Deployment of Open Data Driven Solutions for Socio-economic Value through Good Governance and Efficient Public Service Delivery

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2018)

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The notion of making data ‘open by default’ challenges the deep rooted cultures of national privacy as it calls for data to be treated as a public resource. South Africa embarked on several initiatives to endorse open data, especially government data in order to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. However, the progress has been very marginal. In light of this, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) brought together representatives from government, academia and the private sector to look at how open data-driven solutions can create economic and social value, improve service delivery in public services, support more transparent and accountable governments and foster innovation to transform citizens’ well-being, cities, and governments for good. The discussions unveiled that laws on open data need to move parallel to the progress and developments made in open data. It was noted that scientists, governments and policy makers need to approach open data realistically and acknowledge where we are as a country, were we want to go and how to get there. This approach to open data can potentially create economic and social value, improve service delivery in public services, support more transparent and accountable governments and foster innovation to transform citizens’ well-being. The outcome of the discussions aimed to contribute to and advance policy-relevant knowledge, provide a platform for the dissemination of evidence-based knowledge to inform and influence decision-making and identify policy gaps and suggest new research agendas.