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The Importance of Open Data in Water Planning

La importancia de los datos abiertos en la planeación del agua

L’importance des données ouvertes dans la planification des services d’eau

Lessons from Reformers

This case study was originally posted in the OGP Global Report.

In La Libertad, like much of Peru, local service providers often lack the technical and financial resources to ensure access to safe water. As a result, “uncertainty about water quality is constant among users.” In response to these challenges, as part of its OGP action plan, the government of La Libertad planned to build a web platform with updated information on the “coverage and quality of water for human consumption,” as well as information on sanitation services. In addition, the site would allow the public the ability to share water and sanitation challenges and register suggestions and emergency requests.

To coordinate between agencies, levels of government, and sectors, the first step was to establish a committee to lead. The committee designed the information needed for the web portal, identified data sources, and supported development of the platform.

Even with its emphasis on coordination between sectors and levels of government, the committee faced challenges in opening this data. The original plan called for data to be provided by the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation. The committee was unable to share the data, however, due to a restrictive license. The committee ended up using different data from an existing platform developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Consequently, the platform had to be developed differently and may not be as easily updatable. At the time of the IRM review, the website was nearly complete, although it was not yet launched.

La Libertad demonstrates how, even when data is publicly available, restrictive licensing and formatting issues can be a major technical roadblock to improving services.


Photo Credit: Monica Tijero, World Bank

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