrata was recently chosen to deliver the next-generation Open Data platform for Data.Gov and participating federal agencies, through its GSA reseller and fulfillment partner, Alamo City Engineering Services.

Socrata, founded in 2007, is based in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle, Washington. Socrata is privately owned and backed by venture investors Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.

(1) Communications commission of Kenya - QUARTERLY SECTOR STATISTICS REPORT: http://www.cck.go.ke/resc/statistics/SECTOR_STATISTICS_REPORT_Q2_2010-11_x2x_x3x_x2x.pdf

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Contacts:
Socrata, Inc.
Saf Rabah
VP, Marketing
206.340.8008 ext. 151

Email Contact

www.socrata.com





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