Open Public Data

The development of Public Sector Information Re-use in Hong Kong

14 May 2020 Hong Kong Open Data Index published



Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

25-29 November 2019, Berlin


Open Government Partnership Asia Pacific Forum

5/6 November 2018


25 May 2018,  Invotech Smarter Cities Series:

Hong Kong’s Unique Open Data Policy – how should we begin?


This section chronicles the development of Open Data or Public Sector Information in Hong Kong and beyond, starting with the OECD 2008 conference on the Future of the Internet Economy in Seoul, where open data principles were first presented to national governments.

3 March 2018 Open Data Day in Hong Kong


20 November 2017, Seminar: Opening research data in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s research universities are producing world-class research, however, much of it is not easily accessible. How can we make better use of the data?  In the global science community, FAIR data is one of the initiatives to make data accessible data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. With EU open science programs, the Go-FAIR initiative and the NIH Big Data 2 Knowledge program what does Hong Kong need to do to keep up with these global policy movements? As a participant of many of these EU and US programs, Prof. Susanna Assunta Sansone, the associate director of FAIR Data Science at Oxford University will speak about the potential of research data for innovation. Innovation through open data – what can we do in Hong Kong?


June 2017  Open Research Data – an opportunity to support Hong Kong’s innovation strategy 

Research paper



26-29 July 2017, Bangkok

The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum


22-23 June 2017, The Hague

UN Public Service Forum: The Future is Now – Accelerating Public Service Innovation for Agenda 2030

Speaking on Data Governance in Session on Sustainable Cities


25 January 2017, Hong Kong

Digital Innovation Meeting

Data Science and Open Data: How to use data for business?

French Chamber of Commerce


7-9 December 2016,  Paris

Open Government Partnership Global Summit


27-29 July 2016

Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance, Taipei

Theme this year: The New Internet Era


An update on open data developments will be published after the event


14-15 December 2015

UNESCAP Data and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainability


27-29 October 2015

Open Government Partnership Summit, Mexico City


15 July 2015

Democratising the Data Revolution

How could democratic engagement with data infrastructures look like? Should we not only look at what data becomes available on sites, but also discuss what is measured in the first place? These are questions, Jonathan Grey, Director of Policy and Research at OKFN, raises in a just published discussion paper.

The fascination of Opendata Communities with how many data sets are published, is perhaps no longer that relevant, particularly as we realize that information which might be useful is not available.

Grey suggests three interventions, which civil society including open data groups should consider:

1. Changing existing forms of measurement

2. Advocating new forms of measurement

3. Undertaking new forms of measurement

Read the discussion paper


21 April 2015 Hong Kong

ODHK Meet.28:  Discussion on the newly launched site

Three years after, the HK Government now adopts the international naming standards of public sector information sites


11-13 December 2014, Daegu, Korea

Data as Social Culture: Networked Innovation and Government 3.0

DISC Conference


Open Data in Asia: A study on Open Data Policies in 13 countries:

Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam

You can download the study here Open Data Asia 10-2014

Presentation of preliminary  results on 11 July 2014,  School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Hong Kong, 4 p.m.


2-3 October 2014, Data-Driven Innovation for a Resilient Society,Tokyo

4th OECD Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy

Synthesis of the event and webcast here:


20 June 2014, Friedrich Naumann Foundation : Regional Office for Southeast and East Asia, Bangkok

Talk on “Open Data in Asia”, drawing on a study of Open Data in 13 countries in Asia


 6-7 May 2014, Nusa Dua, Indonesia

Open Government Partnership Asia Pacific Regional Meeting

Unlocking Innovative Openness: Impetus to Greater Citizen Engagement


3 April 2014,  Hong Kong’s Information Challenge

Is Hong Kong much less a developed information society than officially proclaimed?

The two investigation reports by the Ombudsman released last week about the Access to Information Regime and Public Records Management should be taken as a serious warning signal.

The reports are focusing on two intertwined issues; one about access to information and data, one about the overall governance of public information. The quality of the records management system makes citizens trust or doubt data.

My comments on the report, published in the South China Morning Post on 3 April 2014


19-20 March 2014, Athens, Greece

European Data Forum


13 January 2014, Yangon, Myanmar

A short report about the potential for open data in Myanmar

Early Stage of Information Society
Early Stage of Information Society

Myanmar – Developing a Knowledge Society from Scratch

The Worldbank Knowledge Economy Index ranks Myanmar as second lowest among 157 countries across all key variables relating to ICT, innovation, education and economic incentive/institutional regime; Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perception Index lists Myanmar in the bottom group of countries, and the most recent Internet World Statistics (2012) shows that internet penetration is around 1%, although with the entry of two international telecom operators, Telenor and Ooredoo, rolling out voice and data services nationwide starting this month, these figures are expected to move up fast. The growth of internet access in Myanmar will predominantly be mobile internet access. 7% of the population use mobile phones; the lowest cost for an Android smartphone (with Myanmar font) is 60-70 USD and a SIM card with data services cost between 5 and 130 USD, depending on the channel through which one gets access to a SIM. Huawei’s smartphones are the market leader at the moment, followed by Samsung.

With the opening of the country in the past 2-3 years, what are the prospects for building the foundations for a knowledge society?

Read more:


23-24 November 2013, Brussels

Accountability, Transparency and Access to Information

International Council on Archives


16-18 September 2013, Geneva

Open Knowledge Conference

Session on 16 September, 14:00

Short talks: Open Government around the World

1 slide on Open Data in Hong Kong : Opening Data – a little bit: Hong Kong’s Initiative

OkCon -Ritter 2013

A short conference report about Open Data Developments in Asia, read here Asia- Open Data – OKCon – 2013


4-6 September 2013, Seoul

Open Data Policies in Asia-Pacific

Workshop and panel discussion at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) with country presentations from Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia and Japan


8 August 2013, Hong Kong

Roundtable on Open Government Licensing


5-7 August 2013, Hong Kong

Open Cultural Data and Open Science: two special sessions at the international OpenSym conference


14, 18-19 May 2013

Make.01 Hackathon using, organised by OpendataHK

Follow the event on Twitter #ODHK


12-14 April 2013, London

GLAM-Wiki Conference @ the British Library

Open cultural data developments in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums


22 March 2013, Macau

Creating Socio-Economic Value through Open Public Data

Lecture at the University of Macau, Department of Government and Public Administration


8 March 2013

Article on “The Future of Company Registry Data is open”

A modified version of the article was published in the South China Morning Post on 7 March 2013

You can download it here: Companies Registry Data 05-03-13


7 March 2013, Fukuoka, Japan

International Symposium: Open Data in Asia

Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Centre


23 February 2013,  Open Data Day

Open Data Day with activities in more than 100 cities around the world, see list here

In Hong Kong, the day was marked with several open data sessions during a Barcamp this event, a Google+ group was created for those interested to further develop the open data community in Hong Kong


4 December 2012,  Hong Kong

Hong Kong hosted the largest international gathering of senior museum and archives practitioners, directors, senior decision makers, academics, and students in dialogue on Future Culture: [In]Tangible Heritage, Design, Cross Media. Hong Kong, as Asia’s world city, it is poised to be a regional hub for cutting-edge exhibition design, technology and knowledge transfer.

As a special for the business community, we are organising an event on 4 December on Open Data in the Cultural Sector, where Europeana, the digital cultural repository will be discussed.  This event is in collaboration with the European Chamber of Commerce and Creative Commons Hong Kong.


28-31 October 2012,  Taipei

Codata: Open Data & Information for Changing Planet

I presented a paper in the session “National and Regional Policies on Data and Information” on 30 Oct, 8:30 – 10:00


18-20 July 2012  Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum, Tokyo

Session: Open Data Policy Development in Asia


28/29 April 2012, Transparency Camp

An unconference on Open Data in Washington D.C.

Organised by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organisation that advocates greater government openness and transparency by engaging individual citizens and communities – technologists, policy advisors,  business, open government interest groups and ordinary citizens  – to explore and create new tools and websites that increase access and usage of public information.

Here is a short summary of the event and a video clip:  Around 400 participants from public sector, local, national and international government agencies, civil society and business discussed a wide range of topics relating to open data applications, policies and strategies.  A full schedule including sessions summaries can be viewed here:

–          Open data and linked open data

–          The 311 standard

–          Getting buy-in from civil servants in open data initiatives

–          Open data in public procurement

–          Economic benefits of open data


Digital Cities: Open Data Developments in New York, London and Hong Kong

Hong Kong likes to compare itself to New York and London, and is trying to catch up with the open data movement which is thriving in those cities, and has become one of most promising ways to increase governance, civic participation, and innovation in a city.

Open Data initiatives are thriving in cities because ideas for service innovation are often rooted in densely populated, diverse and shared urban spaces where people often need just-in-time information to navigate the city, such as real-time public transport information, weather information, information about environment, energy, health, culture, but also information about policy decisions with affect life in the city and future developments, such as information about housing policy, municipal budgting, and demographics.

Three Cities and their Open Data portals

New York City’s  open data site has hundreds of data sets from all public agencies from education to culture to business and economics.

London’s data store offers several hundred data sets covering topics from overcrowded households to borough community patterns and live traffic disruption.

Hong Kong’s currently has two sets of data – real time traffic information and Geo-referenced public facilities data.

Read the whole article here: PSI-HK-NYC-LON-March2012


Seminar on 30 November 2011

Joint event by Eurocham Hong Kong and HK Foresight Centre

“Innovation through Information”

Creating innovative Apps and Services using open government data and learning from the European digital community

Download seminar flyer Eurocham Seminar PSI-30 Nov 2011

Data.One – the Add Value Machine to build Hong Kong’s Knowledge Economy

My presentation at the workshop can be downloaded here Eurocham PSI-Ritter


UN Internet Governance Forum, 27-30 September 2011, Nairobi, Kenya

Main theme of the meeting is: ‘Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation‘.

A workshop on Public Sector Information – towards a Global Policy Framework will be held on 30 September 2011. Remote participation is possible, as well as following the event’s web-casting or tweets #IGF11.

Details of the PSI workshop:


Promoting Public Sector Information in Hong Kong:

Beginning in September 2011, a marketing campaign to increase awareness of value added re-use of PSI will be launched; accompanied by seminars, trainings, and a competition for best concept and application. The campaign will run until February 2012 and details will be published on a dedicated website shortly.


Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2011, Berlin 30 June/1 July

OKCon is a wide-ranging conference that brings together individuals and organizations from across the open knowledge spectrum for two days of presentations, workshops and exchange of ideas.


European Commission, DG Information Society  1st Digital Agenda Assembly,  Brussels  16/17 June 2011

Workshop on Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information

Follow the event on Twitter #daa11psi


Innovation through Information: PSI re-use experience in Hong Kong + Europe

Seminar: 7 June 2011, European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong


The Economic Impact of Open Data

A wiki collecting case studies and references to the economic impact of open data.

Wiki on


Public Sector Information – an underutilized resource?

With the development of the knowledge economy, digital information collected and held by public sector organisations can be used by others to create new services and products. Information re-use is one of the most interesting examples of creating new markets in a digital environment; and public information is one of the largest untapped knowledge bases in Hong Kong.  How can we make better use of that data?  As an introduction to this topic, we are organising a seminar on copyright and licensing issues of public information, on 17 January 2011. For more information please visit


UN Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, September 2010

Workshop 120: Public Sector Information: Democratic, Social and Economic Potentials

The Workshop is taking place within the auspices of the Internet Governance Forum 2010: ‘Developing the Future Together’ and is jointly organised by Proyecto Aporta and the European Public Sector Information Platform.

The aim of the workshop is to become an open discussion forum and a meeting point for public sector, businesses and citizens in the endeavour to work together and understand and meet the challenges of unveiling the value of PSI in the digital economy and for the benefit of citizens and the whole society.


13 April 2010:  Paper on PSI Policy in Hong Kong presented at the Asialics Conference, read it here:  Asialics2010-PSI Paper


In December 2009, we organized a workshop on Public Sector Information Access and Re-use with invited senior government officials from different departments. This workshop was hosted by the Intellectual Property Department and introduced the PSI situation in Australia and Hong Kong. Jane Cotterill presented the open access strategy to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The presentation can be downloaded here: I gave an overview on international PSI policy development in the OECD and EU.

Background of PSI:

At the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy, which took place 17-18 June 2008 in Seoul, the member states adopted the recommendation for Enhanced Access and More Effective Use of Public Sector Information (see for the official document). While Hong Kong is not member of the OECD, Hong Kong is an advanced information society and the principles of the recommendations could serve as serve as guideline for PSI policies in the territory.

In the following year, I attended a conference on “Unlocking IP” in 2009 in Sydney, which was about the potential economic value of open public information. You can download most of the presentations here:

A good overview on Public Sector Information Access initiatives in Australia and the region is kept up to date by Prof. Anne Fitzgerald at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

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