Report by the World Economic Forum: “… provides a benchmark for cities looking to establish policies for ethical and responsible governance of their smart city programmes. It explores current practices relating to five foundational policies: ICT accessibility, privacy impact assessment, cyber accountability, digital infrastructure and open data. The findings are based on surveys and interviews with policy experts and city government officials from the Alliance’s 36 “Pioneer Cities”. The data and insights presented in the report come from an assessment of detailed policy elements rather than the high-level indicators often used in maturity frameworks….(More)”.
The GovLab: “Hackathons. Data Jams. Dashboards. Mapping, analyzing, and releasing open data. These are some of the essential first steps in building a data-driven culture in government. Yet, it’s not always easy to get data projects such as these off the ground. Governments often work in difficult situations under constrained resources. They have to manage various stakeholders and constituencies who have to be sold on the value that data can generate in their daily work.
Through the Open Data Policy Lab, The GovLab and Microsoft are providing various resources — such as the Data Stewards Academy, and the Third Wave of Open Data Toolkit — to support this goal. Still, we recognize that more tailored guidance is needed so cities can build new sustainable data infrastructure and launch projects that meet their policy goals.
Today, we’re providing that resource in the form of the Open Data Policy Lab’s City Incubator. A first-of-its-kind program to support data innovations in cities’ success and scale, the City Incubator will give 10 city officials access to the hands-on training and access to mentors to take their ideas to the next level. It will enable cutting edge work on various urban challenges and empower officials to create data collaboratives, data-sharing agreements, and other systems. This work is supported by Microsoft, Mastercard City Possible, Luminate, NYU CUSP and the Public Sector Network.
Our team is launching a call for ten city government intrapreneurs from around the world working on data-driven projects to apply to the City Incubator. Over the course of six months, participants will use start-up innovation and public sector program solving frameworks to develop and launch new data innovations. They will also receive support from a council of mentors from around the world.
Applications are due August 31, with an early application deadline of August 6 for applicants looking for feedback. Applicants are expected to present their idea and include information on the value their proposal will generate, the resources it will use, the partners it will involve, and the risks it might entail alongside other information in the form of a Data Innovation Canvas. Additional information can be found on the website here.”
Paper by McKinsey Global Institute: “As countries around the world look to ensure rapid recovery once the COVID-19 crisis abates, improved financial services are emerging as a key element to boost growth, raise economic efficiency, and lift productivity. Robust digital financial infrastructure proved its worth during the crisis, helping governments cushion people and businesses from the economic shock of the pandemic. The next frontier is to create an open-data ecosystem for finance.
Already, technological, regulatory, and competitive forces are moving markets toward easier and safer financial data sharing. Open-data initiatives are springing up globally, including the United Kingdom’s Open Banking Implementation Entity, the European Union’s second payment services directive, Australia’s new consumer protection laws, Brazil’s drafting of open data guidelines, and Nigeria’s new Open Technology Foundation (Open Banking Nigeria). In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to facilitate a consumer-authorized data-sharing market, while the Financial Data Exchange consortium attempts to promote common, interoperable standards for secure access to financial data. Yet, even as many countries put in place stronger digital financial infrastructure and data-sharing mechanisms, COVID-19 has exposed limitations and gaps in their reach, a theme we explored in earlier research.
This discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute (download full text in 36-page PDF) looks at the potential value that could be created—and the key issues that will need to be addressed—by the adoption of open data for finance. We focus on four regions: the European Union, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
By open data, we mean the ability to share financial data through a digital ecosystem in a manner that requires limited effort or manipulation. Advantages include more accurate credit risk evaluation and risk-based pricing, improved workforce allocation, better product delivery and customer service, and stronger fraud protection.
Our analysis suggests that the boost to the economy from broad adoption of open-data ecosystems could range from about 1 to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2030 in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to as much as 4 to 5 percent in India. All market participants benefit, be they institutions or consumers—either individuals or micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)—albeit to varying degrees….(More)”.
Report by Transparency International Global Health: “The COVID-19 pandemic has required an unprecedented public health response, with governments dedicating massive amounts of resources to their health systems at extraordinary speed. Governments have had to respond quickly to fast-changing contexts, with many competing interests, and little in the way of historical precedent to guide them.
Transparency here is paramount; publicly available information is critical to reducing the inherent risks of such a situation by ensuring governmental decisions are accountable and by enabling non-governmental expert input into the global vaccination process.
This report analyses transparency of two key stages of the vaccine development in chronological order: the development and subsequent buying of vaccines.
Given the scope, rapid progression and complexity of the global vaccination process, this is not an exhaustive analysis. First, all the following analysis is limited to 20 leading COVID-19 vaccines that were in, or had completed, phase 3 clinical trials as of 11th January 2021. Second, we have concentrated on transparency of two of the initial stages of the process: clinical trial transparency and the public contracting for the supply of vaccines. The report provides concrete recommendations on how to overcome current opacity in order to contribute to achieving the commitment of world leaders to ensure equal, fair and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries….(More)”.
Bloomberg Cities: “…Three open data approaches cities are finding success with:
Much of the data that people seem to be most interested in is location-based, local data leaders say. That includes everything from neighborhood crime stats and police data used by journalists and activists to property data regularly mined by real estate companies. Rather than simply making spatial data available, many cities have begun mapping it themselves, allowing users to browse information that’s useful to them.
At atlas.phila.gov, for example, Philadelphians can type in their own addresses to find property deeds, historic photos, nearby 311 complaints and service requests, and their polling place and date of the next local election, among other information. Los Angeles city’s GeoHub collects maps showing the locations of marijuana dispensaries, reports of hate crimes, and five years of severe and fatal crashes between drivers and bikers or pedestrians, and dozens more.
Train residents on how to use it
Cities with open-data policies learn from best practices in other city halls. In the last few years, many have begun offering trainings to equip residents with rudimentary data analysis skills. Baton Rouge, for example, offered a free, three-part Citizen Data Academy instructing residents on “how to find [open data], what it includes, and how to use it to understand trends and improve quality of life in our community.” …
In some communities, open-data officials work with city workers and neighborhood leaders to learn to help their communities access the benefits of public data even if only a small fraction of residents are accessing the data itself.
In Philadelphia, city teams work with the Citizens Planning Institute, an educational initiative of the city planning commission, to train neighborhood organizers in how to use city data around things like zoning and construction permits to keep up with development in their neighborhoods, says Kistine Carolan, open data program manager in the Office of Innovation and Technology. The Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment runs a Data Literacy Program to help neighborhood groups make better use of the city’s data. So far, officials say, representatives of 50 of the city’s 99 neighborhood councils have signed up as part of the Data Liaisons program to learn new GIS and data-analysis skills to benefit their neighborhoods.
Leverage the COVID moment
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted cities’ open-data plans, just like it has complicated every other aspect of society. Cities had to cancel scheduled in-person trainings and programs that help them reach some of their less-connected residents. But the pandemic has also demonstrated the fundamental role that data can play in helping to manage public emergencies. Cities large and small have hosted online tools that allow residents to track where cases are spiking—tools that have gotten many new people to interact with public data, officials say….(More)”.
Guide by the Land Portal: “This Open Up Guide on Land Governance is a resource aimed to be used by governments from developing countries to collect and release land-related data to improve data quality, availability, accessibility and use for improved citizen engagement, decision making and innovation. It sets out:
- Key datasets for land management accountability, and how they should be collected, stored, shared and published for improving land governance and transparency;
- Good data policies and frameworks, including metadata, standards and governance frameworks if available;
- Existing gaps or challenges in the policies and frameworks; and
- Use cases from real-life examples to illustrate the potential impact and transformation this type of data can provide in local contexts.
The Open Up Guide has been prepared for use by national and local government agencies with a mandate for or an interest in making their land governance data open and available for others to re-use. Land governance data generally comprises the data and information that agencies collect as they carry out their core land administration functions of land tenure, use, development and value. Some countries already collect and manage their land governance data in open and re-usable formats. Others may be seeking advice on how to start, how to expand their activities or how to test what they do against best practice.
Open land governance data, published in accordance with a government’s law and regulations, provides efficient and transparent government services and enables individuals, communities and businesses to run their lives ethically and with integrity.
The Guide is also intended to assist communities monitoring whether environmental protections are being upheld, and to support rights claims over geographical areas inhabited for generations; and for civil society organisations that can make use of land governance data to understand patterns of land deals, support environmental and social advocacy, and investigate and address corruption….(More)”.
Jer Thorp at Literary Hub: “Public” is a word that has, in the last decade, become bound tightly to data. Loosely defined, any data that is available in the public domain falls into this category, but the term is most often used to describe data that might serve some kind of civic purpose: census data or environmental data or health data, along with transparency-focused data like government budgets and reports. Often sidled up to “public” is the word “open.” Although the Venn diagram between the two words has ample overlap (public data is often open, and vice versa), the word “open” typically refers to if and how the data is accessible, rather than toward what ends it might be put to use.
Both words—“public” and “open”—invite a question: For whom? Despite the efforts of Mae and Gareth, and Tom Grundner and many others, the internet as it exists is hardly a public space. Many people still find themselves excluded from full participation. Access to anything posted on a city web page or on a .gov domain is restricted by barriers of cost and technical ability. Getting this data can be particularly hard for communities that are already marginalized, and both barriers—financial and technical—can be nearly impassable in places with limited resources and literacies.
Data.gov, the United States’ “open data portal,” lists nearly 250,000 data sets, an apparent bounty of free information. Spend some time on data.gov and other portals, though, and you’ll find out that public data as it exists is messy and often confusing. Many hosted “data sets” are links to URLs that are no longer active. Trying to access data about Native American communities from the American Community Survey on data.gov brought me first to a census site with an unlabeled list of file folders. Downloading a zip file and unpacking it resulted in 64,086 cryptically named text files each containing zero kilobytes of data. As someone who has spent much of the last decade working with these kinds of data, I can tell you that this is not an uncommon experience. All too often, working with public data feels like assembling particularly complicated Ikea furniture with no tools, no instructions, and an unknown number of missing pieces.
Today’s public data serves a particular type of person and a specific type of purpose. Mostly, it supports technically adept entrepreneurs. Civic data initiatives haven’t been shy about this; on data.gov’s impact page you’ll find a kind of hall-of-fame list of companies that are “public data success stories”: Kayak, Trulia, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Realtor.com, Zillow, Zocdoc, AccuWeather, Carfax. All of these corporations have, in some fashion, built profit models around public data, often charging for access to the very information that the state touts as “accessible, discoverable, and usable.”…(More)”.
The Data Stewards Academy…A self-directed learning program from the Open Data Policy Lab (The GovLab): “Communities across the world face unprecedented challenges. Strained by climate change, crumbling infrastructure, growing economic inequality, and the continued costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions need new ways of solving public problems and improving how they operate.
In recent years, data has been increasingly used to inform policies and interventions targeted at these issues. Yet, many of these data projects, data collaboratives, and open data initiatives remain scattered. As we enter into a new age of data use and re-use, a third wave of open data, it is more important than ever to be strategic and purposeful, to find new ways to connect the demand for data with its supply to meet institutional objectives in a socially responsible way.
This self-directed learning program, adapted from a selective executive education course, will help data stewards (and aspiring data stewards) develop a data re-use strategy to solve public problems. Noting the ways data resources can inform their day-to-day and strategic decision-making, the course provides learners with ways they can use data to improve how they operate and pursue goals in the public’s interests. By working differently—using agile methods and data analytics—public, private, and civil sector leaders can promote data re-use and reduce data access inequities in ways that advance their institution’s goals.
In this self-directed learning program, we will teach participants how to develop a 21st century data strategy. Participants will learn:
- Why It Matters: A discussion of the three waves of open data and how data re-use has proven to be transformative;
- The Current State of Play: Current practice around data re-use, including deficits of current approaches and the need to shift from ad hoc engagements to more systematic, sustainable, and responsible models;
- Defining Demand: Methodologies for how organizations can formulate questions that data can answer; and make data collaboratives more purposeful;
- Mapping Supply: Methods for organizations to discover and assess the open and private data needed to answer the questions at hand that potentially may be available to them;
- Matching Supply with Demand: Operational models for connecting and meeting the needs of supply- and demand-side actors in a sustainable way;
- Identifying Risks: Overview of the risks that can emerge in the course of data re-use;
- Mitigating Risks and Other Considerations: Technical, legal and contractual issues that can be leveraged or may arise in the course of data collaboration and other data work; and
- Institutionalizing Data Re-use: Suggestions for how organizations can incorporate data re-use into their organizational structure and foster future collaboration and data stewardship.
The Data Stewardship Executive Education Course was designed and implemented by program leads Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder and chief research development officer at the GovLab, and Andrew Young, The GovLab’s knowledge director, in close collaboration with a global network of expert faculty and advisors. It aims to….(More)”.
Book edited by Hrvoje Stančić: “…explores issues that arise when digital records are entrusted to the cloud and will help professionals to make informed choices in the context of a rapidly changing digital economy.
Showing that records need to ensure public trust, especially in the era of alternative truths, this volume argues that reliable resources, which are openly accessible from governmental institutions, e-services, archival institutions, digital repositories, and cloud-based digital archives, are the key to an open digital environment. The book also demonstrates that current established practices need to be reviewed and amended to include the networked nature of the cloud-based records, to investigate the role of new players, like cloud service providers (CSP), and assess the potential for implementing new, disruptive technologies like blockchain. Stančić and the contributors address these challenges by taking three themes – state, citizens, and documentary form – and discussing their interaction in the context of open government, open access, recordkeeping, and digital preservation.
Exploring what is needed to enable the establishment of an open digital environment, Trust and Records in an Open Digital Environment should be essential reading for data, information, document, and records management professionals. It will also be a key text for archivists, librarians, professors, and students working in the information sciences and other related fields….(More)”.
Jennifer Yokoyama at Microsoft: “…The biggest takeaway from our work this past year – and the one thing I hope any reader of this post will take away – is that data collaboration is a spectrum. From the presence (or absence) of data to how open that data is to the trust level of the collaboration participants, these factors may necessarily lead to different configurations and different goals, but they can all lead to more open data and innovative insights and discoveries.
Here are a few other lessons we have learned over the last year:
- Principles set the foundation for stakeholder collaboration: When we launched the Open Data Campaign, we adopted five principles that guide our contributions and commitments to trusted data collaborations: Open, Usable, Empowering, Secure and Private. These principles underpin our participation, but importantly, organizations can build on them to establish responsible ways to share and collaborate around their data. The London Data Commission, for example, established a set of data sharing principles for public- and private-sector organizations to ensure alignment and to guide the participating groups in how they share data.
- There is value in pilot projects: Traditionally, data collaborations with several stakeholders require time – often including a long runway for building the collaboration, plus the time needed to execute on the project and learn from it. However, our learnings show short-term projects that experiment and test data collaborations can provide valuable insights. The London Data Commission did exactly that with the launch of four short-term pilot projects. Due to the success of the pilots, the partners are exploring how they can be expanded upon.
- Open data doesn’t require new data: Identifying data to share does not always mean it must be newly shared data; sometimes the data was narrowly shared, but can be shared more broadly, made more accessible or analyzed for a different purpose. Microsoft’s environmental indicator data is an example of data that was already disclosed in certain venues, but was then made available to the Linux Foundation’s OS-Climate Initiative to be consumed through analytics, thereby extending its reach and impact…
To get started, we suggest that emerging data collaborations make use of the wealth of existing resources. When embarking on data collaborations, we leveraged many of the definitions, toolkits and guides from leading organizations in this space. As examples, resources such as the Open Data Institute’s Data Ethics Canvas are extremely useful as a framework to develop ethical guidance. Additionally, The GovLab’s Open Data Policy Lab and Executive Course on Data Stewardship, both supported by Microsoft, highlight important case studies, governance considerations and frameworks when sharing data. If you want to learn more about the exciting work our partners are doing, check out the latest posts from the Open Data Institute and GovLab…(More)”. See also Open Data Policy Lab.