Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Open Data Inventory (ODIN)?

The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) is an evaluation of the coverage and openness of data provided on the websites maintained by national statistical offices (NSOs) and any official government website that is accessible from the NSO site. The overall ODIN score is an indicator of how complete and open an NSO’s data offerings are. The summary scores for social, economic, and environmental statistics and summary scores for coverage and openness provide a picture of the national statistical systems’ strengths and weaknesses.

What is ODIN’s purpose?

ODIN helps identify critical gaps, promote open data policies, improve data access, and encourages dialogue between NSOs and data users. NSOs and their development partners can use ODIN as part of a strategic planning process and as a measuring rod for the development of the statistical system.

ODIN provides valuable information to data users across the government, the private sector, and the public about the availability of important statistical series. In addition to the ratings of coverage and openness in over twenty topical categories, ODIN assessments record the online location of key indicators in each category, permitting quick access to over 50 indicators.

Why assess national statistical offices?

ODIN assessments begin with the websites maintained by national statistical offices because, in most countries, the NSO is the lead agency of the national statistical system, coordinating its work with other governmental bodies that produce official statistics. If an official national data source can be accessed from the NSO’s website, it is included in the ODIN assessment. NSOs, as producers and caretakers of official statistics, have a special obligation to maximize their public benefit.

NSOs can and should be the leading advocates for and providers of high quality, official statistics to government, the public, the private sector, and the international community.

How are open data defined?

There is general agreement on the core meaning of open data. As summarized in the Open Definition, version 2.1, “Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it — subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness.” This definition has been operationalized in the International Open Data Charter. In practical terms, open data should be machine readable in non-proprietary formats, accompanied by descriptive metadata and export options that allow customization and bulk download, and should be free to be used and reused for any purpose without limitations other than acknowledgement of the original source. These requirements have been incorporated in the five elements of the ODIN openness assessment.

What data categories are included?

ODIN assessments review published statistics in over twenty topical categories, grouped under social statistics, economic and financial statistics, and environmental statistics. In ODIN 2020/21, there are 22 categories. The default ODIN overall score weights the three groups equally. In each category, representative indicators were selected because they are frequently needed for public policies or private initiatives and because they provide evidence of underlying statistical processes for which statistical offices are responsible. The data categories in ODIN 2020/21 are:

Social Statistics
1. Population and Vital Statistics
2. Education Facilities
3. Education Outcomes
4. Health Facilities
5. Health Outcomes
6. Reproductive Health
7. Food Security and Nutrition
8. Gender Statistics
9. Crime and Justice Statistics
10. Poverty and Income Statistics
Economic and Financial Statistics
11. National Accounts
12. Labor Statistics
13. Price Indexes
14. Government Finance
15. Money and Banking
16. International Trade
17. Balance of Payments
Environmental Statistics
18. Agriculture and Land Use
19. Resource Use
20. Energy
21. Pollution
22. Built Environment

What type of indicators are assessed in ODIN?

ODIN indicators are meant to be representative of the types of data a national statistical system produces. Most indicators do not have strict definitions and related indicators can act as substitutes. The selection of indicators has been informed by many international agencies, as well as country practices and the Sustainable Development Goals. Not all indicators in ODIN are required for full credit to account for different country contexts. To see a list of indicators, their definitions, and accepted substitute indicators, please see the ODIN 2020/21 Methodology Guide.

How many countries does ODIN cover?

ODIN 2015 assessed 125 countries; ODIN 2016 assessed 173; ODIN 2017 assessed 180 countries; ODIN 2018/19 assessed 178 countries; and ODIN 2020/21 assessed 187 countries.

When and how was ODIN 2020/21 conducted?

The ODIN 2020/21 assessments were carried out between May 1 and August 15, 2020. To conduct these assessments, Open Data Watch hired and trained a group of researchers skilled in various languages to complete the first round of assessments. Following the initial assessment, each country underwent two rounds of reviews. Data published after August 15, 2020 were not used in this assessment.

What is new in ODIN 2020/21?

ODIN 2020/21 sees the addition of a new category, Food Security and Nutrition that includes three new indicators. A new indicator is included in the category Agriculture and Land Use and two new indicators are included in the category Built Environment.

Do NSOs participate in the ODIN research process?

Open Data Watch invites all countries’ NSOs to provide feedback on the datasets recorded in ODIN. Each NSO is contacted at least 3 times between March and May 2020 by email. If NSOs agree to participate, they are provided a spreadsheet with the datasets found by the ODIN team and given a month to provide feedback on those datasets. Their feedback is reviewed and incorporated into the final assessment.

What is the ODIN Gender Index?

ODIN assessments review 20 indicators in 8 statistical categories that require sex-disaggregated data or apply only to women. These 8 categories are included in the ODIN Gender Index along with two more categories whose data are not sex-disaggregated but have important consequences for women. These ten data categories are equally weighted in the ODIN gender index:

1. Population and vital statistics
2. Education outcomes
3. Health outcomes
4. Reproductive health
5. Food security and nutrition
6. Gender statistics
7. Crime statistics
8. Labor statistics
Not sex-disaggregated
9. Poverty statistics
10. Built environment

Users can construct similar measures by downloading data from the ODIN website. See a discussion of the 2020/2021 Gender Index in the ODIN 2020/2021 report and executive summary.