Barriers to use open government data in
private sector and NGOs in Pakistan
Department of Political Science, Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, India, and
Department of Management Studies, University of Malakand, Chakdara, Pakistan
Purpose –Open government data (OGD) is making available data freely to all by the government with the aim t o ensure accountability and
transparency in government besides generating public value by its usage. OGD is an emerging government initiative in Pakistan, and there is a lot of
potential for harnessing OGD for spearheading innovation and improvising services in different economic sectors. This paper aims to seek to
investigate the usage of OGD in private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Pakistan.
Design/methodology/approach –Documentary analysis is conducted to review the national OGD portal of Pakistan. Besides, structured
interviews were conducted with 49 senior management representatives from private sector and NGOs to solicit their perspectives regarding the
usage of OGD for professional purposes. Also, questions were posed regarding the challenges in harnessing OGD for professional purposes.
Findings –OGD has immense usage for private sector and NGOs; however, more initiatives are required on the part of the government to open
their data sets. Further, involvement of stakeholders from the private sector and NGOs and other interested partners is required for an optimum
usage of OGD in different economic sectors of Pakistan.
Research limitations/implications –As the research focuses on private sector and NGOs in Pakistan, the study requires a more broad-based
approach to take into account the perspectives of different users. Further research is required to appreciate the role of contextual facto rs in
determining the usage of OGD in Pakistan.
Practical implications –Government should be more forthcoming in its OGD initiatives and encourage collaboration from citizens, businesses,
voluntary organizations and the like.
Social implications –Working professionals from different economic sectors should tap OGD for generating value by improvising their services.
Originality/value –The study is the ﬁrst one to be conducted in Pakistan about the OGD initiatives of the country. Soliciting views from the key
management representatives in the private sector and NGOs, the paper contributed to the extant OGD literature which is more supply-focu sed and
not demand-driven. While conceding that there are ample usages of OGD for the different economic sectors, the paper underlines the need for
reﬁning the OGD initiatives of Pakistan.
Keywords Pakistan, NGOs, Private sector, Open government data, Open data, Usage
Paper type Research paper
“Open government data(OGD) refers to making public sector
information freely available in open formats and ways that
enable public access and facilitate exploitation”(Kalampokis
et al., 2011a, p. 266). OGD impliesa more proactive approach
to disseminate public-sector information (Borglund and
Engvall, 2014),and it includes the data held by the government
across different sectors such as transport, health, education,
industry,tourism, social work and climatechange. Government
is the main provider of data which is linked with information
about the citizens, organizations or the transactions in the
course of providing public services (Alexopoulos et al.,2014).
With the emergence of information and communications
technology (ICT), governments across the world have been
transforming themselves into e-governments (Mpinganjira,
2015), and encouraging participation of users in government
processes and OGD is one of the extensions of e-government
initiatives (Jetzek et al.,2014). With the aim of bringing about
transparency and public accountability in public services,
governments have spearheaded their OGD initiatives (Adu
et al.,2016;Huijboom and Van den Broek, 2011;Meijer et al.,
2012;Thornton and Thornton, 2013;Zuiderwijk and Janssen,
2014a). It has been underlined in research that OGD initiatives
of government facilitate policy-making besides bringing about
efﬁciency in administration (Janssen, 2012;Kassen, 2013;
Tough, 2011). OGD helps in boosting the economy of a
country and has potential for private and non-proﬁt sectors
(Jung and Park, 2015). Despite these advantages, there are
impediments for OGD usage on the side of the users who ﬁnd
drawbacksin the online informationreleased by the government
in terms of non-availability or lack of complete data sets.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on
Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2398-6247.htm
Information Discovery and Delivery
46/1 (2018) 67–75
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 2398-6247]
Received 16 May 2017
Revised 16 November 2017
Accepted 13 December 2017