UAE ranks 16th globally in Open Data Inventory Report 2020

UAE ranks 16th globally in Open Data Inventory Report 2020

The UAE ranked 16th globally out of 187 countries in the Open Data Inventory, ODIN, Report 2020, with an overall score of 75.

Compiled by Open Data Watch, the 5th ODIN assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices (NSOs) and data users.

The UAE jumped 51 positions from 2018, outperforming the United States, South Korea, Switzerland, France, Spain, Japan and the United Kingdom.

According to the report, the UAE took a dual approach of making more data available and improving elements of data openness. In 2020, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre launched the Open Data Race, a competition among statistics-producing government agencies to see who could publish more open data through their Bayanet data portal. Publishing data through the portal also resulted in 100 percent of ODIN indicators being made available in machine-readable format and made it easier to standardise the metadata that was made available for each dataset, doubling their metadata availability score.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications, said,

"Government open data publishing aims to promote the concept of transparency in government action, which is among the top priorities of the UAE’s leadership. Open data also helps increase the efficiency of resource usage, supporting decision-making, exploring development opportunities, and paving the way for the launch of successful projects in the field of artificial intelligence to serve communities."
"The UAE Government has adopted an open data policy as part of the digital transformation process, to facilitate access to government data and statistics about the UAE for researchers and the community. National federal authorities make data available to the public via their official e-portals," he added.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director-General of the Telecommunications Regulation Authority, TRA, said,

"The over-achievement of the UAE in the ODIN Report is a global recognition to be added to the country’s list of achievements, most notably in information technology and coinciding with the GITEX Technology Week in Dubai."

Al Mansouri highlighted the key role of federal and local authorities, as well as the private sector, in achieving the objectives of the UAE’s leadership to improve the country’s technological infrastructure and support the exchange of data and statistical information, as well as to make open data available through official e-portals.

The report says the top performing 30 countries in ODIN have mostly remained the same since 2016, but that’s starting to change. Twenty-three countries have appeared in the top 30 every year since 2016. They were joined by 5 new countries in 2018 and two more countries reached the top 30 for the first time in 2020. The newcomers are Palestine and the United Arab Emirates, both of which are countries that committed to making open data a priority over the last year.

''The year 2020 was a challenging year for the world as countries grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, and despite the pandemic’s negative impact on the capacity of statistics producers, 2020 saw great progress in open data,'' the report noted.

The ODIN measures how complete a country’s statistical offerings are and whether their data meet international standards of openness. The overall score is a combination of a data coverage subscore and a data openness subscore. The ODIN assesses coverage score based on five coverage elements: Indicators and disaggregation; Data available in the last 5 years; Data available in the last 10 years; First administrative level and Second administrative level. It assesses openness score based on five coverage elements: Machine readability; Nonproprietary format; Metadata availability; Download options and Terms of use or data license.

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