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Open Data Study

From: Jose Manuel Alonso <josema.alonso@fundacionctic.org>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 23:20:07 +0200
Message-Id: <FDE944C6-BAA3-48C6-BC2F-EFEBC62CE20C@fundacionctic.org>
To: eGov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Just released. I'm sure it's of interest to many of you.


Open Data Study

Date: May 2010
Source: Transparency and Accountability Initiative
Author: Becky Hogge
Substantial social and economic gains can be made from opening  
government data to the public. The combination of geographic, budget,  
demographic, services, education, and other data, publicly available  
in an open format on the web, promises to improve services as well as  
create future economic growth.

This approach has been recently pioneered by governments in the United  
States and the United Kingdom (with the launch of two web portals - www.data.gov 
  and www.data.gov.uk respectively) inspired in part by applications  
developed by grassroots civil society  organizations ranging from  
bicycle accidents maps to sites breaking down how and where tax money  
is spent. In the UK, the data.gov.uk initiative was spearheaded by Tim  
Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

This research, commissioned by a consortium of funders and NGOs  
(including the Information Program) under the umbrella of the  
Transparency and Accountability Initiative, seeks to explore the  
feasibility of applying this approach to open data in relevant middle  
income and developing countries. Its aim is to identify the strategies  
used in the US and UK contexts with a view to building a set of  
criteria to guide the selection of pilot countries, which in turn  
suggests a template strategy to open government data.

The report finds that in both the US and UK, a three-tiered drive was  
at play. The three groups of actors who were crucial to the projects'  
success were:

  * Civil society, and in particular a small and motivated group of  
"civic hackers";

  * An engaged and well-resourced "middle layer" of skilled government  
bureaucrats; and

  * A top-level mandate, motivated by either an outside force (in the  
case of the UK) or a refreshed political administration hungry for  
change (in the US).

As Tim Berners-Lee observed in interview "It has to start at the top,  
it has to start in the middle and it has to start at the bottom." The  
conclusion to this report strengthens that assertion, and warns those  
attempting to mirror the successes of the UK and US projects not to  
neglect any of these three layers of influence.

Based on these findings, and on interviews conducted with a selection  
of domain and region experts to refine these observations for a  
developing and middle-income country context (where a fourth tier of  
potential drivers towards open data - in the shape of international  
aid donors - is identified) the report presents a list of criteria to  
be considered when selecting a pilot country in order to test this  


Jose M. Alonso
Manager, eGovernment and Open Data, CTIC
co-Chair, eGovernment Interest Group, W3C
Senior Advisor, W3C Spain
Parque Científico-Tecnológico
C/ Ada Byron, 39
33203 - Gijón, Asturias, Spain
tel.: +34 984390616; +34 984291212; fax: +34 984390612
email: josema.alonso@fundacionctic.org
twitter/identi.ca: @josemalonso
Política de Privacidad: http://www.fundacionctic.org/privacidad
Received on Sunday, 23 May 2010 21:20:49 UTC

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