KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

N/A

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Cities

KEY CATEGORIES

Open Data

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

SCODA: City-centric data portal

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

NAME

EMAIL

WEBSITE

South African Cities Network

N/A

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

Live

South Africa

N/A

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

The South African Cities Open Data Almanac (SCODA) is a city centric data portal that aims to support the planning, management, monitoring, and reporting needs of cities. The SCODA platform provides data governance necessary for effective decision-making that will result in the prioritisation of governance in cities. Implementation of SCODA by cities, includes significant training and capacity-building, which will directly build data capacity within the city and provide the know-how and materials needed to expand data skills throughout the city. SCODA comprises data and indicators organised around key thematic areas: productive cities, inclusive cities, sustainable cities, sustainable cities, well-governed cities, city demographics.

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM AND APPROACH?

The problem

  • A lot of city-level data and model-driven analytics are generated in South Africa; however, these are seldom shared, even between departments within a municipality.

The approach

  • The South African Cities Network (SACN) partnered with the Open Data Durban (now Open Cities Lab) to develop the SCODA data platform. Through SCODA, SACN sought to promote the sharing of insights and models to facilitate data driven decision-making in South Africa’s metros. OCL got into the partnership with a common vision of discontinuing the siloing of information and the locking-up of insights in static reports. (OCL website)

Which actors, resources, conditions, tools, etc. were required?

  • SACN and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented a demographic dynamics and finance study, conducted by UNISA in partnership with JICA in 2015/16 for six SACN’s member municipalities. SACN then partnered with OCL to build the SCODA web application as an interactive tool for the public and civic community to utilize. (Open data Durban & O’Donovan, 2017
LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The OCL began by building a set of interactive data dashboards to explore 12 indicators from the State of Cities Open Data Almanac. This work was followed by the development of a fully interactive data exploration system analysis builder, backed by CKAN, that allows users to explore all of SACN’s 102 city indicators and then combine this information with data from external sources like Wazimap, munimoney, and user’s own data. OCL also assisted with the development and hosting of an open population growth model, derived at the small-area layer (SAL) level, and augmented with night-light telemetry and voter registration data. In order to continue the work initiated through the population dynamics and finance study, through improvement of the model, making it usable and testing it on the SCODA platform, it became apparent that a more robust version of SCODA was necessary. As a next step, OCL is currently updating the UI/UX of the system and its data-story generation system.

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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.