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The Open Data Charter Measurement Guide is out now!

Danny Lämmerhirt - May 21, 2018 in Open Data measurements, research

This post was jointly written by Ana Brandusescu (Web Foundation) and Danny Lämmerhirt (Open Knowledge International), co-chairs of the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter. It was originally published via the Open Data Charter’s Medium account.     We are pleased to announce the launch of our Open Data Charter Measurement Guide. The guide is a collaborative effort of the Charter’s Measurement and Accountability Working Group (MAWG). It analyses the Open Data Charter principles and how they are assessed based on current open government data measurement tools. Governments, civil society, journalists, and researchers may use it to better understand how they can measure open data activities according to the Charter principles.

What can I find in the Measurement Guide?

  • An executive summary for people who want to quickly understand what measurement tools exist and for what principles.
  • An analysis of how each Charter principle is measured, including a comparison of indicators that are currently used to measure each Charter principle and its commitments. This analysis is based on the open data indicators used by the five largest measurement tools – the Web Foundation’s  Open Data Barometer, Open Knowledge International’s Global Open Data Index, Open Data Watch’s Open Data Inventory, OECD’s OURdata Index, and the European Open Data Maturity Assessment . For each principle, we also highlight case studies of how Charter adopters have practically implemented the commitments of that principle.
  • Comprehensive indicator tables show how each Charter principle commitment can be measured. This table is especially helpful when used to compare how different indices approach the same commitment, and where gaps exist. Here, you can see an example of the indicator tables for Principle 1.
  • A methodology section that details how the Working Group conducted the analysis of mapping existing measurements indices against Charter commitments.
  • A recommended list of resources for anyone that wants to read more about measurement and policy.
The Measurement Guide is available online in the form of a Gitbook and in a printable PDF version. If you are interested in using the indicators to measure open data, visit our indicator tables for each principle, or find the guide’s raw data here. Do you have comments or questions? Share your feedback with the community using the hashtag #OpenDataMetrics or get in touch with our working group at progressmeasurement-wg@opendatacharter.net.

The Open Data Charter Measurement Guide is out now!

Danny Lämmerhirt - May 21, 2018 in Open Data measurements, research

This post was jointly written by Ana Brandusescu (Web Foundation) and Danny Lämmerhirt (Open Knowledge International), co-chairs of the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter. It was originally published via the Open Data Charter’s Medium account.     We are pleased to announce the launch of our Open Data Charter Measurement Guide. The guide is a collaborative effort of the Charter’s Measurement and Accountability Working Group (MAWG). It analyses the Open Data Charter principles and how they are assessed based on current open government data measurement tools. Governments, civil society, journalists, and researchers may use it to better understand how they can measure open data activities according to the Charter principles.

What can I find in the Measurement Guide?

  • An executive summary for people who want to quickly understand what measurement tools exist and for what principles.
  • An analysis of how each Charter principle is measured, including a comparison of indicators that are currently used to measure each Charter principle and its commitments. This analysis is based on the open data indicators used by the five largest measurement tools – the Web Foundation’s  Open Data Barometer, Open Knowledge International’s Global Open Data Index, Open Data Watch’s Open Data Inventory, OECD’s OURdata Index, and the European Open Data Maturity Assessment . For each principle, we also highlight case studies of how Charter adopters have practically implemented the commitments of that principle.
  • Comprehensive indicator tables show how each Charter principle commitment can be measured. This table is especially helpful when used to compare how different indices approach the same commitment, and where gaps exist. Here, you can see an example of the indicator tables for Principle 1.
  • A methodology section that details how the Working Group conducted the analysis of mapping existing measurements indices against Charter commitments.
  • A recommended list of resources for anyone that wants to read more about measurement and policy.
The Measurement Guide is available online in the form of a Gitbook and in a printable PDF version. If you are interested in using the indicators to measure open data, visit our indicator tables for each principle, or find the guide’s raw data here. Do you have comments or questions? Share your feedback with the community using the hashtag #OpenDataMetrics or get in touch with our working group at progressmeasurement-wg@opendatacharter.net.

The Open Data Charter’s Measurement Guide is now open for consultation!

Danny Lämmerhirt - March 13, 2018 in Open Data, Open Data Charter, Open Data measurements, research

This blogpost is co-authored by  Ana Brandusescu  and Danny Lämmerhirt, co-chairs of the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter.

The Measurement and Accountability Working Group (MAWG) is launching the public consultation phase for the draft Open Data Charter Measurement* Guide!

Image: Imgflig.com

Measurement tools are often described in technical language. The Guide explains how the Open Data Charter principles can be measured. It provides a comprehensive overview of existing open data measurement tools and their indicators, which assess the state of open government data at a national level. Many of the indicators analysed are relevant for local and regional governments, too. This post explains what the Measurement Guide covers; the purpose of the public consultation, and how you can participate!

What can I find in the Measurement Guide?

  • An executive summary for people who want to quickly understand what measurement tools exist and for what principles.
  • An analysis of measuring the Charter principles, which includes a comparison of the indicators that are currently used to measure each Charter principle and its accompanying commitments. It reveals how the measurement tools — Open Data Barometer, Global Open Data Index, Open Data Inventory, OECD’s OURdata Index, European Open Data Maturity Assessment — address the Charter commitments. For each principle, case studies of how Charter adopters have put commitments into practice are also highlighted.
  • Comprehensive indicator tables show available indicators against each Charter commitment. This table is especially helpful when used to compare how different indices approach the same commitment, and where gaps exist.
  • A methodology section that details how the Working Group conducted the analysis of mapping existing measurements indices against Charter commitments.
  • A recommended list of resources for anyone that wants to read more about measurement and policy.

We want you — to give us your feedback!

The public consultation is a dialogue between measurement researchers and everyone who is working with measurements — including government, civil society, and researchers. If you consider yourself as part of one (or more) of these groups, we would appreciate your feedback on the guide. Please bear the questions below in mind as you review the Guide:

  • Is the Measurement Guide clear and understandable?
  • Government: Which indicators are most useful to assess your work on open data and why?
  • Civil society: In what ways do you find existing indicators useful to hold your government to account?
  • Researchers: Do you know measurements and assessments that are well-suited to understand the Charter commitments?

How does the public consultation process work?

The public consultation phase will be open for two weeks — from 12 to 26 March — and includes:

  1. Public feedback, where we gather comments in the Measurement Guide, the indicator tables document.
  2. Public (and private) responses from MAWG members throughout the consultation phase.

How can I give feedback to the public consultation?

  1. You can leave comments directly in the Measurement Guide, as well as the indicator tables.
  2. If you want to send a private message to the group chairs, drop Ana and Danny an email at ana.brandusescu@webfoundation.org and danny.lammerhirt@okfn.org. Or send us a tweet at @anabmap and @danlammerhirt.
  3. Share your feedback with the community using the hashtag #OpenDataMetrics.

We will incorporate your feedback in the Measurement Guide, during the public consultation period. We plan to publish a final version of the Measurement Guide guide by end of April 2018.

A note that we will not include new indicators or comments specifically on the Charter principles. If you have comments about improving the Charter principles, we encourage you to participate in the updating process of the Charter principles.

*Since the last time we wrote a blog post, we have changed the name to more accurately represent the document, from Assessment Guide to Measurement Guide.

The Open Data Charter’s Measurement Guide is now open for consultation!

Danny Lämmerhirt - March 13, 2018 in Open Data, Open Data Charter, Open Data measurements, research

This blogpost is co-authored by  Ana Brandusescu  and Danny Lämmerhirt, co-chairs of the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter.

The Measurement and Accountability Working Group (MAWG) is launching the public consultation phase for the draft Open Data Charter Measurement* Guide!

Image: Imgflig.com

Measurement tools are often described in technical language. The Guide explains how the Open Data Charter principles can be measured. It provides a comprehensive overview of existing open data measurement tools and their indicators, which assess the state of open government data at a national level. Many of the indicators analysed are relevant for local and regional governments, too. This post explains what the Measurement Guide covers; the purpose of the public consultation, and how you can participate!

What can I find in the Measurement Guide?

  • An executive summary for people who want to quickly understand what measurement tools exist and for what principles.
  • An analysis of measuring the Charter principles, which includes a comparison of the indicators that are currently used to measure each Charter principle and its accompanying commitments. It reveals how the measurement tools — Open Data Barometer, Global Open Data Index, Open Data Inventory, OECD’s OURdata Index, European Open Data Maturity Assessment — address the Charter commitments. For each principle, case studies of how Charter adopters have put commitments into practice are also highlighted.
  • Comprehensive indicator tables show available indicators against each Charter commitment. This table is especially helpful when used to compare how different indices approach the same commitment, and where gaps exist.
  • A methodology section that details how the Working Group conducted the analysis of mapping existing measurements indices against Charter commitments.
  • A recommended list of resources for anyone that wants to read more about measurement and policy.

We want you — to give us your feedback!

The public consultation is a dialogue between measurement researchers and everyone who is working with measurements — including government, civil society, and researchers. If you consider yourself as part of one (or more) of these groups, we would appreciate your feedback on the guide. Please bear the questions below in mind as you review the Guide:

  • Is the Measurement Guide clear and understandable?
  • Government: Which indicators are most useful to assess your work on open data and why?
  • Civil society: In what ways do you find existing indicators useful to hold your government to account?
  • Researchers: Do you know measurements and assessments that are well-suited to understand the Charter commitments?

How does the public consultation process work?

The public consultation phase will be open for two weeks — from 12 to 26 March — and includes:

  1. Public feedback, where we gather comments in the Measurement Guide, the indicator tables document.
  2. Public (and private) responses from MAWG members throughout the consultation phase.

How can I give feedback to the public consultation?

  1. You can leave comments directly in the Measurement Guide, as well as the indicator tables.
  2. If you want to send a private message to the group chairs, drop Ana and Danny an email at ana.brandusescu@webfoundation.org and danny.lammerhirt@okfn.org. Or send us a tweet at @anabmap and @danlammerhirt.
  3. Share your feedback with the community using the hashtag #OpenDataMetrics.

We will incorporate your feedback in the Measurement Guide, during the public consultation period. We plan to publish a final version of the Measurement Guide guide by end of April 2018.

A note that we will not include new indicators or comments specifically on the Charter principles. If you have comments about improving the Charter principles, we encourage you to participate in the updating process of the Charter principles.

*Since the last time we wrote a blog post, we have changed the name to more accurately represent the document, from Assessment Guide to Measurement Guide.

Data is a Team Sport

Dirk Slater - December 20, 2017 in announcement, Data Blog, data literacy, research, Team Sport

Data is a Team Sport is a series of online conversations held with data literacy practitioners in mid-2017 that explores the ever evolving data literacy eco-system. Our aim in producing ‘Data is a Team Sport’ was to surface learnings and present them in formats that would be accessible to data literacy practitioners. Thanks to the efforts of governments, organizations and agencies to make their information more transparent the amount of data entering the public domain has increased dramatically in recent years. As political and economic forces become more adept at using data, we enter a new era of data literacy were just being able to understand information is not enough. In this project, we aimed to engage data literacy practitioners to capture lessons learned and examine how their methodologies are shifting and adapting. We also wanted to better understand how they perceived the data literacy ecosystem: the diverse set of actors needed to enable and support the use of data in social change work.
Conversation Guests PodCast
Enabling Learning Rahul Bhargava & Lucy Chambers
Data Driven Journalism Eva Constantaras & Natalia Mazotte
One on One with Daniela Lepiz Daniela Lepiz
Advocacy Organisations Milena Marin & Sam Leon
One on One with Heather Leson Heather Leson
One on One with Friedhelm Weinberg Friedhelm Weinberg
Mentors, Mediators and Mad Skills Emma Prest & Tin Geber
Government Priorities and Incentives Ania Calderon & Tamara Puhovski
Read the rest of this entry →

New Report: Avoiding data use silos – How governments can simplify the open licensing landscape

Danny Lämmerhirt - December 14, 2017 in licence, Open Data, Policy, research

Licence proliferation continues to be a major challenge for open data. When licensors decide to create custom licences instead of using standard open licences, it creates a number of problems. Users of open data may find it difficult and cumbersome to understand all legal arrangements. More importantly though, legal uncertainties and compatibility issues with many different licenses can have chilling effects on the reuse of data. This can create ‘data use silos’, a situation where users are legally allowed to only combine some data with one another, as most data would be legally impossible to use under the same terms. This counteracts efforts such as the European Digital Single Market strategy, prevents the free flow of (public sector) information and impedes the growth of data economies. Standardised licences can smoothen this process by clearly stating usage rights. Our latest report  ‘Avoiding data use silos – How governments can simplify the open licensing landscape’ explains why reusable standard licences, or putting the data in the public domain are the best options for governments. While the report has a focus on government, many of the recommendations can also apply to public sector bodies as well as publishers of works more broadly. The lack of centralised coordination within governments is a key driver of licence proliferation. Different phases along the licensing process influence government choices what open licences to apply – including clearance of copyright, policy development, and the development and application of individual licences. Our report also outlines how governments can harmonise the decision-making around open licences and ensure their compatibility. We aim to provide the ground for a renewed discussion around what good open licensing means – and inspire follow-up research on specific blockages of open licensing. We propose following best practices and recommendations for governments who wish to make their public sector information as reusable as possible:
  1. Publish clear notices that concisely inform users about their rights to reuse, combine and distribute information, in case data is exempt from copyright or similar rights.
  2. Align licence policies via inter-ministerial committees and collaborations with representative bodies for lower administrative levels. Consider appointing an agency overseeing and reviewing licensing decisions.
  3. Precisely define reusable standard licences in your policy tools. Clearly define a small number of highly compatible legal solutions. We recommend putting data into the public domain using Creative Commons Zero, or applying a standard open license like Creative Commons BY 4.0.
  4. If you still opt to use custom licences, carefully verify if provisions cause incompatibilities with other licences. Add compatibility statements explicitly naming the licences and licence versions compatible with a custom licence, and keep the licence text short, simple, and reader-friendly.

Custom licences used across a sample of 20 governments

New report: Governing by rankings – How the Global Open Data Index helps advance the open data agenda

Danny Lämmerhirt - November 29, 2017 in Featured, Global Open Data Index, godi, GODI16, open data survey, research

This blogpost was jointly written by Danny Lämmerhirt and Mária Žuffová (University of Strathclyde). We are pleased to announce our latest report Governing by rankings – How the Global Open Data Index helps advance the open data agenda. The Global Open Data Index (GODI) is one of the largest worldwide assessments of how well governments publish open data, coordinated by Open Knowledge International since 2013. Over the years we observed how GODI is used to monitor open data publication. But to date, less was known how​ ​GODI​ ​may​ ​translate​ ​into​ ​open​ ​data​ ​policies​ ​and publication​. How does GODI mobilise support for open data? Which actors are mobilised? Which aspects of GODI are useful, and which are not? Our latest report provides insights to these questions.

Why does this research matter?

Global governance indices like GODI enjoy great popularity due to their capacity to count, calculate, and compare what is otherwise hardly comparable. A wealth of research – from science and technology studies to sociology of quantification and international policy – shows that the effects of governance indicators are complex (our report provides an extensive reading list). Different audiences can take up indices to different (unintended) ends. It is therefore paramount to trace the effects of governance indicators to inform their future design. The report argues that there are multiple ways of looking for ‘impacts’ depending on different audiences, and how they put GODI into practice. Does a comparative open data ranking like GODI help mobilise high-level policy commitments? Does it incentivise individual government agencies to adjust and improve the publication of open data? Does it open up spaces for discussion and deliberation between government and civil society? This thinking builds on an earlier report by Open Knowledge International arguing that indicators have different audiences, with different lived experiences, needs, and agendas. While any form of measurement needs to align with these needs to become actionable (which affects how the impact of indicators will take shape), it also needs to retain comparability.

Our findings

We used Argentina, United Kingdom and Ukraine as case studies to represent different degrees of open data publication, economic development and political set-up. Our report, drawing from a series of twelve interviews and document analysis, suggests that GODI drives change primarily from within government. We assume this finding is partly due to our limited sample size. While key actors in the government are easy to identify, as open data publication is often one of their job responsibilities,  further research is needed to identify more civil society actors and how they engage with GODI. Below we describe nine ways how GODI influences open data policy and publication.
  1. Getting international visibility and achieving progress in country rankings or generally high ranking may incentivise and maintain high-level political support for open data, despite non-comparability of results across years.  
  2. In the absence of open data legislation, GODI has been used by Argentinian government as a soft policy tool to pressure other government agencies to publish data.
  3. Government agencies tasked with implementing open data used GODI to reward and point out progress made by other agencies, but also flag blockages to high-level politicians.  
  4. GODI sets standards what datasets to publish and sets a baseline for improvement. Outcomes are debatable around categories where the central government does not have easy political levers to publish data.
  5. GODI may be confounded with broader commitments to open government and used as an argument to reduce investment in other aspects of open government agenda. In the past, some high-level politicians presented  high ranking in GODI as evidence of government transparency and obsoletion of other ways of providing government information.  
  6. This effect may possibly be exacerbated by superficial media coverage that reports on the ranking without engaging with broader information and transparency policies. An analysis of Google News results suggests that journalists tend to reproduce (mostly politicians’) misconceptions and confound a good ranking in GODI with a high degree of government transparency and openness.
  7. Our findings suggest that individuals and organisations working around transparency and anti-corruption make little use of GODI due to a lack of detail and a misalignment with their specialised work tasks. For instance, Transparency International Ukraine uses the Transparent Public Procurement Rating to evaluate the legal framework, aside from the publication of open data.
  8. On the other hand, academics show interest to GODI to develop new governance indicators. They also often use country scores as a proxy for measuring open data availability.
  9. GODI has a potential for use in data journalism. Data journalism trainers may use it as a source of government data during their trainings.  

What we learned and the road ahead

Our research suggests that governments in all analysed countries pay attention to GODI.  With a few exceptions, they use it mostly to support open data publication and pave the way for new open data policies. While this is a promising finding, it has important implications for GODI and its design. If GODI sets standards in open data publication, as some interviewees from the government suggest, it needs to make sure to represent different data demands in the assessment and to encourage the implementation of sound policies. The challenge is to support policy development, which is often a lengthy process as opposed to short-lived rank-seeking. Some interviewees suggested valuable avenues for GODI’s design. For instance, assessing progress in open data publication perpetually rather than once a year over a limited timespan would require a long-term commitment to open data publication and better opportunities for civic engagement, as it would prevent governments from updating datasets once a year before GODI’s deadline only. Another route forward is discussed in another recent research by OKI, highlighting the potential to adjust an open data index to align it more closely to specific needs of topical expert organisations. Beyond engaging via GODI, civil society and academia might also participate in the development of new data monitoring instruments such as the Open Data Survey, that are relevant for their mission.    

Data is a Team Sport: Government Priorities and Incentives

Dirk Slater - August 13, 2017 in Ania Calderon, Data Blog, data literacy, Event report, Fabriders, Government, Open Data, research, Tamara Puhovski, Team Sport, The Open Data Charter

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. The conversation in this episode focuses on the challenges of getting governments to prioritise data literacy both externally and internally, and incentives to produce open-data and features:
  • Ania Calderon, Executive Director at the Open Data Charter, a collaboration between governments and organisations working to open up data based on a shared set of principles. For the past three years, she led the National Open Data Policy in Mexico, delivering a key presidential mandate. She established capacity building programs across more than 200 public institutions.
  • Tamara Puhovskia sociologist, innovator, public policy junky and an open government consultant. She describes herself as a time traveler journeying back to 19th and 20th century public policy centers and trying to bring them back to the future.

Notes from the conversation:

Access to government produced open-data is critical for healthy functioning democracies. It takes an eco-system that includes a critical thinking citizenry, knowledgeable civil servants, incentivised elected officials, and smart open-data advocates.  Everyone in the eco-system needs to be focused on long-term goals.
  • Elected officials needs incentivising beyond monetary arguments, as budgetary gains can take a long time to fruition.
  • Government’s capacities to produce open-data is an issue that needs greater attention.
  • We need to get past just making arguments for open-data, but be able to provide good solid stories and examples of its benefits.

Resources mentioned in the conversation:

Also, not mentioned, but be sure to check out Tamara’s work on Open Youth

View the full online conversation:

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Data is a Team Sport: One on One with Friedhelm Weinberg

Dirk Slater - July 28, 2017 in Capacity Building, Data Blog, documentation, Event report, Fabriders, human rights, research, software development, Team Sport

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. Friedhelm Weinberg is the Executive Director of Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS), an NGO that supports organisations and individuals to gather, analyse and harness information to promote and protect human rights.  In this conversation we take a look at what it takes to be both a tool developer and a capacity builder, and how the two disciplines can inform and build upon each other.  Some of the main points:
  • The capacity building work needs to come first and inform the tool development.
  • It’s critical that human rights defenders have a clear understanding of what they want to do with the data before they start collecting it.
  • It’s critical for human rights defenders to have their facts straight as this counts the most in international courts of law, and cuts through ‘fake news.’
  • Machine learning has enormous potential in documenting human rights abuses in being able to process large amount of case work.
  • They have been successful in bringing developers in-house by making efforts to get them to better understand how the capacity builders work and also vice-versa.

Specific projects within Huridocs he talked about:

  • Uwazi is an open-source solution for building and sharing document collections
  • The Collaboratory is their knowledge sharing network for practitioners focusing on information management and human rights documentation.

Readings/Resources that are inspiring his work:

View the full online conversation:

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Data is a Team Sport: One on One with Friedhelm Weinberg

Dirk Slater - July 28, 2017 in Capacity Building, Data Blog, documentation, Event report, Fabriders, human rights, research, software development, Team Sport

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. Friedhelm Weinberg is the Executive Director of Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS), an NGO that supports organisations and individuals to gather, analyse and harness information to promote and protect human rights.  In this conversation we take a look at what it takes to be both a tool developer and a capacity builder, and how the two disciplines can inform and build upon each other.  Some of the main points:
  • The capacity building work needs to come first and inform the tool development.
  • It’s critical that human rights defenders have a clear understanding of what they want to do with the data before they start collecting it.
  • It’s critical for human rights defenders to have their facts straight as this counts the most in international courts of law, and cuts through ‘fake news.’
  • Machine learning has enormous potential in documenting human rights abuses in being able to process large amount of case work.
  • They have been successful in bringing developers in-house by making efforts to get them to better understand how the capacity builders work and also vice-versa.

Specific projects within Huridocs he talked about:

  • Uwazi is an open-source solution for building and sharing document collections
  • The Collaboratory is their knowledge sharing network for practitioners focusing on information management and human rights documentation.

Readings/Resources that are inspiring his work:

View the full online conversation:

Flattr this!