Latin America is one of the regions where the open data and civic technology agenda has been thoroughly discussed, promoted and adopted.These debates are no longer framed as ex- amples of developing countries trying to keep up with the agenda of more developed nations, but as instances that show Latin America’s own equally signi cant contributions to the global di- alogue. For example, the last International Open Data Conference (IODC1) was held in Argentina, even though it had previously always been organized in the Global North. Moreover, at least six countries in the region have been positioned among the 20 best in the world, according to the most recent editions of the two most important rankings on the subject (Open Data Barometer 2and Open Data Index3). Latin America is also the region with the largest number of adherents to the Open Data International Charter. In addition, local governments have ready, to a greater or lesser extent, to work on the open data agenda to combat issues as complex as corruption, among others (Scrollini 2018, April 24th).
These developments in the open data and civic tech agenda have taken place due to the ini- tiatives of di erent actors, including government leaders, civil society, social innovators, the pri- vate sector, academia, international organizations and social impact investors. The consecutive meetings of AbreLatam and ConDatos,4 two regional events that have fueled the development of both an open data community in Latin America and civic technology in the region, are clear examples of progress in advancing the agenda. There is certainly a foundation of initiatives and policies that are already installed. However, there remains more work to be done: only 12 coun- tries in Latin America (out of 33) currently have open data policies (Mora y Scrollini, 2018).
In this context, at the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) we think that it is import- ant not only to explore the various projects and organizations working on open data and civic technology, but also to understand what value they have added—or have tried to add—or can add in the future, the kind of resources they have, and the challenges they face in their e orts to achieve the results expected in their region.
To that end, we need to diagnose the current state of open data in the region, identify the projects and actors and, at the same time, understand the criteria by which to measure success so that the region can move to a higher level of development as regards open data and civic tech. Importantly, we want to understand and learn not only from successes but also from fail- ures so as to identify the structural problems that doomed the latter projects.
In this report, we argue the need for this measurement tool. First, we will address the issue of civic technology and organizations from a conceptual perspective. Second, we will present data relevant to the analysis of this ecosystem. Third, we will present case studies that represent these organizations. Finally, we will provide a list of suggestions for future research and further progress in this eld.