(This is a cross-post from the Global Open Data Initiative blog.)

The Global Open Data Initiative is a coalition of civil society organisations working together in the area of open government data and open government.

Our basic goal is that citizens will have full and open access to the government data that is needed in order to build effective government and governance.

The Global Open Data Initiative will serve as a guiding voice internationally on open data issues. Civil society groups who focus on open data have often been isolated to single national contexts, despite the similar challenges and opportunities repeating themselves in countries across the globe. The Global Open Data Initiative aims to help share valuable resources, guidance and judgment, and to clarify the potential for government open data across the world.

Provide a leading vision for how governments approach open data. Open data commitments are among the most popular commitments for countries participating in the Open Government Partnership. The Global Open Data Initiative recommendations and resources will help guide open data initiatives and others as they seek to design and implement strong, effective open data initiatives and policies. Global Open Data Initiative resources will also help civil society actors who will be evaluating government initiatives.

Increase awareness of open data. Global Open Data Initiative will work to advance the understanding of open data issues, challenges, and resources by promoting best practices, engaging in online and offline dialogue, and supporting networking between organizations both new and familiar to the open data arena.

Support the development of the global open data community especially in civil society. Civil society organizations (CSOs) have a key role to play as suppliers, intermediaries, and users of open data, though at present, relatively few organizations are engaging with open data and the opportunities it presents. Most CSOs lack the awareness, skills and support needed to be active users and providers of open data in ways that can help them meet their goals. The Global Open Data Initiative aims to help CSOs, to engage with and use open data whether whatever area they work on – be it climate change, democratic rights, land governance or financial reform.

Our immediate focus is on two activities:

  1. To consult with members of the CSO community around the world about what they think is important in this area
  2. Develop a set of principles in collaboration with the CSO community to guide open government data policies and approaches and to help initiate, strengthen and further elevate conversations between governments and civil society.

Watch this space for further updates.

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2 thoughts on “Global Open Data Initiative moving forward”

  1. Amazing! Hopefully, there will be a role for the private sector too.

    Because open data shouldn’t just be the realm of governments and CSOs. Companies, and ultimately, even individuals should also eventually be able to participate in data-driven discussions by exchanging open data.

    Much the same way the Web’s development was greatly accelerated when it was released to the world – from something “originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for information sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world” to our society’s digital nervous system, its stands to reason, that the same network effects will accelerate open data adoption as well.

    Perhaps, one way to include private sector open data is to incentivize company reporting through open data mechanisms.

    Instead of using proprietary networks, why not fulfill their reporting obligations as open data? Not only for the consumption of regulators, but also for CSOs like OpenCorporates, or private data aggregators like Crunchbase?

    Right now, we’ve assembled Rube Goldberg mechanisms of publishing data through various mechanisms and protocols, only to scrape it back using even more convoluted Rube Goldberg techniques using NLP, AI, and Hadoop clusters to reconstruct the data, often imperfectly and at great cost.

    And as with most technologies with deep societal impact, open data is initially used in the public sector, but only when its used in the private sector will all kinds of novel innovations and funding mechanisms start to kick in.

  2. This kind of advocacy is served as an inspiration to everyone who also has this perception in life. Good luck on your activities. Best of luck!

    Jane Goldner
    womens initiative

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