DADOS – Launch of the Brazilian Open Government Data Portal

Last week I became aware of the wonderful initiative of the Ministry of Planning, Brazil to start the open government data portal in their country – dados.gov.br. The launch of the portal aims to

  1. Open up government data available using a central access point
  2. Improve transparency
  3. Contribute towards better policy making

It is the part of a larger government initiative called National Infrastructure of Open Data – INDA, where the government aims to set up the “standards to open data, promote training, and support public in the task of publishing open data.”

Currently, the open data portal has 78 datasets and 849 resources available for reuse. The portal also allows a medium to enter user feedback and publish news postings. An interesting aspect of the development of the initiative has been, a) use of free and open source tools; b) extensive social participation at all levels of development of this initiative.

The open data platform is based on Open Knowledge Foundation’s open-source data portal software CKAN. As a platform CKAN is extensively used by host of governments, for example, UK GovtEuropean CommissionCanadian Government etc. Even a few community driven websites, like French Open Data Catalogue is have been developed using the CKAN platform.

Moreover, the complete development process of open data portal did encourage the participation and collaboration of citizens, civil society, and bureaucracy. Right from the outset – planning meetings and development forums were open to any interested citizens. The open data portal did take the concept of social participation to the next level by using this synergy between government and citizens.

Now that the seeds for the start of the initiative have already been sown, what’s next? Of course in the long run, The Ministry of Planning in Brazil must aim to:

  1. Open more datasets
  2. Setup standards to open data
  3. Train government bodies on how to collect and share datasets
  4. Create awareness in civil society to encourage datasets reuse and create data visualisations

At the same time it is important that the open data catalogue must be made more feature-rich so that the datasets are easily accessible, analysable and accurate. Some of the features that can be added are –

The Ministry of Planning may look at incorporating a few of these features in their open data catalogue. I am curious to see how the initiative progresses.  To conclude – Tim Berners Lee, the founding father of internet, once famously said, “data underpins our society and our economy. “ I question – can we use this data to strengthen of the relationship between citizens, civil society, and the government?  Is it possible to achieve this by making government data open, accessible and analyzable? Only time may provide us with the answer!

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About Ankit Sharma

Born in Kashmir, Alumni of London School of Economics, Currently working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, Living in London with absolute passion and hope in the user of Information Technology to solve social problems.
This entry was posted in ICT4D, Open Government Data. Bookmark the permalink.

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