Open Government Data Policies and Latin America: Are We Ensuring the Value Created by OGD is Distributed Appropriately?

May 01, 2017 by Juan Ortiz Freuler

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The document discusses the meaning, implications and origins of Open Government Data. I suggest that the current conceptualization of OGD has been informed by New Public Management theory, which has led to frameworks more focused on creating economic value than enabling a more substantive relationship between the state and its citizens. By counting the frequency of 77 keywords throughout 32 OGD-related documents, I assess the balance in the objectives pursued by Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, US, UK. The analysis shows the UK and US policies are more focused on wealth creation than their Latin American counterparts, where references to justice, equality and other transformative keywords are more frequent. The essay concludes with a call for more resources to be invested into identifying the potential losers that will result from OGD policies, and how cross-compensations between winners and losers can be carried out to achieve just and more legitimate outcomes. I argue the Legislative is better placed than the Executive to define the broader OGD frameworks given that the Legislative is usually empowered with the task of modifying taxes and public expenditure. Thus, the Legislative can take into account the disruptions caused by OGD in particular, and the information era in general when defining taxation and expenditure.