Understanding motivations of citizens to reuse open data: open government data as a philanthropic movement

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The purpose of the article is to understand the socioeconomic conditions and driving forces that facilitate and motivate civic developers to reuse open data and create their own data-driven services, often on a free of charge, i.e., philanthropic basis. The recent emergence of myriad independent civic open data-driven projects in many parts of the world promise to propose new participatory ways to meet the needs of local communities and find cost-effective solutions to various issues at local levels of governance such as better urban planning, improvement of public transportation routes, crime rates mapping, assessment of public services, public scrutiny of lobbying activity, etc. However, the competitive market in the e-commerce sector often leaves little economic niches for independent civic developers to hope for big revenues from the promotion of such projects, especially considering the fact that the vast majority of them are implemented at local levels and their target audiences are usually small to ensure even economic self-sustainability. In this regard, the purpose of the paper is to understand what motivates civic developers, who often call themselves technically savvy citizens or independent developers, to step in and begin to reuse open data, which is published by local governments, considering that the creation of such data-driven projects is time and money consuming business, and, more importantly, elaborate on what kind of challenges these civic stakeholders face on the way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalInnovation: Management, Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Open data
  • open data-driven projects
  • open access
  • Open innovation
  • motivation
  • Finland
  • Stakeholder opinion
  • stakeholders
  • e-government
  • e-democracy
  • Digital government
  • Digital politics
  • Digital democracy
  • Public policy
  • public administration
  • e-participation
  • e-collaboration
  • Open government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Development
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management

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