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The Caribbean Open Data Initiative - new models of engagement, collaboration and innovation Round Table Discussion The Edward Seaga Database Collection Council Room, UWI, Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Is Open Data? • Premise / Hypothesis – Access to information is one of the most powerful drivers of development (Mansell, 1998) – the application of more open standards on an industry level, results in increased efficiency, innovation and growth for the whole economy – 'open' refers to the emphasis on inter-operability, ease of access, platform independence, royalty free or minimal cost – Openness in ICT4D hypothesis: "positive development can emerge through new models of engagement and innovation that are more participatory, more collaborative, and driven more by the beneficiaries" (Hagel III et al, 2010).

• A relatively recent phenomenon – recent thrust by civil society and policy makers towards towards increased Freedom of Information and Transparency in the Public Sector – pioneering initiatives by governments in the United States and the United Kingdom ( and respectively) – Has led to greater levels of open collaboration and innovation through the creation of new tools and applications using this data

What Is Open Data? Facilitation

• Government Agencies Create and Maintain Authoritative Data – Records (regulatory, financial, reports, etc.) – Statistics (census, crimes, accidents, etc.) – Geodata (resources, transportation, services, etc)

• Governments Share Public Sector data on-Web – – – –

Raw data, not in report form Accessible through APIs Free eg. and


• Empowering civil society organizations, businesses to: – Access, consume and reuse those data – Develop New Applications that bring Data into various Contexts – Deliver new and valuable services to citizens

• Enhanced Government and Citizen Engagement & Collaboration – Data-rich web applications enable increased transparency, communication, efficiency & innovation

Open Government Partnership 2012 - Country Declarations 55 countries having formally signaled their commitment and/or intent to join this global initiative. Asia (5); Eastern Europe (15); Western Europe (11), Middle East (3), Africa (50), North America (2), Central America (6), South America (6), Caribbean (2)

• Fiscal Transparency – The timely publication of essential budget documents forms the basic building blocks of budget accountability and an open budget system.

• Access to Information – An access to information law that guarantees the public’s right to information and access to government data is essential to the spirit and practice of open government.

Disclosures Related to Elected or Senior Public Officials – Rules that require public disclosure of income and assets for elected and senior public officials are essential to anti-corruption and open, accountable government.

• Citizen Engagement – Open Government requires openness to citizen participation and engagement in policymaking and governance, including basic protections for civil liberties.

Open Government Data Principles • Governments collect and hold information on behalf of people, and citizens have a right to seek information about governmental activities. • Promoting increased access to information and disclosure about governmental activities at every level of government. • Pro-actively provide high-value information, including raw data, in a timely manner, in formats that the public can easily locate, understand and use, and in formats that facilitate reuse.

Characteristics of Open Gov Data

FOIA in Jamaica/Caribbean • Jamaica is one of 7 Caribbean countries to have enacted freedom of information legislation1 – viz. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

• The FOI Act was passed in June 2002 and became effective in 2003 • Assessment of Jamaica’s FOIA Type Of Info

Obligation to publish Automatically



Enforcement, review and appeals

Protection of whistle blowers











Open Data vs FOIA FOIA Characteristics • Emphasis on accountability and transparency • • • • •

Access to documents Reactive Demand-driven Reliance on Gatekeepers One-way information

OGD Characteristics • In addition to accountability / transparency; improved service delivery /innovation and citizen engagement / participation • Access to data • Pro-active • Supply-driven • Reliance on Infomediaries • Interactive communication, data sharing

An Example of FOIA

Gleaner publish GOJ 2012 Budget Online

An Example of Open Data

Edward Seaga Database

• The Edward Seaga Database Collection is a compilation of over 700 of the most important macroeconomic variables over the period between 1960 and 2010 • Provides access to more than 37,000 entries of information on the economy, education, environment, finance, population, tourism, labour force and health • Data collected from government agencies, including: – – – –

Statistical Institute of Jamaica Planning Institute of Jamaica Bank of Jamaica Ministry of Finance / Ministry of Education

Farm property and Crop Production data (10 yrs), farmgate crop prices by parish



AGRICULTURE Datasets Farms/Property Crop Production Corp Prices

National tourism assets including hotels, attractions, craft markets, etc. Stop-over/Cruise visitor arrivals (20 yrs)

DataSets Categorized Hotel Properties; Tourist Attractions; Craft Markets; GDP, Exports, Imports, Transportation service Consumption, CPI, Per Capita providers Indicators, Sectoral performance Regional Trade

ECONOMIC & TRADE INDICATORS DataSets Edward Seaga Database Collection Jamaican Trade data: Imports / Exports / Re-Exports per item; Consumer Price Index

Jamaica’s Sports Ecosystem

DIGITAL JAM 2.0 "The Future of Work is Online" DataSets Events, performances, institutions, athletes and infrastructure

Key Activities • Build institutional capacity to promote, facilitate and provide sustainable support for open data policies, standards and initiatives across the region – Develop Open Data API’s, demonstration applications, tools, and resources – Establish Open data standards, best practices, sample code, open source tools, training tools and standards/formats/vocabulary – Caribbean Open Data conference - DevCA2012 / 2013 – Workshops to build awareness and visibility and facilitate Institutional and community capacity building

• Support the field deployment of open data initiatives in Agriculture and extend actions to other information-intensive sectors (local & regional) – Engage regional Governments to formalize and institute Open Data Policies – Linkages to “FOIA” and Public Sector Modernization (Service Delivery) initiatives – Field deployment of the mobile and web applications developed as proof-of-concept

• Develop a research agenda that investigates and informs the use and impact of Open Data in the Region – Open Government Data in the Caribbean: In Search of an Innovation Agenda

Profile for diG Jamaica

Edward Seaga Round Table- 29-05-12  

Round Table Discussion The Edward SeagaDatabase Collection Council Room, UWI, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - new models of engagement, collaboratio...

Edward Seaga Round Table- 29-05-12  

Round Table Discussion The Edward SeagaDatabase Collection Council Room, UWI, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - new models of engagement, collaboratio...