Is Open Data Enough?: E-Governance Challenges for Open Government

Is Open Data Enough?: E-Governance Challenges for Open Government

Gianluca Misuraca (European Commission & Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Spain) and Gianluigi Viscusi (EPFL-CDM-MTEI-CSI, Lausanne, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8111-8.ch054

Abstract

The article aims to investigate how key e-Governance dimensions related to openness, such as transparency and accountability, which are a necessary condition for reaching a high maturity of e-Government, may not be sufficient for open government. For this purpose, an interpretative framework to identify country attitudes towards Open Government is proposed and it is applied to two cases drawn from different legal, cultural and organisational backgrounds. Among the key findings of the article, the 'attitudes mapping' resulting from the application of the interpretative framework to the case studies points out the key role of different governance traditions in the path towards open government.
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Background And Motivations

At the day of the re-election of Obama as President of the USA, the slogan used for his campaign, “Forward” can be easily associated to the open government initiatives carried out by his administration during the first mandate, and followed up by many governments worldwide. The openness in government data is an important enabler for the promotion of transparency concerning the destination and use of public expenditure as well as the improvement in the quality of policy making. The latter becomes more evidence based to display the full economic and social impact of information, create services based on government data and to enhance the collaboration across government bodies, as well as between government and citizens. At the same time, the focus on openness allows the deployment of new added-values services and increases the awareness of citizens on specific issues, as well as their information about government policies, thus promoting accountability of public governance at large. Important examples of open government data can be found in the ambit of the Open Government Initiative (http://www.opengovplatform.org/), which can be downloaded and evaluated by any public entity as a resource rendering their data open and transparent.

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