Data Ownership and Open Data: The Potential for Data-Driven Policy Making

Nils Walravens, Pieter Ballon, Mathias Van Compernolle, Koen Borghys

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As part of the rhetoric surrounding the Smart City concept, cities are increasingly facing challenges related to data (management, governance, processing, storage, publishing etc.). The growing power acquired by the data market and the great relevance assigned to data ownership rather than to data-exploitation knowhow is affecting the development of a data culture and is slowing down the embedding of data-related expertise inside public administrations. Concurrently, policies call for more open data to foster service innovation and government transparency. What are the consequences of these phenomena when imagining the potential for policy making consequent to the growing data quantity and availability? Which strategic challenges and decisions do public authorities face in this regard? What are valuable approaches to arm public administrations in this “war on data”? The Smart Flanders program was initiated by the Flemish Government (Belgium) in 2017 to research and support cities with defining and implementing a common open data policy. As part of the program, a “maturity check” was performed, evaluating the cities on several quantitative and qualitative parameters. This exercise laid to bare some challenges in the field of open data and led to a checklist that cities can employ to begin tackling them, as well as a set of model clauses to be used in the procurement of new technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Data Shake
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63693-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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