Are public data available to the public? By what standards should the quality and openness of data be evaluated? And by whom? And how? Open Data Watch focuses on the data and statistics needed to plan, monitor, and evaluate the results of economic, social, demographic and environmental programs in developing countries. These are most often the official statistics produced by the national statistical system.
Open Data Monitoring and Reporting
While no single measure, nor even a combination of measures, can encompass all the dimensions of a national statistical system, well-defined and carefully measured indicators can focus attention on important gaps and encourage an informed discussion of options and priorities. Taken together they can provide an overall assessment of data quality and openness. To provide a summary indicator of the quality, comprehensiveness, and openness of a country’s official development statistics, Open Data Watch is exploring the creation of a multidimensional Development Data Index. Initially the index will focus on the data and statistical methods used to report on national and international development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 monitoring framework. Eventually it may be extended to include other national statistical outputs used to manage and monitor social and economic development programs. Improving their index value can be an incentive to countries to improve data management and dissemination practices. A high score will be an indication to the data producer of their success and to data users of the quality and accessibility of data.
To derive and maintain the index, ODW will develop a process for identifying and accessing data and metadata in national databases. Information on the location, accessibility, and other characteristics of the data will be made openly available. In this way the process of creating the index will contribute to the knowledge base of statistical practices and to the development of strategies for improving statistical systems.