The Open Data Charter is a collaboration between governments and organizations working to open up data based on a shared set of Principles. With 72 government adopters and 53 organizations endorsers, our goal is to embed open data as a central ingredient to achieving better solutions to the most pressing policy challenges of our time.
To instill a culture of open and responsible data use in governments and its citizens. To see this shift help solve some of the most pressing policy challenges of our time and create just societies and innovative economies.
We want a world in which governments use openly available, well-managed data to respond effectively and innovatively to their most pressing policy challenges, and get the best deal for their taxpayers. We want this to happen by default, rather than be demanded in specific circumstances. We want citizens to be able to easily see that their public officials do this and to trust their institutions. We want people to be able to use openly available data to access the best goods and services, acquire new skills and develop new products and companies.
How we work
In our efforts to encourage a shift towards governments being “open by default”, we have learned that publishing data to solve specific policy problems is more effective than doing so in isolation. “Publish with purpose” creates more incentives and momentum than “publish and they will come”.
To this end, we focus on encouraging governments to take small steps that yield quick wins. We support reformers in government and their partners to prioritise opening up and using quality data to help address globally relevant problems and to develop a trustworthy data governance framework to achieve this goal.
We break our work down into two key thematic areas:
- Articulating norms
We advocate for government reformers to implement open data principles in ways that are most likely to yield specific and tangible benefits to citizens, and for this to feedback into increased belief in an expectation of transparency. Where we see specific policy successes borne of open data use, we look to highlight this to other governments and replicate them in other areas.
We work with international bodies to show how open data can address global policy challenges and help build field partnerships to ground open data norms in culture and practice.
- Demonstrating impact
We partner with sector experts to develop practical guidance for how open data can help solve specific problems and help bridge gaps between fields, through the development of Open Up Guides (for more information, read the Open Up Field Guides’ methodology)
We collaborate with our network of adopting governments and local actors to demonstrate what open data can achieve in response to specific, localised needs.
By steering open data efforts towards delivering impact, we help build stronger institutional support and a broader coalition for a purpose-driven release and use of data.
Collaboration is central to our work. As a small yet agile team, we partner with open data experts and sector organisations to support governments to implement principles, and deliver change at scale. Our key stakeholders include:
- Governments – they make key decisions over how to share and use the information they manage to drive policy solutions. By showing how open data can address the challenges and opportunities they face, we seek to create an incentive for governments to invest in open data as a tool for good government, not for its own sake. We target reformers in government to focus on quick wins that can then be replicated and scaled.
- Sector organisations – they bring specialized knowledge about what key data they need to help them tackle defined, tangible problems and opportunities. We partner with leading experts in several fields to create thematic guides that inform how government should prioritize the data they release, and provide use cases to demonstrate the impact of doing so.
- Global organisations – we work with our partner governments and international mechanisms to influence global policy decisions and practices in line with our thematic norms.
- Civil society organisations – we partner with local organisations to support projects which implement open data principles in countries whose governments who have adopted the Charter. We believe that this practical application of open data to address social challenges will embed its value within communities.
- Private sector – Sometimes data that has most potential to drive positive social change is held by the private sector. Where there is potential to create public value, there is a role for governments to demand that business share that data. We support governments to partner with business to identify ways in which the data they generate can be used for addressing public problems.
Ania Calderon @aniacalderon
Executive Director, led the national open data policy in Mexico between 2013-2016, delivering a key presidential mandate on opening up government data in more than 200 public institutions and a network of over 40 cities in Mexico and strengthening open data commitments globally. Ania will provide overall leadership for the team. She will develop goals and strategies to advance its mission, promote the Charter at the highest levels and provide sound fundraising systems and financial management for the success of the organisation.
Natalia Carfi @naticarfi
Deputy Director, worked as the Open Government Director for the Undersecretary of Public Innovation and Open Government of Argentina where she coordinated the co-creation of the 3rd Open Government National Action Plan – a project that engaged 15 national Ministries, the Legislative and Judiciary Powers, 11 Provinces and more than 400 participants from civil society.
Nati will support the delivery of the Charter’s strategy, engaging with experts from governments, civil society organizations, academics and private sector. She will also support the development of plans to deliver projects in collaboration with the Charter network.
Agustina De Luca @agus_deluca
Network Director, Agustina has a solid background working in the civil society sector. She worked for almost eight years at Directorio Legislativo, an Argentinean CSO that promotes legislative openness in Latin America, where she occupied different positions -being General Director the last one. She has specialized in issues of open government, transparency and accountability, participated and lead national and regional advocacy projects and events. Agustina earned a degree in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires and is working towards a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management at the Universidad de San Andrés (both in Argentina).
Agustina will support the Charter’s network by developing and implementing an engagement and communications strategy for the governments and organizations that have adopted the Charter; providing guidance for potential adopters and liaising with Working Group chairs to support the delivery of their action plans.
Our Governance Structure
The Open Data Charter is overseen by a governance structure designed to reflect our position as a trusted space that guides, connects and enables governments and organisations to deliver impact from open data. These structures support the delivery of our mission and include a multi-stakeholder Advisory Board, with responsibilities for running the initiative and providing oversight for the performance of the Charter Network Team.
From its inception, the Charter has collaborated with governments and expert organisations working to open up data, based on a shared set of principles. This is reflected in the governance structure that includes highly committed governments, multilaterals and civil society organizations representatives in our Advisory Board helping guide and shape the work we do at the global and local level.
Read more about our governance structure.
Our Advisory Board
The work of the Charter team is overseen by our advisory board. See here for our full governance structure.
Richard Stirling (Chair) is the co-founder and CEO of Oxford Insights. Involved in open data for the last 8 years, he designed and lead the UK’s open data programme. As innovation director at the Open Data Institute, he has worked with the World Bank, IDRC, and countries around the world on open data implementation.
Dr. Catherine Woteki is a professor at Iowa State University with over 40 years of senior management experience in both public & private sectors. Dr. Woteki served as the Chief Scientist and Under Secretary in the United States Department of Agriculture under the Obama administration (2010–2016). Here, she instituted the USDA’s first scientific integrity and open data policies; and was instrumental in establishing and implementing the US government open data policies in food and agriculture programs.
Enrique Zapata is Head of Mexico’s National Anticorruption Digital Platform, a first of its kind initiative to order, standardize and use key data sources and artificial intelligence to build integrity and fight corruption.
Fabrizio Scrollini is the Executive Director of the Open Data Latin American Initiative (ILDA). Fabrizio works with governments, regulators and civil society at both international and regional levels on transparency, access to public information, open data projects and public sector reform.
Fernando Perini is a Senior Program Specialist at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where he coordinates the Open Data for Development (OD4D) program. Fernando has extensive international experience as researcher, consultant, and lecturer.
Helen Darbishire is the founder and Executive Director of Access Info Europe, a NGO that promotes the right of access to information in Europe and globally. Helen is a human rights activist, that combines over 25 years of civil society experience with a specialised knowledge of the legal, practical, and policy issues related to access to information, open data, and open government.
Gonzalo Iglesias is the National Director of Data and Public Information in the Ministry of Modernisation for the Government of Argentina.
Martin Tisné is Managing Director at Luminate Group. He is responsible for Luminate’s Data & Digital Rights impact area, their work in Europe, and policy and advocacy work. Martin brings over 15 years of investment and leadership experience to his role, including founding and co-founding two multi-stakeholder initiatives and three NGOs.
Muchiri Nyaggah is the Executive Director of the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), an action-oriented think tank supporting efforts of African Union member states to end extreme poverty, end hunger and reduce inequalities. Muchiri is also a Senior Fellow at the Results for Development Institute where he provides guidance on data for decision-making projects. His work contributes to the strengthening of efforts to leverage data and data-informed strategies to solve real-world problems.
Aimee Whitcroft is part of the NZ open government data programme (‘Open Data NZ’), itself part of Stats NZ. Her focuses are on continued open data advocacy and engagement, as well as contributing to the data.govt.nz service. She’s worked for a number of New Zealand’s most prominent scientific, internet/tech-related and government organisations/teams, and has founded, co-founded and lead a number of organisations and initiatives based around open data, open government, open science and related subjects
Sander van der Waal is the Head of Network and Partnerships at the Open Knowledge International (OKI), where he focuses on strengthening connections between the projects at OKI and the wider Open Knowledge Network. He does this together with the team that’s responsible for the areas of Research, Communications, and Community Management.
Former Board members
- Allison O’Beirne, analyst with the Open Government Team in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
- Thom Townsend, Senior Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office of UK.
- Nosa Ero-Brown, Director of Ontario’s Open Government Office.
- José M. Alonso, Director of Digital citizenship at the World Wide Web Foundation.
- Craig Fagan, Policy Director at the World Wide Web Foundation
- Sumandro Chattapadhyay, a Research Director at the CIS
- Implementation Working Group – Develops tools and resources to support governments in the implementation of Charter principles, and promote and facilitate peer learning across signatory countries and organizations.
- Measurement and Accountability Working Group – Develops mechanisms to promote accountability and monitoring processes for the Open Data Charter members.
If you represent a government, civil society organization, private sector or multilateral working on open data and wish to participate in the Open Data Charter’s working groups, please send an email to email@example.com.