Citizens accessing the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) are struggling to navigate the platform and find the information they are looking for, according to a survey conducted by iHub Research.
The lack of awareness, iHub said, has contributed to the loss of potential citizen engagement on the platforms.
The research programme, entitled “Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries”, was coordinated by the World Wide Web Foundation and funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
According to the survey the low quality of available data is hindering its usage and value of the platform in Kenya.
“Observations from our usability experiments indicated that participants found the KODI platform difficult to navigate and were unable to access the specific information they were interested in,” the survey said, adding well-designed and implemented technology intermediaries enhance the usability of open data.
The project set out to monitor and assess the impact of the open data applications and initiatives in promoting and facilitating the mass use of open data, while also studying and assessing the post-implementation process of initiatives that use data from the portal.
The research said there was a clear information mismatch between what was available and what citizens wanted, with data on the platform not regularly updated and government agencies not having a framework in place to frequently publish data.
It said many developers had to spend time finding and cleaning the data, sometimes complementing it with additional data from other sources.
To counter these issues the report suggested seeking feedback and engagement from citizens to ensure the data provided is demand-driven, improving quality of the available data, and ensuring improvement on the general usability of the platform.