New Open Knowledge Hub launches at Open Development camp

9 October 2014

IDS launches new open knowledge hub at this year's Open Development Camp. A key aspect of the hub’s design is to raise the profile of diverse perspectives on development, paying particular attention to research content from developing countries.

The new Oriel Open Knowlege Hub is being launched on Friday 10 October, at Open Development Camp 2014. IDS is hosting a panel discussion which will focus on the present realities of open content in International Development, looking at the challenges of operating in a multilingual/ multi genre world. This event will be webcast live and available to watch again.

The hub is a collaborative "Open Data" platform for sharing digital content about development that aims to improve the supply and accessibility of content that supports evidence-informed policy making and practice by development actors. A key aspect of the hub’s design is to raise the profile of diverse perspectives on development, paying particular attention to research content from developing countries.

Peter Mason, Project Technical Lead said "The Oriel Open Knowledge Hub project works collaboratively with partners, using peer support to help think through the issues and implications of opening up data, through shared learning and via technical development… Working together in this way will enable us to share content better and to link us all into the new world of open knowledge."

Sheila Siar, Philippines Institute for Development Studies, one of the international partners, said "[The Hub project] means innovation….not just innovation when it comes to the use of new technologies and tools but also innovations in our approaches to knowledge brokering and intermediation..."

Three services hosted by IDS – British Library for Development Studies (BLDS), Eldis and BRIDGE – will contribute to the Hub. Other organisations that have relevant material and are committed to making this available as open content, can contribute to the Hub. The team are keen to work with new partners who share the Oriel Open Knowledge Hub goal of raising the profile of Southern perspectives on development.

OK Hub components

There are various components to the Hub that have all been developed in parallel. These include:

  • The Hub admin interface: This is the interface by which contributions of content to the Hub can be managed and updated. 
  • The Hub data store: The data store itself has been developed using the open source Drupal CMS and will house a range of documents that have been submitted by our launch partners.
  • The Hub augmentation layer: This is where the mapping of different data structures to connect one set of data to the others happens. E.g. mapping taxonomies.
  • The Hub SOLR index: SOLR is a clever OpenSource search index that makes it possible for users to construct complex searches of the content (using the API) to identify what’s useful to them.
  • The Hub API: The application programming interface is how users of the Hub will gain access to the content. Associated documentation and an “Explorer” to help people develop API queries has also been developed.
  • Plugins and widgets: an initial set of plugins allowing popular content management systems to interact with the Hub have been developed. The project aims to develop further tools to help showcase content that are relevant to partner’s needs.
  • The Hub Data Explorer: This tool provides a simple interface that enables developers, website managers and content providers to explore the scope of the content sources in the Hub without having to register to use the API. 
  • The Hub Website: A brochure website for the Oriel Open Knowledge Hub project is being launched. will bring all of this together in one space.

The Oriel Open Knowledge Hub is an output of the Global Open Knowledge Hub (GOKH) project, an IDS programme funded by DFID from April 2013 to April 2016.

For more information, please contact Kelly Shephard.