CAPRI launched its study, Transparency, Growth and Transformation:
Unleashing the Power of Open Government, on October 1, 2018, at the Terra
Nova All Suite Hotel.
CAPRI's Researcher, Ms. Desiree Phillips, was joined by Mr. Andrew Evelyn,
IT Manager - Consumer Affairs Commission and Mr. David Soutar, Principal -
SlashRoots Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Dr Diana Thorburn,
Director of Research at CAPRI. Phillips shared that Jamaica's open data
programme has progressed more than most of its counterparts in the
Caribbean, placing it at the top of most regional rankings. She added that
in recent years there have been legislative developments, infrastructural
developments, as well as capacity building through data training programmes.
However, the country has experienced very limited impact from its open data
programme thus far.
CAPRI's study highlighted that the case studies have illustrated significant
possibilities and potential value that can be derived from open data,
including improved governance, empowered citizens, complex problem-solving,
and the creation of new economic opportunities. Therefore, for Jamaica to
extract the benefits offered by open data, more emphasis should be placed on
improving data quality and data distribution, as well as on building
capacity to use data among the broad spectrum of users. Phillips expressed
that there is the need for ongoing and systematic collaboration between the
GoJ, intermediaries and users, and targeting very specific issues to be
solved by open data.
She concluded by sharing CAPRI's recommendations which include, establish
the GoJ open data policy as a matter of urgency; make the Access to
Information law a complement, not a competitor, to open data; capitalize on
strong data demand and eco-system to extract more value from open data;
identify and allocate adequate resources to maintain and expand the open
data infrastructure; establish flexible frameworks that allow for evolution
of the open data programme and push for regional consensus on open data.