By on January 29, 2015
The second edition of the Open Data Barometer ranks Ghana as third most transparent government in Africa. Rwanda shares the same position with Ghana in the report.
Eighty six countries were surveyed by the Web Foundation - the organization that put the report together - on how Governments publish Open Government Data and allow easy accessibility to citizens.
The UK ranked top in the world. The US and Sweden ranked second and third respectively among developed countries.
Key to Ghana’s performance are open data programmes and initiatives that are being undertaken in the country. An example is the the data.gov.gh website which makes government data available to the public in machine readable formats.
However, Ghana still has a very long way to go; the country ranks 46th on the global stage. South Africa and Tunisia are the two top performers from Africa. Ranking 41 and 45 respectively on the global stage.
The report identifies Ghana among capacity constrained countries. “The countries in this cluster all face challenges in establishing sustainable open data initiatives as a result of: limited government, civil society or private sector capacity; limits on affordable widespread Internet access; and weaknesses in digital data collection and management.” Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Cameroon and Mali are among this cluster.
The report suggests that some of the key steps needed to ensure the “Data Revolution” include:
High-level political commitment. Implementing the requirement to disclose and regularly update OGD in law or policy as part of a wider right to information ensures that data is available, open and accurate. At the same time, governments must work to ensure that strong privacy protections are in place and respected.
Consistent and sustained support for both national and city-level open data programmes. This support must be sustained beyond initial open data efforts.
Enhance the ability of government, civil society and entrepreneurs to understand and use data effectively. Resources dedicated to building the capacity of data users both inside and outside the government is critical to maintaining a supply-demand data balance and an increase in this understanding and ability can be accomplished through trainings and adapting open data tools to local needs.