Open Government

  • A couple of weeks ago I was invited at the first National Open Government Partnership Forum in Skopje, Macedonia, for the panel titled “OGP-related Initiatives at the Local Level - Comparative Perspectives”. Here’s a short trip report, complete of link to my slides. The Forum included a good summary of the OGP/Open Data landscape, from which I’d like to quote, in no particular order (*) some remarks and statements I’ve found more interesting for me and (as far as I can tell, of course!
  • While I am writing this post, the third meeting of the Open Government Partnership is taking place in Rome, Italy. As you can see in the snapshot, one of the participants just tweeted: inside this building we’re talking of participation, outside people are protesting to defend their job. My answer, also in the snapshot, was “and think what they would do if they knew that Open Data would also (finally, if you ask me) destroy some useless jobs inside Public Administrations”.
  • Last week at ForumPA in Italy, Andrea Di Maio gave a talk on “Open Government: The Reality Behind the Myth”. He left the conference disappointed for the lack of attendees and the somewhat nasty reaction to criticism: Although the session was in parallel with four of five others and was being streamed live, I was still disappointed with the low attendance I believe that a good part of the explanation here is waaay simpler than one may think, and has nothing to do with self-proclaimed technologists, culture and so on.
  • (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”) During the 2010⁄2011 winter the discussions around the Cablegate and other documents published by Wikileaks have, in some occasion, included hostility towards Open Data.
  • (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”) It is worthwile to begin by mentioning several events, happened between the end of 2010 and the first months of 2011, that can help to understand what will be the place and role of Open Data in the future, as well as the challenges faced by its advocates.
  • Preface: this is the final report of the Open Data, Open Society research project. The first report of the same project focused on explaining the critical importance of digital data in contemporary society and business activities; defining Open Data; giving examples on their potential, especially at the local level, on transparency and economics activities; finally, defining summarizing some general best practices. This second report, published in September 2011, looks at what happened in the Open Data arena between October 2010 and June 2011.
  • (this page is the bibliography/reading list 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”) Besides those explicitly linked from the text, this report has drawn inspiration by many other resources. The most important ones are listed here, but the complete list should be much longer.
  • (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.
  • (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”) Considering the continuous evidence and concerns about scarce interest and preparation of citizens to use Open Data in their political, economic and professional decisions, one of the final recommendations of the Open Data, Open Society report confirms its importance and needs to be repeated: it is very effective, if not simply necessary if the goal is to generate a critical mass of citizens that demand and use Open Data in the shortest possible time, to practice all the recommendations of this report at the local level,
  • (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”) It is necessary to guarantee the widest possible availability of all the pre-requisites for effective use of Open Data. In other words, it is necessary to provide free and widely accessible training, oriented to average citizens, on how and why to visualize Public Data and use them to make informed decisions.