World Bank provides a government open data primer


The World Bank has launched a new toolkit to help governments and organizations develop open data programs in the full  uderstanding of their data is and how it should be used.

In a Nov. 20 blog post, the World Bank announced a five-part toolkit that tackles the main developments needed for an open government and open data framework: a knowledge repository, information technology solutions, demand for data, a supply of data and a readiness assessment tool to serve as a starting point for government tools.

The knowledge repository is a set of answers to frequently asked questions about open data, including how countries can benefit from open data and open government policies. It also provides guidance for a country in terms of policy and documentation strategy.

IT solutions covers three possible open data scenarios with different levels of complexity and appropriate solutions and infrastructure.

The World Bank suggests that data published should be demand-driven, so it provides a section on various meetings and crowdsourcing events to get input about what data is in demand. Following that, the supply section discusses ways to provide the data while adhering to quality standards. It also provides a set of tools for to "review, refine, clean, analyze, visualize and publish data."

The final part is a readiness assessment that the World Bank hopes will serve as a launching point for government officials to engage in open data initiatives and benchmark themselves with. It is currently under development, but with feedback the organization is trying to develop a quick method for governments to self-assess the readiness and support of their open data platforms, infrastructure and policy.

The organization says it built the tool and framework by trying to answer the most common questions it got from countries looking into data programs, covering what data should be used, legal requirements and cost-benefit analysis.

The World Bank also points to other helpful tools, such as the Open Data Handbook guidelines (.pdf), that can provide direct answers to specific questions.

For more:
- read the World Bank blog post
- see the toolkit itself
- read the Open Data Handbook (.pdf)

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