CKAN Association – Managing and Overseeing CKAN

The CKAN Association, established in 2014, manages and oversees the CKAN project, supporting the growth of CKAN, its community and stakeholders. 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 “Community and Communications team” to oversee materials (including project website) and drive community engagement
  • A Membership program for organizations and individuals to participate in CKAN and contribute to its long-term sustainability

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, will 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 the 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.

Members 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.

See the Members page for more details including the Membership tiers.

Organization and Structure

Steering Group

This will be made out of the key stakeholders who have committed to oversee and steer the CKAN Association going forward. See the Steering Group page for more information.

Technical Team

The technical team are the “official committers” for the CKAN software and related technologies. See the Technical Team page for more information.

Community and Communications Team

The community and communications team manage engagement, promotion and outreach around CKAN. See the Community and Communication Team page for more details.

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group members are representatives of organizations and companies that support CKAN.

While the Advisory Group does not have decision-making authority for the CKAN Association, its members communicate with the Steering Group and help it guide the overall direction of CKAN and the CKAN Association.

The Group meets regularly on the phone and at least once a year in person, usually at OKFestival. The aim of these meetings is to

  • Understand the Advisory Group’s needs, and express them to the community.
  • Express the community’s needs to the Advisory Group, especially when it’s something they can help with.
  • Get feedback from the Advisory Board on our plans.

Note: usually to be a member of the Advisory Board, an organization must be a Gold member (or if less than 30 employees Silver Member). This requirement may be waived for invited non-profit organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Who Will Oversee and Set the CKAN Technical Roadmap

The CKAN Technical Roadmap will be overseen and controlled by the Technical Team. The Steering Group help steer and oversee the overall project but do not have any direct input to the Roadmap as that is owned by the Technical Team.