As is well known, open data can be of great help to create both social and economic value. Among other fields of application, they are revealed as a great resource to do so in many different politics areas in order to promote sustainable development, that is why today we treat open data as a basis for sustainable development.
Transforming government public data into open data, in effect, facilitates greater transparency and democratic control, encourages participation, improves the efficiency of public services, or, for example, innovate and gain new knowledge.
Undoubted advantages that, going to the subject at hand, make open data a key part to help sustainable growth, a key aspect for the government of any country, but especially for those emerging.
Objective of Open Data as a basis for sustainable development: building a better world
Compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), established by the United Nations (UN) reflects the importance of open data to “build a better world” fairer and more inclusive, which are essential to achieve goals such as those targeted.
In particular, the objectives of the SDG are to create effective, accountable and transparent institutions as well as to guarantee public access to information. Both tools invaluable to achieve the 17 global objectives adopted by world leaders in 2015.
They are objectives that seek to “eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable growth agenda.” At the same time, each objective has a series of specific goals that must be achieved in the context of Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development.
Fortunately, the revolution of the data of the digital era that we live in serves as a way of opening up the data, a process that is moving forward, although there is still a long way to go, according to the results of the last Edition of the Open Data Barometer, reference report on the subject.
The exploitation of this data revolution finds in the open data a real way to advance in the objectives of sustainable development, since it is an unpublished tool for the opening of governments as well as of companies and other organizations, without forgetting the role of the citizenship.
The objective is both the dissemination of data and information of a different type to improve those objectives, as well as to work with them to obtain new ideas of value, products and services oriented to that end.
This opening offers transparency at different levels, fostering social and economic progress, as well as promoting the active involvement of the different social actors within it, in a democratic framework that fosters inclusive social empowerment.
In this sense, the government designates political and institutional processes and results considered essential for the achievement of development objectives and includes the principles of transparency, accountability and participation.
Not in vain, in a climate of this nature, citizens are more aware of the problems and, on the other hand, more mechanisms are established to be part of the decision-making process.
Efficient use of resources and better services
The more efficient use of public resources and better services rendered are two key factors in strengthening the capacities of countries with emerging economies, both of which are more easily achievable through data-opening initiatives, according to the Division of Public Administration and Of Development Management (DPADM) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
From 2014 to 2017, DPADM is undertaking an ambitious project to strengthen the capacities of emerging countries for sustainable development through access to information through open data.
Under the title “Strengthening Country Capacities to Provide Access to Information for Sustainable Growth through Open Government Data”, it is being implemented in selected countries in Latin America and East Asia, namely Panama, Uruguay, Bangladesh And Nepal.
The project pretend to “strengthen the capacities of beneficiary country governments to use open government data to advance transparency, accountability and sustainable development,” said the informative sheet.
On the other hand, the project is also oriented to the establishment of bridges for the exchange of experiences, seeking the learning of the most advanced countries, as well as the transfer of knowledge between countries with emerging economies.
The benefits of open data, according to DPADM, help countries to “improve growth programs and monitor progress, prevent corruption and better access to public information” by giving them greater visibility and relevance.
The effects of the use of open data are far-reaching for sustainable development with a “positive impact on innovation, transparency, accountability, participatory governance and economic growth.”
Sustainable development, a global challenge
Let’s not forget that sustainable development is a global objective that concerns all countries, regardless of their degree of development, covering key areas such as health, well-being, education, drinking water, energy, gender equality, work, economic growth, reduction of inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, peace, justice, life on
Earth or, among others, the fight against climate change.
For all of them, open data as a basis for the development play a key role in the progress made in the framework of the sustainable growth strategy, currently with the horizon set for 2030, but bearing in mind that it is a Continuous process, in which it must be constantly advanced.
Only in this way we will achieve a sustainable development that really get progress of great value in the much needed transformation of our world. A difficult road, no doubt, but the reward is well worth it.