Minister Donohoe Launches New Open Data Strategy

23rd November, 2023

The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, has today (Thursday 23 November) launched the 2023 – 2027 Open Data Strategy.

Open Data is about making data held by public bodies freely available and easily accessible online for reuse and redistribution. This new strategy provides the framework for the actions that the Public Service will take on Open Data over the next five years to ensure best use of data across all public sectors. Guiding goals and actions are provided for data publishers, the development of the Open Data platform and for data users.

The vision set out in the five-year strategy is to create easy access to high quality government data, promoting trust and stimulating innovation. Currently, there are almost 15,000 datasets from almost 150 publishers hosted on the Open Data Portal (data.gov.ie) which are all freely accessible.

COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of Open Data. Governments, businesses, organisations and public services were able to share vital information quickly, efficiently and ethically during the pandemic. Open Covid data, communicated daily to the public, was indispensable to demonstrate the necessity of Covid safety measures and reflect the practical benefits of adhering to Government guidelines. This contributed to protecting the health of the population and reducing the impact on the health services.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe said:

“Open Data is central in driving the delivery of better public services across Ireland. It provides a rich evidence base to inform decisions ensuring we are creating effective and inclusive services. Open data is also inherently transparent – this is key in creating accountable public bodies. Delivering more efficient public services that are fair and transparent builds trust in government which is fundamental for a healthy functioning democracy. Open Data is a vital component in this.”

Ireland has established itself as a European leader in Open Data.

The Minister further added:

“Ireland began its journey with Open Data in 2014 and since then we have made impressive progress. We went from ranking 18th in the EU in 2017 to ranking first for Open Data Maturity in 2018, 2019 and 2020, setting the gold standard for open data management across Europe. This strategy builds upon this strong foundation and continues to seek further ways to ensure that open data is utilised to its full potential for the benefit of all the people of Ireland.”

The launch of the Open Data 2023 – 2027 strategy was supported by a conference which featured speakers on the policy and strategic context for open data nationally and internationally, including the implications of the EU’s Open Data Directive, high value datasets, and the OECD’s agenda around open and innovative government. It also showcased publishers and users of open data in sectors including health, housing and environment, and the government’s open data portal.

 

ENDS