Open data, transparency and accountability

Open data involves the release of data so that anyone can access, use and share it. One of the main objectives of making data open is to promote transparency. For open data and transparency initiatives to lead to accountability, the required conditions include: getting the right data published; enabling actors to find, process and use information, and to act on any outputs; and enabling institutional or social forms of enforceability or citizens’ ability to choose better services.

About this Topic Guide

This topic guide introduces evidence and lessons learned about open data, transparency and accountability in the international development context. It discusses the definitions, theories, challenges and debates presented by the relationship between these concepts, summarises the current state of open data implementation in international development, and highlights lessons and resources for designing and implementing open data programmes.

It was written by Liz Carolan, and its production was supported by the UK Government. GSDRC appreciates the contributions of Rosemary McGee, Jeni Tennison, Anita Gurumurthy, Emily Poskett, Joanna Perrens, Alexandra Maclean, Brian Lucas, Linnea Mills, Iffat Idris, Shivit Bakrania, Sebastian Mhatre and Harry Bradwell.

Suggested citation

Carolan, L. (2016). Open data, transparency and accountability: Topic guide. Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.