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Apr 26, 2019

Finding Answers on How the Private Sector Can Harness the Value of Open Data

Since 2018, the Organization of American States and the Trust for the Americas have been working with the Government of Belize and Civil Society on moving towards open government. It simply means that key stakeholders would be able to access data to develop the economy, specifically major sectors such as agriculture, tourism and even micro-businesses. Well today at the BCCI’s McField Conference Centre in Belize City, a roundtable dialogue session was held to share how the country’s private sector can harness the value of open data. Speaking to the participants today were Maurice McNaughton and International Expert Mary Beth Goodman, who is a former Open Government Country Lead for the U.S. Government under President Obama’s administration.


Mary Beth Goodman

Mary Beth Goodman, Former OGP Country Lead for U.S. Gov’t

“I know that there are a lot of reforms happening, fighting corruption and different things that are starting to take hold. But this is an opportunity to really build on that and sort of leapfrog if you will. Taking the open data, the data sets that the government has and collaborating on that with the private sector so that you are innovating in a way that you are taking advantage of technology. And using that open data in a way that will be some catalyst, some boom for the Belizean economy, perhaps. To really provide those data sets so that some young entrepreneur sitting here in Belize has an opportunity to invent something. His or her imagination maybe is what the next billion-dollar invention is all about.”


Duane Moody

“The private sector is the one that many would say have the most to benefit from this. Talk to us about that.”


Mary Beth Goodman

“Sure, the private sector has a lot to benefit, but I would argue the government has a lot to benefit too. But most importantly the citizens have a lot to benefit from because this is really their data. This is what the government has, that the private sector can built so that citizens are more empowered and are better served by the government.”


Maurice McNaughton

Maurice McNaughton, Director, Caribbean Open Institute

“I am quite impressed that the private sector in Belize through the Chamber of Commerce is in fact so early in the conversation because for the Caribbean, the open data ecosystem we are not going to harness or exploit the value opportunities without the private sector’s involvement because many of our governments do not have resource base to make it happen.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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