Week 5: Conclusions

Week 5: Conclusions

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  • Week 5: Conclusions > 5.1 Conclusions > Video 5.1

Week 5: Conclusions > 5.1 Conclusions > Video 5.1

  • We started this course by saying that Open Government is about the relationship between the public and the government, and about creating openness, transparency and accountability.
  • There is a variety of applications from e-petitions and dashboards to open data transparency portals.
  • Technologies such as the internet, interfaces to access government data, mash-ups, semantics, linked data and computational search engines together have the potential to create a real open government.
  • Open government is broad and we are still far from the ideal and progressing slowly.
  • The interests of individuals and groups can be highly contentious and have the potential to facilitate, but also to hinder open government.
  • Governments should open up and find a way create openness.
  • Creating a portal does not automatically result in Open Government.
  • For governments, realizing Open Government is challenging and a large number of factors needs to be taken into account.
  • For citizens using open government applications is often not that easy and getting an answer to a question is cumbersome.
  • Open Government is about realizing transparency and accountability.
  • Open data can be used for creating transparency and accountability, but can have other purposes like stimulating innovations by businesses.
  • Open government can follow a policy cycle, whereas open data follows a data cycle.
  • In week 2 of this course, we saw that open data is about creating and collecting data, and publishing, finding and using this data.
  • Many types of government data are already opened through various open data portals.
  • Since open government data is provided through a large variety of portals, finding the data that someone is looking for can be challenging, especially if he or she does not know whether the data exists and which government organization creates or collects the data, and how and where the data is being made available.
  • Open government data can also be used in many different ways, for instance by cleansing, analyzing, visualizing, enriching, combining and linking it.
  • While some portals do not facilitate open data use at all, others facilitate open data use to a different extent and in a different way.
  • Opening government data is not easy, and there are many aspects that need to be considered when a public agency decides to open datasets, such as data sensitivity and privacy, data quality and completeness, and data documentation.
  • Data can be pre-processed and visualized using apps.
  • Apps provide a nice user-interface, focus on a societal issue and can lower the threshold of data use.
  • Creating an app does not mean that access to the raw data is not necessary anymore, as the raw data is needed for other use purposes.
  • There may be tensions between data users and data providers, since they have different interests.
  • Open data users depend on governmental data providers for obtaining the data that they need.
  • This may seem simple providing data in a findable and usable format can be complicated.
  • We saw that the analysis of government data requires several steps, including data discovery, contextualization, analysis and visualization.
  • In order to analyze or combine open datasets, the user needs to be able to interpret the data and understand the context in which it has been created.
  • Linked data enables you to find other, related, data.
  • This requires semantics that can be processed by machines and in which the relationship among data is clear.
  • The law is also important in arriving at open data objectives and has a major role in promoting access and reuse of public sector information.
  • On the other side, the law on data protection also challenges the open data philosophy and may reduce the number open datasets significantly.
  • The importance of transparency is indisputable and has been highlighted due to its particular importance for Open Government.
  • Citizens can participate in different dimensions of Open Government, and transparency is a necessary condition for enabling participation in policy-making.
  • Although citizen participation can help improve and innovate public policies and services, involving citizens in open government is not easy.
  • We need to scale up and make citizen participation in open government more mainstream.
  • The decision to open governments and governmental data should take into consideration the impact this has on citizens’ privacy.
  • A ProfEd course will be developed about Open Data Governance and Use.
  • This is a paid course for professionals, in which we will treat the topics of Open Data more in depth, and focus specifically on how to govern and to use open data.

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