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Introducing the CKAN Association

Rufus Pollock - March 18, 2014 in Association, Community, Featured, News

We are pleased to announce the CKAN “Association”. The Association will manage and oversee the CKAN project going forward, supporting the growth of CKAN, its community and stakeholders. The Association reflects more than a year of discussion and consultation with key stakeholders and the wider community.

Key aspects of the Association are:

  • A Steering Group and Advisory Group which oversee the project and represent stakeholders.
  • Specific teams to look after particular areas such as a “Technical Team” to oversee technical development and a “Content and Outreach team” to oversee materials (including project website) and drive community engagement
  • Membership to allow stakeholders to contribute to the longer-term sustainability of the project – more below

The Association has its formal institutional home at the Open Knowledge Foundation but is autonomous and has its own independent governance, in the form the Steering Group which is drawn from major CKAN stakeholders. The Open Knowledge Foundation, who are the original creators of CKAN, continue to contribute to CKAN at all levels but the Association allows others – from government users to suppliers of CKAN services – to have a formal role in the development of CKAN project going forward.


The CKAN Association will have members. Membership is a way for individuals, companies and organisations to support the CKAN Project and be recognised for doing so. By becoming a member you are helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of CKAN.

Member organizations are expected to contribute resources – either through contributing money or providing in-kind resources such as staff time. Members receive recognition for their contribution through display on the website, participation in events etc.

You can find more information about membership here »

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Create the Association?

Over the last few years CKAN has seen rapid growth in terms of technology, deployments, and the community. It is now the basis of dozens of major sites around the world, including national data portals in the UK, US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Austria and Norway. There also has been substantial growth in the developer and vendor community deploying, customising and working with CKAN.

We believe that, as with many open-source projects when they achieve a certain size, the time has come to bring some more structure to the community of CKAN developers and users. By doing so we aim to provide a solid foundation for the future growth of the project, and to empower more explicitly its growing array of stakeholders.

Will the CKAN Association be a Separate Legal Entity?

No, at least not initially. The association will retains its legal home at the Open Knowledge Foundation operating as a self-governed and autonomous project. If a strong need for a separate legal entity arises this is something that the Steering Committee will consider in due course.

How will the CKAN Association relate to the Open Knowledge Foundation’s technical consulting around CKAN?

These 2 activities will be strictly separated. The CKAN Services team at the Open Knowledge Foundation will no doubt participate in the CKAN Association as stakeholders similar to other organizations and groups but will have no special rights or privileges.

What “Assets” will the Association have responsibility for?

The Association will have responsibility for items such as:

  • The primary CKAN codebase
  • The CKAN project roadmap including overseeing and steering technical development of CKAN
  • Oversee and drive user and community engagement
  • The website and any related media assets
  • Managing any project finances and resources (e.g. from membership fees)

Will the CKAN Association have dedicated staff?

We imagine that the CKAN Association may appoint dedicated staff on an as needed basis and where there are resources to do so (also note that Members may contribute in kind resources in the form of staff time). However, at least initially, the CKAN Association will not have dedicated staff but will have in-kind support time provided by the Open Knowledge Foundation and other key stakeholders.

Improvements to the CKAN Roadmap Process

Rufus Pollock - March 13, 2014 in Community, News, Roadmap

We have switched to a Github issue tracker for tracking and managing the ideas in the CKAN Roadmap (see also this pretty version).

As detailed previously we have a public process for managing the roadmap for CKAN.

This was being managed in Trello but is moving to a Github issue tracker.

We have also updated the Roadmap page to give more information about the Roadmap and how it works:

The Roadmap provides stakeholders in CKAN, including users, developers and vendors, with the ability to shape and understand the future technical path for CKAN. Specifically, the Roadmap provides for:

  • Suggesting new ideas and features for CKAN
  • Prioritizing these into a schedule for future work especially on “core” CKAN

We emphasize that ideas don’t just have to be about improvements to the core CKAN software – for example, the idea of creating a new phone app client for CKAN would be perfect thing to submit.

Lastly, we should emphasize that, of course, just because an item is in the ideas tracker does not mean it will get worked on. If you want a certain feature implemented then the best way to ensure that happens is to sponsor its development – get in touch for more information

Check out the Roadmap

New ideas and current roadmap itself are managed via an issue tracker on github.

Idea issue tracker along with instructions on now to make new suggestions »

Prettier column-based view of the ideas and roadmap »

Improve how the CKAN Community Works – Your Suggestions Wanted

Rufus Pollock - March 11, 2014 in Community

We want to collect ideas about how to improve how the CKAN Community works — whether that’s a change to the website, creating a new help forum or making it easier to locate relevant documentation.

A key first step is to identify and prioritize the needs of the Community.

That’s where we want your help! We’ve created a shared editable document where people can contribute their thoughts and idea on what is needed and how to provide it:

Shared Document for Our Ideas – Take a Look and Contribute Now »

Please jump in and add your suggestions and thoughts on what you most want (and how that could be provided).

Note: we are not looking for suggestions on how to improve the CKAN the software (if you have ideas there please see the Roadmap page)