Involve NGOs, charities and business associations
(this page is part of my 2011 report on “Open Data: Emerging trends, issues and best practices”. Please follow that link to reach the Introduction and Table of Content, but don’t forget to also check the notes for readers! of the initial report of the same project, “Open Data, Open Society”)
As a final note and recommendation of this report, we’ll note that, in comparison with hackers and public officers, there are other parties that could and should play a role in Open Data adoption much bigger than what they have had so far.
NGOs and charities, as well as professionals or business associations, all have lots to gain from Open Data but don’t seem, in many cases, to have realized this yet. Members of the first category should routinely ask for support directly to Open Data civic hackers to gather (either from government or citizens) more up to date information that is specifically relevant for their campaigns.
The other associations, instead, should be much more active both in publishing Open Data about their activities, to gain better access to customers and guarantee fair market competition, and in officially lobbying Public Administrations to get the PSI they could use for the same purposes. As other suggestions made here, these are activities that should start at the city and regional level, first with custom-made education initiatives, then with specific data-based services. Engaging all these actors in the adoption of (local) Open Data will be one of the big challenges of the next years.
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