Indexes, Digital Governance and Privacy - Open Gov #09 | Datasketch
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Indexes, Digital Governance and Privacy - Open Gov #09

We analyze the latest reports published on democracy, governance, and geopolitics. We review the latest developments in OGP and the UK. February 2022.

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We’re back with recharged batteries! In this issue, we will review some reports and indexes that analyze the social and geopolitical situation worldwide published since the beginning of the year. We will review the latest developments of the Open Government Partnership, and we will share resources that we find interesting.

If you have been forwarded this newsletter and like it, you can subscribe here. You can read the Spanish version here. If you like data journalism, open government, and culture check out our blog and newsletters.


One of the news that has had the most attention in recent weeks, as every year, is the publication of the 2021 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. You have probably already seen the results: the population considers that corruption is still going on and that countries are not moving forward. In the last 4 years, the rating of the United States dropped 8 points, reaching a total of 67. Countries like Mexico and Colombia have shown slight improvements, although they remain at 31 and 39 possible points. In Europe, almost a third of the 40,000 respondents think that corruption is getting worse in their country. Switzerland, Austria, Estonia, Iceland, Belgium, Spain, and Slovenia are some countries that lowered their score for 2021.

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If you want to know how this indicator is calculated, you can check it here. In addition, in this post, we explain the main results and recommendations given to governments. If you like visualizations, we leave you the one made by The Economist. You will find one of the most relevant and worrying findings at a glance: the perception of corruption is getting worse in many emerging countries.

That is not the only recent report that analyzes the socio-political situation in the world. Here are others that seem relevant to us:

  • 🗣️ Luminate has published Youth and Democracy in Latin America. It is based on qualitative focus groups with 16-24-year-olds from all political tendencies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Young people feel that voting does not have enough power to change, so it is necessary to bet on participatory democracies that directly involve citizens in decision-making.
  • 📈 Word Inequality Database has launched its World Inequality Report 2022 - WID. It presents updated data on the different facets of inequality globally from 2021. It points out that although countries have more resources, their governments are not wealthier. Public-private partnerships with a social focus are necessary to leave no one behind. The data, which are discouraging, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, are available for download and reuse on their website.
  • 🚨 The World Economic Forum has released the Global Risks Report 2022. It tracks perceptions of global risks among risk experts and international leaders in business, government, and civil society. Social and environmental risks have worsened the most since the pandemic. Another serious concern is mental health. Overall, existing social gaps widen, with those with the fewest resources and power to act suffering the most.
  • 🙋🏽‍♀️The Economist has just published the Democracy Index 2021. It shows the state of democracy in 167 countries. It has five categories: electoral process and pluralism, government functioning, participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Its main finding is that democracy experienced its most significant annual decline since 2010 when the quality of governments was affected by the global financial meltdown. 37.1% of the population lives in authoritarian regimes, while 53 countries were categorized as “flawed democracies.”

Digital Governance: privacy

Data Privacy Day, which aims to raise awareness and promote best practices in privacy and information protection, was celebrated at the end of January. The United Nations increasingly recognize the importance of privacy and data protection in the face of increased online social and economic activities. Even more when we have just gone through a pandemic that has put our information at stake. We have new privacy-related news every day: Meta (FB) has threatened Europe to stop offering its services if it cannot “share” the data of its users in the United States, although the company denies it.

This month the research (es) we conducted with consultant Edgardo Martínez, ILDA, Al Sur, and the Inter-American Development Bank was published. We analyzed the laws and initiatives on personal data in 18 Latin America and the Caribbean countries. It is an exhaustive analysis of legislation, visualization of information, and a survey of 10,000 people. We established how advanced the countries' ruling on the subject is. We found 12 countries that violate the right to personal data protection and 11 that violate privacy.

To close this issue on a positive note, in this news item published by The Economist you can learn about the launch of the UN’s new PET (Privacy Enhancing Technologies) lab. That allows national statistical offices, academic researchers, and companies to collaborate on PET projects.

In addition, the Barcelona City Council has launched an alternative software (es) to Microsoft and Google, which avoids the massive collection of children’s data in classrooms.

If you want to know more about privacy, we invite you to read this article.

Open Government Partnership

In 2021, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) celebrated its 10th anniversary, in which they have helped hundreds of governments to generate multiple commitments. From the data collected during that decade, they created the OGP Vital Signs report, which evaluates the organization’s performance.

In this article, OGP takes a look at the top 10 findings from that research, illustrated with charts to support the claims. Bottom line:

  • There is increasing participation in OGP-related processes, but feedback from governments to civil society remains a challenge, although data has shown that when civil society is involved, outcomes are better.
  • Government offices leading OGP are becoming more stable, which leads to earlier results, especially when resources are available to implement commitments.
  • Action plans are becoming shorter but more diverse. Policy areas allow for transformative results, most notably those related to anti-corruption reforms.
  • The ambition of the plans is generally not improving, and there is a large unfinished business in terms of civil liberties, protection of civic space, and activists.

United Kingdom

The UK government has published its fifth National Open Government Action Plan focusing on justice, procurement, algorithmic transparency, health, anti-corruption, and local impact.

It was launched in the year marking 10 years since the beta launch of its portal, and despite the news that it intends to build the national landlord registry, civil society is less than pleased. The government has been accused of backtracking on the anti-corruption plan and dropping relevant commitments at the last minute. Civil society organizations warn of low participation and the UK’s possibility of exiting OGP for poor performance on previous plans.

Strengthening OGP processes

At Datasketch, we are committed to advancing Open Government processes. That is why we are part of the Multi-stakeholder Forum in Colombia, for which we created the dashboard to monitor citizens' compliance with current commitments.

We are also working with other countries in the region to build similar monitoring tools. If you would like to know more about our experience or if you would like us to support you in constructing a monitoring platform, just reply to this email.

Want to read more?

This is a selection of open gov-related news that we find interesting.






That's all for now

This issue has been written by Laura Ortiz, Nicolás Barahona y JP Marín Díaz. If you like data journalism, open government, and culture we have other content that may interest you in our blog and newsletters.