Last update: 18-Apr-2014 4:18 am
Friday, April 18, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Public data for the public good
Governments control vast stores of data that can be extremely useful to improving social services, guiding community planning, addressing health, security, education, and many other civic and social needs. Technology can be used to convert many of these inaccessible data stores to publicly accessible, open electronic databases, freeing public data to be used for the public good in the process.
New technology tools, combined with raised expectations among the general public and the business community for greater government transparency and accountability are sparking a global movement toward “open government.” Driven by increasingly visible examples from around the world and championed by advocacy organisations, the trend promotes greater accountability and responsiveness as tenants of a healthy representative democracy.
The fuel lies in the enormous cache of public information now locked in analogue and electronic datasets across the public sector. The ignition point is the open data movement; enabled by the Internet, apps and an army of open innovators.
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