copy the linklink copied! Data availability: Policy frameworks, stakeholder engagement and data release

Government data availability is at the core of open data policies. Greater availability is related to stronger and more sustainable open data agendas, interaction with stakeholders for data release, and publication of high-value datasets (as identified in the G8 Open Data Charter), such as data on infrastructure or business registers. A central/federal open government data portal enables users to find data easily, and creates a channel for the open data community to engage with the government.

The indicator on data availability ranges from 0 to 1, 0 being the lowest and 1 the highest score. It has three sub-indicators: content of the open by default policy; stakeholder engagement for data release; and implementation. Each is weighted equally with a maximum score of 0.33.

The OECD average of data availability increased from 0.53 in 2017 to 0.59 in 2019. The improvement is the result of more progressive open data agendas and frequent stakeholder consultations to inform open data policies. Most OECD countries increased their data availability, even those below the average, such as Chile whose score increased from 0.28 to 0.44, Switzerland whose score rose from 0.28 to 0.38 and Portugal whose score rose from 0.32 to 0.48.

Most OECD countries have upgraded the content of their open by default policies; hence, the average moved from 0.19 in 2017 to 0.22 in 2019. Those who recently adopted central/federal strategies, programmes, or laws devoted to open data improved the most, such as Poland, moving from 0.06 to 0.26, Ireland, from 0.13 to 0.25, and Germany, from 0.08 to 0.19.

All OECD countries have established explicit formal requirements for government data to be open by default, except for Austria and Sweden. Nevertheless, Austria is one of the best performers in terms of data accessibility (see Data accessibility, page 152). Despite embracing open by default principles, only half of OECD countries include the implementation of open data requirements (such as the provision of updated and machine-readable data) among the performance indicators for public sector organisations.

The OECD average of stakeholder engagement for data release increased from 0.18 in 2017 to 0.20 in 2019. Some countries have made improvements, for example Australia (from 0.07 to 0.23) and Denmark (from 0.03 to 0.17). In line with advancements of their open data plans, Slovenia (from 0.19 to 0.29) and Ireland (from 0.21 to 0.29) have also prioritised this area. The high performances of Japan and Korea (0.33) are a result of them imposing requirements for public sector organisations to conduct regular consultations with data users.

Since 2017, the quantity of available datasets has slightly increased; the OECD average of implementation moved from 0.16 to 0.18 in 2019. The Czech Republic and Slovenia have respectively increased their scores from 0.08 to 0.21 and from 0.08 to 0.20 by publishing high-value datasets such as zip codes and national/local maps. Denmark (0.02), Estonia (0.06) and Lithuania (0.04) still lack many important datasets, including open budget data. Canada is the OECD country with the most high-value datasets available, scoring 0.31.

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Methodology and definitions

Data availability measures the extent to which governments have adopted and implemented formal requirements to promote open government data at the central/federal level. The indicator data availability covers Principle 1 (“Open by default”) and Principle 2 (“Timely and comprehensive”) of the International Open Data Charter. It consists of three sub-indicators: content of the open by default policy; stakeholder engagement for data release; and implementation. The three sub-indicators have an equal weight and each ranges from 0 to 0.33. Hence, the indicator ranges from 0 (minimum) to 1 (maximum). When aggregating to the final OURData Index, the score of data availability is transformed to range from 0 to 0.33 and with this, it is assigned an equal weight to the other two indicators.

Data for the OURdata Index and the indicator on data availability are collected through the OECD Open Government Data Survey. Survey respondents were predominantly senior government department officials in charge of digital or open government policies. Responses represent countries’ own assessment of current practices and procedures regarding data availability. Data refer only to central/federal governments and exclude practices at the state/local level. The OURdata Index is a composite index based on the International Open Data Charter principles and methodology described in OECD work (Lafortune and Ubaldi, 2018).

For more information on the methodology and underlying data, see Annex E.

Further reading

Lafortune, G. and B. Ubaldi (2018), “OECD 2017 OURdata Index: Methodology and results”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 30, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2016), Open Government Data Review of Mexico: Data Reuse for Public Sector Impact and Innovation, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Figure notes

Data for 2017 are not available for Hungary, Iceland and Luxembourg. Data for 2019 are not available for Hungary, Iceland, Turkey and the United States. On data for Israel, see

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9.5. Data availability, 2017 and 2019
9.5. Data availability, 2017 and 2019

Source: OECD (2016, 2018), Open Government Data Survey.


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Data availability: Policy frameworks, stakeholder engagement and data release