In our view at Indigo, to achieve our objectives we cannot lead the argument with open data itself. Open data is a critical enabler to achieve benefits. It is the benefits that appeal to senior grant makers only rarely the data itself. An update on activity since the kick off meeting.
Nominet Trust, BIG and Indigo are working with Tim Davies and Peter Bass via Practical Participation on a series of short sprints to examine the fit of existing open data standards, the potential for data analysis, the nature of data that could be published and demand and benefits of data analysis.
We have been in discussion with NESTA the innovation charity funded by a lottery endowment about opening up their own grant data. NESTA published a good article on charity funders sharing their information to make better interventions in the Guardian professional network.
BIG the largest lottery distributor has made two data releases. BIG said that:
‘We also intend help raise the profile of open data within the VCS sector and encourage organisations to maximise the value of open data that is available’
This is very promising. These releases have helped isolate the data protection issue of publishing peoples home names and addresses they may have used for a grant application. This will not be unique to BIG and further work is needed on how to address it.
The general concept of open data for grant recipients (not grant makers, who are the focus of this stage of our work) was raised and discussed positively at a Cabinet Office round table with large charities in July.
Indigo is working with Aequitas Consulting on messaging and branding this approach to transparency and open philanthropy.
Indigo has published a blog post on the kick off meeting
We hope that by the early Autumn we should have a well worked up set of resources both on the over-arching benefits and the technical enablers to take deliver a successful campaign to win around UK grants makers.