Do-It-Yourself Open Data Pilot Project for Municipal Governments now underway


May 31, 2017

By Jean-Noé Landry (Executive Director, Open North) and Mélanie Robert (Executive Director, Information Management and Open Government, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)

Open data has spread rapidly across all levels of government in Canada. Many municipalities were early adopters and now have thriving and popular open data programs and initiatives. From coast-to-coast-to-coast, towns and cities are adopting open data policies, developing open data roadmaps as part of their open government strategic plans, launching open data portals, and increasingly offering more public data in open formats. Still more cities large and small are intrigued by open data and want to use it to serve their residents better.

To help cities accelerate open government, Open North, with support from the Government of Canada, is piloting the development of a do-it-yourself (DIY) open data toolkit for municipalities. The DIY toolkit, which will be available on the portal, will provide comprehensive guidelines and a step-by-step process to allow municipalities to initiate an open data program.

In particular, the toolkit will cover a range of topics including open data basics, governance, principles and policy, standards, use cases, infrastructure, operations, community engagement, risk assessment, and forward planning. The toolkit is expected to spur a new generation of open data initiatives across the country. This will, in turn, enhance government transparency, accountability, and service delivery while providing new opportunities for economic development and social innovation. In addition to the advisory committee (with members drawn from multiple municipalities across Canada) overseeing the development of the toolkit, initial conversations with provinces and territories have reflected the utility of this initiative for municipalities across Canada. We are also pleased to have the International Open Data Charter Secretariat participate in the design of the project to align the content of the toolkit with international best practices.

This project is a timely opportunity to build on Open North's existing and new relationships with leading Canadian cities and international partners to support the expansion of the local open data ecosystem. Cities see their peers moving ahead. We must ensure that they don't fall behind. For the federal government, the DIY toolkit is part of a broader commitment in our Third Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership, in which we committed to expanding "collaboration with provincial, territorial, and municipal partners on further standardizing and harmonizing the delivery of open government data across jurisdictions."

The DIY toolkit will be presented at the Canadian Open Data Summit, and will be released shortly after.

For more information about this project, please contact OpenNorth at or the Government of Canada at

Jean-Noé LandryJean-Noé Landry, Executive Director of Open North, heads Canada's leading not-for-profit organization specialized in open data and civic technology. Open North focuses on strategic planning and applied research on open data, stakeholder engagement and data needs assessments, civil society advocacy initiatives, and technological projects and services, including its online Citizen Budget simulator used by more than 75 cities across North America.


Mélanie RobertMélanie Robert is the Executive Director of Information Management and Open Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). She leads the Government of Canada's efforts to be more open, transparent and accountable and to manage information as effectively as possible. She is also the Open Government Partnership's Point of Contact for the Government of Canada.


Add comment *

Provision of the information requested on this form is voluntary. The information is being collected for the purpose of responding to your inquiry or comments, and to improve our suite of online products and services. Personal information that you provide is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act. Please do not include sensitive personal information in the message, such as your Social Insurance Number, personal finance data and medical or work history.

Read the Privacy Statement for this Website.

The collection and use of your personal information is authorized by the section 7 of the Financial Administrative Act. Collection and use of your personal information for is in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Your personal information is used to respond to your inquiries, if applicable, and may be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in responding to client needs. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., investigation of hackers, or of individuals who make abusive remarks or threats, etc.), personal information may be disclosed without your consent pursuant to subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.

Any personal information that may be collected is described in the Standard Personal Information Bank entitled Public Communications, PSU 914, which can be found in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) publication: InfoSource. The personal information collected will only be kept by TBS for a period of eighteen months of the completion of activity after which all personal identifiers will be deleted.

Under the Privacy Act, you have the right of access to, and correction of, your personal information, if you have provided any. Note however, that to exercise either of these rights, you must make a request for access to your personal information before the retention period has expired. For more information about your right of access, please read About the Access to information Program.

If you require clarification about this Statement, contact the TBS Privacy Coordinator at 613-957-7154. For more information about your privacy rights and the Privacy Act, consult the Privacy Commissioner through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website or 1-800-282-1376.