By Enrique Zapata, General Director of Open Data, Office of the President of Mexico.
In 2015, after the official launch of the Open Data Charter, some of those who had adopted and endorsed the Charter Principles started to talk about how to best support governments to create real life impact from open data.
The result of those conversations are what became known as the ‘Open Up Guides’ — documents, developed by sectoral and open data experts, with clear steps and explanations as on how to address specific policy challenges using open data.
The first of these documents, the ‘Anticorruption Open Up Guide’, was the test subject. The Guide was launched in May 2017 after months of global consultation with the objective of documenting which high-value datasets to release, how to standardize them, and how to promote their use in the prevention, detection, investigation and sanction of corrupt activities.
In late 2017, México decided to become the first country in the world to implement the Guide and test its assumptions.It also became the first country to embed the Guide as an official standard in its Open Data Policy and to actively use it as part of its national anticorruption efforts.
The teams of the Open Data Charter, Transparencia Mexicana, Cívica Digital and the Government Open Data team, with the financial help of the Inter American Development Bank, worked together for 6 months. Together we identified, released, analyzed, increased the quality, and promoted the use of Anticorruption related open data at the Executive branch in the country.
The result, was the identification of 72 specific data resources that match the recommendations of the Guide. 47 of these datasets — which contain more than 12 million registries and 350 million data points — have already been released in the Mexican Open Data Platform datos.gob.mx.
Furthermore, and maybe most importantly for the future of the Open up Guides, the datasets are already being used in various projects to generate impact, for example:
- Open Contracting data was used by IMCO and OPI Analytics to generate a Corruption Contracting Index.
- Fiscal declaration open data was used by the civil society organization Data Cívica to generate new open datasets that would have cost the government more than a million pesos to generate.
- Open Fiscal data was used in a hackathon during Open Data Day 2018 to generate visualizations around federal spending.
- Open Contracting data is being used by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Administration in the National Open Contracting Platform gob.mx/contratacionesabiertas.
For Mexico, this implementation is only the first step towards combating corruption with a data-driven approach. In the coming weeks the Executive Secretariat of the National Anticorruption System will officially adopt the Guide and its results to serve as their steward, but also to use this data to generate intelligence to fight corruption in the country.
These results show a lot of promise for the Open Up Guides. Now it is time to promote the adoption of the Anticorruption Guide in other countries and organizations, and to cooperate with other sectors to develop and finance projects that create sustainable public value with Open Data.
Read the report here.