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Enhancing Citizen Engagement Through Open Government Data

December 06, 2016 by Michael Canares, Dave Marcial, Marijoe Narca

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The research deals primarily with the research question – How can engagement of civil society organizations with open government data be instigated or enhanced? To answer the question, an action research was conducted in two provinces in the Philippines where civil society organizations in Negros Oriental province were trained, and in the Bohol province were mentored on accessing and using open government data. The research showed that for capacity building programs to be effective, they should be relevant to the condition of the CSOs and the individual needs of learners; conducted with a long-term view of ensuring use and actual impact not only on the organization but also on the constituencies that they serve; focused on higher-order results like changes in practices and behavior of organizations and their staff members or the actual production of outputs that benefits citizens and communities; and targeted to achieve whole-of-organization awareness, appreciation, and motivation to use data. This paper asserts that short-term, sporadic, one-time buzz trainings, or off-the-shelf training programs, currently the prevailing modes of capacity building delivery, will not yield to actual data use that will show the economic, political, and social power of open data.