Research to Results: An Analysis of Citizen-Generated Open Data | Data-Smart City Solutions

“Once Meijer and Potjer finished their empirical analysis of the 25 cases, Meijer and Potjer concluded that citizen-generated open data can certainly provide improved information for public governance, but concurrently can also be used to challenge current power structures and city decisions. As a result, Meijer and Potjer posited that the addition of citizen-generated open data to public governance should be viewed as both “collaboration and contestation.”

For example, while citizen-generated open data produces data as a foundation for collaborative governance, it can also strengthen and work with governance by providing new checks and balances based on the data collected. Meijer and Potjer explained that to understand the role of citizens in this new environment of government with social media, is to know that the public governance will include both collaboration and conflict.

Meijer and Potjer’s second conclusion states that citizens engage in the generation of data to both collaborate with their governments and challenge current government positions and policies. There are distinctions between friendly, adversarial and neutral interactions—yet all of these interactions better inform governments on what their citizens are looking for. However, the researchers both concede that the impact of the data is too narrow and still in the exploratory phase.

In the end, despite realizing that citizen-generated open data can also challenge the positions and structure of city government, the greater amount of information and “multi-actor collaboration” utilizing that data does indeed help governments make more accurate data-based decisions for their cities by taking in both suggestions and criticism from the new form of data….”