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#562 Online: Integrating Equity into Open Government Data: Insights from a Pilot Survey


Federica Fusi (she/her/hers), PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, Management, and Analytics, UIC

The open government movement has democratized access to data to “allow underserved groups and organizations to overcome the concentration of power in our data landscape” and promote equal participation in policymaking (Wu et al., 2021). Today, public agencies at all levels are adopting open government data portals and designing data practices to increase access to and sharing of government data.

Equity values promote equal treatment of and equal outcomes for all members of the public in their interactions with the government. In the context of open government data, equity means to envision a data governance model where local residents and communities are actively involved and have the ability to “interrogate how their data is being collected, stored, analyzed, and used” (Ruijer et al., 2023, p. 11). Using data from website coding and a survey of public managers in US state environmental agencies, this talk explores two main questions: How is equity defined in the context of government data? To what extent do government agencies adopt equitable and inclusive data practices? Results from the project provide insights to strengthen civic engagement around open government data and increase government responsiveness to the data divide.

Federica Fusi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy, Management, and Analytics at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her research focuses on how public organizations can leverage digital and data tools to enhance their performance and improve outcomes for their communities. She also investigates the managerial challenges associated with the implementation of open data portals in both the public sector and science. Her current research examines open government data practices for environmental justice, data sharing during COVID-19, and digital equity plans in US cities.

This project was funded by a grant from the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Illinois Chicago.