While the practice of open data is becoming widespread and the potential impacts and benefits of open data are frequently discussed, evidence on the actual release, use and impact of open data remains limited and fragmented. To tackle this evidence gap, a range of different efforts have emerged to measure the various aspects of open data, yet little coordination exists among them.
We need to be able to compare and evaluate the outcomes of open data initiatives and the impact of open data on key issues such as the effectiveness of government spending, how governments perform their programs, and success rates of public initiatives, and the fight against corruption, amongst others. Governments, developers, researchers and civil society are continuously seeking for both quantitative and qualitative evidence that can be used to inform analysis, benchmark performance, and improve practice. For that to be possible a deeper understanding of the whole value chain of open data is required.
Clear, rigorous and relevant approaches to measuring progress towards open data, including readiness, implementation, use and impacts, are vitally important to drive continued improvement in practice. Common and global measurement methods are needed that can shed light on the ways in which open data can better deliver its economic and social change promise. That in turns requires collaboration among existing and emerging studies and organizations, securing the best use of available resources to deliver a set of relevant questions and methods for building an useful global evidence base.
The following draft actions were developed through sessions at IODC15. You are invited to share your feedback on these actions using the comments box below. A final roadmap of actions will be published in mid-2015.
Key action: Developing an open data assessment roadmap
Partners will come together to create a map of existing studies and metrics, their methodologies, targets and audiences to identify areas of collaboration, areas of conflict and possible gaps and key and relevant metrics to focus on.
Additional action: Refining the common assessment methods for open data
The Common Assessment Methods for Open Data report provides an overview framework for coordination and sharing between open data measurement projects. Over the coming year, partners will work together to update, extended and further develop the current draft Framework – including a library of definition, taxonomies, metrics and guidance materials on how to apply and contextualize them. This will allow it can be used as a common basis to design new measurement instruments and refine existing ones. Anyone planning an open data assessment project is invited to draw upon the Common Assessment Method Framework, and to get involved in shaping it future.
Additional action: Networking researchers
Researchers working on open data measurement need spaces to network and share ideas. Building on the mailing list created following the 2014 Common Assessment Methods workshop, an ongoing space for networking will be created, and opportunities identified to gather researchers together for more in-depth discussions on open data measurement.
Additional action: Develop domain specific assessments: starting with national statistics
National statistical offices play a central role in capturing data to support sustainable development. They provide a key official source of national data, therefore, have a special obligation to adopt and implement open data policies.
Open data policies are easy to announce but hard to implement. How open are official statistics? To assess the performance of national statistical offices a comprehensive measure of their adherence to open data standards is needed. Open Data Watch will build upon their existing pilot to scale up such a measurement.
More information | Find out more about the open data inventory
Action anchors are taking a lead on shaping the conversation in the run up to the conference, and facilitating the conference session. They will be blogging about the key issues to be address, and existing initiatives that respond to the challenges in this area.
- How entrepreneurs and civil society organizations are collaboratively mapping open data use May 29, 2015 - A guest post from Joel Gurin & Laura Manley of the Center for Open Data Enterprise Yesterday, the Center for Open Data Enterprise launched the Open Data Impact Map as a project of the OD4D network. The Map is a “big tent” project, designed to pull together examples of all kinds of open data use cases […]
- Developing User-Centered Methods for Measuring the Value of Open Data May 11, 2015 - A guest post from Johanna Walker and Mark Frank Many existing approaches to open data measurement start from assessing ideal properties of datasets. But there is little evidence these properties capture the key things that data users need. Through an Open Data for Development grant from the Open Government Partnership Open Data Working Group, we’ve […]
- The benefits and challenges of measuring open data May 8, 2015 - A guest blog post from Carlos Iglesias of the World Wide Web Foundation. Open data holds the potential to build a prosperous, socially just world with more transparent, accountable, participatory and efficient gGovernments. Governments across the world are increasingly adopting open data policies and practices. From national portals, to municipal open data initiatives and sector […]
Proposals for addressing this challenge will be developed over the course of IODC15, and shared here shortly afterwards.