Ahasanul Hoque

Ahasanul Hoque

Lives in Bangladesh
Ahasanul Hoque

Open Government Data (OGD) initiative in Bangladesh: A Key to Rapid Development

December 3, 2016, by aHaSaN, category Open Data

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Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other “open” movements such as open sourceopen hardwareopen content and open access. The  term “open data” itself is recent, gaining popularity with the rise of the Internet and World Wide Web and, especially, with the launch of open-data government initiatives such as Data.gov and Data.gov.uk. Open data initiative is not only the trending topic by different Medias but also the real life demand now a days for developing and developed countries. There are many positive examples of Open Government Data (OGD) and has become a major trend in public sector reform with its core elements: transparency, participation and collaboration.. It has been proved that the OGD initiative accelerate the transparency, social and commercial values, and participatory governance, overall it has a great impact in sustainable development

According to the second edition of Open Data Barometer, released on 19th January 2015, hard work lies ahead if Open Government Data (OGD) is to live up to its full potential and deliver truly transformative impacts. Governments worldwide have acknowledged the potential of OGD to reduce corruption, increase transparency, and improve government services, which was evident in 90% of the 86 countries surveyed. Jointly holding the rank at 68 with Venezuela, Malawi, Benin, Tanzania and Nigeria, Bangladesh holds the lowest position among the five. UN Guideline on Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement suggests that it is also increasingly seen as being potentially a key element in achieving post-2015 development goals.

There are million data being produces and available by different organizations of Bangladesh. The challenge of using the data or research are availability and access, restricting in reusing and redistribution and most importantly the universal participation means the interoperability.  According to the open data definition:

  • The data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.
  • The data must be provided under terms that permit re-use and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.
  • Everyone must be able to use, re-use and redistribute – there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), are not allowed.

ogd

In a digital age, data is a key resource for social and commercial activities. Everything from finding your local post office to building a search engine requires access to data, much of which is created or held by government. In a well-functioning, democratic society citizens need to know what their government is doing. To do that, they must be able freely to access government data and information and to share that information with other citizens. Transparency isn’t just about access, it is also about sharing and reuse — often, to understand material it needs to be analyzed and visualized and this requires that the material be open so that it can be freely used andreused. By opening up data, citizens are enabled to be much more directly informed and involved in decision-making. This is more than transparency: it’s about making a full “read/write” society, not just about knowing what is happening in the process of governance but being able to contribute to it.

The Government of Bangladesh also has adopted the OGD principle since past few years and within one year Bangladesh has declined 5 steps among 86 countries for publishing Open Government Data (OGD) and transparency online. Government is scaling up the initiative more for sharing and using of all sorts of spatial and non spatial data being produces and held by different Government agencies.

Vision of Bangladesh OGD 

Embedding a democratic culture of ‘Public by Default’ within the public sector to ensure public service availability efficiently, promote innovation and improve national economy in Bangladesh

Mission of Bangladesh OGD
– Supporting reform and transformation in good governance and improvement through greater transparency and citizen participation.
– Provisioning structured way of access to information for mainstreaming public inclusions in national economy though open data flow among individuals and among agencies.

Objectives of Bangladesh OGD
-Encourage developing innovative solutions
-Create new jobs and investment opportunities in this country to meet the goal of being middle income country by 2021
– Enhance scope of researches on the national issues to identify innovative solutions to way go forward to be developed country by 2041 Benefits of Bangladesh OGD
– Increased service efficiency
– Encouraged entrepreneurship
– Increased tax revenues
– Creation of jobs
– Data transaction Cost reduction
– Economic growth, Better decision-making
– Easier interaction with the government
– Modular services industries

Basic Principles of Bangladesh OGD
Complete: All public data should be made available without slicing.
Primary: Data should be as collected at the source, with the highest possible level of granularity, not in modified forms.
Timely: Data should be made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data.
Accessible: Data should be available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes.
Machine processable: Data should reasonably be structured to allow automated processing.
Non-discriminatory: Data needs to be available to anyone, with no requirement of registration.
Non-proprietary: Data needs to be available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control.
License-free: Data should not have dependencies like copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed.

Strategies for Bangladesh OGD
1. Embedding open data practices
Coordination of open data activities can be done centrally to ensure a consistent approach, knowledge sharing and efficient use of resources.
2. Identifying candidate open data
-Review data already published on National Portal
-Review requests for datasets received directly from the public through departmental correspondence process.
-Review Data Searching Trend in National Portal and other similar tools.
-Data request Survey by Open Data Portal
-Engage Open Data Working Group to be formed by the government
-Engage with potential users of open data to understand the demand for datasets

3. Assessing open data candidates
– Data will be assessed to determine if it can be published as open data. Private and commercially sensitive data will be protected and will only be released in summary or de-identifiable formats. Data custodians will assess if the data is suitable for release. The assessment will be validated by competent authority of the Government.
– The potential value achieved via the proposed use of the data.
– The public demand for the dataset.
– The complexity of converting the data to open data.

4. Releasing open data
Releases of open data will be scheduled based on assessment results, logical groupings of datasets and available resources. Where practical, quality checks will be performed on open data prior to release.

5. Publishing open data
Open data will be catalogued and published so it can be easily discovered in the Government Open Data Portal integrated to Bangladesh National Portal.

6. Publishing case studies
Case studies will be catalogued and published so they can be easily accessed through the Government Open Data Portal integrated to Bangladesh National Portal.

7. Raising staff awareness about open data
Open data concepts and practices will be communicated to department staffs and private sector focal persons via the Intranet, national portal and Departmental messages.
7. Engaging with the open data community
Government will promote the use of open data through a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
8. Engaging through the Open Data Portal: Government can have Open Data Portal.
9. Engaging through open data events: Will organize and join open data events
10. Raising staff awareness about open data
Open data concepts and practices will be communicated to department staffs and private sector focal persons via the Intranet, national portal and Departmental messages.
11. Engaging with the open data community
Government will promote the use of open data through a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
12. Engaging through the Open Data Portal: Government can have Open Data Portal.
13. Engaging through open data events: Will organize and join open data events

14. Content management
Guideline in place containig necessary principles of developing contents, adding data to public portal in compliance with state laws and social sensitivities. Both technology controls and civil security controls will clearly be defined Interoperability will be also be defined.

15. Control and Ensuring success
The Open Data Strategy will be governed by an Open Data Executive Team. Government can appoint or can nominate Chief Information Officer.

16. Open Data Policy: Government of Bangladesh will have a policy in place to govern, regulate and manage Open Data System, its compliance and all of its related activities in the country.

Source : Wikipedia.org, Opengovernmetndata.org,  A2i.pmo.gov.bd

 

 

So, what do you think ?