Open Mexico Network in the Implementation of National Open Data Policy

Open Mexico Network in the Implementation of National Open Data Policy

Rafael Valenzuela, Alberto Ochoa
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4987-1.ch003
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The objective of the chapter is to identify some barriers to accessing public data through the study of one of the pillars of Mexico's national open data policy, the Open Mexico Network. Based on the exploratory analysis of the “Mexico Abierto network” and the description of a case study in northern Mexico, an attempt is made to answer the following question: Does Mexico's national open data policy generate timely data and have efficient access to data? and the final question, Is it easy for citizens to obtain? The study identifies major problems from the design of the national policy of open data, such as not having foreseen the creation of positive incentives for local governments to update the databases in the “México Abierto network.”
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Through the review and use of the Mexico Abierto platform, we identified the absence of updated data and a low number of useful data sets. A network by nature is horizontal and requires dialogue between equals, but it is inferred that local governments are conceived as a subordinate order to the central government and as public organizations without the ability to establish their own platforms and generate useful data. The federal government of Mexico applies a policy that imposes its conditions and parameters of information to local governments, without taking into account the local reality. This, plus the difficulty of having local governments whose administrations exceed three years, add a cocktail that prevents detonating an organizational culture to release data and information, timely and useful for citizens. Between January and March 2017, the update, number of accesses and number of open data that the network of strategic actors has been feeding in the México México Open Network were reviewed. The network groups 14 municipalities of the country and is hosted on a platform generated by the Mexican federal government. The changes that are necessary and sufficient to establish an open data culture are far from materializing, as can be seen from the review of the open Mexico Network portal and interviews with public officials, who requested anonymity in the conversation. Additionally, a case is described in the north of Mexico, in which it was identified that from the national policy of open data, is not being achieved promptly in the release of the data, there are no methodologies to evaluate its usefulness and the level of Institutionalization to build open data, is very low.

The national open data policy was conceived from top to bottom (top-down implementation model), shaping a unicentric network, poorly interconnected and distributed. The mentioned network in Mexico, only groups to the 0.58 percent of the municipalities of the country, indicative of the small size of the network. Mexico Abierto receives inputs from the municipal governments, at the request of the federal government. Without a greater culture of transparency, the creation of useful data for society and the lack of roots in a conversational practice with civil society, local governments will continue to be little active nodes of the network. The registration of information update shows that it takes 2 to 9 months to update the data and information presented on the micro site. During the implementation of the policy, the municipalities renewed their mandates and in several cases, the colors of the party in the municipal government changed. This led to the need to establish again, agreements to keep the node that connects it to the national network in force. In reviewing the case of the local government of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, no evidence was found of common and aligned objectives between the municipal digital policies of that municipality, with the national policy of open data implemented by the Office of National Digital Strategy of the Presidency of the Republic. This is one of the barriers that hinder the proper implementation of the national open data policy. This chapter is organized into four sections. The first establishes brief theoretical references in the perspective of open government and open data. The second part indicates characteristics of the policy of open data in Mexico and provides analysis on that policy and its Open Mexico strategy. The third part, addresses the experience of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and, finally, it is up to the conclusions.

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