[open-development] Summary "Open Knowledge Index" Discussion

Guo Xu digitalepourpre at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 18:58:51 UTC 2011

Dear list,

Wow! I did not expect to get such a great number of feedback - let me
briefly summarize the discussion:

1) There seems to be a consensus that a "Open Knowledge Index" would
be a valuable asset in both for researchers and policymakers alike.
- Open Government would be a part of the index, but we would like to
capture civil society as well).

2) Ideally, we would like to have an index for the country-level as
well as the subnational (say, NUTS-1) level
- The subnational index would obviously need to capture more "within"
variation as many legislations are national and don't vary across
administrative regions.

In terms of concrete steps, we would need to:

1) Define the dimensions and variables we want to measure:
- I have set up a pad where we people can contribute their ideas: We
might want to take some data from the  epsiplatform-scoreboards for
the prototype... feel free to add variables. Let's brainstorm and then
think about how this works with theory
- Collecting data from governments using surveys (as Lucas proposed)
is a great idea to get comparable data. For the time being, however, I
feel the realistic approach is to collect the data that is readily
available on the web (for example, dummy whether country X has a
"Freedom of Information Act" etc.)

2) Define the weights we assign to each dimension and variable
- This will invariably cause a lot of discussion - this is the
standard problem in indices

3) Calculate this for a range of countries. I would propose to do this
for a fairly restricted sample of EU countries as a cross-section, say
2005 (so we have all the data available)

Also, I would like to invite you all for a sprint so we can overcome
coordination problems and get something running. This would not be a
code-sprint, so everyone can contribute, either conceptually defining
the index or looking for the appropriate proxies.

Let me know what you think! And thanks for all the helpful answers and


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