Open Government Data

In this section, you will understand the concept of open data, the policies, laws and advantages related to it, 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 the Kingdom based on the Open Data Standards Guide, open data portals on the Open Data Portal for Government Agencies 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 the Kingdom.

Open Government Data

What is the Open Government Data?

Open Government Data is the data that can be freely used by anyone without technical, financial or legal constraints. The open data can also be re-used and redistributed, taking into account the requirements of the Open Data License under which such data were 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, reports, providing feedback etc.
  • Developing web and smartphone applications and solutions based on government open data.

All government agencies can opt for the open dissemination of their data for various purposes.

What are the Benefits and Advantages of Open Data?

  • Promoting transparency
  • Offering citizen participation
  • Improving the efficiency of government services
  • Fostering creativity and innovation
  • Creating new job and economic fields
  • Merging and using multiple data sources to acquire new knowledge

Open Data Policies and Regulations

To achieve the principle of transparency and to enable citizens in the Kingdom to have access to a large base of government data, the Kingdom has launched related policies and guidelines. As a national regulator of data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (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.

Open Data Interim Regulations

The Open Data Interim Regulations sets 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 the 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), National Information Center (NIC), and all government entities obligations in terms of open data planning, identification, publishing, maintenance, performance tracking and compliance.

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

For more information about the policies and regulations related to Open Data, please visit the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) portal.

Open Data Portal – DATA.GOV.SA

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides an integrative database of open government data to achieve transparency, encourage electronic participation and stimulate creativity. By disseminating data on ministries and government agencies openly on an Open Data Portal for Government Agencies, you can view, use, and benefit from it. The platform enables you to have a central point of access to find, download and use datasets generated by the ministries and governmental entities in the country.

You can access a large number of datasets available on the Open Data Portal and search by organisations, groups, tags or formats of the datasets.

You can also benefit from the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data listed on the Open Data Portal or the National Portal.
You are also encouraged to use the dataset request function to ask government agencies to publish new datasets.

Open Data Repository and Metadata Standards

The Open Data Portal has established an Open Data Repository as a register of all available datasets produced by the government authorities and available on the Open Data Portal. It contains a data dictionary with a list of all datasets available on the Open Data Portal, including a list of all files in a database, the number of records in each file, and the names and types of each field. Each government organisation must create and maintain an inventory of their datasets according to metadata standards set out in the Data Quality Guideline.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

If you are a developer, the Open Data Portal includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from across government. It is a great potential for you to use these APIs to build new applications and services for all Saudi citizens, residents and business. For more information on how to use Open data APIs please see the Open data Developers API Guide and the Publishers API Guide.

Open Data Toolkit

We developed an Open Data Toolkit to facilitate a culture of open data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to guide government agencies and other entities to understand the basic concepts of Open Data, how to plan and implement an open government data programme. The toolkit provides a comprehensive step by step approach to help government agencies on how to develop an open data initiative, create their open data strategies and platforms, and release more open data in a simplified manner.

The Open Data Toolkit contain a Data Quality Guideline which provides practical and useful information and guidance for government agencies on how to create a dataset, metadata, definition of metadata, basic elements of metadata, use of Open Government Data License, and publishing the datasets on Open Data Portal.

Statistical Data

General Authority for Statistics

The General Authority for Statistics supervises the national databases for various statistical fields and works to transfer knowledge and spread statistical awareness. This entity represents an official body providing public authorities, private enterprises, individuals, and international bodies with official statistics under legal procedures supporting policymakers and decision-makers to implement organizational development plans. You can check all data on the General Authority for Statistics website.

Last Modified Date: 01/06/2021 - 8:22 AM Saudi Arabia Time
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