ICT Module 2 Topic 4

Data, Information, and Adding ICTs to the Social Accountability Equation

Open Data. What for? Linking Information and Citizen Action

For citizens and CSOs, the primary goals of open data in a social accountability context are to improve governance and service delivery by strengthening demand for accountability. The ability of CSOs and citizens to (re)use the data largely depends on the format in which the data is provided and on the technological and human costs that are required to operationalize it. Additionally, it is very important to have the “right” data and to use it effectively to target your main audience.

Yet, regardless of the type of data, the effects of open data are determined by the strategic actions taken by CSOs and citizens. There are many opportunities to use data in creative ways and combine multiple sets of data to find and tell stories that matter to citizens. For example, CSOs can publish analysis and stories based on the information that they have obtained in order to reveal instances of financial mismanagement or corruption, providing grounds for citizens to hold government, donors, and service providers to account.

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Open government data is not a necessary prerequisite for ICTs for social accountability. For example, some tools use other mechanisms for collecting data from demand sources (i.e. data or information generated from the public) instead of supply side or government sources. Yet open data certainly is a powerful component when it is available.

Following this introductory module where we have focused on the importance of accessing public information and government data, we will focus on a set of tools and concrete examples that could help your organization to make use of that public information and data, among other examples of the use of ICTs for Social Accountability.

Last modified: Tuesday, 19 August 2014, 1:32 PM