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OAFP 5010 - Working in the Open for Governments

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No pre-requirement for this class, except a vivid curiosity and a willingness to participate in class discussion.

Course Description

This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of openness in the Government – a current topic of intensive experiments, tools development, and public policy debate. The course is primarily case-study based, as well as active student participation via weekly tools presentation and two in-class workshops. The course features semester-long attention to the ways governments are working in the open, through opening data, software, and policy-making. The course takes an international scope, with a special focus on France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The professors draw on their experience in working for the French Government taskforce for Open Data and open Government Etalab, collaborating with the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, and contributing to civic-tech initiatives. This course will enable students to understand how and why openness is becoming a new norm for democratic Governments. Specific objectives include: - Understanding the legal and policy debates surrounding Open Data and Open Government and develop critical thinking around these issues; - Getting to know the different technical tools used in the Open Government communities; - Putting the concepts into uses in in-class workshops.


  • FOULQUIER-GAZAGNES, Claire-Marie J. (Responsable Développement et Politique, SGMAP - ETALAB)
  • VERGNOLLE, Suzanne (Etudiante doctorante)

Pedagogical format

A typical class will feature: - 30 minutes of students presentations of open tech news of the week debrief and tool demo with feedback from the teacher. - 30 minutes of Q&A ; a with a guest from the open and civitech community. - 1 hour of participative experience sharing by the teacher through case studies. Two workshops will be organized during the semester with group-discussions and pitch of ideas on open data uses cases.

Course validation

Students will be assigned and graded on the following exercises: - 40% : Take-aways from community event dive-in. Each student will pick a civil society event in a list provided by the teachers and will share its feedback in a two-pager and a 5 minutes class presentation. - 25% : Tool demo. Each student will pick a tool to demo and explain use cases in 5 minutes in class. - 25% : Active participation to the two workshop and in class participation. - 10% : Open Tech news review. Students will prepare in groups one 5-minutes open tech news review in class.


The students will need to prepare in groups a open tech news of the week review. Optional readings will be suggested.

Required reading

Goldstein (Brett), Dyson (Lauren), Beyond Transparency