9.3. Open government data

Data form some of the most valuable resources in today’s world. Open government data (OGD) policies aim to ensure everyone has access to data from public bodies in open, free and accessible formats. They have become crucial for addressing both longstanding and emerging policy issues, such as the recent pandemic and the green transition.

The Open, Useful and Re-usable data (OURdata) Index benchmarks efforts made by governments to design and implement national OGD policies. The 2023 results show that, on average, the six Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries included in the OURdata Index score 0.37 (out of a maximum of 1), which is below the OECD average of 0.48. Brazil (0.56), Colombia (0.55) and Peru (0.52) perform above both averages, demonstrating more mature open data policies, in particular in the area of data availability. Mexico (0.27), Costa Rica (0.19) and Chile (0.13) still have room to improve, especially in government support for data re-use (Figure ‎9.6).

On average, the LAC countries surveyed score below the OECD average in all three pillars of the index. The data availability pillar measures the extent to which governments have adopted and implemented requirements to publish open government data. It also assesses engagement with stakeholders to identify data demand and whether high-value datasets are available as open data. LAC countries score an average of 0.26 for this pillar, significantly below the OECD average of 0.48 (Figure ‎9.7). These lower results are explained by the lack of robust policy frameworks and stakeholder engagement among some LAC countries.

The second pillar, on data accessibility, measures both the existence of requirements to provide data in open, timely and re-usable formats, with good-quality metadata, delivered through application programming interfaces (APIs), and the implementation of those requirements. It also assesses stakeholder engagement on the central open data portal. This pillar has the highest average score (0.31) for the surveyed LAC countries, albeit still below the OECD average of 0.59 (Figure ‎9.7).

The third pillar, on government support for data re-use, measures the extent to which governments proactively promote the re-use of open government data inside and outside the government. The LAC average is 0.20, compared to the OECD average of 0.37 (Figure ‎9.7). This indicates that governments could do more to partner and engage with external stakeholders and potential data users to deliver better policies and services (OECD, 2023).

The 2023 edition of the OURdata Index provided data for 36 OECD countries and 4 accession countries, including 4 LAC OECD countries (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico), and 2 LAC accession countries (Brazil and Peru). Data were collected through the OECD Survey on Open Government Data in 2022. The survey covers the period 2020-21, meaning the results do not capture any new policies or practices implemented after this period. The primary respondents were government officials responsible for data or open government policies. For more information on OURData Index, see Annex C.

The OECD defines open data as non-discriminatory data access and sharing arrangements where data are machine-readable and can be accessed and shared free of charge and used by anyone for any purpose, subject at most to requirements that preserve integrity, provenance, attribution and openness.

Further reading

OECD (2023), “2023 OECD Open, Useful and Re-usable data (OURdata) Index: Results and Key Findings”, OECD Public Governance Policy Papers, No. 43, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/a37f51c3-en.

OECD/CAF (2023), Digital Government Review of Latin America and the Caribbean: Building Inclusive and Responsive Public Services, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/29f32e64-en.

OECD (2021), “Recommendation of the Council on Enhancing Access to and Sharing of Data”, OECD Legal Instruments, OECD, Paris, https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/instruments/OECD-LEGAL-0463.

Figure ‎9.6. The OURdata composite score is the unweighted average of the three pillar scores, which range from 0 to 1.

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