We’ve recently released an Open Government Data Toolkit (OGD Toolkit), designed to provide staff at the World Bank and in country governments a basic set of resources for initiating and developing an open data program. The toolkit is a “work in progress” which we expect to revise and improve as we receive your feedback and real-world experience.
We developed the toolkit based on questions we’ve frequently heard from countries considering open data programs:
- What is open data and how is it used?
- What kind of data should be included?
- What are the technical and legal requirements?
- What are the benefits of open data—and the costs?
There are already open data guidelines - such as the Open Data Handbook - that provide answers to many of these questions. Our goal is to provide an easy primer for our core audience, along with links to other useful resources where people can learn more.
We want this Toolkit to provide value and complement other resources in the open data community – we’re counting on the feedback, ideas and comments of people working on open government data initiatives, within governments, civil society organizations, the World Bank itself, and beyond.
The toolkit is organized into five categories:
I. Knowledge Repository
The Knowledge Repository answers “Frequently Asked Questions” about open data. For instance, “How can my country benefit from open data?” links to a number of research papers discussing the socio-economic value of open government data.
This section also links to guidelines on how governments can approach open data with examples of policy and strategy documents, including the US Open Government Directive, UK Open Data White Paper, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press Open Government Guide.
Those interested could request help from the listed institutions, communities of practice, or by contacting experts in the shared roster of open government data consultants.
II. IT Solutions
The IT section describes three open data scenarios with different levels of complexity, and suggests technical solutions for open data platforms appropriate to each scenario: managing just a few datasets up to over a thousand datasets with frequent weekly changes.
III. Demand for Data
Since the decision on what data to publish should be demand-driven, the Toolkit has a dedicated section on the demand side of data. With examples of events such as hackathons, boot camps, and media workshops, the OGD Toolkit provides tools to assess what data is most in demand, and also to generate new demand for data.
IV. Supply of Data
To help public servants make sure that published data is of good quality, the Supply of Data section discusses basic examples of data quality standards and useful tools to review, refine, clean, analyze, visualize and publish data.
V. Readiness Assessment Tool
Finally, the OGD Toolkit includes a placeholder for a Readiness Assessment Tool as a starting point for government officials to engage in OGD initiatives. The tool is currently under development, but will soon provide a means for governments to quickly self-assess their readiness for open data. By request the World Bank can perform a more in-depth assessment of a country’s potential for Open Government Data.
The toolkit is in draft form, and we hope to expand and update it throughout 2012 and 2013. We are relying on public ideas and feedback to make this a useful resource - we invite your comments below, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.