Publish at May 06 2021 Updated October 29 2021

How to Use Open School Data

Promoting Ethics and Limiting Corruption in Education

"Open school data is a powerful tool. Properly used, it can foster citizen control over the transfer and use of financial, physical, and human resources.

They hold local and school authorities to account, they can help improve service delivery, and they can identify poor practice within schools - and most importantly, open school data is a lever for citizens to assert their right to quality education."

The "Open school data: what planners need to know" 2021 - is available as a free download.

It addresses 5 crucial issues:

  • the choice of content
  • the choice of data format,
  • its use
  • its accountability
  • the inherent risks.

"This guide also intends to be a tool for education stakeholders wishing to overcome corruption, which is a real obstacle to achieving equitable and inclusive quality education for all"
Muriel Poisson, a specialist in ethics and corruption in education at IIEP.

The book offers practical guidelines on how to design and implement open data policies in schools. It also includes a very useful checklist, summarizing who is supposed to do what.

  1. Define a clear policy framework on open data: analyze the rationale for adopting an open data policy, clarify roles and responsibilities, and set expectations based on a theory of change.

  2. Prioritize data that can drive positive change: select the most relevant data on the current state of schools and focus on indicators that are comparable over time and across schools.

  3. Create a robust information management system: embed open school data initiatives in the existing education management information system, organize technical training to teach school staff how to track the data, and disseminate the information promptly.

  4. Opt for an attractive presentation of the data: make the data accessible both online and offline in a public space where everyone can see it easily. Accompany them with explanations to avoid misinterpretation, use simple language, and add tables and graphs.

  5. Make sure that the data is accessible to all: send school dashboards to all principals, adopt legal provisions for data disclosure, and organize awareness campaigns in local languages to alert citizens.

  6. Strengthen stakeholders' capacity to act on information: increase awareness of administrative staff and teachers on the main principles of open school data, inform citizens about their educational rights, and organize information sessions for students.

  7. Support efforts to improve accountability and fight corruption: select data that can highlight areas most at risk of corruption, clarify the consequences of corrupt practices, and evolve the goals of open data initiatives over time from an information and communication tool to a true accountability instrument.

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