Aporta (Aporta)

Published on: 22/04/2014
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The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, through the Public Corporate Entity Red.es, and in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, launched project Aporta in 2009. The Aporta open data project aims to promote a culture of reusing public information, raising awareness regarding its importance and value, and encourages public administrations and agencies to make available the information they hold, thus stimulating its market potential.These efforts aim to create a more transparent, efficient and friendly government, and to create new opportunities – both social and economic - based on the reuse of public sector information. The Aporta project is  creating the basis to improve the interoperability and efficient use of data, which implies synergies around open data between public institutions, universities, and the private sector. The Aporta initiative also provides support to public authorities in order to make data available.

Within the framework of the Aporta open data project, the datos.gob.es portal  was launched in 2011 to promote the publication, access, and reuse of public sector information. The datos.gob.es portal organizes and manages the Public Administration Data Reuse Catalogue and serves as the single point of access to reusable public information in Spain. The portal initially focused on the General State Administration and now gathers information from other regional and local Administrations in Spain. The Catalogue is now in the process of linking up with the pan-European portal of open data.

The main objectives of Aporta are to:

  • Arrange and maintain the Public Information Catalogue, and ensure its permanent enrichment;
  • Promote a culture of reusing public information, providing general information, training materials and current news on the opening up of public sector information;
  • Promote the creation of products and services by the Infomediary sector based on published data;
  • Follow up on the actions performed by the public sector and report on them at both the national and international levels.

Policy Context

The Aporta project was part of the Plan for the development of the Information Society in Spain’s Plan Avanza  (2006-2010) and Plan Avanza2 (2011-2012) and is now part of the Digital Agenda for Spain. The Digital Agenda for Spain establishes, in relation to the promotion the production and distribution of digital content over the Internet, the objective of simplifying the conditions for re‐using public sector information through the following actions  (among others):

  • Promotion of good practices across all Spanish public Administration bodies through user guides and homogeneous licenses for the re‐use of information of the Public Sector.
  • Availability for third‐parties of touristic content and other content of interest.
  • Establishment of a forum of public‐private collaboration to boost cooperation in this field.

Description of target users and groups

The datos.gob.es portal is mainly geared towards professionals or companies interested in the reuse of public sector information, but also for institutional managers and citizens, in order to:

  • Create new products, services, and business models;
  • Modernise public administrations;
  • Create platforms to enhance transparency, and encourage citizen participation and collaboration.

The target users are therefore:

  • Public Administrations
  • Private Sector parties interested in the re-use of PSI (infomediaries)
  • Citizens interested in Public Sector Information.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The Aporta project is the result of close collaboration between national public Administrations. A coordination committee, responsible for the strategic coordination, manages the initiative. The committee is composed of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration and Red.es. On the technical side, Red.es coordinates the project within the Department of Digital Public Services.

Aporta Project is a nationwide scheme to harmonise actions to promote the availability of public information and to develop the market for reusing public sector information.

Currently, the Aporta Project encompasses the following activities:

  • Development of training activities
  • Dissemination and awareness activities;
  • Advice and support to the data providers and data re-users;
  • Continuous enrichment of the National Catalogue;
  • Active collaboration with regional and local initiatives in PSI;
  • Active collaboration with international initiatives in PSI;
  • Public-Private Partnership Forum.

The key components of the projects are:

  • Datos.gob.es, which is the National Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal, on which data providers, data re-users and the public can find:
  • Data Catalogue
  • Training material and background information
  • PSI Applications
  • Infomediary sector information
  • News
  • Feedback channel
  • Organizational and technical Harmonisation legal tools:
  • Royal Decree 1495/2011,
  • Spanish Interoperability Guidelines for the Reuse of Public Sector Information (TSI on the reuse)
  • Aporta meetings: countrywide meetings held for the purpose of consolidating the culture of reuse of public information.
  •  Support to the Public Administrations:
    • Support in the elaboration of individual PSI re-use strategy
    • Support for the aggregation of entity catalogues in datos.gob.es.
    • Guidelines for identification and prioritisation in the publication of data sets
    • Guidance for the cataloguing in accordance with the TSI on the re-use of information resources
    • Awareness sessions and examples of success stories
  • Public- Private Partnership forum in PSI re-use (PPC-RPSI): The mission of the PPC-RPSI Forum is to contribute to the design of a viable global environment of access to public data with a view to their re-use, enabling all their potential economic and social values to be realised.

Technology solution

The datos.gob.es website works with the Drupal content manager (open source software environment), its PHP language (common in Open Source) and the MySQL 5.1.x database system.

This combination has the following advantages:

Easy to install and use;

  • Versatility in user management and workflow;
  • Secure and expandable structure;
  • Powerful graphics;
  • Web 2.0 functions;
  • Native semantic support (RDF, RDFa, etc.).
Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

The main impacts of the project are reflected in the following figures:

  • 1,615 data sets from more than 60 public entities made available for reuse in the Public Administration Data Reuse Catalogue.
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  • Four countrywide meetings held for the purpose of consolidating the culture of reuse of public information (http://www.spainesdata.es/).

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  • Technical support provided to central government, as a result of which all Ministries have identified a head of RPSI and 8 of the 13 have developed an Open Data Strategic Plan and created an open data space on their websites.
  • Ongoing promotion of the value of reuse; this is reflected in more than 212,634 visits to datos.gob.es since the date of publication (November 2011) and in 6,286 followers of @datosgob on Twitter.

The project will also have a sizeable impact for infomediary companies, which are companies that generate applications, products and / or added value services for third parties, based on public sector information. The PSI related turnover of these companies is estimated to be around 550 to 650 M€, According to the ‘Characterization Study of the Infomediary Sector 2012’, which can be broken down, per field of reuse, as follows:

  • Business/Financial: 37.6%
  • Geographical/Cartographic: 30.5%
  • Legal: 17.0%
  • Transport: 5.2%
  • Social Data/Statistical: 1.9%
  • Meteorological: 1.1%
  • Other: ICT 6.7%

Return on Investment

The return on investment can be described according to the project's benefits to society. The benefits can be measured with the following paramenters:

  • Provision of a National Portal for PSI (datos.gob.es)
  • Continuous support to the Public Administrations (National, Regional and Local) for the development of PSI strategies.
  • Permanent attention to the demands of the private sector in PSI
  • Development of Public-Private-Partnership collaborations in PSI

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

Taking into account the local considerations, the experience is fully replicable in any other country. All the activities are published regularly on datos.gob.es. Reading the post and press releases published in the datos.gob.es, any Public Administration would be able to develop a PSI National strategy.

The ICT infrastructure in use is fully replicable. All the information related to the architecture and the source code of the National Catalogue is available in https://forja.cenatic.es/projects/datos.gob.es/

Lessons learnt

  • A National initiative, like Aporta project, helps in developing of a harmonized national strategy for the provision of Public Sector Information.
  • A National Catalogue, like datos.gob.es, which plays the role of National Single Point for PSI helps in the location of data sets and helps in the connection with others international initiatives.
  • The development of PSI re-use strategies involved support activities for the Public Administrations and a continuous dialogue with the Private Sector.  
Scope: National