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Prospects of open government data (OGD) in facilitating the economic diversification of GCC region

Stuti Saxena (Department of Political Science, Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, India and Siraj Quryat Trading and Contracting LLC., Muscat, Oman)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




As the ongoing oil prices’ crisis is emerging as a major cause of concern for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the constituent governments are attempting at undertaking measures of economic diversification to attain long-term sustainability. The author posits that open government data (OGD) has a significant role to play in facilitating the economic turnaround of the GCC region, given that OGD promotes innovation and economic growth besides providing avenues for collaboration and participation among different stakeholders.


Following a structured literature review, the paper scans literature on OGD followed by providing a typology of countries on the basis of their OGD-adherence (“laggard”, “caged”, “forerunner” and “champ”). This is followed by a discussion on the ongoing oil prices’ crisis, and evidentiary support is lent by examples from the OGD portals of each of the six GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) to provide indicators as to how a robust OGD implementation may support their economic diversification objectives.


Although the present OGD framework of the GCC is relatively weak, it is asserted that OGD has immense potential in facilitating the economic diversification initiatives of the GCC countries. Therefore, the GCC needs to strategize upon institutionalization of their OGD initiatives for realizing their “vision” and goals of economic diversification to result in an economic turnaround effectively.


Besides providing a typology of countries as OGD-adherents and categorizing GCC as “forerunner(s)” on the basis of the typology, the originality of the study lies in its attempt to answer the research question: “what is the role of the OGD in facilitating the economic diversification of the GCC?” Conceding that the research on OGD in the GCC context is few and far between, the present study is a significant contribution to the extant literature pertaining to the roll-out of OGD in developing countries.



Saxena, S. (2017), "Prospects of open government data (OGD) in facilitating the economic diversification of GCC region", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 5/6, pp. 214-234.



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