This section of the toolkit provides a summary of the essential elements of open government data, starting with its definition and covering issues from open data portals, applications that use open data, the benefits of open data, open data policy declarations, learning resources and technical assistance resources for open data. The toolkit provides links to many examples of these.
What is Open Data?
Data is open if it satisfies both conditions below:
- Technically open: available in a machine-readable standard format, which means it can be retrieved and meaningfully processed by a computer application
Examples of Open Data Portals
In this section you can find links to a few open data portals. These are classified by countries, cities and sectors.
- OD in Countries
- OD in Cities
- OD in Sectors
- Budgets and Public Finance
- Extractive Industries
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Open Data Benefits
There are many benefits from opening data. These can be classified as economic benefits (growth and job creation), improved public services and more transparent and accoutnable government. Below you can find some studies that explain and try to quantify these benefits.
- Open Data and Economic Growth
- Costs and Benefits of Data Provision
- The Benefits of Open Data – Evidence from Economic Research
- OKF Live Document on Evidence & Anecdotes for Open Gov Data
- A National Information Framework for Public Sector Information and Open Data
- Shakespeare Review: An Independent Review of Public Sector Information
- Market Assessment of Public Sector Information by Deloitte
- Open Government Promo Video by OGP
- La Innovación en Servicios en España
- Reutilización de información pública y privada en España
- The value of Danish address data: Social benefits from the 2002 agreement on procuring address data etc. free of charge (Presentation)
- Sunlight Foundation: Why Open Data?
- The McKinsey Global Institute: Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information
- Statistics and Open Data: Harvesting unused knowledge, empowering citizens and improving public services
- Open Financial Data: this report from the World Bank looks at the potential for using open financial data to increase citizen engagement in the delivery of public goods and services.
- Open Data as a tool to fight corruption
Open Data Applications
Machine readibility and an open license allow data to be re-used, which is the main reason for opening data. Below you will find some examples of applications that use open data, classified by sectors.
- Civic Commons – repository of government and civic apps for Open Data and Open Government
- Socrata Open Data Applications – repository of examples of how Open Data is enabling civic applications.
- Apps for Development – challenged people to create innovative tools, applications, and mash-ups using the data available through the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative
- Apps for Climate – brought together the best ideas from scientists, application developers, civil society organizations, and development practitioners to create innovative apps using World Bank data
- mWater – mobile technology for water, sanitation and health
- Save the Rain – the World Bank predicts alarming drops in annual rainfall worldwide.
- OpenSpending – tracks government financial transactions across the world and present them in useful and engaging forms for everyone from a school-child to a data geek
- BrightScope – brings transparency to opaque markets. Primarily operates in two major segments: Retirement Plans and Wealth Management
- Spikes Cavell – equips decision makers in the public sector with the business intelligence, online tools and analytical insight they need in order to transform the way they procure goods and services
- Elgin (UK street works) – delivers real-time access to local roadworks information across nearly 100 local authorities as well as motorways and trunk routes across England and Wales. Users are able to view precisely where and when roadworks are taking place, who is responsible for them, and assess the likely impact on journey times
- PoliceUK – provides street-level crime and outcomes maps and data, and details of the local policing team and beat meetings
- CheckMySchool – participatory monitoring program that combines the use of digital technology and community mobilization to provide easy access to information, provide a platform for sending feedback through online and offline means, and help resolve education issues
- Merge of HealthFacility – a health facilities location application from the Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI) at NITA
- Ecofacts – small app to learn about energy consumption, climate change and what you can do about it
- Moldova BOOST – collects and compiles detailed data on Moldovan public expenditures from national treasury systems and presents it in a simple user-friendly format
- African Budget Data Explorer – 'explorable' time series visualizations of African budgets, which enable users to 'Follow the Money', to unpack & understand budget priorities and, ideally, inform election priorities & voice opinions to ensure services are responsive budget
- GotToVote! – was built as a Code4Kenya data journalism project to demonstrate how data-driven tools can help ordinary citizens decipher and then act on the news they read / watch, by finding out how a national event such as the elections affects their personal lives or local communities
- DataViva – is opening up data for the entire formal sector of the Brazilian economy through more than 100 million interactive visualizations.
Open Data Policies
Many governments have made public policy statements regarding open data. Below you will find a brief on the purpose and guidance to the content that these policy declarations should include, followed by several examples of such declarations.
- 8 Principles of Open Government Data
- US Open Government Directive
- US Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
- UK Open Data White Paper: Unleashing the Potential
- Australian Gov 2.0 Taskforce Report
- Moldovan Prime Minister’s Open Data directive
- Open Government Strategy for the City of Boston
- Open Government Guide
- New Zealand's journey to Open Data
- Socrata: 6 Steps to Open Data Success
- The Closed World of Company Data
- OECD: Open Government Data - Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives
- New York City Law on Publishing Open Data
- Open Data Policy — Managing Information as an Asset
- Sunlight Foundation: Guidelines for Open Data Policies
- Briefing on Open Data Declarations
- Example Declarations of Open Data/Open Government
Open Data Learning Resources
If you want to learn more about open data you can refer to these materials.
- The World Bank Learning Modules
- Open Data at the World Bank
- United Nations: The Guidelines on Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement
- Open Data Handbook
- Data Wrangling Handbook
- Data Journalism Handbook
- Open Knowledge Foundation: Open Data - An Introduction
- Socrata's Open Data Guide
- Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation
- Open Data for Resilience Initiative Field Guide
Technical Assistance for Open Data
There are several institutions, communities of practice and financers that can provide advice and financing for open government data. Below are some examples.
- Selected Institutions
- Selected Communities of Practice
- Selected financiers for Open Data
- Roster of Experts
- Selected TORs
- [Work in Progress]