Understanding Two Mechanisms for Accessing Government Information and Data Around the World
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Summary

References to openness and transparency are found in a large number of blogs, academic papers and now, increasingly, in political speeches; especially speeches delivered close to election time. The increased political salience of these terms means that it is important to make the effort to clarify them where we can. This report is predicated on the idea that we may have greater success in these efforts if we try to build on what we already know about two fundamental components of openness and transparency: Freedom of Information (FOI) and Open Government Data (OGD), as both concepts refer to a certain quality, which lift the veil of secrecy, when referring to political systems (Davis 1998).

The increased use of the concepts of transparency and openness has fuelled the demand for measurements, rankings and assessments of FOI legislation and OGD policies, especially as global comparative exercise. The past two decades have seen these FOI legislation and OGD policies become key developments in the transparency and openness areas. FOI laws presently have exceeded 100. In less than 10 years OGD initiatives have become a trend for governments everywhere with numbers accelerating after the launch of the Open Government Partnership.

 

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