Open Data: an essential, not just ‘nice to have’

Would societies around the world be better able to respond to the pandemic, if more or better open data were freely available?

That was the question put to our expert panel on Tuesday, in the first in our series of online TICTeC Seminars.

Karabo Rajuili of Open Ownership, Olivier Thereaux from Open Data Institute and Fabrizio Scrollini of the Open Data Latin American Initiative (ILDA) were led in a discussion by our own Head of Research Dr Rebecca Rumbul.

We heard of the need for — and simultaneously the impossibility of — a rapidly-constructed open data standard; the benefits and dangers of releasing data about COVID to a potentially uninformed public; and the need for good ownership data to be freely available in a fast-moving procurement environment in which there may not be the tools to investigate where money is being spent.

After the speakers had laid out their positions, the floor was opened for questions, each of which ignited still more informed debate. Finally, attendees were invited to a quick (and optional!) networking session in which they could speak to other attendees more directly.

If that all sounds interesting, you can catch up on the main session for yourself by watching the video or reading the collaborative notes that were taken by attendees.

There are still two more TICTeC Seminars in this series to go, so do join us to take part in the conversation.

On 20 October, panelists will discuss why it’s taken a pandemic for more parliaments to digitise; while in November (date TBC) the topic will be the climate crisis. Find full details for both sessions here, and don’t forget you can sign up for TICTeC updates.

Also: if you work on, use, fund or research civic technology, we would be really grateful if you could spare some time to help us shape the future of TICTeC by filling in this survey.


Original source – mySociety

Comments closed