This is a summary of a workshop on how to use open data for policy design. It was facilitated by Ellen Broad (Associate – Policy, Open Data Institute), and supported by the Department of Internal Affairs, who administer the open data platform (data.govt.nz), and the Policy Project. The intent of this summary is to capture and spread the learnings of the workshop for the benefit of the broader policy community.
The Policy Project shares a common goal with Stats NZ: to develop capability to provide more evidence-informed policy advice. Mutual aims include to:
- Increase data literacy among policy analysts
- Provide guidance on how policy teams go about using data
- Develop informed customers to drive demand for evidence based policy and ensure they know what to ask for
- Demonstrate the value of data and the policy successes delivered
Conclusion and next steps / Key points on using open data for policy:
Open government data
- Must be accessible, machine-readable, licenced for free use/reuse, non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential.
- Should generate knowledge needed for important policy issues (current and future), and be linked to demand/user needs.
- Supports collaboration and more informed public debate, mitigates ‘data hugging’ and duplication, and saves costs.
- Can be used both as a ‘tool’ for different policy objectives, and as an input (evidence source) for quality policy advice.
- Can be connected to other data, including through ‘big data’ technology, to reveal new insights, and improve knowledge and advice.
- Can be enabled through practical and social means: good meta-data practice and engaging communities of practice.