As a core part of the Sunlight Local Team’s participation in the What Works Cities initiative, we work directly with city halls across the country to provide technical assistance to help cities think through and develop robust open data policy. Because we are working with so many cities (30 and counting!), we’ve had to think through a scalable approach to this work and develop a standard “technical assistance service delivery model” — essentially our checklist for working with government on meaningful open data policy change.
Today, we are sharing this checklist with open data advocates everywhere, both inside and outside city hall, in the form of a new website: the “Public Policy for Public Data Checklist.”
Originally written for internal use to guide our team and coordinate with our What Works Cities partners, the Public Policy for Public Data Checklist collects and connects our city-focused research, guides and other resources through a step-by-step playbook for creating open data policy. It’s an animated checklist of our work with city halls, covering everything from why a policy is important and where to start to what to do after your policy has passed.
We’ve come to realize that if we’ve written a playbook and checklist for helping cities through the process of understanding, strategizing, crafting and enacting meaningful open data policy, why not share that resource publicly online? Sharing our internal guide will not only provide more transparency for our approach, but also open up the process to any community, large or small.
Ultimately, we hope that this guide will complement our existing local hub in our efforts to open the process of open data policy, fostering DIY approaches to advocacy and public sector innovation. Check out the new site and associated resources and let us know what you think!