The UK government is encouraging the adoption of open data initiatives as it adds 8 new countries to the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and World-Wide-Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee welcomed the new countries to the partnership - which was launched in September 2011 by the UK and seven other founding governments.
The drive towards open data initiatives were revealed at a reception in which Berners-Lee launched an in-depth study of how open data can be harnessed to foster better governance and provide better services in developing countries.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee said:
"Open data, accessed via a free and open web, has the potential to create a better world. However, best practice in London or New York is not best practice in Lima or Nairobi. The World Wide Web Foundation’s research will help to ensure that open data initiatives in the developing world will unlock real improvements in citizens’ day-to-day lives. It was at the OGP plenary in Brasilia last April that the ODDC project was born. It is fitting that, just 12 months on, we are here in London to launch our initiative at another milestone OGP event."
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
"The UK is a world leader in transparency and we want to be the most transparent government in the world. We are also committed to helping other countries share in the benefits of transparency by increasing participation and exchanging information on openness initiatives through the OGP. An understanding of the potential of open data to sharpen accountability, fuel economic growth and prosperity, and improve public services is an important part of this."
There are now 58 members in the partnership, the purpose of which is to promote transparency and accountability in government reform and encourage openness, and empowerment of citizens.
The new countries are:
- Costa Rica
- Trinidad and Tobago
The new participants join founding governments the United Kingdom, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, and the United States.
Speeches by both Maude and Berners-Lee can be seen in the video below: