This report reviews the progress each of the G8 countries (the G7 countries plus Russia) has made towards each of the five principles in the Open Data Charter. In addition, since the open data movement has its roots in freedom of information policies, it provides a brief summary of the freedom of information laws in each country and the extent to which they provide reasonable response times, accountability mechanisms, and appeal processes.
The report also notes whether each country participates in the Open Government Partnership, a U.S. led international organization to improve various aspects of open government in member countries, including open data. The term “open government” typically connotes a larger category of best practices around governance than “open data” does, including priorities such as public access to government information systems, public participation in government, and web accessibility for people with disabilities. In addition, while the Open Government Partnership includes some priorities about releasing data for business value, releasing data for the sake of transparency is a larger focus.
This has been a source of friction for countries such as Russia, which had initially sought to join the Open Government Partnership with an eye toward opening data for innovation, but which withdrew its application to avoid making strong commitments around opening data for transparency. The Open Government Partnership, while not directly related to the G8 Open Data Charter, shares numerous priorities with the charter concerning open data and offers insights into how participating countries have dealt with open data in the international community. Most countries participating in the Open Government Partnership have also participated in third-party progress reports, which offer a useful overview of countries’ performance on certain open data priorities, such as creating robust national data portals and facilitating data reuse through open licensing. To compile the information in this report, the Center for Data Innovation reviewed existing literature, including government documents and third-party assessments, and interviewed experts in each of the G8 countries.
Nature of documentation: Technical report