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Why Opening Government Data Alone Can’t Cure Kenya’s Broken Health Care System

Ida Jooste (Internews)
Data Liquidity Salon H-K
Workshop Please note: to attend, your registration must include Workshops on Wednesday.
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In many ways Kenya’s health data leapfrogged other nations’ long journey to data liquidity by launching an open data platform without an access to information law. With accelerated access, the government, civil society and journalists need to be on the fast-track to data literacy to address the widespread health crisis in Kenya.

This presentation will review the last two years of Kenya’s Open Data Initiative from the perspective of a journalism training NGO dedicated to proving the quality of health information made available to the public through the news media. We will present three key strategies for making health data into a powerful public policy tool: data collection by local health NGOs, education of government officials in data literacy and data journalism for Kenya’s vibrant media sector.

The model for open health data is drastically different outside the Western World and this presentation hopes to provide a holistic perspective on the future of health data to tackle global health issues. Kenya’s experiment to inviting government, NGOs, journalists and citizens to envision a national health infrastructure is a public health policy approach that can also be applied in developing countries whose healthcare systems face distinct challenges but where the public’s understanding of key health issues is vital.

Photo of Ida  Jooste

Ida Jooste


Ida Jooste is the Country Director for Internews Kenya – a seasoned television, radio and print journalist and news manager, journalism trainer and media development manager. As journalist, Ms. Jooste’s work spanned African politics, development, science and health journalism, elections programming and investigative documentary production. A winner of over 20 journalism awards, she has played a leading role in political and social development journalism for the past 20 years, in various capacities at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), as consultant, university guest lecturer and most recently as Country Director at Internews in Kenya, where she has oversight of a growing portfolio of health, human rights and democracy and governance related journalism training programs.

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