First Look

Jamaica launches Open Data Portal

Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining | | 2016-06-24 00:00:00

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology on behalf of the Government of Jamaica and its partners officially launched today the Jamaica Open Data Portal - available at - which will make government data easily and freely accessible online. This initiative is supported by the UK’s Department for International Development in collaboration with the World Bank.

Speaking in Parliament recently, Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley outlined the tremendous benefits to be obtained from this platform.  “It opens market opportunities for economically or socially viable services which are high in demand by our citizens and is consistent with the wider Government Transformation Initiative,” said Minister Wheatley.

Minister Wheatley explained that the establishment of the Portal is “part of Government’s drive towards greater transparency, and is intended to help drive increased investments through easier access to the data that investors require to inform their business decisions.”

The number of countries with open data programs has grown rapidly over the last few years, with more than 40 programs in the world. Jamaica is the first English-speaking Caribbean nation to launch an Open Data portal.

“Access to data and information can help citizens make informed decisions, but is also essential to make policies and programs more effective and accountable,” said Galina Sotirova, World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica.  “This is a very important step taken by the Government of Jamaica and can become an example for other Caribbean countries.”

In addition to the portal, an Open Data Policy is being developed and a series of training have taken place to build capacity among government officials on managing the portal and creating open budget data visualizations for the portal.

Posted By :Ernie Megginson

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