Many cities and public agencies are opening up their data to promote accountability, empower citizens, and deliver better services. But just releasing data is not enough to achieve these desired outcomes. Most open government initiatives are supply-side efforts that release data that is too obscure, too complex, or too out of date to be valuable to citizens. This session explores three open data cases where we have seen success (public transit), failure (federal spending), and promise (open311). We show how co-production between policymakers, techies, and civic innovators is crucial to translating data into useful information for a targeted audience of local, yet diverse, users. In these communities of transparency, leadership, collaboration, local knowledge, feedback loops, and iterative design work together to forge the pathways for more meaningful transparency and participation in our communities.
9th–13th March 2012