Digital Co-Creation of Policy by Governments in Partnership with Citizens

Open data is a concept that involves offering free access to data. Anyone can use and republish the data in whatever manner they wish. There are no copyright restrictions or patents. The concept behind the open data movement is like other well-known movements such as open access or open source. This long-established philosophy is gaining in popularity due to the Internet and the launch of government based open data initiatives such as Data.Gov.
From Fiscal Austerity to Freedom of Information
Requests for smarter cities and governing bodies have brought the concept of the open data movement to the forefront of people’s minds. Data is gaining in value; the only issues that appear to need to be ironed out are the “how’s” and the “what’s.”
Having a government-as-platform strategy is rapidly becoming a game-changer. Plans are already in place to liberate data and make big government more open.
Citizens & Government Can Benefit from Open Data
The government has always appeared to be mysterious to citizens. Many believe the government is a separate entity and not a collective entity. With Gov 2.0 citizens will be able to see more of the process involved in governing.
Now citizens can offer instant input regarding government activities. Gov 2.0 can open dialogue and facilitate conversations between citizens and their governing entities.
Increased collaboration and speed of communication will inevitably lead to better innovation. Ideas can be easily and rapidly exchanged, and implementing change can happen even faster than before. The results? A streamlined bureaucratic process.
More Information is Necessary before Changes are Completed
Open data is relatively new. Government agencies, vendors, enterprises and citizens aren’t in a position yet to completely understand the shift that is occurring as government evolves into a platform. International and domestic policies must be adjusted to compensate. Best practices and obstacles still need to be evaluated and addressed. However, the verdict is already in; world government is changing.
The Road Ahead: Open Data Still a Work in Progress
There is more to the process than publishing data sets to websites and calling it a day. There is no doubt that moving toward government-as-a-platform status will be beneficial, but the obstacles are less technological and more cultural. Open data is designed to be a means, not an end.
Open data should increase citizen trust in the governing process. Transparency should be the prime goal. Information sharing and co-creation between governments and citizens is paramount to building two-way participation that will create an open government.
There’s still much to do before the dream becomes a reality. However, conversations have already begun, and it appears that everyone is poised to move in the right direction.

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