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 Up Field Guides: Methodology

There is a growing recognition among the open data community that our efforts should be focused on delivering real-world impact from efforts to publish and enable use of data. To support a move in this direction, the Open Data Charter started developing a series of “Open Up Guides” providing a step-by-step outline of how to share data with the aim of solving specific policy problems.

After successfully implementing the first of the Guides: ‘the Anticorruption Open Up Guide’ in México, we are excited to share with the open data community a methodology for anyone wishing to develop an Open Up Guide for their field. The methodology is informed by our work with real-life cases and builds on our understanding that good quality production and management of data is a prerequisite for data sharing. As stewards of the Charter, we are focused on encouraging organisations and governments of all levels to adopt a ‘publish with purpose’ approach to opening up datasets.

The approach outlined in the methodology ensures that the Guides are grounded in practical evidence while gathering learnings to make sure global norms are applicable locally. We are keen to collaborate as much possible with government officials, experts and civil society. Please get in touch if you want to work with us — info@opendatacharter.org.

The Impact of Open Government: Assessing the Evidence

Open government has in recent years emerged as an area of intense activity and fervent hope for some of our largest societal aspirations. This paper asks the question, does open government work? That is to say, do open government interventions expand public knowledge of governmental processes, encourage participation and inclusion, improve public services, save public money, or help achieve other widely accepted goals of government?

Open government and Transparency reform in Chile: Balancing leadership, ambition, and implementation capacity

Chile is a successful open government reformer. The implementing agencies have achieved the targets set in the national action plans for transparency and access to information commitments. These reforms are changing administrative practices and attitudes about transparency and access to information management, but still fall short of reaching the citizens. Chile’s success responds to the institutional capacity of public agencies and to the adoption of commitments that are part of their strategic work plans. However, challenges related to contingent political factors, inter-agency coordination, and monitoring affect the action plans’ potential for transforming how the state relates to its citizens. These factors also influence the limited priority that stakeholders attribute to open government processes.