Five Good Ideas

Five Good Ideas about how to use, share and contribute to Open Data

Published on 22/04/2015

Nonprofit organizations understand that having access to good, relevant and clear data is important for their work. No wonder then that these days there’s growing interest in engaging with the Open Data movement – a movement that has been driven by governments around the world looking to develop open data policies to become more accountable, effective, efficient and transparent.

In this Five Good Ideas session, Harvey Low provided ideas on how the nonprofit sector can communicate its priorities to government, in particular local municipalities, around what types of data it needs. At the same time he suggested ways that the sector can position itself as a source of open data to support public policy. Harvey calls it the new frontier of open data: The ways in which local municipalities and nonprofit organizations can work together towards innovation and mutual social policy goals.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Data is not just for geeks
  2. You don’t realize what you have
  3. Bridge the data policy divide
  4. Technology can be a friend
  5. Walk the talk (make open data real)

Five Good Resources

  1. Wellbeing Toronto
  2. Open Data Portal
  3. Current Open Data across Canada
  4. Open Government Partnership
  5. Make Web Not War

Harvey Low

Manager, Social Research & Analysis Unit, Representative on Open Government Committee, City of Toronto

With a degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Ryerson University, Harvey Low has over 25 years of experience as an Urban Planner and Geographer with a focus on social research. Currently the manager of the Social Research & Analysis Unit at the City of Toronto, Harvey has worked on a number of City open data policy initiatives including the City’s Open Data initiative, and is lead on the City’s newest open data mapping portal called Wellbeing Toronto ( He has spoken at numerous open data events. He now serves locally on the City of Toronto’s new internal Open Government Committee, and was sent by Canada to the international 2012 Open Government Partnership Meetings in Brazil to help develop national open data initiatives.