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12 June 2013, 16:56

Global Open Data Initiative to coordinate open data projects

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The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) has announced the formation of the new Global Open Data Initiative (GODI). Joining the OKF in forming the new initiative are the Open Institute, Mexico's Fundar, the Sunlight Foundation and the World Wide Web Foundation. The initiative is intended to act as a global voice for open government data and to support open data initiatives across the world. It will develop a research agenda and evidence base in support of open data and aggregate resources from across the world. It hopes to become a "central point of reference for governments and CSOs (civil society organizations) interested in open government data."

In a associated announcement, the World Wide Web Foundation makes the point that, although open data initiatives have grown in number during the last four years from two to over 300 and that over a million datasets have been released by governments around the world, some initiatives are faltering and true social benefits are not necessarily being seen to be delivered. To address these problems, the foundation suggests that government initiatives need to be backed by a greater commitment to transparency and accountability. It states that pressure to this effect needs to come from the public: it will therefore work particularly closely with CSOs and says that "civil society must ask tougher questions." To this end, the foundation hopes that unified guidelines will assist both civil society in advocating open data and governments in building "vibrant and robust systems".

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