Open Data Defined

In the past decade, open data has garnered increasing attention and grown into a global movement. The International Open Data Charter defines open data as digital data that is published with the technical and legal characteristics to be “freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.” The global open data movement brings together a variety of actors working to realize open data’s potential to “advance collaboration around key social challenges, provide effective public oversight of government activities, and support innovation, sustainable economic development, and the creation and expansion of effective, efficient public policies and programs.”

Of course, greater availability of and access to data cannot, on their own, bring about these outcomes. Government, civil society, and the private sector must have the capacity to effectively use this data to design, implement, advocate for, and monitor climate actions. It also requires that citizens have adequate opportunities to engage in the relevant decision-making processes. Still, improving access to key, high-quality data is a cornerstone of cross-sectoral, coordinated action to tackle climate change.