Open Government Partnership

South Africa, through the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), is taking on the role of Lead Chair of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). From the OGP website:

“OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. Since then, OGP has grown from 8 countries to the 66 participating countries indicated on the map below. In all of these countries, government and civil society are working together to develop and implement ambitious open government reforms.”

South Africa was one of the founding members of the OGP, and has made a number of commitments that seek to build on existing government and citizen-led initiatives related to open government in the country. From the South African perspective, OGP commitments must be aligned to the five year national priorities which are, in turn, linked to the targets identified in the NDP which are derived from the assessment of South Africa’s achievement of the national vision as stipulated in the Constitution. That is the achievement of a non-racial, non sexist, united, democratic South Africa.

Open Data Portal

In its role as Lead Chair of the OGP Steering Committee South Africa will be emphasising the importance of developing good governance locally, with links to regional and global governance networks, and will be focusing on a number of domestic priorities including:

“encouraging and fostering the development of Open Data/Information Platforms for social media-e-government and m-government to improve citizen access to information, data and services offered by government”

To support this objective, the DPSA has initiated the development of data.gov.za as a central access point for public government data and to promote applications and events related to open data in South Africa.

The DPSA has assembled a multi-sector task team to develop a beta version of data.gov.za which is being used to gauge interest and understand the specific needs of South African citizens and developers. Data.gov.za currently runs on DKAN, an open data portal built in Drupal and feature-compatible with CKAN.

Posting Data

Data.gov.za catalogues and links to existing open data sets on external websites but also hosts data on behalf of government departments and agencies. If you are a government department or agency and would like to link to your data or publish on data.gov.za please contact the team and they will assist you. Data.gov.za subscribes to South African government confidentiality and privacy laws so please ensure the data you are looking to post is public or has been cleared by the data owner.

Using Data

The data published on data.gov.za is available for use in both commercial and non-commercial ways, please consult the Terms of Use page for more details. In many cases the individual data sets are governed by rules of use defined by the data source. As far as possible we have tried to indicate the specific data set policy but please ensure you check copyright with the data source before starting commercial projects.

Contribute

Everyone is welcome to contribute to data.gov.za. If you would like to support this initiative please contact the team and we will get back to you.

Questions and Feedback

If you have questions or feedback about OGP or data.gov.za please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Also follow the OGP SA twitter feed @OGPSA.