The second edition of our Open Data Barometer, released today, shows that hard work lies ahead if Open Government Data (OGD) is to live up to its full potential and deliver truly transformative impacts. Governments worldwide have acknowledged the potential of OGD to reduce corruption, increase transparency, and improve government services, yet over 90% of the 86 countries surveyed in this edition of the Barometer do not publish key datasets in open formats. Despite pledges by the G7 countries to boost transparency by making government data “open by default”, almost half of the G7 countries are still not publishing the key datasets they promised to release in 2013, while fewer than 8% of the countries surveyed worldwide publish datasets on government budgets and spending, public sector contracts, and company ownership in open formats and under open licenses.
Research project: Open Data Barometer
The Open Data Barometer takes a multidimensional look at the spread of Open Government Data (OGD) policy and practice across the world. Combining peer-reviewed expert survey data and secondary data sources, the Barometer explores countries readiness to secure benefits from open data, the publication of key datasets, and evidence of emerging impacts from OGD.
The Open Data Barometer was conceived of as a companion study to the Web Index. The Web Index is a multidimensional measure of the Web’s use, utility and impact. The Barometer focuses in on the context, availability and emerging impacts of Open Government Data (OGD).
The Barometer is designed to provide a clear and comparable analysis of the macro-level context for open data, the availability of open data, and emerging impacts of open data, across the world. It will support advocates, researchers and policy makers to better understand the development of open data globally, and will contribute to a growing evidence base on open government data.
The Open Data Barometer is structured in three sections to reflect the different stages involved in realising the benefits of open data, and the different groups who may be involved in, and may benefit from, open data. The three sections are readiness, implementation and impact.
- Readiness - identifies how far a country has in place the political, social and economic foundations for realising the potential benefits of open data. The Barometer covers the readiness of government, entrepreneurs and business, and citizen and civil society.
- Implementation – identifies the extent to which government has published a range of key datasets to support innovation, accountability and more improved social policy. The barometer covers 14 datasets split across three clusters to capture datasets commonly used for: securing government accountability; improving social policy; and enabling innovation and economic activity.
- Emerging impacts – identifies the extent to which open data has been seen to lead to positive political, social and environment, and economic change. The Barometer looks for political impacts – including transparency & accountability, and improved government efficiency and effectiveness; economic impacts – through supporting start-up entrepreneurs and existing businesses; and social impacts – including environmental impacts, and contributing to greater inclusion for marginalised groups in society.
Governments across the world are adopting open data policies and practices. From national portals, to municipal open data initiatives, and sector-specific efforts in transport, health and international aid to name just a few, open data has been adopted as an important governance innovation.
Dave Tarrant at The Open Data Institute has drawn on the open data published from the Barometer to put together an interactive tool for looking at Barometer data across all the countries included in the study.
Berners-Lee tells world leaders: deliver transparency by backing open data policies with action
The Open Data Barometer is a piece of open research. All the data gathered to create the Barometer is published under an open license, and we have sought to set out our methodology clearly, allowing others to build upon, remix and reinterpret the data we have collected. Find out more and download the available datasets...