311 for Cities: Best Practices in Data Policies

How To, Guide, or Manual National Resource Network May 15, 2016 Finance + Operation

In May 2016, a city submitted a request through the National Resource Network’s 311 for Cities feature inquiring about how to structure a data policy specifically focusing on data management, security, and privacy, primarily, but also storage, terms of use, monetization and data sharing. The attached write-up was researched, developed and shared by the Network to provide a summary of key decision points, guiding principles, and city examples.

Whether transitioning to a “default-to-open” approach or selectively releasing discrete data sets over time, it is important for local governments to be clear on what, how, and when data will released, along with several other important factors like how the data will be managed, ensuring the privacy of residents, and establishing the data’s terms of use.

The Network recommends webinar resources from the National League of Cities that offer strategies around leadership, legislation, funding and more. It links to a report with case studies from several U.S. cities. The Network also shares a number of other resources and guidebooks with guidance on how to manage open source data.

311 for Cities launched with the Network in 2014 and – at its peak – was available to more than 600 cities around the country. Local government staff in these communities could submit a question on any challenge they were facing and the Network team would develop a written response highlighting recent research, relevant case studies and best practices. This is one of those responses. The Network no longer offers 311 for Cities, but please contact us at info@nationalresourcenetwork.org if you think we can be of help to your community.

311 for Cities: Best Practices in Data Policies