One of the main goals of our IDRC-funded ODDC project, is to develop a common method for assessing open data policies, supply and impacts. Considered a first step towards achieving this goal, a few weeks ago the Web Foundation launched the Open Data Barometer, a 77-country multi-dimensional study of how open data policy, practice and impacts are developing around the world, developed with the support of the Open Data Institute and the DFID-funded Web Index project.
In the process of putting together the Barometer, we have sought to build upon, develop and refine shared methodologies for understanding the status of Open Government Data Initiatives at the national level, and to develop indicators that can both inform interventions to improve the impacts of open data, and that can provide a baseline for monitoring the development of national open data programmes across the globe.
As discussions at the first meeting of the Open Government Partnership Open Government Data Working Group explored, common methods for assessing open data policies, supply and impacts are needed:
- to monitor the commitments governments are making to open data;
- to help target constrained resources to the open data interventions with the strongest return on investment;
- to support ongoing improvements in open data quality and publication practices;
- to provide a strong evidence base on the difference made by open data;
- and to drive improvements in the effective use of data.
Both through our research programmes, and within the OGP Open Government Data Working Group this is something the Web Foundation will be spending quite some time focussing on in the coming year.
We have recently started discussions with a few organizations interested in this topic and we are currently developing plans for a workshop on a Common Assessment Method for Open Data to be held early in 2014, and would welcome expressions of interest from anyone interested in getting involved. Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more.