Open Data in Solar Energy.
Clean and renewable energy is a building block of any sustainable and resilient city and country. Energy is at the at the heart of many development challenges globally - jobs, livelihoods, food security, and safe environments. Access and affordability of energy are central items of policy agendas around the world, and, especially, in the Middle East and North Africa where the threat of climate change is serious, but the potential of clean energy is also immense.
The work by the Access to Knowledge for Development Center, with the International Development Research Center and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, focuses on dynamics of the emerging solar energy market in Egypt. For the past year, and the upcoming one, we have sought to elucidate the following questions: How have individuals navigated and innovated in the sector, how can we inform policy, what is the best way to advocate for renewables and sustainable energy in Egypt? What knowhow do entrepreneurs need to succeed in the sector and how can they acquire it?
To answer these questions we have gone to new, and utterly exciting, places: the Internet!
Development goes digital
First a bit of background on how we got here.
A2K4D serves as the lead center in a region-wide project entitled Harnessing the Economic Power of Data in the Middle East and North Africa (The Data Revolution). It also serves as MENA Node for the Open data for Development (OD4D). We clearly like our data, a little bit obsessively.
The Data Revolution project is part of a global agenda to mobilize data towards an increasingly complex development agenda. This includes targeted action on how data is produced, managed and used, working towards better outcomes for all. It is part of a growing call to better harness digital technologies for development, as well as for social entrepreneurship, which plays an important role in the region. Similarly, the OD4D is a global network, bringing together local partners, to advance the production management and use of open data in development. The program looks to scale innovation, strengthen initiatives and facilitate coordination between different actors and projects working in open data.
The promise of data in development is apparent. So the following is a pilot digital platform that utilizes this energy towards the development of clean and affordable energy in Egypt.
[Photo by gabitogol | Flickr]