Open Up Field Guides

A practical guide to publishing with purpose


by Natalia Carfi

Today the Open Data Charter is publishing a methodology for developing an Open Up Guide — a tool for supporting Governments and other actors to use the publication of strategic datasets to address key policy challenges.

There is a growing recognition among the open data community that our efforts should be focused on delivering real world impact from efforts to publish and enable use of data. To support a move in this direction, the Open Data Charter started developing a series of “Open Up Guides” providing a step-by-step outline of how to share data with the aim of solving specific policy problems.

After successfully implementing the first of the Guides: ‘the Anticorruption Open Up Guide’ in México, we are excited to share with the open data community a methodology for anyone wishing to develop an Open Up Guide for their field.

The Guides are intended to support governments and their partners to share data for addressing specific policy challenges, in specific thematic areas, as well as helping embed open data as a central ingredient to achieving better solutions to the most pressing policy challenges of our time.

The Charter has so far developed three guides: anti-corruption, climate change and agriculture.

The most developed of these is the Anti-corruption Open Up Guide, which was recently implemented in a pilot programme in Mexico. According to Enrique Zapata, the Director of Open Data, Office of the President of México, the implementation of the Anticorruption Guide has been the first step towards combating corruption with a data-driven approach, and they plan to use it to generate the needed intelligence to fight corruption going forward. {Read more about Enrique’s reflections on the impact of the implementation in México here.}

The methodology the Charter is publishing today has been developed and refined based on the experience of developing the existing guides, and the pilot implementation of the anti-corruption guide in Mexico.

It is informed by our work with real-life cases and builds on our understanding that good quality production and management of data is a prerequisite for data sharing. As stewards of the Charter, we are focused on encouraging organisations and governments of all levels to adopt a ‘publish with purpose’ approach to opening up datasets.

The approach outlined in the methodology ensures that the Guides are grounded in practical evidence while gathering learnings to make sure global norms are applicable locally. We are keen to collaborate as much possible with government officials, experts and civil society. Please get in touch if you want to work with us —

Read the full report here.