UNPAN Partners and SADC Member States meet in South Africa

At a training workshop of the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) Partners and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Member States took place in Cape Town, South Africa, 10-12 October 2012

Ms. Haiyan Qian, Director of DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), delivered welcome remarks and a substantive presentation on “What is Open Data and Open Government Data Around the World” through pre-recorded video messages.

Participants agreed that : i) an enabling environment is fundamental to the effective implementation and sustainability of Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives and that the initiatives have to start at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom; (ii) creating open processes for design and implementation of OGD initiatives is equally important; (iii) political, legal, organizational, technical, economic and social dimensions should be carefully considered while developing benchmarking frameworks to measure open data progress in countries; (iv) records are fundamental to the effective implementation and sustainability of open government data initiatives in order to provide verifiable, quality sources of information; (v) more research is needed to measure the impact of open government data initiatives.

Participants also discussed the future of UNPAN, focusing on what the network needs to do differently to stay current and relevant to policy makers, experts and practitioners, particularly in view of deliberations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda which are underway. They also discussed the issues surrounding open government data and reviewed the draft open government data toolkit currently under development by DPADM.

Strong interest was registered by Member States, particularly from Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, and Zambia, to contribute to a global open data portal in the event that the platform is offered by DPADM. Introduction of the Open Government Data Toolkit was found very useful and timely not only by Member States but also by the regional organizations present in the Workshop.

The workshop was organized by DPADM in cooperation with the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) of the Ministry for Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa.

More information:
DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM)