Title: Open Data Policy Development: How Can Municipalities Take Account of Residents’ Perspectives?
Authors: Anneke Zuiderwijk (Delft University of Technology), Martine Romer (Delft University of Technology), Maarten Kroesen (Delft University of Technology)
Abstract: In many countries, governments encourage municipalities to develop open data policies and subsequently open up data. Municipal open data policies are often supply-driven and not based on residents’ wishes. Municipalities lack insight into residents’ perspectives on opening up municipal data and often do not know how to take them into account when developing their open data policies. This paper aims to reveal residents’ perspectives on municipal open data policies and provide recommendations for municipalities on how to account for them when developing future open data policies. Using Q-methodology and applying it to the municipality of Delft in the Netherlands, we elicited the perspective of four main groups of residents on the development of the municipal open data policy as follows: 1) ‘the oblivious residents’, 2) ‘the distrustful residents’, 3) ‘the trusting, passive residents’, and 4) ‘the open data advocates’. We found that all residents considered transparency important for the quality of public administration, and that municipal transparency is currently lacking. We then provide recommendations for policy makers responsible for municipal open data policies and suggest directions for open data theory development concerning municipal open data policy.