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Liberia

Open Data Portal (LR0026)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Liberia, Second National Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: MICAT, MOF, MOS, PMU/ MOPT

Support Institution(s): iLab, CENTAL, Accountability Lab, IBM

Policy Areas

Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Liberia End-of-Term Report 2015-2017, Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Provide factual information to Liberians at home and abroad and foreigners alike on the activities and policies of the Governme nt and provide a credible point of reference
Performance indicators
Open Data portal up and running
Number of persons accessing information on the portal on a periodic basis
Number of persons trained and regularly updating the portal.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

For Commitment details, see Liberia Progress Report 2015-2017.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Cluster: Publish Government Held Data Online in Standardized, Easily Accessible Format

4.2 Improve GoL online provision of information

(MICAT, MOPT, LTA with support from Accountability Lab, iLab, LMC, IBM; 1 July 2015-30 June 2016).

Milestones:

· 4.2.1 Standardize government websites with gov.lr standards and policies and train requisite staff for updates and maintenance

· 4.2.2 Develop “Knowmore LIB” open data and citizen navigation system

4.5. Establish and launch an Open Data portal to provide the public access to all relevant information on Liberia

(MICAT, MOF, MOS, PMU/MOPT with support from CENTAL, iLab, Accountability Lab, IBM; 20 July 2015-30 [sic] February 2016).

Milestones:

· 4.5.1 Determine portal specifications and ensure the setting up and launch of the Open Data Portal

Commitment Aim:

Creating an open data portal on which the government regularly publishes data, statistics, and information of public interest, could transform access to information in Liberia. Before the commitment period, non-standardized government websites, difficult to search domains, and poor quality or outdated webpages inhibited access to information. Applying a set of standards to government websites can improve citizens’ and CSOs’ ability to find information, and the portal could dramatically simplify access to such data as land use, crime maps, health and disease reports, government budgets and spending, and foreign aid projects and donations.

Commitment 4.2 seeks to standardize and train staff on how to maintain government websites. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is the lead arm of the government responsible for administering the gov.lr domain and crafting policies related to ICT platform standards. The Knowmore LIB citizen navigation system will focus on publishing open data and reports in machine-readable formats that are easy for citizens to research.

Commitment 4.5 aims to establish and launch an open data portal to centralize and publish information from all government agencies. This commitment could have a transformative impact on citizens’ and CSOs’ access to current, relevant and useful government information and data.

Status

Midterm:

Commitment 4.2: Substantial

According to the government’s self-assessment report, 45 ministries, agencies, and commissions (MACs) have implemented the gov.lr standards. Representatives from iLab, a CSO partnering with the government to implement this commitment, confirm that new ICT policies and standards were endorsed by Cabinet members and distributed to all line MACs. iLab concurred with the government’s assessment that 45 MACs (approximately 70 percent) had updated their websites as of June 2016.

Commitment 4.5: Limited

The open data portal was still under construction at the midterm. Progress has been limited, according to the government’s self-assessment report. For more information, please see the 2015–2016 IRM midterm report.

End-of-Term:

Commitment 4.2: Substantial

According to the end of term self-assessment from the government, due to a lack of funding there has been no increase in the number (45) of MACs that have updated their website using the ICT policy standards as a guide. Additional Public Information Officers (PIO) have been trained to update the website and provide feedback to users. However, the provision of timely responses to requests has not been encouraging.[Note52: Interview with Emmanuel Howe, Independent Information Commission, November 2017.] The IIC believes PIOs should be specifically recruited to carry out this responsibility.

Commitment 4.5: Limited

According to the self-assessment report, Liberia Open Data portal prototype has been created.[Note53: Liberia Data Portal, http://liberia.opendataforafrica.org/%5D The website provides basic Sustainable Development Goals about Liberia, disaggregating them into counties. It also provides basic information about Liberia GDP, population, healthcare, agriculture, etc. However, the portal has no permanent URL and the data is not updated on a regular basis.

Did it Open Government?

Commitment 4.2

Access to Information: Marginal

Before the implementation of this commitment, most of Liberia’s ministries and government institutions did not comply with the website standards information disclosure. After the implementation of this commitment, 45 MACs have updated their website. However, the lack of timely feedback to public users still limits public members requesting information.[Note54: Interview with Federation of Liberia Youths, November 2017.] Moreover, on some of the websites, such as the Ministry of Finance, the data formats provided are not easy to understand or user-friendly to navigate for the general public.

Commitment 4.5

Access to Information: Marginal

In an interview with members of the civil society communities in Bong, Lofa and Montserrado, most users who have assessed the government website expressed appreciation for the data provided. This has been helpful in program design and baseline assessments. However, some users suggested conducting consultative sessions on which data would be useful to standardize, as the information is still limited and cannot be permanently accessed through the portal.

Carried forward?

This commitment was carried forward into the next action plan. Commitment 10 aims to implement an open data citizen navigation portal. Different activities are proposed, such as a survey to understand citizens’ needs on government data and the creation of a geospatial portal that includes the concession agreements of the different ministries.


Liberia's Commitments

  1. Legislative Monitoring Database

    LR0027, 2017, E-Government

  2. Publication of Budget Documents

    LR0028, 2017, Audits and Controls

  3. Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

    LR0029, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. Citizen Monitoring for the Justice System

    LR0030, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Feedback Mechanism to Build Accountability of the LNP

    LR0031, 2017, E-Government

  6. Capacity Building for Integrity in Government

    LR0032, 2017, Capacity Building

  7. Transparency in the Land Authority

    LR0033, 2017, E-Government

  8. Accountability and Value for Money Through Open Contracting

    LR0034, 2017, E-Government

  9. Beneficial Ownership Registry

    LR0035, 2017, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Open Data/Citizen Navigation Portal

    LR0036, 2017, Audits and Controls

  11. Starred commitment Commercial Land Use Rights Information

    LR0011, 2015, Capacity Building

  12. Open Aid Portal and Publication of Aid Data

    LR0012, 2015, Aid

  13. Link Financial Management System to Aid Management Platform

    LR0013, 2015, Aid

  14. Facilitate Tracking of EVD Funds

    LR0014, 2015, Aid

  15. Starred commitment Implementation of the New Jury Law

    LR0015, 2015,

  16. Citzen Monitoring of Justice System

    LR0016, 2015,

  17. Civic Education and Citizen Engagement Around Offline Tools

    LR0017, 2015,

  18. Know Your Rights' Initiative

    LR0018, 2015,

  19. Passage of Whistleblower Protection Act

    LR0019, 2015,

  20. Transparency Hubs

    LR0020, 2015, Public Participation

  21. Public Service Integrity

    LR0021, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  22. Citizen Feedback Platform.

    LR0022, 2015, E-Government

  23. e-Government

    LR0023, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Public Expenditure Management Systems

    LR0024, 2015, Capacity Building

  25. Public Safety/ Law Enforecement Reform

    LR0025, 2015, E-Government

  26. Open Data Portal

    LR0026, 2015, Open Data

  27. Appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs)

    LR0007, 2015, Capacity Building

  28. Popularize Freedom of Information (Foi) Law

    LR0008, 2015, Capacity Building

  29. Expand Open Budget Initiative

    LR0009, 2015, Capacity Building

  30. Public Information on Land and Natural Resource Reform

    LR0010, 2015, Extractive Industries

  31. Increase Access to Public Information

    LR0001, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. Open Budget Initiative

    LR0002, 2013, E-Government

  33. Extractive Industries Transparency

    LR0003, 2013, Audits and Controls

  34. Citizens’ Participation and Dialogue

    LR0004, 2013, Public Participation

  35. Starred commitment Accountability and Integrity

    LR0005, 2013, Conflicts of Interest

  36. Technology and Innovation

    LR0006, 2013, E-Government