LOS ANGELES, June 15, 2015 — Cities and other government jurisdictions need detailed criteria and standards to help them efficiently develop their open data initiatives, according to a report released today by Open Data LA, a project of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
The report, The State of Open Data in Los Angeles County: A Framework, proposes that governments define open data success based on measurable indicators of a city’s level of open data expertise and leadership in driving sustainable open data initiatives. The framework suggests revising and blending two sets of existing criteria – the U.S. City Open Data Census ratings and the financial transparency criteria developed by CALPIRG, a public interest research group. Eight incorporated cities in Los Angeles County are rated under the revised criteria, including the city of Los Angeles, which currently holds the top ranking in the census.
“We believe we should hold governments accountable for building a sustainable foundation, and for evaluating progress based on the breadth and quality of the datasets themselves,” reads the report. “Cities and other government jurisdictions, large and small, have started many open data initiatives over the past two years. This flurry of activity, while admirable, raises several questions. Do governments have open data strategies and goals? How much progress have they made? Will their open data initiatives be sustained beyond the next round of elections?”
Open Data LA will expanding and applying the framework to more cities, and also will be exploring the roles of governments, news organizations and other groups. "Robust, sustainable open data initiatives are essential for increasing government transparency and fostering civic participation," said Dana Chinn, a journalism faculty member and the project lead. "Open data is more than just hackathons. The current ranking systems just don't provide the information needed to know whether city open data initiatives are really having an impact."
The full report is available online at: