The novel practice of open data among governments has emerged not merely as a trend but as a necessity in governance, especially in light of the pace by which data is being leveraged as an asset in everyday life. Clearly, data has become indispensable to today’s economy. While there are numerous dimensions involved in discussing the value, opportunities, and risks of data, especially big data, one low-hanging fruit is the simple act of opening up data.
What this reference seeks to document is the role of governments in this emerging practice. Governments possess not only a deep inventory of datasets, but also unique ones inherent to its role in public life. In parallel, governments have the opportunity to develop a vibrant ecosystem whereby governments, the private sector, civil society, and individuals share and use open data. Recognizing this tremendous value, the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP) adopted open data as one of its agenda items for its 2015 Roadmap or the Cebu Action Plan. Open data, as framed in the FMP, involves advancing fiscal transparency and promoting economic growth.
As discussed throughout the numerous APEC FMP meetings, APEC member economies will benefit in the sharing of domestic open data practices. Hence, this Reference was developed to serve as a rudimentary documentation of central open government data programs and the application of open data in the fiscal transparency initiatives of member economies. The programs, activities, projects, and initiatives offered by member economies are briefly presented along with each of their accompanying milestones, challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations. The submissions also include online references and contact information to hopefully allow for the further exchange of notes and experiences.
In addition, brief features on the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) are also available to demonstrate that existing global platforms, standards, and practices abound, and that in initiating new projects or activities, there may be no need to reinvent wheels.
Further, there is a listing of online references for in-depth materials on open data, fiscal transparency, and open governance. As open data and its application to fiscal transparency practices will continue to evolve, an online version of this Reference will be maintained. It is hoped that its content will likewise grow, evolve, and become richer with additional contributions from APEC