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Netherlands

Groningen Open Data Re-Use (NL0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Netherlands 2016-2018 National Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Utrecht University

Support Institution(s): Province of Groningen, the City of The Hague, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Wise & Munro (Netherlands), the University of Salerno, Ancitel, Comune di Prato (Italy), National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), National University of Ireland, Dublin City Council, Dublinked (Eire), Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), Ortelio Ltd and the Open Knowledge Foundation (UK).

Policy Areas

Infrastructure & Transport, Labor, Open Data, Private Sector, Public Participation, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Netherlands End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Netherlands Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The Province of Groningen has joined other stakeholders in the public and private sectors, civil society organisations and individuals to explore ways in which open data can help to address and resolve issues relating to demographic shrinkage, and specifically in the areas of housing, employment, healthcare and welfare.

The Groningen project is part of a three-year European research programme entitled Raising Open and User-friendly Transparency-Enabling Technologies for Public Administration Project (ROUTE-TO-PA), in which the social and societal impact of open data is to be assessed. The key objective of the project is to promote the re-use of open data using new IT applications. This will not only make government more transparent but will create new opportunities to resolve societal issues based on the use of open data.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. ROUTE-TO-PA: Re-use of open data

Commitment Text:

The province of Groningen has joined local governments and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and individuals, to explore ways in which open data can help to address and resolve social issues. The project is part of a three-year European Horizon 2020 innovation project entitled ROUTE-TO-PA, in which the social and societal impact of open data is to be assessed. The key objective of the project is to promote the re-use of open data using new IT applications. This will not only make government more transparent but will create new opportunities

Milestones:

1. A social platform for open data (SPOD) which facilitates interaction between government and the users of open data with regard to one or more societal issues.

2. The development of a Transparency Enhancing Toolset (TET) for government and open data users to accompany the social platform.

3. Formulating guidelines and good practices (GUIDE) on the basis of the project results to ensure more effective use of open data in addressing various societal challenges.

Responsible institution: Urecht University

Supporting institution(s): The Province of Groningen, the City of The Hague, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Wise & Munro (Netherlands), the University of Salerno, Ancitel, Comune di Prato (Italy), National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), National University of Ireland, Dublin City Council, Dublinked (Eire), Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), Ortelio Ltd and the Open Knowledge Foundation (UK)

Start date: 1 January 2016 End date: 30 June 2018

Editorial Note: This is a truncated version of the milestone text. For the full commitment text, please see The Netherlands National Action Plan (https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Netherlands_NAP-Appendix_2016-2018_EN_revised-with-changes.pdf)

Context and Objectives

ROUTE-TO-PA is a three-year European Horizon 2020 innovation project. XX[Note73: Route-to-PA website, http://routetopa.eu.]XX This commitment involves activities by an international multidisciplinary consortium with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and individuals, to explore ways in which open data can help to address and resolve social issues. The commitment contains three vaguely formulated milestones: to develop a social platform for open data, develop a transparency enhancing toolset, and formulate guidelines and good practices. The overall specificity of this commitment is low. Although all listed activities could be construed as verifiable, it is not clear what interaction the social platform aims to facilitate, nor is the purpose and functionality of the toolset specified. The steps to formulate the guidelines are also not clear, and therefore not measurable.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information since it aims to enhance transparency measures of open data users and ensure more effective use of open data. The commitment also entails creating a social platform which would facilitate interaction between users of open data and the government. The level of meaningful input or influence users would have in government decisions, however, is unclear.

Due to vaguely formulated commitment text, it is not clear whether this commitment will have any potential impact. Since no government agency has direct responsibility for implementing this commitment, it is not clear whether it will affect government practice.

Completion

According to the government self-assessment, this commitment has been substantially implemented by third party organizations. The development of the Social Platform for Open Data (SPOD) is in an advanced stage XX[Note74: Midterm self-assessment report, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Netherlands_Mid-term_Self-Assessment-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf.]XX and its development is being led by a foreign company called Oxwall. XX[Note75: SPOD, http://spod.routetopa.eu.]XX According to the website brochure, SPOD will be the technological basis for guided support toward citizens, providing mechanisms and tools to help to show the effectiveness of the interactions. Within this sub-project, the lead institution initiated a Population Decline Challenge. There are no publications on this challenge. XX[Note76: Route to PA blog, http://www.open-overheid.nl/gastblog/hoe-gaat-route-to-pa.]XX TET (transparency enhancing toolset) is an open data portal, developed by a foreign company called Insight. XX[Note77: Route-to-PA case study, http://routetopa.eu/tag/tet-en.]XX Within this sub-project, the lead institution initiated a test by a group of users. There is no publication or other evidence on these activities. On the TET website, Dutch open data is provided by the Open State Foundation. According to the self-assessment report, the guidelines and good practices (GUIDE) have not been developed. It is not clear how the government is planning on using any of the tools developed by this commitment.

Next Steps

The IRM researcher recommends this commitment not be taken forward in the next action plan. First, the current formulation of this commitment does not clearly communicate its intended result. Second, 'recent research shows that there are too many online platforms for e-democracy, and that these platforms often stop because citizens do not use them.' XX[Note78: Binnenlands Bestuur 2018-6, p.13.]XX Third, without involving the Dutch government in implementation, this project cannot effectively change government practice around the re-use of open data.

In the future, the action plan should clearly identify the role of participating Dutch public institutions and only include projects that are within the direct responsibility of the government and that obtain results within the Netherlands.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 3. ROUTE-TO-PA: Re-use of open data

Commitment Text:

The province of Groningen has joined local governments and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and individuals, to explore ways in which open data can help to address and resolve social issues. The project is part of a three-year European Horizon 2020 innovation project entitled ROUTE-TO-PA, in which the social and societal impact of open data is to be assessed. The key objective of the project is to promote the re-use of open data using new IT applications. This will not only make government more transparent but will create new opportunities

Milestones:

  1. A social platform for open data (SPOD) which facilitates interaction between government and the users of open data with regard to one or more societal issues.
  2. The development of a Transparency Enhancing Toolset (TET) for government and open data users to accompany the social platform.
  3. Formulating guidelines and good practices (GUIDE) on the basis of the project results to ensure more effective use of open data in addressing various societal challenges.

Editorial Note: This is a truncated version of the milestone text. For the full commitment text, please see the Netherlands national action plan (https://bit.ly/30UBDHL).

Commitment Aim

This commitment involved a three-year European Horizon 2020 innovation project, consisting of activities run by an international consortium with stakeholders to explore ways in which open data can help to address and resolve social issues by developing a social platform for open data, a transparency enhancing toolset, and guidelines and good practices.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

According to the government self-assessment, this commitment had been substantially implemented by third-party organizations. The development of the Social Platform for Open Data (SPOD) was in an advanced stage, [14] and its development was being led by the University of Salerno, one of the partners of ROUTE-TO-PA. [15] For more information, please refer to the IRM Netherlands 2016–2017 Progress Report.

End of term: Completed

During the review process for this report, the lead institution provided documentation via email and additional clarifications during a phone call with the IRM, regarding this commitment. The lead spokesperson clarified that he University of Salerno developed the Social Platform for Open Data (SPOD) and the University of Galway developed the Transparency Enhancing Toolset (TET) and GUIDE. All three of these products were developed on the basis of continuous feedback by users. The users included the pilot cities across Europe. Utrecht University was responsible for the Dutch case. The Dutch case consisted of two participating government organizations: The Province of Groningen in the first two years of the project and of the City of Utrecht in the third year of the project. Both, SPOD and TET were completed in May 2018. All deliverables can be found on page https://project.routetopa.eu/public-deliverables/.

The Dutch case has also been published in academic articles highlighting the lessons from this initiative to understand how current open data portal’s design fail to take into account the complexity of democratic processes. [16]

GUIDE was released 31 May 2018 and contains recommendations for designing and managing future open data initiatives. There are two versions of GUIDE, a full version [17] available on the project’s site along with all other deliverables and a simplified version in the form of a booklet.

There is also publicly available Dissemination Report that reflects the different deliverables from the project. [18]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

The commitment’s implementation did not result in concrete changes in government practice. As implemented, the commitment did not disclose more government information or improve the quality of the information being disclosed to the public. The commitment’s design was mainly focused on learning and research around open data. While the results from the initiative are valuable to improve future open data practices, the commitment did not have the scope to put in practice some of the recommendations and findings of the studies during the duration of the action plan period. Therefore, it is not visible yet to what extent government practices have changed as a result from implementing this commitment.

As future action plans are developed, the IRM encourages the government and civil society to discuss and use the findings from this experience to inform future open data commitments. Particularly, build on the key recommendations of the GUIDE to understand the public value of data when deciding what data should be disclosed. As well, as building a community of users to increase uptake in the data.

Carried Forward?

ROUTE-TO-PA is not included in the 2018–2020 action plan. A similar approach, however, is included in the new action plan’s commitment on digital democracy.

[14] “Midterm Self-Assessment Report 2016-2018”, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, September 2017, https://bit.ly/2K7YAkf.
[16] Erna Ruijer, Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen, Albert Meijer “Open data for democracy: Developing a theoretical framework for open data use” January 2017 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740624X17300011
[18] “Raising Open and User-friendly Transparency-Enabling Technologies for Public Administrations”, European Commission, http://service.routetopa.eu:8000/f/7ea9518595/

Netherlands's Commitments

  1. Local Digital Democracy

    NL0028, 2018, E-Government

  2. Dilemma Logic

    NL0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Join EITI

    NL0030, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  4. Open Algorithms

    NL0031, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Open Local Decision-Making

    NL0032, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. ‘Open by Design’ Pilots

    NL0033, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Contracting

    NL0034, 2018, Open Contracting and Procurement

  8. Open Parliament

    NL0035, 2018, Audits and Controls

  9. Open Government Standard and Dashboard

    NL0036, 2018, E-Government

  10. Pioneering Network for an Open Government for Municipalities

    NL0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Transparent Political Party Finance

    NL0038, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  12. National Open Data Agenda

    NL0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Stuiveling Open Data Award

    NL0020, 2016, Open Data

  14. Groningen Open Data Re-Use

    NL0021, 2016, Infrastructure & Transport

  15. Releasing Ministerial Research Reports

    NL0022, 2016, Health

  16. Detailed Open Spending Data

    NL0023, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  17. Open Local Authority Decision-Making

    NL0024, 2016, Open Data

  18. Training Civil Servants on Public Participation

    NL0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Easier Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO)

    NL0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Further Develop and Promote Disclosure and Use of Open Data

    NL0001, 2013, E-Government

  22. Increase Financial Transparency Through Open Budget and Experiments with Open Spending and Budget Monitoring

    NL0002, 2013, E-Government

  23. Open House of Representatives

    NL0003, 2013, E-Government

  24. Instruments for Integrity

    NL0004, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  25. Revamp the Legislative Calendar

    NL0005, 2013, E-Government

  26. More Online Consultation

    NL0006, 2013, E-Government

  27. More Transparency in Decision-Making Through Volgdewet.Nl Legislation-Tracking Website

    NL0007, 2013, E-Government

  28. Informal Approach to Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0008, 2013, Right to Information

  29. From Rules to Freedom

    NL0009, 2013, Public Participation

  30. Change Attitudes and Procedures Through Smarter Working and ‘Public Servant 2.0’

    NL0010, 2013, Capacity Building

  31. Water Coalition

    NL0011, 2013, Public Participation

  32. Develop and Implement Participation Policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

    NL0012, 2013, Public Participation

  33. Make Government Information Accessible and Easy to Find

    NL0013, 2013, Capacity Building

  34. Make Citizens Better Informed and More Empowered: Public Inspection and Correction of Information

    NL0014, 2013, E-Government

  35. Open Announcements and Notifications

    NL0015, 2013, E-Government

  36. Public Services and the User Perspective

    NL0016, 2013, E-Government

  37. Designate Categories of Government Information for Active Access

    NL0017, 2013, Capacity Building

  38. Rethink Information Management and Active Access: Four ‘Open by Design’ Pilot Projects

    NL0018, 2013, E-Government