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Open government data (OGD) in six Middle East countries: an evaluation of the national open data portals

Stuti Saxena (Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, India)

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

ISSN: 2398-5038

Article publication date: 11 June 2018

Issue publication date: 4 July 2018




The purpose of this study is to do provide an overview of open government data (OGD) frameworks in six Middle East countries (Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and Jordan) and to underscore the barriers in using the open data sets.


OGD framework offered by Sieber and Johnson (2015) is deployed for the present purpose. Primarily, documentary analysis is being used for substantiating the study and the national portals of the six countries are investigated.


In line with the frameworks chosen for this study, OGD initiatives across the six Middle East countries are at an emerging phase. All the six countries qualify for the “data over the wall” model as advanced by Sieber and Johnson (2015), wherein there are basic provisions of “data aggregation.” Furthermore, the data are incomplete and outdated, which serve as barriers in using these data sets for analysis and interpretation. Therefore, there are a number of barriers in using the open data sets. However, there are many prospects for using these data sets which would improve public accountability and transparency in the long run.

Practical implications

Besides helping in improved decision-making, the governments may be in a better position to appreciate the relevance of adopting a robust OGD initiative in facilitating the economic growth of their country.

Social implications

This study is relevant for ensuring that citizen engagement is promoted and there is co-creation of public value.


Hitherto, OGD has been investigated in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) but the other countries in Middle East have not been investigated. This study selects six countries outside the GCC ambit and investigates the nature and scope of OGD initiatives in each of them apart from underlining the barriers in using the open data sets.



Saxena, S. (2018), "Open government data (OGD) in six Middle East countries: an evaluation of the national open data portals", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 310-322.



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