Comparing resistance to open data performance measurement

December 06, 2016 by Gregory Michener, Otavio Ritter

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Much is known about governmental resistance to disclosure laws, less so about multi-stakeholder resistance to open data. This study compares open data initiatives within the primary and secondary school systems of Brazil and the UK, focusing on stakeholder resistance and corresponding policy solutions. The analytical framework is based on the ‘Three-Ps’ of open data resistance to performance metrics, corresponding to professional, political, and privacy-related concerns. Evidence shows that resistance is highly nuanced, as stakeholders alternately serve as both principals and agents. School administrators, for example, are simultaneously principals to service providers and teachers, and at once agents to parents and politicians. Relying on a different systems comparison, in-depth interviews, and newspaper content analyses, we find that similar stakeholders across countries demonstrate strikingly divergent levels of resistance. In overcoming stakeholder resistance – across socioeconomic divides – context conscientious ‘data-informed’ evaluations may promote greater acceptance than narrowly ‘data-driven’ performance measurements.