22 January 2015
The UK has the most open and transparent government in the world, according to the Open Data Barometer.
The Open Data Barometer (ODB) identifies which governments worldwide make their public sector data openly available to its citizens without charge and in re-usable formats. The Barometer is put together using research by the Open Data Research Network and looks into the Open Government Data policy and its practice across the world.
A look at 86 governments worldwide has found that the UK is the most open with the highest score possible of 100. The ODB reports scores countries on three aspects: readiness, implementation and impact.
Readiness to secure benefits from open data: including the legal, political, economic, social, organisational, and technical foundations that can support the supply and use of open data.
Implementation of open data practice, measured through the availability of data across 15 key categories, and the adoption for those datasets of the common practices set out in the Open Definition, and Open Government Data Principles.
Impacts of open data, measured through media and academic mentions of data use and impact.
The UK was grouped as a high capacity country, which according to the OBD is a group countries that all have established open data policies, generally with strong political backing. They have extended a culture of open data out beyond a single government department, with open data practices adopted in different government agencies, and increasingly at a local government level.
These countries tend to adopt similar approaches to open data, incorporating key principles of the open definition, and emphasising issues of open data licensing. They have government, civil society, and private sector capacity to benefit from open data.
Countries included in this cluster, in ODB rank order, are: UK, US, Sweden, France, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Korea, Austria, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Belgium, Iceland and Singapore. While this year’s top five includes three of the signatories of the 2013 G8 Open Data Charter (UK, US and France), the rest of the G8 languish much lower in the rankings, with Japan, Italy and Russia not even making the top ten.