- Increased government transparency and accountability
- Increased government efficiency and effectiveness
- Increased citizen participation and inclusion
- Increased number of services to people
- New business opportunities and jobs
- New synergies between government, public administration and civil society organizations
- Increased innovation and development
- Better democratic systems
The Web Foundation believes that the development of Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives in low and middle-income countries would have a critical impact on their future development. Such initiatives should focus on releasing information that matters to improve peoples' lives and the society at large, and ideally leading to achieve the Open Government paradigm shift in those countries. The Web Foundation proposes to demonstrate and accelerate global adoption of Open Data in the citizen-government context by a) conducting actions at a local scale that can be replicated globally, such as building locally sustainable OGD ecosystems in specific countries and b) actions at a global scale for supporting countries to achieve the promises and benefits of Open Data.
We address the needs of a wide range of stakeholders including politicians, public officers, citizens, NGOs, civil society organizations, private business, academia and media while promoting a holistic approach to Open Government Data. In order to do so, we work across six dimensions - institutional, legal, organizational, technical, social and economic. We do so by taking two approaches:
We will help build locally sustainable Open Data ecosystems in one or more low or middle-income countries to improve our understanding of the issues and to serve as shining examples. We want to help developing countries to realizing the promises and benefits of Open Data. The deliverables in those projects will range from national regulation to OGD training materials for entrepreneurs.
Community Building and Outreach
We will continue to provide leadership and to start building global community and associated resources to ensure that shining examples are easily replicable, and that challenges are understood across all dimensions.
Global Directory of Resources
The Web Foundation will contribute and help collect resources including use cases, case studies, stories and anecdotes, papers, reports, training material that the global OGD community can share, collaborate on, and learn from - all curated via trustworthy sources.
As initiatives mature, governments and society will inevitably question outcomes and future needs. We will help support the development of research models in order to address challenges that arise early in the process.
Impact Assessment and Indexing of Initiatives
The monitoring and evaluation of Open Data programs is still in its infancy. Furthermore, there are neither standard metrics nor methodologies so studies that are been published have limited functionality. It is clearly needed to produce a Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Open Data initiatives to assess impact across all the six dimensions. This would also allow comparison of initiatives and could potentially lead to an Open Data Index.
Development of an Open Data Research Agenda
Even the most advanced initiatives are uncovering unforeseen challenges. A global research agenda will help the community better understand how best to identify, document and address the challenges of developing stronger, more sustainable OGD systems.
Status and Projects
We have completed initial assessments of two countries' readiness for implementing Open Government Data programs, in Ghana and in Chile. Initially, we developed a methodology and a set of composite indicators to define OGD Readiness of a given country. These indicators range from political willingness, the public administration readiness, and the civil society interest and readiness. We followed this by conducting research to provide quantitative and qualitative data in preparation for in-country visits, during which we met with key stakeholders to refine the assessment of OGD readiness in their country. Final reports are available for Ghana
A third feasibility study will be conducted in Indonesia
with support from the Ford Foundation.
In January 2012, we began work developing the Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI). The Ministry of Communications through the National Information and Technology Agency (NITA)
engaged the Web Foundation upon publication of the nation's feasibility report and its recommendations. In the meantime, the roll-out of the eGovernment Network Infrastructure (GovNET)
across the 10 regions in Ghana was completed. With the GovNET in place, data collection and dissemination by Ministries, Departments and Agencies will be easier and will spark innovation and development with reuse of data so disseminated.
Community of Practice
We also started a Community of Practice in partnership with the World Bank in October 2011 and have kept a high level of participation in OGD related communities.
In partnership with the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Berkman Center at Harvard University, and with funding from IDRC, a group of Open Data experts has convened as a community of researchers and practitioners to think about how to assess whether and how OGD initiatives and projects are realizing their promises. This network is tasked with developing the appropriate research questions, and designing and developing a research plan to uncover whether OGD is achieving the positive results that justify its activities. Visit opendataresearch.org
to learn more.