Open data for democracy: Developing a theoretical framework for open data use

Erna Ruijer, Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen, and Albert Meijer in Government Information Quarterly: “Open data platforms are hoped to foster democratic processes, yet recent empirical research shows that so far they have failed to do so. We argue that current open data platforms do not take into account the complexity of democratic processes which results in overly simplistic approaches to open data platform design. Democratic processes are multifaceted and open data can be used for various purposes, with diverging roles, rules and tools by citizens and public administrators. This study develops a Democratic Activity Model of Open Data Use, which is illustrated by an exploratory qualitative multiple case study outlining three democratic processes: monitorial, deliberative and participatory. We find that each type of democratic process requires a different approach and open data design. We conclude that a context-sensitive open data design facilitates the transformation of raw data into meaningful information constructed collectively by public administrators and citizens….(More)”