Land Governance and Artificial Intelligence - Open Gov #02 | Datasketch
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Land Governance and Artificial Intelligence - Open Gov #02

Current news on open government, its relationship with data journalism and artificial intelligence and its use to solve citizen problems.

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This newsletter is compiled and edited by the Datasketch Open Government team (Laura Tamia Ortiz, Juliana Galvis, and Juan Pablo Marín Díaz). You will find relevant and updated information related to Open Government around the world. If you want to read the previous newsletters, you can do so at Datasketch Open Government Newsletter.


Open government and data journalism

Two of the topics we work on at Datasketch are open government and data journalism. They are areas that might not seem related. Still, data is a necessary resource for journalistic work, and public institutions have become one of the most significant information providers, even more so with the creation of open data portals. In the Open government and data journalism post, we tell you how these areas come together, the challenges still presented by the administration in opening its data, and how data journalism can help in public decision-making.

6 uses of Blockchain in public institutions and a warning call

The blockchain is a technology with origins in the financial sector. It arises in response to the need for trust between the parties involved when carrying out secure economic transactions without intermediaries to protect privacy.

Governments are investigating blockchain as a way to increase transparency and efficiency in public management. Some of the utilities identified are related to establishing digital identities, verifying personal and property records, promoting secure voting, mitigating and identifying fraud, improving auditing processes, and increasing citizen control over the government. This post briefly explains what this technology consists of and some examples of its use by public institutions worldwide.

Govtech in Iberoamerica

A few months ago, the book “GOVTECH EN IBEROAMÉRICA. Ecosystem, actors and technologies to reinvent the public sector” was released. It analyzes the state of the art of Govtech in the region. It seeks to contribute to the debate on its scope, development possibilities, and future challenges. The book brings together the experiences of various actors, such as governments, international organizations, laboratories, startups, and experts. In Chapter 18, “Communicating information easily and quickly with Datasketch,” our director, Juan Pablo Marín, reviews the work of our organization to facilitate data communication and support decision making for public management through evidence, using public data, reports, and graphics. He proposes an alternative that provides a solution to the lack of personnel specialized in data science in organizations, collaborative Big Small Data. It means relying on the users of the services themselves, who constantly obtain and prepare information, offering them simple tools to improve their work. You can download it at: (es)

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OGP Global Summit 2021: Seoul, Republic of Korea

The South Korean capital will host the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit 2021, which will take place from December 13-17, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will prioritize virtual participation. The event will be marked by the celebration of OGP’s 10th anniversary and will focus on anti-corruption, digital innovation and governance, public involvement, and civic space. Not much information has been released yet, but it will be unveiled in the coming months on the OGP website. Stay tuned: OGP Global Summit 2021.


The negative consequences of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights

Although Open Government is not synonymous with the fight against corruption, they are closely related. Therefore, we cannot fail to highlight that the UN Human Rights Council has made public Resolution A/HRC/47/L.5. It reminds us of the need to generate and implement public policies that help in the fight against corruption. It is a step forward and is especially relevant because the international organization directly links corruption with the decrease in citizens’ enjoyment of human rights and invites to investigate its consequences in this context. In addition, it agrees to create spaces for governments to reflect on the difficulties and good practices in preventing corruption and its effects on the enjoyment of human rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full document at


Assessing OGP's Potential for Change

OGP has published a stakeholder survey to gather information on the performance of the Support Unit that assists reformers, both within governments and interested citizens, in the implementation of Open Government action plans.

The organization is ten years old and seeks to improve its services based on a global vision of how people involved in the process perceive its actions and the challenges they still face, such as the inclusion of more diverse communities, promoting support for the initiatives by senior management of the entities or more significant involvement of civil society, not only in the design but also in the implementation of the plans. If you have been part of the process of creating or implementing an Open Government Action Plan in your country, we invite you to complete the survey at:


Artificial Intelligence for social control

A few weeks ago, there was a lot of talk about the Flemish Scrollers project, an initiative of Dries Depoorter. The Belgian Parliament broadcasts its sessions in Streaming. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the program designed by the artist identifies politicians who use their phones during the interventions and exposes them through publications on social networks. Despite being very well received and having been widely shared on social networks, this initiative aims to generate a much deeper debate on privacy, artificial intelligence, surveillance, and the use of social networks.

In a world where surveillance is becoming more and more widespread, so is the double standard. Politicians have a public role and should be held accountable for their work, but is this the way to do it? We are not sure. If instead of being politicians, it was another profile monitored in this way, perhaps we would be holding our heads in our hands. On the other hand, if there is no accountability on the part of public servants, should citizens look for innovative ways to make them comply? Surely yes. The debate is on. Take sides.


12 Politicians Violating Their Own COVID-19 Rules

The Foundation for Economic Education published an article profiling 12 U.S. politicians who have been caught skipping their own restrictions to protect citizens from COVID-19. It is an example of what has happened in many countries. What does it have to do with Open Government? In addition to driving the policies of transparency, participation, and the other pillars, which you can discover in our “Open Government for Dummies,” this model of governance also talks about public integrity. In any government that claims to be open, for a public official, especially a high-level one, to break the rules should be considered a serious offense. How can public officials restrict civic space if they do not fulfill their mandates? Lack of integrity affects citizen trust and shows severe signs of lack of transparency and commitment to perform their duties.


Otro ángulo

The Government Laboratory of Chile has launched its fourth volume of the series Another Angle. The project is composed of a set of publications in which it seeks to synthesize the results and learnings of its work since 2015 to design and implement better public services. The latest issue focuses on developing innovation capacities in the State and delve into the challenges, operation, and results of the Laboratory for the connection and training in public innovation to increase impact and generate sustainable transformations. You can read and download this and all previous volumes at:

Open data for improved land governance

Open government should be used to solve public problems. Transparency or participation policies are useless without an objective behind them. Land governance is one of the issues that concern and worry States and their citizens, so Land Portal Foundation has published the first version of its guide, “Open data for improved land governance.” It is a resource for country governments to collect and publish land-related data to improve the quality, availability, accessibility, and use of information to enhance citizen participation, decision-making, and innovation.

The guide includes recommendations on datasets for land management accountability, appropriate policies and data frameworks, information on existing gaps and challenges, and data use cases with real examples to illustrate the potential impact this type of data can provide in local contexts. Find all the information at:



UniversiDATA is a collaborative Open Data portal specialized in the Higher Education sector. Six Spanish universities have joined forces to open their data and make it available to the community. They open data on their educational offer, human resources, and budgets, among others, to be analyzed and reused.

At the moment, the platform is a beta version. However, it has 66 datasets and 441 resources, such as this analysis on the intercity commuting of students at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), made using the open data that the URJC has in the repository. In the image, you can see the origin of the students attending one of the campuses (Fuenlabrada) of the mentioned university.



Open and Smart Government

The massive open online courses platform, edX, has opened registration for its “Open and Smart Government” course taught by the Delft University of Technology. It will last four weeks, with an estimated 4 to 7 hours of work per week. It will cover the basic concepts related to Open Government and open government data, case studies, and the possible positive and negative effects of an open approach in workspaces.

The course, taught in English, will start on October 25 and requires a basic knowledge of information and communication technologies and multi-stakeholder work systems. You can register at:

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