The Open Data Inventory – 2015 Annual Report: How Open are Official Statistics?

In 2015 the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessed the coverage and openness of official statistics in 125 mostly low- and middle-income countries. Data in 20 statistical categories were assessed on 10 elements of coverage and openness. The assessments are objective: they record whether data are available and whether the data conform to standards for open data, but they do not attempt to assess the quality of the data. They also record the online location of the data, allowing others to verify the results.

ODIN scores are summarized by data categories and by the elements of data coverage and openness, creating a profile of each country’s statistical system and its ability to deliver the information needed by governments, citizens, and the private sector to guide their decisions. In 2015 no country’s ODIN score reached 70 percent of the total possible points. The highest scoring country was Mexico, with a score of 68 percent, followed closely by Moldova and Mongolia. Rwanda, with a score of 59 percent, was 4th overall and the highest scoring country in Africa. The lowest scoring countries were found in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Measured just on the elements of openness, Mexico was the clear leader with a score of 74 percent, followed by Rwanda and Moldova. Measured by data coverage, which considers the availability of key indicators over the last 10 years and for sub-national units, Cuba had the highest score, followed by China and Moldova.

There is more to be learned from the ODIN assessments. This first annual report on the Open Data Inventory describes the assessment process and highlights significant patterns in the results. The appendixes list results for 125 countries and provide greater details on the assessment methodology as well as orientation for obtaining ODIN results online.

Open Data in Electoral Administration

The concept of open data is based on the idea that data should be freely available for anyone to access, use and share. In recent years, the concept has taken root as an increasingly accepted practice for public and government produced data, with data seen as a public good, and data infrastructure as the key to accessing it.

Publishing election data as open data has numerous benefits: it provides civil society, citizen journalists, electoral observers and citizens access to the same detailed information that was previously only available to selected stakeholders such as large media outlets. In doing so, open data allows all interested stakeholders to follow and understand the electoral process and can enable more inclusive, transparent and trusted elections.

In spite of the potential benefits of open data, election data is often not available in government open-data platforms and election data that is published often does not comply with open-data principles.

The aim of this publication is to encourage electoral management bodies to increase the application of open-data principles. It provides guidance for improving the practice of data publication towards a more open approach.

Open Data Maturity Model: A Guide

Assessing your open data publishing and use

The Open Data Maturity Model is being developed by the Open Data Institute and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to help organisations assess how effectively they publish and consume open data.

The model supports the assessment of operational and strategic activities around open data, provides guidance on potential areas for improvement, and helps organisations compare themselves against one another to highlight their respective strengths and weaknesses, adopt best practices and improve their processes.

The model is based around five themes, each representing a broad area of activity:

  1. data management processes,
  2. knowledge and skills,
  3. customer support and engagement,
  4. investment and financial performance and
  5. strategic oversight

An assessment grid helps organisations identify their levels of maturity for each of the activities.

Organisations can use the model to set themselves appropriate goals based on their current maturity, resourcing and anticipated benefits. To achieve the full, long-term benefits of open data, organisations must take steps beyond basic data publication, the assessment of open data publishing and consumption is a strong starting point.While the model has been initially developed for a UK public sector audience, it can also be applied to any type of organisation with little or no modification, whether they are already publishing or consuming open data, or are planning to do so

Supporting sustainable development with open data

Open data can make an impact across the globe. Its role in combating development challenges of the next 15 years, both as a tool for measuring progress and in finding solutions, is becoming more clear. As this paper will show, open data has been used to help plan smarter cities in Rio de Janeiro, streamline emergency response in the Philippines, map the Ebola outbreak to save lives in West Africa and help parents to assess school performance in Tanzania. Open data can also bring significant economic benefits: it could be used worldwide to generate between US$720-920bn in digital transport applications, and US$150–270bn in geospatial technology

While open data can be used to benefit many areas, this report identifies three where it could have a significant impact in the next development agenda and beyond.

Open data can:

  1. more effectively target aid money and improve development programmes,
  2. track development progress and prevent corruption, and
  3. contribute to innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

To achieve these aims, the development community must address many challenges, including:

  • a weak enabling environment for open data publishing
  • poor data quality
  • a mismatch between the demand for open data and the supply of appropriate datasets
  • a ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor, affecting both the supply and use of data
  • and a general lack of quantifiable data and metrics.

With these challenges in mind, the report sets out ways that governments, donors and (international) NGOs – with the support of researchers, civil society and industry – can apply open data to help make the SDGs a reality:

  1. Reach global consensus around principles and standards, namely being ‘open by default’, using the Open Government Partnership’s Open Data Working Group as a global forum for discussion.
  2. Embed open data into funding agreements, ensuring that relevant, high-quality data is collected to report against the SDGs. Funders should mandate that data relating to performance of services, and data produced as a result of funded activity, be released as open data.
  3. Build a global partnership for sustainable open data, so that groups across the public and private sectors can work together to build sustainable supply and demand for data in the developing world.
This report explores how world leaders can use and promote open data to tackle global problems post-2015. It does not evaluate specific SDGs, but provides examples of where open data is starting to make a difference in cities and nations around the world. It draws extensively on international open data case studies, the Open Data Barometer,– a survey of open data policyand practice across the world, launched by the World Wide Web Foundation – and ongoingresearch by the Open Data Research Network. 

Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI): Overview

To build resilient societies, policymakers and the public must have access to the right data sets and information to inform good decisions—decisions such as where and how to build safer schools, how to insure farmers against drought, and how to protect coastal cities against future climate impacts.

Sharing data and creating open systems promotes transparency, accountability, and ensures a wide range of actors is able to participate in the challenge of building resilience.

The goal of this Overview Report, published in May 2013, is to communicate the vision, approach, and impact of the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). This program, launched in 2011 by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), is a critical component of the strategy toward helping countries better understand and manage disaster and climate risk. Access to the right information for decision-making is an essential component of building resilience and cuts across all components of this agenda. OpenDRI has developed programs in over 20 countries to achieve this end. This publication documents the successes and lessons learned throughout the course of this work.