DataGM and Open Data Cities (Open Digital Resource)

Drew Hemment, Julian Tait

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The practice-based research output is the DataGM – the Greater Manchester Datastore – the first UK open data policy framework and municipal datastore established by actors external to local government rather than the Mayor's office or equivalent government body. The research investigated how the release of public data under open standards through a municipal datastore can provide a framework and a resource for people to analyse, improve and build new services. Specifically, it tested a demand-side, bottom-up approach to digital policy and infrastructure development at city scale. This was conducted through an experiment in participatory policy engaging a grass-roots developer community, digital businesses, data managers from public agencies, and policy makers from ten local authorities. It amplified the ability of those involved to influence and shape policy, blurring the boundaries between citizens as service users and public bodies and government as service providers.The approach drew significantly on Actor Network Theory (ANT). According to ANT, the on–going processes of translation are key sources of social order. Translation generates ordering effects, such as organisations, institutions, devices, and agents. Each of these have their own resistances, and social change, as evidenced by DataGM, is a struggle of reorganising the resources and relations in the ‘actor–network’. Novel insight into the conditions for sustainable and scalable open data development at city scale disseminated through a Paper (3rd Participatory Innovation Conference, Lahti) and a report commissioned by Open Data Institute (ODI).Findings concerned the efficacy of a demand-side, bottom-up approach; the role of intermediaries; mechanisms to generate trust and bridge between organisational and cultural silos; and the scale required for market sustainability.Contributed to the framing of a successful FP7 bid CitySDK, and led to new national projects funded by ODI and Connected Digital Economy Catapult. DataGM is ongoing, administered by Trafford Council.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTrafford Borough Council
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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