Designing a mobile application to increase open data awareness and consumption in Namibia: A best practice example of public transportation in Windhoek

Author: Amugongo, Lameck

Over the past few years, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in the way public data is administered. The need to effectively manage public data has led to an increased adoption of open data initiatives by many governments. Open data is an initiative that advocates for public data to be freely available for all to use and redistribute without restrictions. However, lack of awareness about opportunities and the benefits of open data among citizens, as well as the steadfastness of governments to control certain public data are some of the challenges facing open data initiatives. Nevertheless, high mobile internet penetration and the effectiveness of persuasive computing present an opportunity to alleviate these challenges and unleash open data potential. Furthermore, the power of persuasive technologies such as mobile applications to influence and change user behaviours present even greater opportunities to create awareness on a larger scale. This study proposes a mobile application as a best practice example to increase awareness, persuade both government and citizens to change their attitudes towards open data and therefore increase the use of public data in Namibia. The developed mobile application using public bus stops geolocation data aims at improving access to public transportation services within the City of Windhoek. The obtained results show that the application could extract stops and routes, and schedule information from the database as well as display them to the user. However, the application could not track buses in real time.