Idea for pilot project: ‘open-sourcing policy research’
Part 1. A crowdsourced inventory of publicly available government data at the national level
Part 2. Rating of each data source against the principles of open access
Part 3. Use case studies to explore the options for combining open-access publishing of government information with an open & transparent research process (including at least some crowdsourcing) to demostrate the potential of gov2.0 to shorten the feedback loop between policy implementation and evaluation.
As per James Dellow’s comment above, some small proof of concept projects are also extremely important in demonstrating the value of PSI – there’s always a danger that we further open up access to PSI but only those who were used to getting hold of it when it was closed are in the habit of transforming that data in publicly relevant ways. For example my organisation is currently looking at doing a data visualisation project on the 2010 budget with the people behind http://taxcheck.com.au – I think small projects like this are great at demonstrating the value of PSI to a wider constituency.
Anna – this is an excellent idea!
This is an extremely important area for research. I would suggest a couple of extra PSI areas to look at as well as the Powerhouse Museum project:
*A cost benefit analysis of opening up access to ASIC data currently only available through a fee-based ‘detailed company search’. ASIC is currently revenue-positive, costing $274 million & collecting $545 million in fees & charges.
*Research into the public value of ABS data & usage patterns of that data over time
*Analysis of options for opening up access to the HILDA data (the inaccessibility of the HILDA datasets is a common complaint amongst Australian policy researchers)
* An Australian equivalent of this UK study (PDF) on the economic benefits of dropping cost-recovery charging (the study found that data should be charged at the marginal cost of distribution, which online (but not offline) is near zero).