ODDC Context - Accessing, Opening and Using Government Data in Five Indian Cities: National Policies and Non-Governmental Practices


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Presentation in the first workshop of the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries project. Looking at the context of open data, and the research case study planned for 2013 - 2014. See http://www.opendataresearch.org/project/2013/zb

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ODDC Context - Accessing, Opening and Using Government Data in Five Indian Cities: National Policies and Non-Governmental Practices

  1. 1. Accessing,Opening & UsingGovernment Data in Five Indian CitiesPrincipal Researchers: Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Zainab BawaHasGeekFunding for this work has been provided through the World Wide Web Foundation Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countriesresearch project, supported by grant 107075 from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (web.idrc.ca). Find out more atwww.opendataresearch.org/emergingimpacts
  2. 2. The Project✤ Thorough analysis of the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy(NDSAP) introduced in January 2012 to further publication of governmentdata in open and machine-readable formats✤ Study the role of government and para-government bodies in implementingNDSAP✤ Examine and evaluate how non-government and advocacy organizations arecollecting data on the ground, and how RTI and NDSAP have influenced theirdata collection practices✤ Assess how government agencies in cities are transitioning from paper-basedsystems to digitizing data
  3. 3. Open data in India:evolution and standpointsComputerization in governmentdepartmentsE-governanceEfficiency in AdministrationComputerization of land recordsGovernmentDigital delivery of services andrecordsDigitize government departmentdatasetsBuild applications with / on top ofdatasetsPara-government agenciesDigitizationProvide IT capabilitiesEngage with tech communities
  4. 4. Open data in India:evolution and standpointsAccess to information as alegally enforceable rightGlean information from paper recordsInformation for advocacyUse information to enforceaccountability among governmentofficials and departmentsRTI ActivistsAccess and digitize government datathrough sharing, purchase, hackingBuild applications with datasetsOpen Data AdvocatesData for use and re-useMake data publicly available inmachine readable andreusable formatsEngage in forums, share experiences,network, access dataUse direct and indirect means toaccess data
  5. 5. Open data in India:challengesLack of clean and machine-readable datasetsPDF legacy from the earlydays of computerizationNo enforcement powers under NDSAPUnclear copyright frameworksLack of IT capability withingovt. departmentsOpening data is ultimately about eachdepartment’s willingness and abilityOpening information tied to eachgovt. department’s statusNIC only has persuasive powersAdherence to open sourcetechnology and standards asposturingGenuine adherence to open sourcetechnology and standards but noconnection with tech communities
  6. 6. NDSAP:objectives and institutional location✤ Development of a data portal – http://data.gov.in – to share datasets whichhave been created by central government ministries using open standards butnot necessarily under open licenses✤ Objective:“facilitate access to GoI-owned shareable data and information inhuman and machine readable forms through a network across the country in aproactive and periodically updatable manner”✤ Primary stakeholders: Department of Science andTechnology (DST),Department of Electronics and IT, NIC, Ministry/Departments/Offices/Organizations✤ Scope: only central government departments are covered under NDSAP. Stategovernments can customize and adopt NDSAP based on their contexts
  7. 7. NDSAP:mandate and effectiveness✤ The Ministry/Departments/Organizations must nominate a nodal officer, known as datacontroller, whose primary task is to lead open data initiative in the concerneddepartment, identify high value datasets and schedule release on data.gov.in. S/he must alsoensure compliance with NDSAP and establish a NDSAP cell in the department✤ NDSAP has asked departments to submit ‘negative lists’ indicating what kinds of data theywill not release✤ NDSAP has directed all central government agencies to publish five “high-value datasets”within three months of policy notification✤ After more than a year of notification, data.gov.in has 400+ datasets from 13 governmentagencies✤ A significant feature of NDSAP implementation has been the role of National InformaticsCentre (NIC) to actively seek and promote interaction with open data communities
  8. 8. NDSAP:political and governance context✤ NDSAP has a curious political position: on the one hand, it is connected to the RTIAct and to people’s movements for transparency. On the other hand, it isconnected to a broad administrative reforms agenda for embracing e-governance✤ Government agencies in India are about to adapt to a new digital data culturewhere networked IT-based solutions are deployed to raise service deliveryefficiency✤ Simultaneous collaborations and conflicts with IT and web-based media companiesis also a sign of an uncertain but quickly changing policy and regulation environment✤ NDSAP connects both: the concerns of an older generation of transparencymovements as well as emerging issues of openness in a networked, data-drivenstate
  9. 9. Objectives of the ResearchWe will focus on the following questions:✤ Is the focus on born-digital and digitized data relevant for a government datapolicy in India?✤ How do different organizations negotiate with legal restrictions regardingaccessing and/or sharing government data?✤ What primary and secondary data collection exercises do organizationsundertake in order to replace / augment government data? How are suchdatasets are managed and circulated?✤ How will NDSAP tackle paper-based legacy systems of government datamanagement? Do such plans affect advocacy and research initiatives?
  10. 10. Research Methods✤ Archival research: policy documents, parliamentary discussions on RTI Act andNDSAP, policies and position papers on e-governance initiatives and standards✤ Interviews with government officials directly and indirectly associated withdeveloping / implementing NDSAP✤ Interviews with civil society actors using RTI and/or open data approaches forretrieving / using geospatial data, property records and land use information,sanitation and health data, and electoral data✤ Interviews with government officials in the chosen five Indian cities✤ Consultation workshop with government officials and civil society actors onresearch findings
  11. 11. Contact InformationSumandro Chattapadhyaymail@ajantriks.net+91 78381 63651@ajantriksZainab Bawazainab@hasgeek.com+91 99454 73641@zainabbawaBlog: http://oddc.hasgeek.com