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Title:The Value of Public Sector Information as a Strategic Resource to Civil Society Organizations' in South Africa: Evidence from the Fight to Eradicate Poverty
Subject(s):public sector information
civil society organizations
poverty reduction, socioeconomic development
absorptive capacity
Abstract:The public sector in most countries is the biggest single producer and owner of a large variety of information. Governments create, collect, manage, and store vast quantities of data and information and increasingly try to disseminate much of it online (see Steinberg & Mayo, 2007). The data and information that are produced by and for public sector bodies include, for example, health and education data, geographic data, financial reports, social and economic statistics, legislation and judicial proceedings, food and water resources data, and many other kinds of data and information, collectively referred to as Public Sector Information (PSI). Given the special characteristics of the PSI (e.g., comprehensiveness, reliability, timeliness, and accuracy), this information is considered by different stakeholders to have economic, social, and political values (Uhlir, 2004; Abd Hadi & McBride, 2000; Sheriff, 2000; Young, 1992). These information resources are used broadly by public-sector organizations themselves, through intra- and inter-governmental exchange of information (see Sheriff, 2000; Abd Hadi & McBride, 2000); by privatesector companies in general and by information industry firms in particular as reusers, to use it in their operations or to produce value-added information products and services (Abd Hadi & McBride, 2000; Young, 1992); by scientific communities (e.g., employment information is now used extensively in the social sciences and in policy making; and data from public health organizations play a growing role in the advancement of life sciences) (see Arzberger et al., 2004) ; by individual users (e.g., for health and educational purposes and for making social and economic decisions); and by civil society organizations (e.g., the use of geospatial data, economic statistics, health and education information for poverty mapping and other related activities) (see CIESIN, 2006).
Issue Date:2009-02-08
Genre:Conference Poster
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-04-03

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