Documents/4P4BPS/4: Collaboration/4.2: Public Goods

4.2: Public Goods

Unleash government's power as a provider of public goods

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Unleashing government's power as a provider of public goods -- Governments have for decades provided a set of public goods such as national defense and free-to-air TV. Open data -- the release of massive, publicly-held data sets in machine-readable "liquid" form that can readily be used by developers -- is arguably a new type of public good, with the potential to spur innovation among companies and other nongovernment entities. Todd Park, the US chief technology officer, has hosted "Datapaloozas" -- events at which innovators and entrepreneurs build cost-saving apps using the more than 350 government data sets from 12 US health agencies, available on Similarly, opening up education data sets in several countries has spurred the creation of start-ups that use the data to improve teacher quality, reduce infrastructure costs, optimize school locations, and in general help educators do more with less.