In this section, you will understand the concept of open data, its policies, laws and advantages, including its nine principles and the general rules for open data. This section will also highlight each individual’s right to access and use the Open Government Data, the quality of open data in based on the Open Data Standards Guide, open data portals and statistical data related to the main axes of open data quality and open data quality benchmarks offered by the General Authority for Statistics in Saudi Arabia.
What is the Open Government Data
Open Government Data is the data that anyone can freely use without technical, financial or legal constraints. Open Government Data aims to promote transparency, increase citizen participation, improve the efficiency of government services, foster creativity and innovation, create new job and economic opportunities, and merge and use multiple data sources to acquire new knowledge.
The Open Government Data can also be re-used and redistributed, taking into account the requirements of the Open Data License under which such data was distributed. Government Open Data helps bridge the gap between governments and citizens. The public benefits from the data provided in different ways, such as:
- Acquiring a better understanding of how government agencies work
- Creating opportunities for people to evaluate the performance of various government agencies
- Allows citizens to use the data for research, and reports, providing feedback
- Developing web and smartphone applications and solutions based on open government data
All government agencies can opt for the open dissemination of their data for various purposes
Open Data Policy and Regulations
To achieve the principle of transparency and enable citizens in Saudi Arabia to access a large government database, Saudi Arabia has launched related policies and guidelines.
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) is the national regulator of data in Saudi Arabia. SDAIA has developed the Framework for national data governance to set the policies and regulations required for data classification, data sharing, data privacy, freedom of information, open data and others in anticipation of necessary legislation.
Main Principles for Open Data:
- Principle 1: Open by Default
- Principle 2: Open Format and Machine-Readable
- Principle 3: Up to Date
- Principle 4: Comprehensive
- Principle 5: Non-discriminatory
- Principle 6: Free of Charge
- Principle 7: KSA Open Data License
- Principle 8: For Improved Governance and Citizen Engagement
- Principle 9: For Inclusive Development and Innovation
Open Data Policy
The National Data Management Office (NDMO) has adopted an Open Data Policy that sets out the open data regulatory frameworks.
Open Data Interim Regulations
The Open Data Interim Regulations set the legal basis and obligations for all data and public information produced by public entities regardless of source, form, or nature. It sets the legal grounds and minimum standards for government agencies to publish their datasets. The Open Data Interim Regulation also defines the roles and responsibilities of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and its sub-entities, the National Data Management Office (NDMO) and National Information Center (NIC). All other government entities have obligations regarding open data planning, identification, publishing, maintenance, performance tracking and compliance.
Open Data Standards and Controls
The National Data Management Office (NDMO) has also adopted Open Data Standards as part of the Data Management and Personal Data Protection Standards. The Open Data domain comprises five controls and ten specifications. This domain focuses on providing Saudi citizens access to government information, portraying the process for accessing such information, and the appeal mechanism in case of a dispute.
Open Data Strategy
For more information about the current Open Data Strategy or previous Open Data Strategies, please visit the following link.
Open Data License
Databases can contain a wide variety of types of content (images, audio-visual material, and sounds all in the same database, for example), and so this license only governs the rights over the Database and not the contents of the Database individually. Licensors may therefore wish to use this license together with another license for the contents.
Sometimes the contents of a database, or the database itself, can be covered by other rights not addressed here (such as private contracts, trademark over the name, or privacy rights/data protection rights over the information in the contents). So users are advised that they may have to consult other documents or clear other rights before doing activities not covered by the Open Data License.
The Open Data License allows users to:
- To Share: To copy, distribute, use and reuse the dataset.
- To Create: To produce works from the dataset.
- To Adapt: To modify, transform and build upon the dataset.
Saudi Open Data Portal
Citizens can access a large number of datasets available on the Open Data Portal and search by organisations, groups, tags or formats of the datasets.
Users can also benefit from the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data listed on the Open Data Portal or the National Portal. They are also encouraged to use the dataset request function to ask government agencies to publish new datasets.
Open Data Repository and Metadata Standards
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
Open Data Toolkit and Guidelines
The Open Data Toolkit contains a Data Quality Guideline that provides practical and useful information and guidance for government agencies on creating a dataset, metadata, definition of metadata, basic elements of metadata, use of Open Data License, and publishing the datasets on the Open Data Portal.
Open Data Competitions
Please visit the following link to find more information about the previous or upcoming events or competitions.