Can Open Data be an Effective Tool to Fight Corruption?

Can Open Data be an Effective Tool to Fight Corruption?

Share your experiences and ideas for the Anti-Corruption Sector Package

by Eduardo Bohórquez (@ebohorquez), Transparencia Mexicana’s Executive Director (@IntegridadMx)

When a group of people –now a global community– started to discuss and push the open data agenda a few years ago, the ultimate goal was to release the potential of data for creating new markets and solving public problems, regardless of who owns the data. Now, after thousands of datasets –mainly public– have been released in open formats, that same global community has started to question how the promises of open data can be made more tangible. On the economic side, there are clear indicators proving the benefits of open data. But on the social side, there are concerns on the slow progress towards making open data a key tool for solving the most pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, corruption and inequality.

That is one of the reasons why the International Open Data Charter launched an initiative to develop “sector packages”, or in other words, practical resources focussed on the application of open data to address specific issues. The first of them will focus on anti-corruption. In a nutshell, the sector package is intended to tackle three challenges:

  1. Identify key datasets for anti-corruption and prioritize them according to their importance for critical interventions.
  2. Define the ideal format in which the identified data should be structured and published to allow higher interoperability across datasets.
  3. Document potential use cases based on the identified data that can generate new insights or tools to prevent, detect, investigate and sanction corruption. Previous experiences will be taken into account.

Transparencia Mexicana, along with a global team, have been selected to coordinate its design and elaboration. Taking into account that corruption is a broad and complex problem, we are completely aware that the process should be open to anyone who has an experience or an idea to share. As such –and to achieve the first goal of this sector package– today an open consultation targeted at civil society organizations, government officials and investigative journalists have been launched. The consultation is intended to collect key information on real or potential cases that –through the use of data– can address concrete corruption problems. The participation of practitioners from different sectors is key to make open data a key factor in reducing corruption risks or addressing corruption cases.

We invite anyone interested in pointing out key experiences, ideas, datasets or challenges to contribute with this initiative and engage in a global dialogue to transform open data into effective anti-corruption policies, mechanisms or tools.

You can access to the consultation form here.