Edmonton shows global leadership in open government

International Open Data Charter

Edmonton aspires to fulfill its leadership role as a preeminent global city: innovative, inclusive and engaged. Edmonton is the first organization in Canada and the United States to adopt the International Open Data Charter, a global action network that aims to provide governments with a common foundation to realize the full potential of the open data movement.

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Edmonton as an Open City

As an open city, our entire organization is working to build new ways to share information with citizens, to find new opportunities for dialogue and to make our services easier to access. Through the application of our Open Data Strategy, Edmonton will continue to demonstrate international leadership in the practice of open government and will fulfill its role as a preeminent global city.

Why has Edmonton decided to adopt the International Open Data Charter?

Edmonton is a leader in Canada’s implementation of open government. By adopting the International Open Data Charter, Edmonton is aligning itself with the international open data community and global best practice standards.
As the first adopter in Canada and the United States, Edmonton’s re-commits itself to open government leadership. Also, the International Open Data Charter will be revised every two years with new best practice standards and this will aid Edmonton in evaluating itself against updated benchmarks.

Who are the Stewards of the International Open Data Charter?

In Canada, the Government of Canada is the Lead Steward of the Open Data Charter. The Government of Canada also funds another Steward Open North - a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Canada’s adoption of open government. Open North has an established relationship with the City of Edmonton both through support for the adoption of the Charter and planning for the upcoming Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS 2017) in June of 2017.

Is there a cost associated with the International Open Data Charter?

No, there is no registration cost associated with adopting the International Open Data Charter. The Open Data Charter working group is a volunteer-based organization and expenses for members are incurred by the Steward and Lead Steward’s organizations (ex. Open North or Government of Canada). The International Open Data Charter provides best practice standards that are integrated into Edmonton’s existing Open Data Program. No additional operating funds or resources are required to pursue or maintain the International Open Data Charter.

What is the benefit for Edmontonians?

As an open city, our entire organization is working to build new ways to share information with Edmontonians, to find new opportunities for dialogue and to make our services easier to access. Adopting the International Open Data Charter reinforces that the City of Edmonton values citizen engagement and strives for global leadership in furthering its interpretation of open government.

What is the International Open Data Charter?

Put simply, it is a set of six principles guiding the release of government data to the public.  

Why is Edmonton the first organization in Canada and the United States to adopt the International Open Data Charter?

At this time, the International Open Data Charter has not been adopted by any Canadian or American organizations. However, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board with the Government of Canada, has recently announced the Government of Canada’s intentions to adopt the International Open Data Charter. As a City, we have been in the forefront of the open government movement in both Canada and the United States. Edmonton is not content to follow the lead of other organizations and looks for opportunities to align itself to global best practices. Adopting the International Open Data Charter continues Edmonton’s commitment to be a world class City and confirm to citizens that Edmonton is accessible, transparent and inclusive.

How will progress in implementing the International Open Data Charter be monitored?

The Open Data Strategy was published in January of 2017 to provide an action plan to realize the value of open data. This strategy details the operational delivery mechanisms that will be used to implement the International Open Data Charter, the time bound actions to demonstrate progress and the appropriate metrics to evaluate performance.

What are the operational delivery mechanisms that will be used to implement the International Open Data Charter?

  • Governance
  • Citizen Engagement
  • External Partnerships
  • Knowledge Management
  • Technical
  • Value Realization


The International Open Data Charter provides governments with a common foundation to implement and evaluate their open data programs. Adopting the International Open Data Charter is critical to Edmonton’s leadership commitment to open government as Edmonton would be the first organization to do so in Canada and the United States.
The international Open Data Charter has the potential to accelerate progress by placing actionable data in the hands of people.
-Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web