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The Global Impact of Open Data by Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young

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Chapter 10. Mexico’s Mejora Tu Escuela

Empowering Citizens to Make Data-Driven Decisions About Education

Summary: Founded by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), with support from Omidyar Network and others, Mejora Tu Escuela (http://mejoratuescuela.org) is an online platform that provides citizens with information about school performance. It helps parents choose the best option for their children, empowers them to demand higher-quality education, and gives them tools to get involved in their children’s schooling. It also provides school administrators, policymakers and NGOs with data to identify areas requiring improvement and hotbeds of corruption, in the process raising the overall quality of education in Mexico.

Dimension of Impact: Empowering Citizens—Informed Decision-making

Key Takeaways:

  • Making previously inaccessible information available to the public is a major public service, but a necessary next step involves giving citizens a means to meaningfully act on that information.

  • Platforms to reduce corruption run up against powerful vested interests. Open data advocates need to develop strategies not only to source and disseminate information, but also to push back against these interests. The challenges are as much social and political as they are technical.

  • In cases where governments are reluctant to release potentially damaging information to the public, civil society can play an important role in finding creative ways ...

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