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Governments around the world are working to advance open government principles in a way that responds to their own unique context. One way they are doing this is by developing the appropriate policies and management practices that allow them to open their government data by taking full advantage of the increasing power of information and communication technologies. Many governments have asked for the help of academic researchers, industry, and the public in developing these capabilities.

In response, CTG is leading a project with support from industry experts SAP to develop better research, consulting, and government practice models to address the policy, technology, and management challenges in our increasingly computational and data-intensive world. This project is designed to produce new conceptual and analytical tools for governments to help them open government data in ways that improve government performance and create new value for citizens.

Our goal is to improve understanding of what shapes the value generated through open data initiatives. To do this, we present a more holistic approach to understanding and evaluating the impact of different technology, management, and policy choices before they are implemented. We offer a particular point of view, set of concepts, and analytic tools for dealing with the complexity surrounding the relationships between information, technology, people, and interests. A new understanding can guide designers of open data initiatives in working successfully with employees, advocacy groups, civic hackers, citizens and other stakeholders to create new ways of collecting, integrating, disseminating, and using information in pursuit of improved governance.

There is growing interest at all levels of government to increase access to and use of government data in support of good governance. As a result, public agencies are under pressure to create new capabilities to achieve this goal. A common assumption when opening government data is that simply supplying more data freely and in more formats will lead to more use. That use will lead to value creation and, in turn, will motivate government to make the necessary changes to continue opening more data. But, we know from experience, that supplying more and more data does not necessarily produce the results we anticipated.
Workshop photo

Theresa A. Pardo
Center for Technology in Government