Developing and supporting projects that empower citizens.

We partner with government, organisations, industry leaders and civil society to identify, gather and make accessible information that supports open communities and an empowered citizenry.

Image of a hand holding a cellphone with shapes, speech bubbles and a map pin

Who we've worked with

How we work

Driven by people

We use citizens in their daily lives as a starting point for identifying meaningful projects and shaping our organisational mission around improving their shared experience of living and engaging in South Africa.

Thriving on partnership

We prefer to think of ourselves as contributors and we’d prefer not to own everything we create. That is why we choose stakeholders and partners who can create a home and future for our projects to thrive.

Learning through experimentation

We avoid making assumptions about the value of our work through consistently testing and collecting feedback about how our tools fare in the real world, and in the hands of real people.

Supporting personal growth

We understand that the growth, experience, and development of our team, and those working with us, contributes to the quality and thoroughness of our decision-making.

Grounded in the constitution

In accordance with Section 32 of the South African Constitution, we seek to open data, both government and non-government in order to improve access to information, as well as the utilisation of citizen-centred technologies for the furtherance of transparency and good governance in the public and private sector.

Open source. Always

We don’t believe in reinventing the wheel, unless the need calls for it. So everything we create is open source and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License for you to use.

Meet the team

Core team

Board of directors

Interns

Past employees

Our funders

Frequently asked questions

What is OpenUp?

OpenUp is a civic technology organisation with a goal to inform, empower and activate citizens. Our mission is to use data and technology to promote informed decision-making in order to drive positive social change.

What is Open Data?

The Open Definition: Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike. Go to Open Definition for a full definition.

Why is Open Data Important?

Open Data, and more specifically Open Government Data, can help you make better decisions in your own life, or enable you to be a more active member of society. Economically, open data is of great importance as well. Studies have estimated the economic value of open data at several tens of billions of Euros annually in the EU alone.

Is OpenUp a non-profit organisation?

Yes, OpenUp is a non-profit organisation registered with the South African Department of Social Development, number 133-850NPO. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Where do you work?

The OpenUp team is based at Codebridge in Newlands, Cape Town. However many of our projects and programmes are run across South Africa and often target a national audience.

Do you develop apps and websites? 

We build digital tools and interventions that strive to promote and support an informed, empowered, and active citizenry. While some of these might take on the form of web apps or websites, we wouldn’t say we build apps and websites for a living.

How do you choose your projects?

Projects are chosen based on the expected impact, the alignment with our vision and mission, the availability of funding, and finally, whether there are people with the right skills in the organisation to carry them out. Anyone is free to propose projects for the organisation that align with the vision and mission. Read our vision and mission.

Can we partner with OpenUp on a project?

If you would like to partner with OpenUp on your project, please get in touch via info@openup.org.za. We look forward to hearing from you and moving our missions forward one project at a time.

Can I get a job at OpenUp?

We believe in personal development and commit to investing in our team and each individual's professional career. As a result, we’re always looking for talented people who can improve our team and organisation.If you're one of those people, we’re waiting to hear from you. Get in touch with us at jobs@openup.org.za.

How can I get involved?

Codebridge is an open community wherein we believe that we can use our collective interest in technology and social change to serve local communities and explore alternate ways of addressing South African social problems. If you’re interested in getting started with or hopping on an existing civic technology project, join us at one of our bi-monthly Codebridge community evenings.

Do you offer training or short courses?

OpenUp currently offers data-driven storytelling training for people working in the public and private sectors who need to communicate information in an effective and easy-to-understand way. The curriculum covers the full data processing pipeline from sourcing, cleaning, and analysing data to visualising and presenting your data to different audiences, online and offline. Our short courses have been developed from the pool of multidisciplinary knowledge of the OpenUp team: a team of post-corporate lecturers, data wranglers, developers, journalists, information architects and online media specialists, who work and innovate in this field on a daily basis.