So you’ve signed the Open Data Charter, what next?

Open Data Charter
Nov 7, 2017 · 2 min read

Introducing the new adoption and implementation roadmap

Leigh Dodds & Fiona Smith (Open Data Institute)

An increasing number of governments are adopting the Open Data Charter. It provides a clear statement of their commitment to creating a culture and practice of openness. By using a common international framework, they also benefit from a best practice approach to open data.

But once a government has signed the Charter, what’s next?

While there are a range of tools that measure progress of open data initiatives, and a related set of tools for assessing open data publication, adopters are often looking for more concrete guidance.

At the beginning of their open data journey, governments need an action plan that identifies the first steps that will guide them towards adoption of the Charter principles.

To support this need, we have collaborated with the Open Data Charter team to create the Adoption and Implementation Roadmap and the accompanying Activities Table. The roadmap identifies the most important first steps that will help governments turn the Charter principles into a set of strategic actions and concrete indicators that will create momentum and ensure success.

The roadmap has been designed around a framework based on the Open Data Institute Open Data Maturity Model. It identifies several stages of maturity that help to chart the journey from planning to adopt the Charter through to implementing its principles.

While intended to help new adopters, the roadmap will also be useful to existing Charter adopters. To begin using the roadmap we recommended that government officials:

  • Review the framework to understand how it can support creation of a robust open data practice.
  • Decide where they currently fit within the defined stages of maturity, to help inform their current activities and future plans, and then
  • Prioritise a key set of actions using the roadmap guidance and the accompanying Activities Table.

This roadmap does not attempt to provide detailed guidance or suggestions on how to implement a comprehensive open data strategy. Instead we’ve focused on identifying and recommending the more important activities that will help build a robust open data practice and guide a government towards successful adoption and implementation.

We look forward to seeing Charter adopters begin to explore this new tool and welcome feedback on its contents. We hope that this tool will continue to evolve and improve as best practice continues to evolve internationally.

The Charter is also working to streamline the measurement of open data readiness, policy development, and publication. This is crucial so that governments know how well they are doing at implementing the Charter principles, but also so that citizens can hold governments to account. Read more about this work here.

Please get in touch if you’d like more specific support or have comments on the roadmap itself — info [at]


Learn how we are working to instal a culture of open and responsible data use in governments and its citizens.

Open Data Charter

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A collaboration between governments and experts working to open up data around a shared set of principles.


Learn how we are working to instal a culture of open and responsible data use in governments and its citizens.

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