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The First Edition of the Global Data Barometer Is Now Available

The first edition of the Global Data Barometer took place on May 11, and Datasketch participated in the research. Find out the overall results and the performance of Latin America.

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Source: Global Data Barometer

By Juliana Galvis Nieto and Juan Pablo Garnica Munévar. May 11, 2022.

On May 11, The Data for Development Network and the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA, for its acronym in Spanish) released the first edition of the Global Data Barometer. The Barometer measures the availability, governance, capability, and use and impact of data for the public good in 109 countries. More than a ranking, the Global Data Barometer establishes a benchmark for each country’s actions in terms of open data.

The work of Datasketch

ILDA led the regional alliance that made the Barometer possible, with several consulting firms working for open data in Latin America. The Datasketch team was in charge of the research for Colombia due to our work in the use and appropriation of data in the country and the region.

We are recognized for the knowledge and constant activism that we exercise around compliance with open data regulations at the national level and initiatives related to this issue. For this reason, we are also members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Committee for Colombia.

Methodology

The Barometer consisted of a questionnaire of 41 blocks of questions that we completed using data collection tools, desk research, and key informant interviews. In parallel, the government responded to a complementary survey.

Once we completed the survey, there was a peer review of each country’s assessment to maintain quality and clarity in each response, making the research more reliable.

The Global Data Barometer determines the country’s level of open data openness. Its objective is to highlight the importance of the data in the thematic modules that the methodological team selected. In particular, it emphasizes the structuring of such data so that citizens can reuse it easily and free of charge.

The assessment had seven thematic modules: climate action, business information, health and COVID-19, land, political integrity, public finance, and public procurement. Within each module, there were four pillars.

Availability explored access to certain categories of data, whether they are shared, and their quality. Governance assessed the existence of rules, processes, and institutions to make data available for the public good. Capability considers whether the country has the means, connectivity, skills, and institutional capacity to create, share and use data. Finally, Data use and impact assesses whether there is evidence of particular use of data and its impact.

Overall results

The Global Data Barometer presents key results for the four pillars assessed:

  1. 10.63 % of the assessed datasets meet the criteria for open data, i.e., free, in machine-readable formats, and openly licensed.
  2. Journalism projects are using open data to identify proprietary networks. We cover this type of data journalism reporting in our newsletter.
  3. Data management has reduced capability as the lack of data literacy, particularly at the sub-national level. Indeed, 23 of the 109 countries demonstrate planned data training for public servants, and 22% have institutionalized data management in local governments.
  4. 98 countries have personal data protection laws, but 13 do not have the force of law, while 12 apply to specific sectors. 30 countries have binding open data policies that mention publication and availability, but their implementation varies depending on the sector.

Latin America's performance

The Global Data Barometer divides countries into regional clusters, and Latin America and the Caribbean is one of them, including 23 countries (15 from Latin America).

The region’s performance is similar to the global average, except for lower scores in governance and capability. The analysis recognizes the work of open data initiatives by organizations, such as Datasketch, in terms of the availability and use and impact score.

Latin America’s score for the political integrity module is its second-lowest but above average. While countries score well on assets declaration and political finance regulatory frameworks, they perform poorly on political integrity interoperability and lobbying data availability.

The region is above average on climate action data, particularly on climate vulnerability, but with only half of the points possible due to lack of data openness.

Although 13 countries have binding regulatory frameworks on personal data protection, these need to be updated as they do not cover location data and algorithmic decision-making.

Latin America has both high (Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia) and very low results (Guyana, El Salvador, and Guatemala). In addition, the region has a contrast between the results for opportunities gained by human capital and political freedoms and the digital divide.

Visualizations and open data

A choropleth map shows each country’s score, and radar charts visualize performance by pillars and thematic modules. You can download the data and its visualizations.

The Barometer has a dedicated open data page, making datasets available for reuse. The datasets are complete, by module, country, and region, along with the dictionary of variables.

The report is available in English, French, and Spanish and presents the concepts and methodology, regional analysis, and some considerations.