Opening Government Data through Mediation: Exploring the Roles, Practices and Strategies of Data Intermediary Organisations in India

In early 2012, Government of India approved the first policy in the country governing proactive disclosure of government data, and especially of born-digital and digitised data. This National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) extends the mandate of the Right to Information (RTI) Act to establish policy and administrative support to enable informed citizenship, better decision-making and heightened transparency and accountability.

The open government data agenda and its implementation in India, however, remains still too young to make possible a study of its outcomes and impacts. This study, hence, explores not the outcomes of the NDSAP or the Open Government Data Platform of India as such, but the existing practices of accessing and using government data in India to understand what challenges this Policy and its implementations should respond to, and what available opportunities can be mobilised towards an effective open data agenda.

The study explores the actual practices around government data by various (non-governmental) “data intermediary organisations” on one hand, and implementation challenges faced by managers of the Open Government Data Platform of India on the other, so as to identify possible areas of policy modification, capacity building, community organisation, and alignment of efforts.