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Open Washing: digging deeper into the tough questions

- October 25, 2018 in IODC, iodc18, Open Data, openwashing

This blog was written by James McKinney, Oscar Montiel and Ana Brandusescu For the second time in history, the International Open Data Conference (IODC) opened a space for us to talk about #openwashing. The insights from IODC16 have been brilliantly summarised by Ana Brandusescu, also a host of this year’s session. On this occasion, we dug deeper into some of the issues and causes of open washing. We expect and hope this to be a discussion we can have more than once every couple of years at a conference, so we invite you all to contact the authors and let us know your thoughts! In order to discuss open washing in a very limited time, we framed the discussion around Heimstädt’s paper from 2017. To go beyond data publication, we asked participants to think about four key questions:
  1. How does a particular context encourage or discourage open washing?
  2. How does openness serve, or not serve, non-technical communities?
  3. How is a lack of openness tied to culture?
  4. What is our role as civil society organization/infomediary or government in tackling open washing?
This last question was key to try and frame open washing as something beyond blaming one group or another as the sole culprit of this practice. To accommodate the large number of Spanish and English speakers, we split into two language groups. Here, we summarize the key points of each discussion.

English group

Lack of power

Participants described scenarios in which publishers lacked the power to publish (whether by design or not). For example, an international non-profit organization (INGO) receives donor funding to hire a local researcher. The INGO has an open data policy, but when you request the data collected by the researcher, the INGO refers you to the donor (citing intellectual property clauses of the funding agreement), who then refers you to the researcher (wishing to respect the embargo on an upcoming article). In short, the INGO has an open data policy, but it lacks the power to publish this data and others like it. In this and many other cases, the open data program limited itself to data the organization owns, without looking more comprehensively at how the organization manages intellectual property rights to data it finances, purchases, licenses, etc. Such scenarios become open washing when, whether deliberately or through negligence, a government fails to secure the necessary intellectual property rights to publish data of high value or of high interest. This risk is acute for state-owned enterprises, public-private partnerships, procured services and privatized services. Common examples relate to address data. For example, Canada Post’s postal code data is the country’s most requested dataset, but Canada’s Directive on Open Government doesn’t apply to Canada Post, as it’s a state-owned enterprise. Similarly, when the United Kingdom privatized the Royal Mail, it didn’t retain the postcode data as a public dataset. Besides limits to the application of open data policies, another way in which organizations lack power is with respect to their enforcement. To be effective, policies must have consequences for noncompliance. (See, for example, Canada’s Directive on Open Government.) One more way in which power is limited is less legal and more social. Few organizations take responsibility for failing to respect their open data principles, but acknowledging failure is a first step toward improvement. Similarly, few actors call out their own and/or others’ failures, which leads to a situation in which failures are silent and unaddressed. Opportunities:
  • Open data programs should consider the intellectual property management of not only the data an organization owns, but also the data it finances, purchases, licenses, etc.
  • Open data programs should extend to all of government, including state-owned enterprises, public-private partnerships, procured services and privatized services.
  • To be enforceable, open data policies must have consequences for noncompliance.

Lack of knowledge or capacity

Participants also described scenarios in which publishers lacked the knowledge or capacity to publish effectively. Data is frequently made open but not made useful, for lack of care for who might use it. For example, open by default policies can incentivize ‘dumping’ as much data as possible into a catalog, but opening data shouldn’t be ‘like taking trash out.’ In addition, few publishers measure quality or prioritize datasets for release with stakeholder input, in order to improve the utility of datasets. In many cases, public servants have good intentions and are working with limited resources to overcome these challenges, in which case they aren’t open washing. However, their efforts may be ‘washed’ by others. For example, a minister might over-sell the work, out of a desire to claim success after putting in substantial effort. Or, a ranking or an initiative like the Open Government Partnership might celebrate the work, despite its shortcomings – giving a ‘star’ for openness, without a real change in openness. Opportunities: Make rankings more resistant to open washing. For example, governments can read the assessment methodology of the Open Data Barometer and ‘game’ a high score. Is there a way to identify, measure and/or account for open washing within such methodologies? Are there any inspiring methods from, for example, fighting bid rigging?

Other opportunities

While the discussion focused on the areas above, participants shared other ideas to address open washing, including to:
  • Make it a common practice to disclose the reason a dataset is not released, so that it is harder for governments to quietly withhold a dataset from publication.
  • Balance advocacy with collaboration. For example, if a department is open washing, make it uncomfortable in public, while nurturing a working relationship with supportive staff in private, in order to push for true openness. That said, advocacy has risks, which may not be worth the reward in all cases of open washing.
 

Spanish group

Political discourse

Participants described how, in their countries, the discourse around openness came from the top-down and was led by political parties. In many cases, a political party formed government and branded its work and ways of working as ‘open’. This caused their efforts to be perceived as partisan, and therefore at greater risk of being reversed when an opposing party formed government.  This also meant that public servants, especially in middle and lower-level positions, didn’t see the possible outcomes of openness in their activities as an important part of their regular work, but as extra, politically-motivated work within their already busy schedules. Opportunities: Make openness a non-partisan issue. Encourage a bottom-up discourse.

Implementation challenges

Participants described many challenges in implementing openness:
  • A lack of technical skills and resources.
  • A focus on quantity over quality.
  • Governments seeing openness as an effort that one or two agencies can deliver, instead of as an effort that requires all agencies to change how they work.
  • Governments opening data only in ways and formats with which they are already familiar, and working only with people they already know and trust.
  • A fear of being judged.
Opportunities: Co-design data formats.  Author standardized manuals for collecting and publishing data.

The value of data

A final point was the lack of a broad appreciation that data is useful and important. As long as people inside and outside government don’t see its value, there will be little motivation to open data and to properly govern and manage it. Opportunities: Research government processes and protocols for data governance and management.  

Wrapping up

At IODC18, we created a space to discuss open washing. We advanced the conversation on some factors contributing to it, and identified some opportunities to address it. However, we could only touch lightly on a few of the many facets of open washing. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these discussions and on open washing in general! You can contact us via Twitter or email:

OKBR participa de painéis na maior conferência global de dados abertos

- September 28, 2018 in acesso à informação, colaboração, Conhecimento Livre, Dados Abertos, Escola de Dados, Eventos, Gastos Abertos, governo aberto, IODC, Open Knowledge Brasil, sociedade civil, transparência

A Open Knowledge Brasil marca presença na International Open Data Conference (IODC) deste ano, nos dias 27 e 28 de setembro, em Buenos Aires, na Argentina, e participa de debates sobre como ciência de dados pode promover inovação e gerar impacto no jornalismo e o uso de tecnologia para ampliar a participação social na política. Natália Mazotte, diretora-executiva da OKBR, vai apresentar projetos da organização nas mesas Open Data + Journalism, no dia 27 de setembro, e Open Data + Government Finances, no dia 28. Na mesa sobre jornalismo e dados abertos, ela fala sobre sua experiência à frente da Escola de Dados, programa da Open Knowledge Brasil voltado à alfabetização de dados para jornalistas e membros de organizações da sociedade civil. Também apresenta o Perfil Político, ferramenta lançada nesta semana e criada pelo programa de inovação cívica da OKBR, voltada para jornalistas e formadores de opinião construírem pautas a partir de comparações de históricos dos políticos que pleiteiam um cargo nas eleições 2018. Já no painel sobre gastos governamentais, uma das pautas é a Operação Serenata de Amor, projeto que integra nosso programa de inovação cívica e apresenta Rosie, a inteligência artificial criada pelo projeto para verificar gastos suspeitos da cota de exercício parlamentar, ao público da conferência. Flattr this!

IODC 2018: The hard questions for the future of open data

- September 24, 2018 in Events, Featured, IODC, iodc18

The latest edition of  the International Open Data Conference (IODC) is just around the bend. We’ll be discussing open data during the entire week in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through a series of pre-events, including symposiums, discussion panels and workshops as well as the main conference, we will discuss with open data practitioners, advocates, and researchers about the future of open data. This type of conference is important since it allows us to engage with people in different contexts, who may think differently from us and it allows us to learn  through all the discussions.

Our hope: being constructively critical and don’t fear to talk about what does not work

There are some questions like, who does open data work for? Is it really for “everyone”? And if it is not, how do we serve people who are not necessarily interested in open data data but could benefit from it? These questions are not new – in fact some have been around from the very beginning of open data. In order to advance we want to discuss if those are indeed the right questions. We acknowledge that there may be many views about this. As an example, some may think of the ‘open’ in open data as just a mechanism of sharing data. To us, open is much more than that: ‘open’ is a key value of the societies that we strive for, while being balanced appropriately with concerns around privacy and security.  We will grasp the opportunity of having these great minds in one place and gather different voices from the open data space present at the conference. We will start asking some of the uncomfortable questions that will let us know if open data is actually heading into the future – or are we doing business as usual since 2008? Do we frame and think about societal problems in the right way? Has discourse around empowerment, transparency, accountability run out of steam? Must the political side of open data (fiscal transparency) become ‘more political’? We suggest questions that are not straight-forward to answer. We acknowledge this and want to gather the variety of points of view before drawing conclusions.

Where we from Open Knowledge International will be

Open Knowledge International is represented at IODC by Sander van der Waal (@sandervdwaal), Danny Lammerhirt (@danlammerhirt) and Oscar Montiel (@tlacoyodefrijol). We want to join the discussions about the future of open data, engaging in the following debates (among others): From our point of view, these spaces will start addressing some of the larger questions of the open data space. We feel like these debates are critical in their approach to the discourse of openness. It is crucial that look beyond open data for data’s sake, overlooking the political issues of this work. We will also be helping facilitate workshops and present about our work on Fiscal Transparency, School of Data and Frictionless Data. Join us at the Open Contracting in Practice workshop on Tuesday morning, the refresh of the Open Data Principles workshop on Tuesday afternoon,  and the Data Standards Day on Wednesday. So, if you’re in Buenos Aires as well we look forward to hearing from you; please come find us and discuss these questions! Or attend one of our sessions. If you’re not attending, please reach out on Twitter to @okfn or to one of us directly.  

A short story about Open Washing

- August 20, 2018 in IODC, iodc18, Open Data, Open Government Data, openwashing

Great news! The International Open Data Conference (IODC) accepted my proposal about Open Washing. The moment I heard this I wanted to write something to invite everyone to our session. It will be a follow-up to the exchange we had during IODC in 2015. First a couple disclaimers: This text is not exactly about data. Open Washing is not an easy conversation to have. It’s not a comfortable topic for anyone, whether you work in government or civil society. Sometimes we decide to avoid it (I’m looking at you, OGP Summit!). To prepare this new session I went through the history of our initial conversation. I noticed that my awesome co-host, Ana Brandusescu summarised everything here. I invite you to read that blogpost and then come back. Or keep reading and then read the other post. Either way, don’t miss Ana’s post. What comes next is a story. I hope this story will illustrate why these uncomfortable conversations are important. Second disclaimer: everything in this story is true. It is a fact that these things happened. Some of them are still happening. It is not a happy story, and I’m sorry if some people might feel offended by me telling it. There was once a country that had a pretty young democracy. That country was ruled by one political party for 70 years and then, 18 years ago decided it was enough. Six years ago, that political party came back. They won the presidential election. How this happened is questionable but goes beyond the reach of this story right now. When this political party regained power the technocrats thought this was good news. Some international media outlets thought the new president would even “save” the country. The word “save” may sound like too much but there was a big wave of violence that had built from previous years. Economic development was slow and social issues were boiling. There was a big relationship of this to corruption in many levels of government. In this context, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The president’s office decided to make open government a priority. Open data would be a tool to promote proactive transparency and economic development. They signed all the international commitments they could. They chaired international spaces for everything transparency related. They set up a team with young and highly prepared professionals to turn all this into reality. But then, the tunnel seemed to extend and the light seemed dimmer. In spite of these commitments some things that weren’t supposed to happen, happened. Different journalistic researches found out what seemed like acts of corruption. A government contractor gave the president 7 million dollar house during the campaign. The government awarded about 450 million USD in irregular contracts. Most of these contracts didn’t even result in actual execution of works or delivery of goods. They spied on people from the civil society groups that collaborated with them. 45 journalists, who play a big role in this story, were murdered in the last 6 years. For doing their job. For asking questions that may be uncomfortable for some people. There is a lot more to the story but I will leave it here. That doesn’t mean it ends here. It’s still happening. It seems like this political party doesn’t care about using open washing anymore. They don’t care anymore because they’re leaving. But we should care because we stay. We need to talk and discuss this in the open. The story of this country, my country, is very particular and surreal but holds a lot of lessons. This is probably the worst invitation you’ve ever received. But I know there are a lot of lessons and knowledge out there. So if you are around, come to our session during IODC. If you’re not, talk about this issue where you live. Or reach out to others who might be interested. It probably won’t be comfortable but you will for sure bring a new perspective to your work. This is also an invitation to try it.

Why you should take 10 minutes to look at the Open Data Roadmap this Open Data Day

- February 28, 2017 in community, IODC, Open Data Day, Roadmap

March 4th is Open Data Day! Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the seventh time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities.   For me, Open Data Day is a special day. This is not because I am busy organising it, but because I am always inspired by the different activities that we can all pull off as a community one weekend every year. Let’s be fair, while International Pancake day, which is celebrated today, is delicious, Open Data Day is important. It shows our strength as a community and brings new people to the discussions.

Open Data Day in Peru 2016

We all know, however, that open data is not only a one-day thing. It is a 365-day effort. Don’t get me wrong, even if you have done one event this year, and it is Open Data Day, you are fabulous! I do think, however, that this is a time to mention others in the community working all year round to try and make progress on different international topics. Whether that progress is being made through promoting the International Open Data Charter or working on standards for contracting or creating the world’s biggest open data portal for humanitarian crises. In the regional level, we see great examples of initiatives like AbreLatam/ConDatos or the African Open Data Conference.     Open Data Day, whether done locally or on a global-scale, is a good time to reflect on what happens in other places, or how you (yes, you!), can help and shape this open data ecosystem where we work. In my belief, if it’s open, everyone should have a right to express their opinions. Lucky for us, there is a tool that tries to look at the community’s burning topics and set the way forward. It is called the International Open Data Conference Roadmap, and it is waiting for you to interact with and shape further. Before you leave this post and read something else, I know what you might be thinking. It goes somewhere along the lines of “Mor, but who cares about my opinion when it comes to such high-level strategy?” Well, the whole community cares! I wrote this blog about the IODC just a year and a bit ago, and look, now I can actually help and shape this event. And who am I really? I am not a CEO of anything or a government official. I don’t think that only the noisy people (like me…) should be the individuals who are shaping the future. This is why your written opinion matters to us, the authors of the roadmap. Without it, this whole movement will stay in place, and without people understanding and working with the roadmap, we will not go anywhere.   I am aware that this post might come too late for some of you: your schedule for Open Data Day is full,  you need more time to get organised, etc. Got 30 minutes? Here is my suggested activity with the report and I would love to get comments on it on our forum! Got only 10 minutes? Pick a topic from the roadmap, the one that you feel most connected to, read about, a write a comment about it on our forum.

Activity suggestion: International Open Data Roadmap – what are we missing?

Time: 30 minutes Accessories: Laptops, post-its, pens, good mood.   Number of participants: 2-15 Activity: Step 1: Read the Roadmap main actions to the group :
Open Data principles– Broaden political commitment to open data principles Standards –  Identify and adopt user-centric open standards Capacity building – Build capacity to produce and effectively use open data Innovation – Strengthen networks to address common challenges Measurement – Make action on open data movement more evidence-based SDG– Use open data to support the sustainable development agenda   Step 2: Choose one action – If you have more than 4 people, divide the big groups into groups of up to 4 people.   Step 3: Read about the actions and what the mean in the report (pages 33-43). Discuss in the group about the meaning of the action. Do you understand it? If not what are you missing to understand it better? If yes, do you agree with it?   Step 4: On a post-it , write what do you think can help us to act and complete the actions or what are missing.   Step 5: Take a picture of your post it, upload it to the forum, with an explanation about it. You are also welcome to share it with on Twitter by using the hashtag: #IODCRoadmap.   I will run this session on the London Open Data Day Do-a-thon, if you are around, ping me at mor.rubinstein@okfn.org or my Twitter – @morchickit Have a great open data day event! Don’t forget to tweet about it #opendataday and send us your posts!

How we, as Open Data community, can improve International Open Data Conference (IODC) together?

- November 7, 2016 in community, Inclusive, IODC, Malaysia, Open Knowledge, Sinar Project

I had initially assumed that I would be unable to attend the International Open Data Conference (IODC) 2016 due to lack of funding. Fortunately, Open Knowledge International (OKI) chose me to join the IODC unconference (and thank you IDRC/OD4D for sponsoring my trip) to represent and share the perspective of Sinar Project, one of our collaborative projects. So, props to OKI for being such a generous sport in flying a person from the other side of the globe to IODC in Madrid. It was my first physical attendance to IODC (and my first time in continental Europe!). Based on my experiences at IODC16 as a participant, volunteer facilitator and volunteer notetaker, I would like to share some ideas on how we can improve the IODC conference format for 2018 in Argentina. From the point of view as a female hijabi southeast Asian-born person of colour who works in a civil society organisation based in Southeast Asia, I see that international conferences such as IODC often lack two fundamental aspects:
1. Diversity
2. Inclusiveness
I am aware that IODC is meant to be a meeting point for the global community to debate and study the future of open data. However, when it comes to “Global Goals, Local Impact” (the theme of this year’s conference), there are a number of aspects of the conference which hinder its ability to be inclusive and diverse from the beginning. Diversity and inclusiveness can and should act as the foundation of IODC, balancing at the same time cost-effectiveness and hopefully, sustainability. Here are some ideas (or a proposal for a session in IODC18) –
To promote global participation and sustainable discussion for the future of open data, remote participation is crucial for communities who are unable to attend the conference physically. Even though face to face interaction is the best way for communication and decision making, physical participation comes with a high price to cover incurred costs for travel, accommodation and per diem. Following are four points that we, as the global, digital & data driven community, need to consider when we talk actively about diversity and inclusiveness while supporting communities who are facing difficulties in constraint environments.
inclusive

Are we really inclusive? (Image: IODC16)

1. The element of remote

The Open Data field has many challenges to deal with, as well as strategies and shared experiences. Wouldn’t the discussion be more thought provoking when sessions are adaptable for remote panels where anybody and everybody from around the world can contribute their input in the session? We don’t need to eliminate the panel format entirely, but there should be a flexibility where panel format can be changed from its traditional form to reduce the interaction of barriers between moderator(s), speaker(s) and audiences. For an example of this in practice, the Data + Accountability I session was in an un-panel format. The un-panel format is the opposite of panel format where there are more live interaction and feedback from the attendees/participants with speakers and moderators. This format is done off the stage and most of the discussion made in a circle. This allows better knowledge sharing. As a requirement, I propose at least three moderators to able to moderate the discussions in verbal and in written because handling participants from around the world are challenging. Best example found so far: The Open Exchange Facilitation workshop. The flow of the workshop was moderated by three people (2 of which were monitoring actively in the chat room) with very clear participant guidelines, and it was done in remotely via GoToMeeting. Additionally, careful planning is crucial to allow smooth operation throughout this session. When it comes to igniting discussions and encouraging feedback, diverse participants are important in making the discussion itself more inclusive.
For example, who would have known that a country like Malaysia would benefit from applying social audit approaches practiced in Kenya to hold the decision makers accountable?

2. Outreach & Capacity Building

As a follow-up to point 1, we have to approach the right target group(s) that are reliable and responsive in respective projects while sharing common goals. I echoed this point in an article on the creation of elites, how can you address the repetition of participation of small groups of elites that claim to represent the minorities and the communities in their respective country/region? Following are four groups that we, the open data community, need to consider approaching particularly: non-tech skilled persons that have experiences in rights-based issues, tech experienced individuals, intermediaries, and beneficiaries.
iodc-unconf2

Nany in the unconference discussing capacity building (image: IODC16)

3. Window shopping

This is not just any a typical kind of window shopping. This is window shopping for funding. Can IODC be more than just a one-off meeting point? Wouldn’t it be great if some percentage of the conference budget allocated to fund projects at the end of the conference? There is another way to have an added value for IODC: fund small scale & measurable open data projects by regions. This is where organisers of sessions participate with a mission to not just bring ideas and share it with the world but to make it come to life in small projects. IODC can become a platform where organisers of sessions begin to experiment their ideas that can really lead to social change.

4. Measurement of progress

In supporting all of the points above, we need to look at two aspects of measuring the growth of our target groups: period to measure progress (minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years) and milestones for both achievements and failures. More importantly, we must ensure there are suitable mechanisms for capacity building. There should be an expectation set to allow organisers to evaluate progress. This progress should be shared with IODC organisers, attendees and the rest of the world. Furthermore, in the proposed session on diversity and inclusivity, we can discuss further:
– Barriers of participation for remote participants and panels/facilitators
– Best practices in collecting feedbacks before and after participating IODC
– Is a centralized hub a useful contribution for remote participation? Are there any existing examples?
– Ways to attract new participants and panels/facilitators
There is a need for capacity building internally and externally so the open data community can ensure local communities understand the importance of open data. This will entail further training/coaching people to make use of open data, putting the pressure on policy makers to implement better National Action Plans, improving Freedom of Information policy, and a renewed focus on better open government policy. Therefore, let’s spare some energy to make IODC more inclusive and diverse through remote participation and see how we can grow together collectively as a movement.

「オープン」からはデータ以上のものを要求すべき:国際オープンデータ会議における考察

- June 15, 2015 in blog, Featured, International Open Data Conference, IODC, News, Open Data, open-government, Open-washing, sunlightfoundation, オープン・ウォッシング, オープンガバメント, オープンデータ

(訳注:この記事は sunlightfoundation.com 記事の日本語訳です)

オタワの2015国際オープンデータ会議で話すサンライトのリンゼイ・フェリス。(写真のクレジット:John Wonderlich/Twitter)

先週(訳注:2015/5/28-29)、カナダ政府、国際開発研究センター、世界銀行、および開発ネットワークのためのオープンデータ(Open Data for Development Network)は、約2千人を招いてオタワで3回目の国際オープンデータ会議(IODC)を開催しました。イベントは、今年のオープンガバメント・コミュニティ向けの最大の集まりのひとつであり、、オープンガバメント・コミュニティがいかに有意義な変化を作り出すことができるかというやや困難な課題に立ち向かうために、私たちは招かれました。 私たちは、ガバメントデータが、普通の市民生活の向上にどのような影響を与えるのかを識別してほしいという依頼をよく受けます。実際この質問は、IODC期間中に何度も聞かれました。たとえば金曜朝の本会議の間、ガバメントデータの公開は究極的には利用者(たいていは市民)の便益となることが目的だということには合意が得られているように思えました。しかし、ソフトウェア開発者、研究者と公務員などでいっぱいの部屋にいた聴衆のひとりが立ち上がって辛辣に尋ねました「それで、このパネルにはなぜ利用者がいないんだい?」。この状況は、特に開発について話す時に、ちょうど今、オープンデータ・コミュニティ内で私たちが直面している重大な挑戦のうちのひとつをカプセル化しているように思えます。知識共有は、車輪の再発明(よりよい慣用句が無いのであえて使いますが)を避けるために有意義であるかもしれませんが、私たちはコミュニティ内のアイデアの多様性を確かなものにするために、通常の重要参考人にとどまらないステークホルダーと話す必要があります。私たちと同じ困難に遭遇した人々にだけ相談することは、オープンデータプロジェクトの実施などにおいて、私たちがリーチしようとしている様々な利用者本位という、これらのプロジェクトの中で最も重要な面を無視することになってしまいます。 さらに悪いことに、こういった分断は時として彼らがターゲットとしようとしているツールを作る人と聴衆との間のみならず、コミュニティ自身の内部にも存在することがあります。説明責任とオープンデータの間で働いている組織として、私たちは異種の2グループの中間でそれがいかに孤立し得るかをよく理解しています。シビックハッカーと政策提唱者は時として会話を交わさないこともあり、政策とテックの興味を結婚させようとしている取り組みは極めて少ないように思えます。しかし、私たちの最大の挑戦のひとつである「オープンデータにこの先何を求めるか」といったことに取り組む上で、視点と興味の多様性を増大させることは極めて重要です。 政府のオープンネスは、この領域内のNGO、シビックハッカー、ジャーナリスト、そして政策立案者が活動目標として目指す価値があります。3年前D.C.の世界銀行に集まった100人から、2千人規模の1週間に及ぶ国際オープンデータ会議への飛躍的な成長がその証拠です。しかしながら私たちはまだ、不公平な権力機構をゆさぶり、政府をより効率的で説明責任を持つものとするには、どのようにデータを利用できるかといった核心的な部分には到着していません。疑い深い人たちは、すべての重要な決定と行動をクローズドにしておきながら、政府がオープンだと認めさせようとする試みとして「オープン・ウォッシング」という用語を作り出しました。(訳注:参考記事:「オープン-ウォッシング」 – データをオープンにすることと単に利用可能にすることはどう違うのか)そして、多くの他のものと同様、「オープンネス」がたいていは政府が脅威を感じ得る高価値のデータセットのところで終わってしまうように思えることについて、私たちはよく不満を口にします。そして、利用者の参画やこれらのより大きい問題への取り組みよりもむしろサービスの提供に関する私たちの分野へのフォーカスを考えると、こういった批判には何らかのメリットがあります。 ある程度まで、オープンガバメント・データとサービス提供の供給側のこのコミュニティのフォーカスは完全に意味を成すものです。オープンデータが市民の生活を改善し長期的には政府を変容させたということを示すよりも、どれほどの人々がそれを利用したかということに関するツールのインパクトを示すのははるかに容易です。そして価値を示すことは市民社会組織と政府がともに何かしら一定の方向への後押しを受けることにつながります。しかし特に私たちが解決しようとしている問題を考えると、あいにくこの仕事のインパクトは突然、一晩で可視化されるわけではありません。そのコア部分では、私たちは長年の問題を解決するためにデータを利用しようとしています:政府が市民により良く仕えるにはどうしたら良いでしょうか?もしこの疑問が、より多くの政府情報を公開するのと同じくらい簡単なソリューションによって解決できるものならば、何年も前に行われていたでしょう。 ここサンライトでは、私たちは、これらのやや大きい課題を前進させることに実際に投資されます。私たちは、誰もすべての答えを持っているわけではないということに十分気づいており、たとえどのような必然的な挑戦が立ちはだかっていても私たちの戦略が変わり続けるべきであると信じていますが、私たちはこれらの仲介的な挑戦のうちのいくつかを何通りかのやり方で取り扱うために働いています:
  • オープンデータのインパクトの定義。オープンガバメントのプロジェクトは、他のステークホルダーとイニシアチブの関与が持続可能な変化を達成するのに不可欠な環境において機能する傾向があり、私たちがその達成に向けて努力するプロジェクトの活動とインパクトの間の因果関係を示すことをいっそう難しくさせています。1ヶ月前、サンライトは、変化の理論をひも解き、オープンデータの成果と複雑な生態系内のデジタル透明性イニシアチブを評価するために、方法論的な枠組(アウトカム・マッピング・アプローチ)を用いて研究結果を出版しました。私たちは、先週IODC研究シンポジウムその他のパネルで研究成果を提出しましたが、私たちの成果と長期にわたる社会的変化の間のミッシング・リンクを見つけるために、コミュニティからの意見をもっと聞きたいと考えています。
  • 多様なネットワークの育成。サンライトは、OpeningParliamentとMoney, Politics and Transparency(お金、政治と透明度)(MPT)という、議会および政治的な資金調達を、よりオープンで、説明責任を果たし、参加しやすいものにするために、合意に基づいて政策提唱者と市民技術者を同じテーブルに連れて来るようにデザインされた2つのネットワークの共同設立者です。IODCでは、私たちは、議院法学者のための倫理と標準を議論するために、会議のプレイベントの間にこれらの2つのイニシアチブを呼び集めました。このワークショップの中で、私たちは政治資金やコミュニティ文書のオープンネスに係る宣言についていくつか貴重なフィードバックを受け取りましたので、政治資金の透明性を増し、よりオープンな政治システムを求めるために、これらの2グループの間のギャップに橋を架けられるよう努めたいと思います。MPTパートナーは、Global Integrityおよび政治資金の改善が専門のネットワークの養成により実施されたグローバルな政治資金の実践についての新しい研究を議論するために、共同パネルも開催しました。私たちはこれらの国際的な規範の構築にあたり、フィードバックを歓迎します。MPTプロジェクトの文書や詳細についてのお問い合わせは、international@sunlightfoundation.com まで。
原文(2015/6/3 Sunlight Foundation Blog 記事より):
Original post We should demand more from “open” than just data: Thoughts on the International Open Data Conference / Lindsay Ferris, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.