desideDatum advises the public administrations that want to offer a real transparency that goes beyond mere compliance with the laws of transparency. Our experience in this field has led us to create our own methodology, developed specifically to cover all possible phases of an initiative to promote transparency in public administration.
These are the main stages of the methodology applied by desideDatum their services, to ensure that an institution complies with the transparency law and, most importantly, make it an institution truly transparent.
These stages not necessarily have to be taken strictly in an iterative way. The only stage that may carry out before the rest is the first, the diagnostic phase.
At this stage, we take a “picture” of the current status of the information, prior to the transparency actions, analyzing the current situation concerning the information available in the organization, in relation to Transparency laws mandatory. The result of this stage is a report that includes the current situation of information management in the institution (all information, not only what is likely to be open). This report will be used in the following stages.
This stage includes the actions that are carried out before the transparency actions. Largely, at this stage what is done is to implement the changes proposed in the report resulting from the diagnosis stage. Actions such as changing the language of the information so that it is understandable to the public, ensuring information quality, automated information updating, modifying – if necessary – the data formats, standards harmonization, metadata preparation, etc. Often this stage is used to make changes to information systems, therefore desideDatum has a collaboration agreement with SII Concatel to help our customers to update their information systems.
What we do at this stage is to open the data, already prepared in the previous stage, on the tool choosen to create the transparency portal. To do this, desideratum works with Socrata, the Open Data portals leading global provider. However, if the customer decides choose to another tool, the other stages do not change, they are independent of the selected tool.
This stage is where we develop vthe visualizations that help you understand the information provided to the public. Also in this stage is when we make comparisons with other administrations (like ours) to be more transparent: it is by contrast how we can provide a context for our information.
At this stage what is done is to make public to citizenship and other governments that our administration has decided to be transparent. It is not just simply communicating that there is a Transparency portal but also doing a lot of pedagogy to explain the benefits that this Transparency portal can provide to the citizens.
We perform actions that show how it is evolving the initiative of transparency. These actions are addressed specifically to those positions responsible for the Transparency project: Setting goals and indicators to perform a project’s dashboard. It is really perceived and used by the public? We are transparent to what level? What actions should be implemented to be more transparent? etc.
At this stage, transversal to all the others, we see which actions are needed to be done internally in the institution to manage the change occurred after transparency actions have been done. These actions range from staff training so they know best about transparency (and what it is involved on it) to change proposals for internal processes, etc. It is important to keep in mind that, in any Transparency initiative, the first customer is always the institution that has decided to open its data. Therefore, open data always significantly affects the internal processes.