Chatham House has released a report, ‘Organizing for Influence: UK Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty’, which highlights open data as a necessary component of a much-needed UK foreign policy reform.
Part of the ‘Rethinking the UK’s International Ambitions and Choices’ project, the paper sets out recommendations for a foreign policy which can respond to a ‘workload that is about to increase dramatically’. Stating the need to ‘Develop the intelligence structures needed to support better decision-making, by building on its commitment to open data’ (p. 9), the report urges the UK to ‘make a commitment to:
(i) always reusing or improving existing data where possible, rather than building its own datasets;
(ii) developing datasets jointly with partners where it does not; and
(iii) ensuring that all data it develops with international partners are published in an open, standardized format.’ (p.27)
If heeded, these recommendations will make an important contribution to the International Aid Transparency Initiative which aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.