The State of Open Government Data in 2017. Creating meaningful open data through multi-stakeholder dialogue
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This is Open Knowledge International’s first State of Open Government Data report. Based on key findings from our work on the Global Open Data Index (GODI) 2016/17, it outlines the obstacles to open government data publication, and suggests steps that will allow progress in the field of open data. In our view, public institutions should align the data they produce with the needs of civil society groups, citizens and other users. As mentioned in Open Knowledge International’s recent Data And The City report, data infrastructures - the frameworks on which data is produced and published - are not mere “raw” resources that can be exploited. They are best conceived as spaces for public participation, a lively ecosystem in which audiences creatively use data to engage with public institutions. This can lead to new kinds of relationships which strengthen calls for a range of emerging goals focused on transparency, accountability, public participation, public service delivery, technological innovation, and economic growth. Yet, institutions are producing more information which is encoded in forms that are preventing data publishers and public users from communicating with one another. Dialogue is critical to produce relevant data that can be used by civil society, and GODI - more than only a benchmark - provides the platform for this dialogue. For GODI 2016/17, we ran a public dialogue between governments and data users for the first time to foster the production of meaningful data. Below we share learnings and outcomes from this process and explain important variables to further elaborate this dialogue model. We also discuss GODI’s future role in steering these discussions. This document is open to debate, to continue learning from your experiences. We would love to hear your feedback in our discussion forum.