Major Issues Affecting Government Data and Information in Developing Countries

Major Issues Affecting Government Data and Information in Developing Countries

Saleem Zoughbi (Bethlehem University, Palestine)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9860-2.ch040
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The ever-developing technology is multifaceted, not only in technical specifications, but also in mode, type and characteristics. New technologies are designed and produced, new ways of using these technologies also are being suggested, tested and adopted. Telecommunications and digital technology provide today remarkable smart technologies that enable people to capture, process, maintain, disseminate and store efficiently all kinds of information at very fast speed, with high degree of efficiency and correctness. Much of government data collected are continuously affected by the development in such technology. Recent trends of technology currently and for 2017 and beyond have shown that the impact of such trends will enhance the impact on the way governments handle data. This chapter presents an overview of such trends. However, a common strategy for government data should be developed in a concise way that will guide the process of dealing with the trends of modern technologies. Therefore government data platform will adopt new technologies, new hardware and software but essentially the way government data is kept and managed still remain the same, just new tools have been adopted.
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Primary Dimensions Of Government Data

Secure government data require essential criteria to be met. There are many, however the following four are of primary significance.


A Very basic criterion for secure government data is having the proper effective leadership. Government data programs often face resistance both from bureaucratic forces within government with a culture of secrecy, and by actors inside and outside government who have benefitted from privileged access to data. Strong, sustained, political leadership is therefore important in overcoming resistance and giving cover to political and other risks from opening up government information.

Policy/Legal Framework

Every government should have a legal framework that governs its data, security of data, cyber legislation and laws (Headayetullah & Pradhan, 2010). Therefore government data programs should wherever possible work within and leverage existing legal codes and policies. In particular it is important to do this when data is being restructured or designed. Many developing countries may not have such legislation, but that does not exclude the significance of having a framework that is as legal as possible, even if developed by policy experts adopted informally until the government decides otherwise. Examples of such legislation may include reuse of public sector information, government copyright and freedom of information. This will help government and independent organizations responsible for these policies became strong partners and supporters of the initiative (Fokoue, Srivatsa, Rohatgi, Wrobel, & Yesberg, 2009).

Government Data Ecosystem

When government data is shared with the public, part of it is classified as open data. Experience through many government initiatives about data has demonstrated that open data initiatives are more sustainable and high-impact when such efforts use an ecosystem approach. This will result in governments to invest not only in providing data but also addressing the policy/legal framework, institutional readiness, capacity building (for government and users), citizen engagement, innovation financing and technology infrastructure.

National Technology and Skills Infrastructure

One other significant factor is certainly the ICT resources and the infrastructure of the government. Practically it is impossible to implement, maintain and secure a government data and information initiative if there is a poor infrastructure, in terms of technology platforms and ICT skills among officials, users and the general public. The adequacy of infrastructure capabilities would be easily tested through widespread access to the Internet through broadband and mobile devices, with access everywhere. Human resources and skills are necessary, not only within large companies and government organizations, but small businesses that will be able to build data- driven applications. Government web portals should be mature enough to allow e-government applications to run and deliver e-services efficiently to citizens using the government data.

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