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Open data lab celebrates advocacy win as Indonesian President passes open data policy

Web Foundation · July 30, 2019

This post was written by Glenn Maail, Research Manager, Open Data Lab Jakarta. Follow Glenn on Twitter at @GlennMaail.

The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo has issued a presidential ruling, ushering in the One Data policy to improve data governance practices in the country. Passed on June 17, the new rules come after years of sustained advocacy by the Web Foundation’s Open Data Lab in Jakarta.

These measures specify mechanisms to make sure the preparation, collection, and processing of data in the public sector meets internal data management standards. It also provides a regulatory framework outlining the roles and responsibilities of those who process and use public data.

The Lab applauds the government’s efforts to promote data-driven policy-making by providing a legal framework for better governance of public sector data. As part of the overall e-government system, this regulation will be a crucial step in building an open data culture.

The One Data policy originated from an open data campaign pioneered by the Open Data Lab over six years ago and has been carried forward by the Open Government Partnership. The ruling is a reminder that policy change doesn’t happen overnight and that sustained engagement is crucial to driving progress on the issues that matter.

Through a series of activities — including research, meetings with government officials, and participation in public consultations — the team worked to educate the government on the benefits of adopting open data best practices, in particular, the open data by default principle enshrined in the International Open Data Charter

The team also participated in the drafting of a framework to define the duties and responsibilities of the country’s open data actors. In partnership with the Executive Office of the President, the Lab conducted a study to assess government agencies’ readiness to implement the One Data policy and produced recommendations to ensure a smooth enactment of the policy.

In addition, the Lab designed a comprehensive set of training modules to aid government offices to deliver on the One Data policy. These modules will be made available through the Executive Office of the President.

As the One Data Policy is in the initial stages of implementation, it remains to be seen whether its potential to improve public services, promote innovation, and achieve the goals articulated in the Open Government National Action Plan will be fulfilled. We remain cautiously optimistic that Indonesia — a country with cumbersome Freedom of Information processes — will take advantage of this opportunity to improve its open data policies.

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