Applied Research Lab

Applied research at OpenNorth means social science methods that provide insight into problems public institutions face. Our work at Open North’s Applied Research Lab includes the synthesis and mobilisation of knowledge and theory through research based in practical data and governance issues.

What is Applied Research?

At OpenNorth our work requires that we that we investigate how governments from local-to-global scales structure public data and allow for the creation of data ecosystems. Applied research means taking existing theories and methods and testing them with public institutions to deliver practical guidance and outcomes.

The creation of the Applied Research Lab reflected OpenNorth’s research-based mindset that emphasizes the development of evidence to support and inform organizational work at all governmental scales. The practical situations faced by governments and citizens around the world ground the research we do.

OpenNorth’s Applied Research Lab

Integration of research objectives into OpenNorth’s projects makes our work about building the right skills in governmental and public institutions that improve their ability to collect, manage, and analyse data. The Applied Research Lab uses empirical mixed methods research to build the capacity of governments, nonprofits, and other institutions to work with new forms of geospatial open data.

Our team possesses an interdisciplinary background in urban planning, international development, economics, and human geography. This enables the application of diverse analytical lenses to develop concrete deliverables important to public institutions. We partner with international organizations to make our local experience and expertise relevant and bring back knowledge to our community. In so doing, we contribute to the creation of research-based knowledge networks at a variety of scales.

As the core pillar of OpenNorth’s future work, applied research places emphasis on creating practical outcomes for problems institutions and communities face in facilitating data collection, bridging organisational silos, and structuring multi-stakeholder data collaboration. The Applied Research Lab helps the organization to work in different international contexts by building tailored capacity programs that engage national and local stakeholders undergoing organizational change.

To achieve all of its goals, the lab uses quantitative and qualitative methods to further data management, governance, interoperability, and engagement. The Applied Research Lab offers a wide variety of services and products that improve governance and civic participation. Partners throughout the world at local, regional, and national scales benefit from our ability to use empirical findings to improve governmental capacity to adopt innovation, data, and connected technology.


Applied Research Lab Team

Suthee Sangiambut

Applied Research Lead

Suthee is OpenNorth’s Applied Research Lead. As a geographer, he has researched and published academically on open data and civic apps. At OpenNorth, he has examined standards compliance in municipal open data, approaches to data standards adoption in government and civil society, and data modelling for public consultation data. He is responsible for OpenNorth's research agenda and leads OpenNorth's Applied Research Lab, which has worked on a range of issues from open data strategies to data literacy for civil servants and standardisation of public consultation data.

Miranda Sculthorp

Urban Research Analyst

Applied Research Lab

As an Urban Research Analyst at the Applied Research Lab, Miranda works closely with municipal government to increase transparency and civic engagement through the creation of open data policy and the planning of geospatial tools. She also works with local community networks to understand urban issues, and support these actors through data literacy and data sharing initiatives. Her research interests include food security, housing access and affordability, and gender-inclusion in city spaces. Miranda received her Master's of Urban Planning Degree from McGill University, and her Bachelor of Social Science degree in Economics and French from the University of Ottawa.

Hannah Ker

Open Data Analyst

Applied Research Lab

As an Open Data Analyst for the Applied Research Lab, Hannah works with government in various contexts to improve capacity for data-driven decision making. In this role, she has facilitated workshops, built online learning tools, and developed automated workflows for data analysis. Hannah has a degree on Urban Geography from McGill University, where she conducted her Honours Thesis research on perceptions Montreal's urban landscapes. Hannah is interested in exploring the ways that data can be used responsibly to improve decision-making in cities.

Marine Colon de Franciosi

Research Analyst

Applied Research Lab

As a Research Analyst at OpenNorth's Applied Research Lab, Marine’s works covers various topics such as open data and open government, data literacy, and urban systems and development. Marine holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Development from McGill University in Montreal. She is interested in measuring the socioeconomic returns to open data and her research interests also include the social and ethical implications of introducing artificial intelligence techniques in decision-making and governance processes.

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