El Salvador is the new Charter adopter
By Agustina De Luca and Raúl Velásquez
A new year begins and with it a new government that adopts the Open Data Charter seeking to implement its principles in practice. Today, El Salvador becomes the 65th government to join a network of reformers that are committed to open data to improve the quality of their institutions and public services.
The Government of El Salvador has put transparency and access to information at the center of its Five-Year Plan 2014–2019 pledging to spearhead open data policies. With high level support from the Presidency, and through the Technical Secretariat and Planning and the Secretariat of Participation, Transparency and Anticorruption, they aim to channel this political ambition into action.
One of the main achievements so far was the release of data related to jobs, the price list of medicines and basic grains in supermarkets.
In their future plans, El Salvador has three main objectives: first, it will focus on opening data that will serve the almost three million Salvadorans living abroad seeking to improve their access to data related to programs, projects and available services. The second one is to open data on public investment, including where works are being built and investments are being made. Finally, the third objective is to open information about social programs such as school supplies or basic pension.
As part of a broader openness agenda, the government also recognizes the importance of opening the codes of public domain systems, since they consider that all software generated with public funds must be open. In this way, work has already been done on free software, data normalization and interoperability.
The main challenge they see has been the diversity of information systems that are not communicated or integrated, duplication of data and even contradictions among them. However, they understand that this path is fundamental to provide greater institutional openness that allows for the integration and simplification of services, with citizens at its heart.
We are very excited to welcome a new country from Central America to the network of adopters of the Charter (along with Costa Rica and Panama). We hope this is the beginning of a year full of successes and strengthening of open data delivering results for the people of El Salvador.