University of São Paulo: Public policies need the transparency of government data

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Transparency of government data is a tool for implementing public policies and measuring the population’s quality of life. With these objectives, a research compares the urban indexes of the city of São Paulo with the ISOs, international levelers for sustainable, intelligent and resilient cities. For Harmi Takiya, geologist, PhD from the Institute of Geosciences (IGC) at USP and post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Production Engineering at the Polytechnic School (Poli) at USP, the data “must always seek to improve the quality of life of the population” .

The statistical analysis of the indices found by the researchers has practical application in the daily lives of the people. “These big cities have themes, challenges to be faced. For example, energy efficiency, waste production, mobility, decent housing”. reveals her. Thus, the comparison of the indicators of the ISOs with the 572 metrics of the Observatory of Indicators of the City of São Paulo (ObservaSampa) revealed that 20% correspond. “I considered it a lot because the population can already make a direct comparison with the indicators”.

The research also concluded that, between 2009 and 2020, the budget resources allocated by the City to the areas of sport/leisure and agriculture were disproportionate to the increase in population. In addition, in Harmi’s view, the latest finding was a “positive anomaly” in 2020, when the City Hall implemented specific programs to assist the population.

Use of data
The purposes for applying and researching the data are several, according to the geologist: “Several NGO observatories also use open public data, mainly governmental, to carry out their studies”, she exemplifies. As a standard, the information must be represented in digital, open and properly referenced format. The most important thing, according to her, is that “anyone can access it freely, can use this data, can modify it and can work with it”.

The individual can monitor, participate and propose public policies following the Three Governmental Open Data Laws, guidelines indicated by expert David Eaves. The data must be found on the web, be in a machine-understandable format and be replicable in order to be useful. “This discussion of smart cities is closely related to information, data transparency and access to them, because it brings greater empowerment to the population”, explains Harmi.

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