Iwacu Open Data

Iwacu Open Data

Organisation: Iwacu Press Group (Burundi)

Publication Date: 04/09/2017

Size of team/newsroom:large



Iwacu Open Data portal aims to be a reference for the newsroom but also a tool for citizenship and democracy, with encouraging the reuse of the data by organisations, scholars, citizen… It is the first open data portal in Burundi and its journalistic context (and requirements) gives the project credibility and the insurance of accountability. Recognized as the watchdog of democracy, the freedom of the press is essential and the open data portal will be a tool with a high added value for those who believe strongly that a democracy has to rely on high quality level information. If journalists analyse and comment, data give clues to understand and to make its own opinion. IWACU Open Data portal will present all kind of data about Burundi: economics, social, demographic, politics… Other data from other portals will be integrated, to get all of the data available on the same place. Those data would be verify too, because this project is also a journalistic tool. As data quality is in the heart of the project, all datasets are collected and verified by professional journalists. The open data portal will be available in French and in English, two national languages in Burundi. Journalism in Burundi is more and more difficult to practice since the political crisis. As one of the last independent media in Burundi, IWACU is still standing due to his high level of professionalism: no unverified information is published, debates must be balanced, standard ethics rules are strictly observed by journalists. This independent voice is essential to balance politic propagandas. It is also essential to provide a clear view of what is happening now in Burundi. The open data portal helps to reach this aim.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This project is innovative because it is the first and only open data portal about Burundi. It is also developing in a very difficult political context and we think that the journalistic touch of Iwacu, where high level standards are respected, can be more trusted by audiences. When we give our data, we give a part of our work, with transparency. The data portal could also be useful for researchers and students, even for journalists who are not living in Burundi and who wants to documentate their article about a specific aspect. We have launched the data portal with no financial means, despite the difficult economical situation. The fact is that we believe in our project and we are not alone : many readers have encourage us in this way. This is the most rewarding!

Technologies used for this project:

All technologies used are open source and are based around a WordPress theme. Data are cleaned with open refine and available in an open format CSV. As we need financial support, we don't have a data server yet (CKAN, we'd like).


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