People-centered informed decision
making for participatory democracy.

what we do

We focus on two key outcomes, cities that are open, inclusive, and people driven; and empowering informed decision-making in change agents and watchdogs in civil society, government, the media and the citizenry that leads to implemented positce social change. Most often, the two focusses of Open Cities and Civic Data Science go hand in hand and work together to realise impact.

99DC18BD-2DF6-48F3-A5D9-3230F60CE8E3 Created with sketchtool. Open Cities Lab Our open cities lab is an action research lab that aims to use implementable learnings to reverse the factors that lead to exclusion, centralisation of power, and loss of agency in cities, especially focussed on vulnerable communities. Our partners include amongst others local and national government, research institutes and universities, all focussed on projects that seek to provide implementable knowledge and usable tools to citizens and to those responsible for forming our future cities. Co-design and engagement are core to the work of the open cities lab. PEOPLE- CENTERED inclusion usable insights Responsible Data informed decision- making active citizens data science action research transparency user needs citizens first data democracy positive intervention Civic Data Lab The civic data lab leverages cutting edge data science and civic technology within user-led-and-defined frame to provide change agents with enhanced and informed decision-making, analytical capability, and data and knowledge management. We aid our partners and users to be able to process large amounts of structured and unstructured information and data, and together build the tools to use these insights to drive change that leads to participatory democracy, transparency and accountability social accountability
4D9D7453-7990-4C89-95C2-E0C115A59910 Created with sketchtool. Civic Data Lab The Civic Data Lab leverages cutting edge data science and civic technology within user-led-and-defined frame to provide change agents with enhanced and informed decision-making, analytical capability, and data and knowledge management. Open Cities Lab The Open Cities Lab is an action-research team that aims to produce and share evidence on strategies for cities across the world to be more open and inclusive in city building, city services, governance and planning. PEOPLE- CENTERED inclusion usable insights Responsible Data informed decision- making active citizens data science action research transparency user needs citizens first data democracy positive intervention social accountability

We use design thinking, agile development and human-centred design to ensure any initiative starts with focus on a person's problem, and ends with that person's problem solved for them. Throughout the spectrum of our work, we seek to put people at centre, and believe strongly in empowering active citizens and organisations working for postive social change.


who we are

Open Data Durban is a non-profit organisation that works to realise people-centric participatory democracy.

We have two key focusses: future cities that are open, inclusive and supportive to all residents; and providing data-driven tools to innovators, change-agents and watchdogs in civil society, government, the media and citizens that empower them to make informed decisions that they can act on to enable positive social change. Our outputs largely fall into either civic technology / civic data science or action research, and often cut across both. All of our outputs, whether technology or action research, are deeply rooted in openness, open data principles and democratising knowledge.

We have been operating for over three years, fuelled by the support of partners, donors and other supporters. You can find out more about our work and impact in our case studies below.


our projects: case studies

We have been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some inspiring people, partners and donors in trying to achieve impact through our open cities and civic data science labs. Here are some of the projects we have worked on and the learnings from them.