According to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, three out of four institutions lost the global public trust in 2015: NGOs from 66% in 2014 to 63% in 2015, business from 59% in 2014 to 57% in 2015, and media from 53% in 2014 to 51% in 2015. Only government gained trust from 45% in 2014 to 48% in 2015, thanks largely to the gains in India (30%), Russia (27%) and Indonesia (19%). However, government still remains the least trusted institution globally, while being the institution of the last resort for many social, economic, security and other challenges.
Against this backdrop, the use of government data by citizens is strongly on the rise. According to the US national survey by the Pew Research Center, 65% of the US citizens recently used the Internet to find data or information about government – to learn about local government (32%), to renew a driving license (18%), to pay a fine (11%), to use a 311 service (2%); and 66% hope that open data will improve accountability of government officials (53%), quality of public services (49%) or government decisions (45%). However, the optimism in government data is strongly shaped by general trust in government.
To address the deficit of trust in government and realize the potential of open data, Open Government, i.e. the use of digital technology to increase the availability of information about governmental activities, to offer opportunities for information sharing, public participation and collaboration, and to help citizens understand what their governments do and influence government decisions, is strongly on the rise, including support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Delft University of Technology is launching the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Open Government. Aimed at university students, professionals, government officials, policy advisers and researchers, the MOOC will help participants learn: 1) basic concepts related to Open Government and Open Government Data; 2) how to analyze and discuss benefits, barriers and potential negative effects of a particular Open Government case and an Open Government Data case; 3) how to analyze public values and best practices related to Open Government; 4) how to apply the open government principles in various situations; and 5) how to understand potential negative and positive effects Open Government might bring to the workplace. The MOOC will start on 14 March 2016 and run for 5 weeks.
UNU-EGOV contributes to the MOOC by showing how a range of Digital Government innovations, responding to pressures for more voice from citizens and more transparency from government, become institutionalized as Open Government at various stages of the Digital Government evolution.