Open data governance and open governance: interplay or disconnect?

Dear all,

We have just published a blogpost summarising our recent workshop on open data governance at the Open Data Research Symposium 2018. In it, we outline an Open Data Governance Model, with possible questions to start mapping the different layers of open data governance.

You can read the full post at:

With this map of data governance aspects as a starting point, we would like to conduct empirical research to explore how open data governance is practised. A growing body of ethnographic research suggests that tech innovations such as algorithmic decision-making, open data, or smart city initiatives are ‘multiples’ — meaning that they can be practiced in many ways by different people, arising in various contexts.

With such an understanding, we would like to develop empirical case studies to elicit how open data governance is practised. Our proposed research approach includes the following steps:

  • Universe mapping: Identifying public sector officials and civil servants involved in deciding how data gets managed, shared and published openly (this helps to get closer to the actual decision-makers, and to learn from them).
  • Describing how and on what basis (legal, organisational & bureaucratic, technological, financial, etc.) people make decisions on what gets published and why.
  • Observe and describe different approaches to do open data governance, looking at enabling and limiting factors of opening up data.
  • Describe gaps and areas of improvement with regards to open data governance, as well as best practices.

This may surface how open data governance becomes salient for governments, under what circumstances and why.

If you are a government official, or civil servant working with (open) data, and would like to share your experiences, we would like to hear from you - we welcome feedback in this discussion topic!


Hi Lieke,

some useful resources from World Bank projects and the related World Bank ODRA

Also have a look to country projects.

I am happy to help make connections with some of those countries/projects if interested.

Also, something I would question are the different drivers, entry points and communities behind data management projects (Geoportals, Statistics, Open Data, eGovernment) and how this affects open data in the end.

Take the example of disconnection between INSPIRE geoportals and open data in Europe for instance.


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I’d be interested in talking about our experience in Pittsburgh re. data governance, privacy, etc through the Regional Data Center.


if there were one model i was trying to emulate, it would be WPRDC’s.

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Let me know where to send the check.

i am also interested on this

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I am just now ending a cycle of almost 10 years since I started to get the open data policy in Brazil’s federal government running from the beginning. I’d be glad to share my experience and also to learn from you and this research.

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@ldodds has written an interesting follow up article to this one, titled “thinking about the governance of data”.

One of the issues he discusses is the need to consider people’s expectations and community norms as much as the legal compliance and data licences, especially considering changing contexts for the use of any given data. It is very much worth a read for anyone considering an open data governance discussion.

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