Saint Lucia Open Data Readiness Report
Saint Lucia is the first country in the Caribbean to take part in an Open Data and Open Budget Readiness Assessment, as part of the World Bank’s program of assistance to the Caribbean region, and with the partnership and support of the UK Department of International Development.
At the launch of the initiative on 5 June 2014, the Minister for Public Service, Sen Hon Dr. James Fletcher expressed strong support for an Open Data Program in Saint Lucia, saying “It is about making data available to the general public so that they can come up with their own conclusions on whether Government agencies are performing in a way we should be performing.”
This Assessment shows that Saint Lucia could achieve a successful Open Data Program, and makes recommendations on how that could be implemented. The Minister’s support was a powerful signal of the high-level government support for the initiative, and a similar level of support was found among other senior officials at the Ministry of Public Service, the Ministry of Finance and other key Ministries. It will be important to consolidate this support and turn it into a clear declaration of intent supported by a detailed policy.
Despite the limited resources of Saint Lucia, a considerable amount of key data is available in digital form and could be published as Open Data relatively easily. This includes financial information, core reference information such as maps, company register and weather, census and statistical information, education information, tourism information and other “high value” datasets.
Some of this data is important for transparency and accountability itself. In addition, it is clear that there is a substantial appetite for data from the business community and from prospective investors in Saint Lucia. Therefore, this Assessment also suggests how Open Data could contribute to economic growth and foreign direct investment, including in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism.