The tools include an update on its four-step process to facilitate opportunities for community use of open data
The US not-for-profit, the Sunlight Foundation, has launched a set of tools to help local governments collaborate with members of their communities around issues using open data.
The organisation aims to make government and politics more accountable and transparent to everyone. Its Roadmap to Informed Communities includes an update to its Tactical Data Engagement (TDE), a four-step process for cities to facilitate opportunities for community use of open data to improve citizens’ lives.
Since the TDE was launched last year, Sunlight Foundation has piloted its approach with the US cities of Madison, Glendale, Austin and Norfolk and it features case studies from the former two in the Roadmap. It has also divided the TDE strategies into two main phases of open data projects: discovery and action.
The discovery phase entails finding relevant issue areas on which to focus open data and conducting user research to inform open data efforts. The action phase describes taking action with open data through community partnerships with data intermediaries, data-sharing agreements, data user groups, or other collaborative community open data efforts.
The release also includes a library of user personas that cities and government agencies have created and applied to design open data programmes that cater directly to citizens’ needs.
“Throughout our conversations, we heard that governments at all levels are experimenting with making user personas to help make community-centred design more tangible and relatable for open data decision-makers inside City Hall,” writes Sunlight Foundation technologist, Greg Jordan-Detamore, in a blog.
“We created tips for creating user personas so that any data providers interested in using this strategy can begin workshopping and doing the necessary research on their own.”
"Governments at all levels are experimenting with making user personas to help make community-centred design more tangible and relatable for open data decision-makers”
The Roadmap also includes collaboration playbooks in areas such as hosting data user groups and guidance towards achieving Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities certification which helps cities benchmark their progress of using data.
The Sunlight Foundation stressed that the Roadmap is "a living platform" and a slate of resources for the phase of work, as well as further discovery-phase resources, will be released in the next few months.
Read the Roadmap to Informed Communities in full.