Barometer Impact and Use

The Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer provides a definitive benchmark of country progress on open data. Used by a growing number of advocates and policymakers worldwide, the Barometer goes beyond counting datasets, to analyse real impact. Several governments are already using it to benchmark their open data performance and set targets. The following stories illustrate how the Barometer has directly influenced policies for the better throughout the world.

Barometer in Policy Making

The Barometer team interacts with an increasing number of governments by:

  • Discussing their positions in the global ranking.
  • Fielding questions about the Barometer methodology.
  • Receiving, and engaging with, additional evidence that governments provide to improve the scoring system.
  • Explaining how to improve factors measured by the readiness, implementation and impact subindexes.

We have engaged directly with 25+ countries on the Barometer methodology so far, and we also collaborate on a self-assessment process with 70+ countries. The following examples illustrate a sample of this country engagment:


The Brazilian government is using the Barometer as the official key performance indicator for open data in the Digital Governance Strategy. Innovation impacts from civil society using open data were also discussed during a workshop on social Innovation at the Hertie School of Governance using Barometer evidence.


We have continuous engagement with both the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the team on how to improve their open data impacts. TBS has used the Barometer in briefings for public officials, and to support work with government departments seeking to open up high value datasets. Canada’s Open Cities Index was developed by applying elements of the Barometer to the local government context.

South Korea

The National Information Society Agency has been working on a complete self-assessment and has engaged frequently with the Barometer team to compare and improve results. In addition, civil society is promoting a project to monitor the country’s performance on an ongoing basis through a crowd-sourced platform and using the Barometer methodology. The Barometer was also featured in national news broadcasts and various stories about improving the use of public data in the country.

United Kingdom

The former Minister for the Cabinet Office used the Barometer frequently in public speeches and interviews on transparency. The department of Transport has engaged with the Barometer team to discuss the country’s results and find out how to apply the methodology to specific sectors such as transport. The Government Digital Service also frequently contacts the Barometer team for advice on how to consolidate the UK’s number one Barometer ranking.


The E-government Agency of Ukraine is using the Barometer results and methodology as the basis for its strategy to improve. The Eurasia Foundation is planning to use the Barometer methodology for a national study covering 18 Ministries and governmental bodies, as well as 35 municipalities. This is part of an open data project to improve transparency and accountability in public administration and services. The Barometer has also been cited in news stories discussing the potential for open data to solve urban challenges and the state of open data in the country.

Barometer Global Influence

The Barometer is an increasingly influential tool in the global Open Data agenda and is helping create greater understanding of Open Data policies and practices. Some examples of such influence are:

Open Data Charter

The Barometer analysis is being used by the Open Data Charter to drive strategic decisions, for example in the study of regional champions, the preliminary work on sub-national indicators and the mapping of local initiatives, as well as to assess the state of the play for different regions in order to adapt the Charter strategy to their needs. The Charter Anti-Corruption Open Up Guide also uses Barometer data to assess current availability of key accountability data.

Global Open Data Agenda

The G20 anti-corruption working group used the Barometer in its open data position paper to assess the status of the G20 member countries. In the open data and anti-corruption research paper we also measured progress made by five key countries in implementing the G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles using the Barometer results for analysis. In addition, our work with the OD4D network and our regional ODB partners contributes to advancing the global agenda.

European Commission

The European Commission includes the Barometer in its European Data Portal e-learning programme to compare country progress. The Barometer’s findings have also been incorporated in the Open Data Maturity Assessment, and used as a reference for the Commission’s maturity model in the study on the value of Open Data.

Open data community

The Barometer team co-chairs the Measurement and Accountability Working Group of the Open Data Charter, where the framework behind the Barometer is being discussed as the reference accountability tool. The Barometer team is also a member of the Governance Data Alliance, a community of data producers and users committed to the effective use of data to advance democratic governance reforms. The Barometer has played a capacity building role at the regional level, with open data training and mentoring having been offered to more than 300 local researchers.

Barometer in Research and Academia

We regularly receive multiple questions from researchers about the Barometer’s methodology and results. Consequently, the Barometer has frequently been used as the basis for secondary research, with more than 600 citations in Google Scholar as of September 2018.