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End of Commitment Report – Democratize Open Data


Name of Evaluator

Open Government Committee


Member Name

Québec, Canada

Action Plan Title

Action plan – Québec, Canada, 2021 – 2023


Democratize open data


“In the general public, open data users fall into two types of users:

  • Direct users are those who upload open data to the Données Québec portal in order to generate added value. They can create an application, publish a scientific article, perform an analysis for their company, etc.
  • Indirect users are those who benefit from the added value generated by direct users by using an application or reading a scientific article.

The action plan aims to enhance the experience of both types of users as well as the promotion activities targeting them. In addition, work will be carried out to foster the opening of data. The Comité en gouvernement ouvert [open government committee] proposes, among other things, to better involve potential data users in the process of prioritizing the data to be opened. Activities will also be carried out to continue promoting the Données Québec portal, both on social media and at digital events as well as at summits organized by the OGP.”


As the Québec Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) noted in its report Reusers of Open Public Data: The Case of Montreal, “the number of reusers remains quite low and is characterized by its ability to have some reading and data analysis skills.” This observation is also shared by the committee members. For Québec to embark on a true digital transformation, it is important that the use of open data be more easily accessible to the public.

Section 1.
Commitment completion

1.1 What was the overall level of progress in the commitment implementation at the time of this assessment?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

Four of the five milestones have been completed. Work on the missing milestone is underway and will be completed shortly.
The commitment included:

  • Enhancement of the Québec Data portal to promote user literacy. Various pedagogical sections have been enhanced: “Licence;” “API;” “Guideline explanations;” and “Various help documents.” In addition, a YouTube channel featuring a tutorial is now available, and other videos will gradually be added.
  • Customization of the interface for the IGO solution, used to present the portal’s geographic data, and the addition of a geographic view of several datasets.
  • A pilot project on prioritizing the opening of datasets, involving clients of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ).
  • A research project on digital ecosystems and the challenges of adopting interoperability standards.
  • Publication of one open reference dataset (completed) and four others (pending)

Provide evidence that supports and justifies your answer:

1.2 Describe the main external or internal factors that impacted the implementation of this commitment and how they were addressed (or not).

New provisions in the Act respecting the governance and management of the information resources of public bodies and government enterprises (AGMIR) regarding the management of government digital data were introduced in 2021. Under Section 12.20 of the Act, a mandate to circulate open reference data may be entrusted to a public body that will act as an official source. The operationalization of this new provision has led to a delay in the implementation of the incomplete milestone.

1.3 Was the commitment implemented as originally planned?

All of the commitment milestones were implemented as planned.

Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

The commitment has been implemented as planned. Only one milestone has been delayed due to a new AGMIR provision.

Section 2.
Did it open government?

2.1.1. – Did the government disclose more information; improve the quality of the information (new or existing); improve the value of the information; improve the channels to disclose or request information or improve accessibility to information?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

  • Improvements to the open data portal have boosted portal use, information accessibility, and data reusability.
  • The discoverability of geographic data has been enhanced by the use of the IGO tool.
  • The increase in the number of reference datasets helps to improve data quality since these data meet a service level.
  • BAnQ’s prioritization project enables it to distribute new datasets requested by its users.

2.1.2. – Did the government create new opportunities to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation inform or influence decisions; improve existing channels or spaces to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation/ inform or influence decisions; create or improve capabilities in the government or the public aimed to improve how the government seeks feedback from citizens/enables participation/ or allows for the public to inform or influence decisions?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

An ongoing public consultation since 2021 has enabled us to gather citizens’ opinions. Thanks to this consultation, we have been able to target the requirements for offering the contents of the educational section on the open data portal.
BAnQ’s prioritization project enabled users to express their needs in terms of open data.

Provide evidence for your answer:

2.1.3 Did the government create or improve channels, opportunities or capabilities to hold officials answerable to their actions?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

In order to implement the new provision (Section 12.20, AGMIR), a mandate template for the circulation of open reference data has been produced in collaboration with the legal department. This template identifies the public body designated as the official source and sets out the quality and availability characteristics of the dataset. These characteristics are monitored. A procedure is being developed to involve two targeted sectors in the identification of the designated official source organization and data quality (open government and government digital data management).

2.1.4 Other Results

Not Applicable

2.2 Did the commitment address the public policy problem that it intended to address as described in the action plan?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

The actions undertaken as part of this commitment will provide solutions to the challenge of democratizing open data.
Improving content for different profiles of open data re-users will enhance their literacy. In this way, the pool of data re-users will be able to expand and generate greater benefits from the efforts made to open up data.

Section 3.
Lessons from

3. Provide at least one lesson or reflection relating to the implementation of this commitment. It can be the identification of key barriers to implementation, an unexpected help/hindrance, recommendations for future commitments, or if the commitment should be taken forward to the next action plan.

Collaboration with civil society enables the co-creation of action plans in line with citizens’ concerns. Collaboration with the Centre de recherche en technologies de l’information et affaires (CeRTIA), for example, offers significant added value in understanding the dynamics of ecosystems. The study required considerable effort to pinpoint the factors that make up the positioning and preparedness of meta-organizations, helping them to become leaders in digital transformation for their ecosystems. While the result is inspiring, the next steps proposed will need to be in line with the maturity of the ecosystem identified, in order to propose achievable targets.

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