Got an unexpected request from BDP to quickly provide one sentence on the role of UNDP on the above. Here is what I drafted in a rush. Forgot to ask though what was this for…
As big data continues its grow path, UNDP should be fully aware of it implications, especially when it comes to public data. While big data can be used by the the public sector to design policies and assess their impact, issues related to privacy, confidentially and security need to be properly addressed at the policy level. Where is the data stored, who owns the data, who has access to it, who decides who has access to it and what are the governance mechanisms in place are key aspects that need to be seriously considered.
When it comes to public sector, open data can be a tool for fostering engagement with citizens, and enhancing transparency and accountability of public institutions. A key factor is the adequate production of data by government which demands specific capacities within it. By the same token, the distribution of public data in an open fashion demands that data being shared is presented in a way the regular citizen can understand and use. Without these two closely intertwined aspects, open data will probably not succeed in developing countries. UNDP needs to support these two pillars to ensure open data is part of development agendas that promote democratic governance goals.