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Research project: Opening the Gates: Will Open Data Initiatives Make Local Governments in the Philippines More Transparent?
In 2011, the Department of Interior and Local Government of the Philippines mandated the implementation of the Full Disclosure Policy that requires local government units to post financial and procurement-related information on their websites. Whilst the policy does not mandate publication as open data, the information required is well suited to being published as datasets. Using a case study approach in three provinces, this project has explored how the sharing of governance information online has impacted on local government systems, and how the information and data has been accessed and used by civil society representatives and intermediary groups. The project has identified policies and processes that could support the Philippines to more fully realise an open government data agenda for local government, and has looked at challenges currently faced in the supply and use of local government data.
The Open LGU Research Team completes the fieldwork for one of its case sites for the study that explores the effect of opening government data to the public to the efforts of local governments in promoting transparency and accountability in local governance in the Philippines.
The Official Gazette of the National Government published the statement of Undersecretary Abigail Valte, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson announcing the #KabantayNgBayan, a data hackathon organized by the Open Data Philippines Task Force. This event will be happening on November 9-10, 2013 on a two-day hackathon open for IT developers and designers using open data on national government budget.
Several stakeholders from both public and the private sector increased their lobbying and advocacy work for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill by the 16th Philippine Congress. The FOI Bill has been proposed for more than 10 years but has not been given sufficient attention by lawmakers.
The following presentation was shared at the ODDC Asia regional meeting in Delhi, July 2013.
I should say that one of the most challenging tasks I experienced in this research was developing the tools. I think the challenge comes from the fact that we are dealing with a new phenomenon (i.e. open data) in a sensitive context (i.e. local government). Also, the approach hinges more on the qualitative side that precision in the wording of the question, and the manner by which the questions are to be asked, are key considerations.