ODWG seems to be moving faster than the other 4 OGP workign groups. The group already had a conference call, created a steering committee that we were able to join as UNDP and prepared a draft workplan that has been shared for comments.
Below is what I sent on behalf of UNDP.
1. Work plan looks good and it picks up on most of what we discussed in London last October.
2. I will agree with others on the need to work closer together with other groups. In particular with the access to information and fiscal transparency groups as the commonalities are large and very visible.
3. I think any Open Data initiative should be tackling three different but complementary issues: the economic, the social and the governance
4. The economic is probably the one that gets the most applause and rightly so. The McKinsey report quote of a potential benefit of 3
trillion USD is still out there. The social aspect relates to the potential that open data can have for delivering services such as
health, education, etc. And the governance refers to the potential of open data to foster more participation and collaboration among
stakeholders and enhancing transparency and accountability. And the three are of course connected.
5. In addition, Open Data initiatives should also look as the institutional context in which they are promoted, especially when we are
focusing on public sector data and information. Here, we should consider the production (from collection to raw data creation), the distribution
and the exchange, and finally the consumption of OD. Lots of emphasis have been placed on the latter two under the seeming assumption that at
least in the public sector large amounts of data somehow exist and ready to be tapped into. This might not be the case in many developing
countries for example. Anyways, all this should be complemented by a look at the political will that the powers at be have or have not to do
this RIGHT or WRONG.
6. All this brings me to my policy point which I think is missing in the work plan. For many developing countries Open data might just be seen as yet another priority they need to tackle. I think part of our job is to make the opposite case. Open Data can actually help deliver on the other
priorities the public sector might have, etc.
7. With this in mid I will suggest we add a relevant section under capacity building which could address most of the points above and
provide decision maker with the policies and tools that they need to have to effectively implement open data while linking it to other areas
of their work.
8. This allows me to go back to point number 2 above and reconnect with access to information. As you are aware a2I is not a new area but is it
has a human rights based approach to the issue of accessing public information and data. Open data initiatives should also take the same
The first virtual meeting of the steering committee will take place Wednesday 9 April.