The Value of Open Data to the Public Sector

Three weeks ago I and my colleague Frank Verschoor took about 30 civil servants from 10 countries through a workshop (in Warsaw) on seeing Open Data as a policy instrument that has value to the public sector itself.

A lot of the discussion on the potential of open data focuses on the economic potential, and the impact on transparency. Important things, but the benefits of it don’t accrue at the public sector body (PSB) that opens up the data. To make sure that a PSB keeps routinely publishing open data, having a direct benefit for the PSB itself is a great motivator.

Open data can be a policy instrument to help reach policy goals. At different levels of maturity examples are available, starting at improving (internal) efficiency by reducing transaction costs, through seeing how third party usage impacts own policy goals, and stimulating that usage, to the emergence of new services created by citizens/organisations and public sector bodies collaboratively that would not be possible otherwise.

In the workshop we explored where the participants were now on that spectrum, and how to start the path to the next level of maturity.

Below you find the slides to my introductory remarks, the workshop output, and a video impression made by Elmine.

20130221 ePSI Workshop Warsaw the Results by The Green Land