Open Data Strategy 2017-2022


A national Open Data Strategy for 2017-2022 was approved by Government and published in July 2017.  The Strategy builds on the substantial achievements made in implementing the Open Data Initiative since it was instigated in 2014.

The Strategy was prepared under the leadership of the Open Data Governance Board with input from key stakeholder representatives from business, civil society groups, researchers/academia, librarians/information professionals and the Public Bodies Working Group on Open Data. The Strategy was drafted on foot of a ‘Foundation Document for the development of the Public Service Open Data Strategy’ published in 2015 which was subject to a public consultation process.  A further short public consultation was also undertaken in June 2017 to provide an opportunity for everyone to reflect on our priorities for Open Data and how Open Data can be fully utilised to ensure the potential benefits are realised. 

The Strategy sets out actions under seven strategic themes:

  • broaden the range of public bodies actively engaged in the Open Data initiative;
  • broaden the scope of the Initiative and improve the quality, quantity and range of datasets available on the Portal data.gov.ie;
  • continued engagement with stakeholders and encourage the use of Open Data;
  • support and encourage various groups of Open Data Users,
  • the provision of a framework to support and train public bodies in their Open Data activities;
  • evaluation of the impacts and benefits of the Initiative; and
  • ensuring that effective governance structures are in place to implement the Strategy.

Two core objectives are the publication of high value government data in open format, making it publicly available and freely reusable; and engaging with a broad community of stakeholders to promote its social and economic benefits.

The necessary actions to achieve the objectives of the Strategy are set out in an Implementation Plan which specifies the responsible body for each action and a timeframe for delivery. Some of the key actions include:

  • Each public body to carry out a data audit of their datasets and to put in place a publication plan which will ensure the priority release of high-value datasets as Open Data;
  • Identifying opportunities to encourage the use of Open Data and to engage with Stakeholders;
  • In the longer term a move to ensure that all newly created datasets are ‘open by default’ as a matter of course;
  • Provision of a procurement framework to support public bodies in their open data activities;
  • Improving the quality and range of services provided through the national Open Data portal;
  • Broadening the scope of the initiative over time to include other publicly funded organisations and other bodies such as semi state bodies;
  • Carry out and publish an evaluation of the impact, benefit and risks of Open Data;
  • In the longer term a move to ensure that all newly created datasets are ‘open by default’ as a matter of course;
  • Provision of a procurement framework to support public bodies in their open data activities;
  • Improving the quality and range of services provided through the national Open Data portal;
  • Broadening the scope of the initiative over time to include other publicly funded organisations and other bodies such as semi state bodies;
  • Carry out and publish an evaluation of the impact, benefit and risks of Open Data;
  • The nomination of an Open Data Liaison Officer within each public body;

The aims of this Strategy are supported by the ‘Open Data Technical Framework’ published in 2015, which underpins the publication of datasets on the national Open Data portal in line with agreed standards thus facilitating re-use and interoperability, and the ‘Foundation Document for the development of the Public Service Open Data Strategy’ published in 2015.

The Minister's Press Release can be seen here 

A blog post by Emer Coleman, the then Chair of the Open Data Governance Board can be read here