Jackson, Mississippi Unveils Open Data Policy


Jackson, Mississippi is launching an open data policy according to an executive order signed this morning by Mayor Tony T. Yarber. The policy is notable as Jackson was included as one of the first round winners in the “What Works Cities Initiative,” sponsored by the Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The $42 million initiative will choose 100 mid-sized cities to help improve their use of data-driven decision making, and provide better municipal services. The support will come in the form of expert consulting and peer-to-peer counseling.

“Jackson will codify and standardize open data processes and policies to share data openly with residents, as well as internally,” said Jackson Mayor Tony T. Yarber in a statement. “We’ll ensure staff across city departments understand the purpose of data collection, regularly collect and publish data, and make decisions based on such data.”

The city is also receiving consultation support from the Sunlight Foundation, and will use the foundation’s open data principles as a guideline. The city will work with Sunlight and The Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University to help the city make data available to the public in a more useful and responsive way; and link open data to the city’s performance management dashboard when it becomes available.

Over the next 90 days the city will be taking stock of its data and crafting a release plan.

The other cities in the initiative include – Chattanooga, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; Mesa, Arizona; New Orleans, Louisiana; Seattle, Washington; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.