Taiwan has come out on top among 122 nations and areas in this year’s Global Open Data Index, emerging as the first non-European nation to place in the top three, according to Open Knowledge International, which released the index on Tuesday.
The result represented a major leap for Taiwan, which finished 36th in 2013 and 11th last year in the annual index that measures how open governments are in providing key information.
However, in a statement on this year’s index, Open Knowledge International said that “significant progress is still to be made, as Taiwan’s overall score reveals that their data is only 78 percent open.”
“Crucial datasets such as government spending, postcodes and land ownership are still closed and inaccessible to citizens,” the British non-profit organization said.
Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said that open data and value-added applications are an important strategy for promoting good governance, service innovation and overall economic development, and are a solid foundation for the government’s Internet policy, called “ide@Taiwan.”
Under the policy, concrete goals and plans were drawn up for the nation to become fully digitized by 2020, according to the Executive Yuan.
Rounding out the Open Data Index top 10 following Taiwan were the UK, Denmark, Colombia, Finland, Australia, Uruguay, the US, the Netherlands and Norway.
The next-highest ranked countries in Asia were India at 19th, South Korea at 23rd and Singapore at 25th.
While the top rankings remained dominated by OECD members, three non-OECD nations broke into the top 10 this year for the first time, Open Knowledge said, referring to Taiwan, Colombia and Uruguay.
“Overall, whilst there was meaningful improvement in the number of open datasets (from 124 to 154), the percentage of open datasets across all the surveyed countries fell from 11 percent in 2014 to 9 percent in 2015,” the group said. “It is clear that little progress has been made at the global level.”
According to Open Knowledge, the index is the result of civil society collaboration to track the state of open data in countries and places around the world.
The index ranks nations based on the availability and accessibility of data in 13 key categories, including national statistics, government budgets, government spending, legislation, election results, procurement tenders and national maps.
Other categories are pollution emissions, weather forecasts, company registers, location datasets, water quality and land ownership.
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