Public Sector Information and Open Data: A Focus on Sweden


  • Proscovia Svärd Mid Sweden University



open data, PSI directive, Open data, PSI directive, Data and Digital Divide and Government Institutions.


Good governance and inclusive development require governments to make their information flows accessible to all citizens. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 advocates the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, with the emphasis being placed on access to government information. Apart from this Sustainable Development Goal, globally, several open-data initiatives and advocates of freedom of information are pushing governments to open up their data flows. Open data are seen as a driver of public service innovation that generates new knowledge and enables the creation of new electronic services. The narrative about open data assumes that the data are within reach of the citizens to explore and to develop new electronic services based on, for example, statistical, mobility, meteorological, judicial and court data to boost national innovation. However, research shows the contrary that open data are still concentrated in the hands of a few people such as politicians, journalists, system developers and data miners. This raises questions about the openness of the data. In Sweden, most of the interactions that citizens have are with the municipalities because they offer a broad range of public services. This is why the researcher argues that to promote awareness and open data usage by ordinary citizens, the Swedish government should work with the municipalities to create platforms for the exploitation of the data and to facilitate the development of technical expertise. If open data are to be inclusive, the data will require the involvement of citizens in the current open-data developments.


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How to Cite

Svärd, P. (2021) “Public Sector Information and Open Data: A Focus on Sweden”, Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies, 38(4), p. 12 pages. doi: 10.25159/2663-659X/8193.



Received 2020-08-06
Accepted 2020-11-10
Published 2021-02-10