The importance of open government data for the private sector and NGOs in Indonesia

Publication Date11 June 2018
AuthorAgus Hermanto,Solimun Solimun,Adji Achmad Rinaldo Fernandes,Wahyono Wahyono,Zulkarnain Zulkarnain
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Information management & governance,Information policy
The importance of open government data
for the private sector and NGOs
in Indonesia
Agus Hermanto, Solimun Solimun, Adji Achmad Rinaldo Fernandes, Wahyono Wahyono
and Zulkarnain Zulkarnain
Purpose Open government data (OGD) is making data available free to all by the government with the aim
of ensuring accountability and transparency in government besides generating public valu e by its usage.
OGD is an emerging government initiative in Indonesia and there is potential for harnessing OGD for
spearheading innovation and improvising services in different economic s ectors. This paper aims to
investigate the usage of OGD in the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Indonesia.
Design/methodology/approach Documentary analysis was conducted to review the national OGD
portal of Indonesia. Structured interviews were conducted with 49 senior managementrepresentatives
from the 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
Findings OGD has immense potential for private sector and NGOs; however, more initiatives are
required on the part of thegovernment to open their data sets. Further, involvementof stakeholders from
the private sector and NGOs and other interestedpartners is required for an optimum usage of OGD in
differenteconomic sectors of Indonesia.
Research limitations/implications As the research focuses on the private sector and NGOs in
Indonesia, the study requires a more broad-based approach to consider the perspectives of different
users. Furtherresearch is required to appreciatethe role of contextual factors in determiningthe usage of
OGD in Indonesia.
Originality/value The study is one of the first to be conductedin Indonesia about the OGD initiatives of
the country. Soliciting views fromthe key management representatives in the private sector and NGOs,
the paper contributes to the extant OGD literature, which is more supply-focused and not demand-
driven. While conceding that there are ample usages of OGD for the different economic sectors, the
paper underlinesthe need for refining the OGD initiativesof Indonesia.
Keywords Indonesia, Private sector, Open government data
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
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., 2011b, p. 266). OGD implies a 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 climate change. 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
(Information about the authors
can be found at the end of this
Received 8 September 2017
Revised 5 April 2018
Accepted 11 April 2018
Retraction notice
The publisher wishes to retract
the article Agus Hermanto,
SolimunSolimun,Adji Achmad
Rinaldo Fernandes, Wahyono
Wahyono, Zulkarnain Zulkarnain,
(2018) “The importance of open
governmentdatafor the private
sector and NGOs in Indonesia”,
Digital Policy, Regulation and
Governance, Vol. 20 No. 4,
pp. 293-309,
This is because a substan tial
portion of the articl e is taken,
without attributio n, from other
These sources are:
Stuti Saxena, Irfan Muhammad
(2018), “Barriers to use open
governmentdatain private
sector and NGOs in Pakistan”,
published in Information
Discovery and Delivery,Vol.46
No. 1, pp. 67-75,
Monageng Mongalakwe, “The
use of documentary research
methods in social research”,
African Sociological Review,
Vol. 10 No. 1, 2006, pp. 221-230.
The Digital Policy, Regulation
and Governance guidelines
make it clear that articles must
be original and must not
infringe on any existing
copyright. The journal sincerely
apologises to its readers.
DOI 10.1108/DPRG-09-2017-0047 VOL. 20 NO. 4 2018, pp. 293-309, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2398-5038 jDIGITAL POLICY, REGULATION AND GOVERNANCE jPAGE 293
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, governmentshave spearheaded their initiatives in OGD (Adu et al.,2016;
Huijboom and Van den Broek, 2011;Meijer et al., 2012;Thornton and Thornton, 2013;
Zuiderwijk and Janssen, 2014b). It has been underlined in research that OGD initiatives of
government facilitate in 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
drawbacks in the online information released by the government in terms of non-availability
or lack of complete data sets. Likewise, there are barriers on the part of the government to
open their data sets owing to cultural constraints or issues of privacy and confidentiality
regarding sensitive information. Finally, the technological readiness of the country also
impacts the extent of OGD initiativesof the government (Gunnlaugsdottir, 2015).
OGD research has been more focused on the West especially because of the increased
number of OGD initiatives in the USA and Europe (Huijboom and Van den Broek, 2011;
Janssen et al.,2012;Zuiderwijk and Janssen, 2014a). However, OGDresearch is emerging
in developing countries as well (Saxena, 2017).Moreover, there are more studies which are
theoretical and conceptual in approach and underline the broad features of OGD and the
manner in which OGD is shaping in differentcontexts. Also, there is another stream of OGD
research which focuses upon underlining the impediments in OGD implementation and
usage (Charalabidis et al.,2016). However, there has been no study which has investigated
the utility of OGD in private sector and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Our
research seeks to plug the gap by soliciting perspectives from senior management
representatives from privatesector and NGOs as to how can OGD be useful in professional
settings in Indonesia. Also, we have solicited their views regarding the bottlenecks in touch
on OGD for professional purposes. Conceding that OGD research in Indonesia is lacking
and there is no systematic study on the manner in which the actual professional usage in
private sector and NGOs may be ensured, our research is a major contribution to the extant
The study is the first one to be conducted in Indonesia 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-focused
and not demand-driven. While conceding that there are ample usages of OGD for the
different economic sectors, the paperunderlines the need for refining the OGD initiatives of
Indonesia. The paper is structured as follows: a review of literature on OGD has been
attempted in the next section to derive the research question for the study; thereafter, an
independent section is devoted for research methodology; a discussion of the findings
follows thereafter and the paper concludes with concluding remarks, limitations, directions
for further research and implicationsfor society and practitioners.
In Indonesia, based on OECD Open Government Review Indonesia Highlight (Bappenas,
2016), the legal framework supporting innovation in Indonesia includes Law No. 25 of 2009
on Public Services and Law No. 5 of 2014 on the Civil Service, which provide a context for
government action to increase the quality of public services and enhance the flexibility and
transparency of the civil service. Additionally, Law No. 23 of 2014 on Local Government
supports innovative behavior through its creation of a de facto “right to innovate”, which
ensures legal protection to local innovators in case of failure. Institutionalreforms introduced
after the collapse of the New Order regime have brought statesociety relations in
Indonesia under increased security (Fernandes and Fresly, 2017). This paper uses an
evaluation of Law 25/2009 on Public Services as a means to assess whether the new

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