Investment to Strengthen the CKAN Open-Source Ecosystem by the U.S. National Science Foundation

A significant investment made by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in the CKAN open data ecosystem through the Pathways to Enable Open Source Ecosystems (POSE) funding program. The NSF's investment aims to enhance the CKAN ecosystem by creating inclusive onboarding pathways, developing new processes for product and community management, promoting CKAN adoption, and more.


The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a significant investment to strengthen the CKAN open data ecosystem through its Pathways to Enable Open Source Ecosystems (POSE) funding program. POSE was created to support open-source technologies that provide solutions to problems of national and societal importance. The NSF investment in the CKAN ecosystem will enable people from around the world to work together to build the open future they want to see.

Key Objectives of the NSF Investment

With support provided by the NSF, members of the ecosystem will work together to:

  • Create clearly defined onboarding pathways that welcome and encourage people underrepresented in technology communities to make a meaningful contribution to the ecosystem;
  • Develop new processes to design, organize, and manage products, activities, and events that improve the software and strengthen relationships among members of the community;
  • Promote the adoption of CKAN;
  • Upgrade users to the latest version of the software. Technical assistance provided by the project team will help existing CKAN users minimize security vulnerabilities;
  • Track the ecosystem’s ongoing health through performance measures, refreshing the CKAN business plan, and updating the funding strategy to account for changing open data and open society landscapes.

The Importance of CKAN

The ability to access information is important for building trust in government and holding leaders accountable. Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) has been an important open-source data management software platform used in hundreds of open data, open government, and open science initiatives around the world. The CKAN open-source software powers many transparency initiatives including open data catalogs in the United States, Singapore, Mexico, London, Istanbul, and the Humanitarian Data Exchange of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Background and Management

CKAN was created by Rufus Pollock as part of his work as founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), and the product and the ecosystem that sustains it has evolved over the past 18 years. CKAN is now managed by two co-steward organizations, Datopian and Link Digital, with the assets held in trust by OKFN. In addition to the founder, trustee, and stewards, an ecosystem of consultants, developers, adopting organizations, and data users have come together to support the product by creating product road maps, developing new features, managing the code base, communications, and community building activities. Learn more about CKAN on the project’s website, newsletter, and through CKAN Monthly Live events.

Recent and Future Developments

A team composed of faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh and datHere were first awarded a planning grant in 2022 to guide fellow CKAN community members in developing a plan to strengthen the CKAN ecosystem. This new award will enable this project team to support members of the ecosystem in implementing the strategy.

Further Information

For more information about the work funded through POSE, please visit the project website, at, or contact:

This project (National Science Foundation award number 2346002) is funded by the Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (POSE) program, which seeks to harness the power of open-source development for the creation of new technology solutions to problems of national and societal importance.

Note: This post is a cross-post originally published on June 17, 2024, at Civic Data Ecosystem's website.