What is Open Data?
According to opendatahandbook.org, Open Data is “data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone,” subject to proper attribution and sharing.
Open Data generally have the following characteristics:
- Publicly available and accessible
- Open and machine-readable
- Open licensed
- Managed post-release
What is Open Data Philippines (ODPH) and what does it do?
ODPH is the core government program that adresses the constitutional right of Filipinos to information on matters of public concern. ODPH collects datasets from different Philippine Government Agencies that are deemed "open" and publishes them on a single platform, data.gov.ph. This allows users to find specific data from a continuously growing collection of open government datasets.
In essence, ODPH acts as the intermediary between the Government of the Philippines and the public when it comes to government data. It makes government data more accessible, searchable, and understandable.
Accessible - Anyone who has access to the internet may visit the website to view, download, use, and share the data.
Searchable - Consolidating open datasets under one portal facilitates search. Datasets in ODPH are categorized by agency and by sector. Tags are also used to make searching even easier.
Understandable - ODPH offers basic data visualization feature that helps in the understanding of government datasets. Additional information about the data are provided via metadata.
Why do Open Data?
Aside from its intrinsic economic value, according to a 2015 World Bank study, opening government data has the following positive impacts:
- Fostered economic growth and job creation
- Improved efficiency and coverage of public services
- Increased transparency, accountability, and citizen participation
- Improved information-sharing within government
What is the difference between data and information?
Data refers to raw, observed measurements and/pr values that are recorded in their smallest possible form so that they are clearly defined and detailed. Information is data organized into an understandable and presentable form.
For example, we can say that revenue and expenses are data. When organized properly into an income statement, it is considered information.
What is the difference between Dataset and Resource in ODPH?
Think of ODPH as one big filing cabinet of all government open data. Datasets can be considered as the folders that serve as containers for data that share similar elements. Resources are the actual data files located within the folder or dataset.
What kind of data can be found in ODPH?
ODPH collects and publishes data that government agencies generate from their operations, projects, and the performance of their respective mandates, such as statistics and key performance indicators. ODPH refrains from publishing information such as lists, status updates, and static data.
Currently, ODPH targets all data from all government agencies, except for statistical and census data generated, collected, and reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), because these are under their mandate. PSA’s open data can be accessed via OpenSTAT.
Do you accept or publish data in Portable Document Format (PDF)?
The PDF format was standardized as an open format. However, since data in this format cannot be freely edited or manipulated, we refrain from publishing PDF data.
If the data is not in PDF format and can be edited, how can we be sure that we are viewing the correct government data?
Any edits, corrections, and updates on and within OPDH can only be done by the government agency that produced the data. Each government agency will have an authorized Open Datachampion that will manage existing datasets and publish new data. As soon as a government agency uploads its data on ODPH, it automatically publishes the single authoritative source of that data. Any government data or information that is anywhere else in the web except ODPH or the agency’s website may not be valid, true, or correct.
Users can download, edit, and share data for their purposes. However, they cannot replace the original data published on ODPH. Thus, ODPH assures that the data within the website is certified true, correct, and straight from the source.
Who handles the operation, maintenance, and management of ODPH?
The ODPH is operated and maintained by the Technical and Data Management teams of the National Government Portal (NGP) project of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The policy direction of ODPH, as well as the coordination with the whole Philippine Government, is a joint effort of the members of the Open Data Task Force. The task force is composed of the DICT, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), National Archives of the Philippines (NAP), National Privacy Commission (NPC), Intellectual Property Office (IPO), PSA, and the Open Data champions of participating government agencies.
Is this a new government project?
ODPH is not an entirely new concept. Individual agencies have separately launched parallel open government initiatives, such as the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Transparency Seal program, Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Full Disclosure Policy Portal (FDPP), the aforementioned OpenSTAT of PSA, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) Freedom of Information (FOI) program. ODPH itself is a key component of the Philippines’ commitment to the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative that includes Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Philippines.
I am a private citizen, what can I do with Open Data Philippines?
ODPH is a platform of the Philippine Government for civic engagement. It encourages Filipinos to exercise their right to participate in good governance. ODPH not only provides data that can be used for research, it also encourages innovation by harnessing local Filipino talent and letting them use government datasets in new and creative ways.
I am from the government, how can I support Open Data?
ODPH recognizes that government agencies have a vast amount of untapped data that can be regarded as open data. These data are generated over the course of normal work and operations, implementation of agency projects, and performing their respective mandates. Open government data initiatives in other countries have led to the development of innovative applications and services that empower the public to make informed decisions, while creating a more efficient and transparent government. Government agencies can realize the potential of their data by routinely publishing them on ODPH.
Does ODPH conduct training and workshops on Open Data?
Yes. The DICT-NGP has regular training and workshops on data management and open data. However, at present, these are only being offered to persons affiliated with, or working for, the Government of the Philippines.