An Analysis of the Open Data Initiative in the Saudi e-government Framework
During the past decade, the applications of e-government have developed tremendously, which has resulted in different initiatives being implemented and launched across government agencies worldwide. In particular, there has been an increased interest among government agencies in adopting and implementing Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives. These initiatives have become a global phenomenon and a political priority for many nations around the globe. This study aims to investigate the adoption and implementation of OGD in Saudi Arabia. It adopts a qualitative research approach and the data was collected using interviews and documentation. The results indicate that the OGD initiative in Saudi is still at its early and experimental stage, and is being gradually recognized as an important e-government initiative. The study has identified a number of reasons that influenced the decision to adopt OGD, including the recent developments in the country such as Saudi vision 2030, the Freedom of Information Act, wide adoption of OGD initiatives at local, regional and global levels. Furthermore, the findings suggest that OGD initiatives contribute to enhancing transparency and accountability, facilitating access to government data, supporting innovation, improving government services, and encouraging participation. Moreover, the study has identified a number of barriers and challenges associated with OGD, including: the development of a bilingual OGD portal, privacy issues, data ownership, misuse and misinterpretation of OGD, and data related factors. Finally, the study concludes with a summary of the main findings and provides some recommendations.
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