Open Data Readiness Assessment

Jamaica is the third country in the Caribbean to take part in an Open Data Readiness Assessment and the second to include an Open Budget Data Readiness Assessment, as part of the World Bank’s program of assistance to the Caribbean region, and with the partnership and support of the UK Department of International Development. The Ministers of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining have expressed strong support for an Open Data program in Jamaica, and the Prime Minister has stated her commitment to Open Government throughout her administration.

This assessment shows that Jamaica could achieve a successful Open Data program and makes recommendations on how that could be achieved.

Jamaica has much of the legislation in place that is desirable to underpin an Open Data program, and the implementation of the Access to Information Act a decade ago seems to be widely regarded as successful.

A lot of data is already available on government websites, so there is no issue of principle in making it public - the limitation is that it is not in reusable form and the barriers to converting it have already frustrated potential application-builders. Jamaica is home to the Caribbean’s most active and vibrant community of data activists and application developers, and so has the skills to readily exploit data as it is made available.

A significant number of datasets could be made available as Open Data quickly - often by publishing the underlying data that was used to generate the printed reports. This includes data important to Jamaica’s economy including tourism data, agricultural data, and energy data and to Jamaica’s society including education, health, crime and cultural data.