Making Transparency Stick: The Complex Dynamics of Open Data
21 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 17, 2014
This paper examines the complex dynamics of Open Data reform in the UK, assessing the chances of the policy ‘sticking’ or failing over time. Using the ideas of Patashnik and Zelizer (2013) on what makes policies succeed or fail post-enactment, it begins by looking at the unique features of Open Data. The broad but vague vision of the reform, its symbolism and ‘voteless’ status and the multi-instrument, multi-actor approach all make Open Data exceptional. The paper then examines how these play into the three factors that make a policy ‘stick’ or fail over time: the resources re-allocated by the policy, interpretation of its success by different actors and the institutional support it receives. It concludes by arguing that Open Data is likely to benefit from leadership and the ongoing innovation but may be threatened by resistance, manipulation of the aims and the underlying assumptions, which invite disappointment.
Keywords: Open Data, transparency, UK
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