Open Up Guide: Testing how to use open data to combat corruption in Mexico

In late 2017, México decided to become the first country in the world to implement the Guide and test its assumptions. It also became the first country to embed the Guide as an official standard in its Open Data Policy and to actively use it as part of its national anti-corruption efforts.

The teams of the Open Data Charter, Transparencia MexicanaCívica Digital and the Government Open Data team, with the financial help of the Inter American Development Bank, worked together for 6 months. Together we identified, released, analyzed, increased the quality, and promoted the use of Anticorruption related open data at the Executive branch in the country.

The result was the identification of 72 specific data resources that match the recommendations of the Guide. 47 of these datasets — which contain more than 12 million registries and 350 million data points — have already been released in the Mexican Open Data Platform datos.gob.mx.

Furthermore, and maybe most importantly for the future of the Open up Guides, the datasets are already being used in various projects to generate impact, for example:

  • Open Contracting data was used by IMCO and OPI Analytics to generate a Corruption Contracting Index.
  • Fiscal declaration open data was used by the civil society organization Data Cívica to generate new open datasets that would have cost the government more than a million pesos to generate.
  • Open Fiscal data was used in a hackathon during Open Data Day 2018 to generate visualizations around federal spending.
  • Open Contracting data is being used by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Administration in the National Open Contracting Platform gob.mx/contratacionesabiertas.

For Mexico, this implementation is only the first step towards combating corruption with a data-driven approach. In the coming weeks, the Executive Secretariat of the National Anticorruption System will officially adopt the Guide and its results to serve as their steward, but also to use this data to generate intelligence to fight corruption in the country.

Open Data Charter Measurement Guide

The Measurement Guide helps governments, civil society, and researchers to understand how to assess open data activities based on the Open Data Charter (the ‘Charter’) principles. It seeks to shed light on the often opaque and jargon-filled world of open data measurement. The Measurement Guide is an analysis of the Charter principles and how they are assessed
based on current open government data measurement tools – with a focus on commitments that can be measured, commitments that cannot be measured, and existing gaps (e.g. commitments that have not been measured).

The Measurement Guide is made for governments, civil society, and researchers to under-
stand how the Charter principles can be measured. It provides an analysis of the indicators, which includes comprehensive tables of global indicators (e.g. indicator tables) per each Charter principle.

  • For governments, the guide summarizes the most important insights in this section, the Executive Summary.
  • For civil society and communicators, the indicator tables and our analysis provide transparency about existing measurement tools (‘Five open data assessment tools’) and what they measure. This can help civil society to oversee the progress of open data policy at a country level.
  • For researchers, the guide explains the methodology to map open data indicators against Charter commitments. The indicator tables created can be used to compare existing data measurement tools and develop new indicators.

The Measurement Guide provides insights from open data experts and members of organizations who work on open data measurement tools. Analysis of the coverage of the five leading open data measurement tools – the Open Data Barometer (ODB), Global Open Data Index (GODI), Open Data Inventory (ODIN), Open Useful Reusable Government Data (OURdata), and the European Open Data Maturity Assessment (EODMA) – reveals that only parts of Charter principle commitments, and their components, are being measured; or that some commitments could be measured in the future. However, some Charter concepts are either too broad (e.g. “high-quality data”, “usability by the widest range of users”), or lack a shared interpretation, which makes them difficult to find a common indicator.

The Measurement Guide also covers how existing indicators metrify key open data concepts.
It is important to note that not all aspects of a commitment are clearly defined. Multiple ways of measuring currently exist for some commitments. Some commitments need to be defined and measured on a country-by-country basis to incorporate local context.

The Measurement Guide is also available in a Gitbook format.

Open Data, Transparency and Accountability: Topic guide

Open data involves the release of data so that anyone can access, use and share it. One of the main objectives of making data open is to promote transparency. For open data and transparency initiatives to lead to accountability, the required conditions include: getting the right data published; enabling actors to find, process and use information, and to act on any outputs; and enabling institutional or social forms of enforceability or citizens’ ability to choose better services.

This topic guide discusses the definitions, theories, challenges and debates presented by the relationship between these concepts, summarises the current state of open data implementation in international development, and highlights lessons and resources for designing and implementing open data programmes.

Global Open Data Index 2016/2017

The Global Open Data Index (GODI) is the annual global benchmark for publication of open government data, run by the Open Knowledge Network. The crowdsourced survey measures the openness of government data according to the Open Definition.

By having a tool that is run by civil society, GODI creates valuable insights for government’s data publishers to understand where they have data gaps. It also shows how to make data more useable and eventually more impactful. GODI therefore provides important feedback that governments are usually lacking.

To spark debate, OKI have released GODI in two phases:

  1. The dialogue phase – They are releasing the data to the public after a rigorous review. Yet, during their assessment some information might have remained unnoticed. They will give all users a chance to contest the index results for 30 days, starting May 2nd. In this period, users of the index can comment on OKI’s assessments through their Global Open Data Index forum. On June 2nd, they will review those comments and will change some index submissions if needed.
  2. The final results – on June 15 OKI will present the final results of the index. For the first time ever, they will also publish the GODI white paper. This paper will include OKI’s main findings and recommendations to advance open data publication.

Open Data Index 2015

The Global Open Data Index is an annual effort to measure the state of open government data around the world. The crowdsourced survey is designed to assess the openness of specific government datasets according to the Open Definition. Through this initiative we want to provide a civil society audit of how governments actually publish data – with input and review from citizens and organisations around the world. The unique benefits of the Open Data Index include: – – Results from a citizen’s perspective and not simply reliant on government claims of openness. – A simple group of datasets that offer powerful insights into key government functions and performance, and that can be compared consistently across countries. – Pioneering methods, with topical experts reviewing global submissions for each dataset to ensure reliability. – An education and engagement tool for citizens to learn about open data, the state of government data in their own country, and how they can best make use of it. – Allows us to establish a baseline and track changes and trends in the open data world over time as the field evolves.

Open data measurement is still new and experimental field. The Global Open Data Index, as well makes changes each year in order to improve the quality of the final benchmarking. This year, after multiple public consultations, we made three major changes to the Global Open Data Index – – We revised the set of datasets that we are evaluating and improved the datasets definitions to allow better consistency of the index. – We worked with regional index coordinators to reach more people and solicit more entries to the index. – We changed the review process from peer review to thematic review to allow better accuracy and reliability of the results.

(read more about these changes in our methodology section). We believe that with these changes we can create a better dialogue between government and civil society around open data.

This year, we have 122 countries in the sample (up from 97 countries in 2014). You can find the full geographical data in the places page, or see our insights from the index results. For more information on the Open Data Index, you may contact the team at: index@okfn.org or post a query on the Open Data Index forum