ODI Leeds

#OpenGovTech

#OpenGovTech logo

#OpenGovTech is our next adventure. We want to create tools and resources (and help others do the same) that contribute to improving government through the use of open methods - open innovation, open source. 'GovTech' has been gathering pace in recent years and has already seen improvements brought to governments across the world. We believe that #OpenGovTech is the next logical step - taking everything that makes GovTech great and then doing it all in the open. Why? openness encourages engagement from all angles - the technologist who can suggest better methods, the citizen who needs to access services from a mobile, the community groups or charities that work with the most vulnerable in society who need to know that their needs are being met.

We don't want to own the definition of #OpenGovTech. We want to involve people from a variety of backgrounds and interests to help us shape what #OpenGovTech can and should be, who should be involved, and how we do it. In our typical 'radically open' approach, everything we do will be available online and open to contributions and feedback. We encourage anyone who wants to take part in #OpenGovTech to do the same - make it open, make it better.

Current tools/resources

Blog posts

The Open Data Collaboration Working group

The Open Data Collaboration Working group was created to encourage collaboration between the sponsors regarding open data. These discussions have regularly included WYCA, Leeds City Council, Calderdale Council, and Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council but is open to all of our sponsors. In recent meetings, we have also welcomed local authorities and other public-facing organisations from outside of the sponsor group, including Stockport Council and Barnsley Council.

The collaborative group work on shared challenges with the aim of developing scalable solutions that could be adopted by others, bringing instant benefits. A clear example of this is the work with business rates data. Business rates are frequently requested as part of FOI and all local authorities publish them, but not neessarily to the same standard and not always in a useful format. The collaborative group worked together to establish a data standard for business rates, developing additional useful tools in parallel to make the process even smoother. As the work progressed, other local authorities came on-board, applying the new standard to their own data so that it might be included in the Business Rates Explorer tool.

Partners

The partners in #OpenGovTech have all shown their enthusiasm and optimism for creating open tools and resources that can improve government systems and processes. They understand the benefits of operating openly - they can meet their committments for transparency whilst being open to innovative improvements with valuable insight from the people they serve.