20 Ways to Connect Open Data and Local Democracy

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 Brainstorm by Jessica Lock from The Noun ProjectWorkshop idea by Tim Davies

All of the workshops at Local Democracy for Everyone have been created by our participants. We’re sharing a summary of each workshop idea to help you decide what you’d most like to participate in – and so that everyone can start to share their comments about each idea.

20 Ways to Connect Open Data and Local Democracy

The challenge:

Lots of energy in the open government world goes into open data. But too often data practices don’t connect with citizens in ways that shift the balance of power and lead to change. With the transparency code leading to an increase in local authority open data publication, we need to re-imagine how open data can be produced, shared and used at a local level.

I’ve spent the last five years studying open data and civic engagement, motivated by a perception of the gap between the democratic potential of open data, and the impacts it is having in practice. This workshop is an opportunity to pull together learning from these various experiences, and turn it into a practice exploration of how local government could do open data. It will also challenge me to come up with 20 different ways to connect open data and democracy.

On the short-list so far:


Practicing open data engagement

Open Data Discourses

Thinking about small data

Data Murals

Citizen Science

What’s on your list?

#notwestminster #opendata

Tim DaviesTim Davies

Researcher, practitioner and Co-director at Practical Participation

Tim Davies is a researcher and practitioner working at the intersection of technology, civic engagement and social justice. As a PhD Candidate at the University of Southampton, and affiliate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he has been working on understanding the democratic dimensions of open government data policy. From 2012 to 2014 he led the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data in Developing Countries project, coordinating a global research network exploring the uses of data in local and national governance.

Tim’s blog

2 thoughts on “20 Ways to Connect Open Data and Local Democracy

    Dave mckenna said:
    January 7, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Tim, there was a discussion ay GovCampCymru (not sure if it was written down anywhere) about publishing the raw data of local democracy (minutes, agendas etc) in a form that people could use in whatever way they wanted. It all goes back to debates we’ve has before about how this democracy stuff gets shared (http://localopolis.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/20-social-council-decison-making.html ).

    Anyhow maybe one for your 20? Call it ‘share the data of decision making?’


    […] (#notInWestminister) workshop in Huddersfield today I’m leading a session titled ‘20 ways to connect open data and local democracy‘. I suggested the title when I had a list of just five ideas, so below is the product of a […]


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