Since its inception in 2004, the Open Knowledge Foundation has been investing in technology, training, policy and research to pioneer openness in new areas. We have played a central role in creating and driving forward open knowledge and open data around the world.

We have extensive experience and expertise related to legal, technological and community aspects of open data and have provided consultancy, research, community management and technology solutions for a wide range of international clients. A solid track record puts us at the forefront in developing core data infrastructure tools as well as formulating best practices of open data and building communities that use open data to address societal challenges.

What we have achieved

We have helped governments, universities and civil society organisations reach their potential by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use and understand data. We are the experts in opening up knowledge: we created the Open Definition in 2005, the gold standard for open data, and have delivered technology solutions, enhanced data literacy, provided cutting-edge research and mobilised communities to provide value with partners across the globe.

Grounded in people’s informational needs, we develop data infrastructure and tools to make data useful and usable, run data skills trainings and coordinate research to understand how the public can organise and collaborate around information in new ways.

Our track record includes the development of pioneering databases for fiscal and medical transparency, world leading open data benchmarks such as the Global Open Data Index, and data training programs with non-profit organisations such as Global Witness. We work with a range of international non-governmental organisations, such as Transparency International, as well as governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, United States, Panama, Sweden and Northern Ireland.


  • Our world-leading open source CKAN software has been used to publish more than 2 million open datasets. There are hundreds of deployments around the world including those from governments in the USA, UK and Brazil. 

  • Our Open Definition provided the first definition of open data in 2005 and has become and remains the key internationally-recognised “standard”.

  • Our School of Data has trained thousands of people in person on 4 continents and online to use data for good.

  • Our Frictionless Data project is a collection of lightweight specifications and tooling for effortless collection, sharing and validation of data. In 2017, we released the Frictionless Data specifications V1.0, as well as the Frictionless Data Field Guide that provides step-by-step instructions for improving your data publishing workflow.

  • OpenSpending is the largest open database of public financial information in the world. It makes use of the [Open] Fiscal Data Package, a lightweight and user-oriented format for publishing and consuming fiscal data that we developed.

  • Our Global Open Data Index provided the most comprehensive snapshot available of the state of open government data publication.

  • Our Open Data Handbook is the definitive guide to open data, and is now published in more than 20 languages.

  • We facilitate open data events, such as Open Data Day, the annual celebration of open data all over the world, and csv,conf, a community conference for data makers everywhere. We have also ran large global open data events, including the first international open government data event in the world in 2010, and the Open Knowledge Festival in 2012 (Helsinki) and 2014 (Berlin)