From portal to policy: how Open Data can be used to achieve policy outcomes

Michael Canares

25 Apr 2017, 11:45 a.m.
Room 4

This paper presents a case study on how Gerak Aceh, an anti-corruption advocacy group in Banda Aceh Indonesia uses Open Data as a tool to influence provincial mining policy.

Gerak Aceh worked with the provincial information officers of Aceh province to convince the provincial government agencies concerned to disclose mining-related information.

Because of several challenges in working with provincial mining officials, Gerak Aceh took on its own the task of proactively disclosing mining data through its own portal. Gerak Aceh then trained Civil Society Organisations to use the Open Data and were able to come up with analysis and visualisations of tax payments and debts of mining companies to governments, permit issuance, among others.

The outputs of the training were used to educate other organisations on the need for the moratorium to be extended to allow reforms in mining governance.

Gerak Aceh conducted not just information dissemination, but also mobilisations/rallies to put pressure on the provincial government to pursue the moratorium, given that there are many issues that need to be resolved – including, among others, the overlapping of mining permit concession areas with conservation forests, the proliferation of mining permits that are not Clean and Clear, and the non-payment of dues to the government from mining companies.

Finally, after hard work and in collaboration with other sectors, Gerak Aceh was able to convince the provincial government to extend the moratorium to 2017. Data-based advocacy was the main factor in this victory, as Gerak Aceh and its partners were able to show through the data they gathered and analysed, that the provincial government still needs to do more through reforms before considering issuing more permits.