The initiative was developed in response to the dispersion of sources for consulting information on the documents produced by the national government. The solution, a data catalog (datalog), generates an institutional memory of open consultation on different aspects that the outgoing government delivers to the incoming one. The tool is innovative in applying machine learning technologies to process, organize and present a large volume of documentary information in an agile and simple way.
Datalog Colombia is a digital tool where citizens can consult all the documentation generated during the last period of government in a quick and agile manner. They can also access to sectoral management reports and the reports of all the entities that make up the executive branch of the national government (around 190 entities). The information includes about 30,000 regulatory, documentary and statistical records; and emerges as a space for transparency towards the citizens.
The main objective was to create a web repository with all the documentation produced by the national government between 2018 and 2022, and make it available to citizens through a search engine that presents it in an organized way, using filters so that citizens can quickly find what they are looking for. The Datalog is expected to become part of the Colombian legislation by its incorporation in a new article in the Law of the National Development Plan. This will make mandatory to upload any documentation generated by public entities into the system.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Datalog Colombia facilitates the consultation of documentation generated by the national government through a search engine that uses machine learning algorithms to organize, classify and present the information and make it useful and accessible to all. The algorithm is capable of transforming images into text, enhancing the use of files that have photo format; in addition, the search has a functionality that creates a word cloud for each document indexed in the base, giving the user previous ideas about their query.
Other national government entities in Colombia also have extensive search engines and document repositories; however, Datálogo is the only one that compiles a variety of sources and mixes different types of filters with the above-mentioned features.
Collaborations & Partnerships
For the development of the Datalog, all the entities of the executive branch of the national government participated in the identification, compilation and submission of all the information generated by their work teams. Additionally, the private sector collaborated in the design of the system architecture and the platform's performance, as well as support in the graphic interface and user experience.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main impact is the platform's ability to generate a space for citizen oversight during the government transition process, given the openness of management information and the new government. As for the new government, it has served as a starting point for the construction of programs and strategies for the next four years. Likewise, the information contained therein serves as input for academic research on public policies in different areas.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The results are visualized in the following metrics of use. Since its release in July 2022 there were 194,000 visitors (142,000 mobile and 51,000 web). It is expected to become the most visited government website in Colombia.
Challenges and Failures
The main challenge faced by Datálogo is getting national government entities to report the documentation generated in a timely manner. Added to this is a promotional campaign that did not have the expected reach, which limits the dissemination of the tool. In terms of dissemination, Datalog is being used as a means of communicating the construction processes of the new National Development Plan, which implies greater interaction with citizens from all corners of the country.
Conditions for Success
Datalog Colombia's success has been supported by:
1. a robust technological infrastructure that scales according to user demand, which was provided by the National Planning Department; 2. incorporating into current regulations the mandatory reporting of documents generated by the national government.
2. Incorporating into the current regulations the obligation to report the documentation generated by the national government.
3. Finance the constitution of a software development cell within the entity to provide support and backing for all technology-based public innovations.
4. To have a technical leader who understands the needs of the Government's processes, as well as a development leader who translates them into efficient and user-friendly information system.
Given its short implementation time, we are not aware of other initiatives that have partially or totally replicated the innovation in Colombia. However, the methodology used, understood as the development of the procedure that goes from project planning to the implementation of the platform, can be replicated in other countries interested in solving the same problem.
The first lesson learned has to do with the technological requirements needed to develop an information system. When we started the implementation of the project there were delays due to conditions that we were not aware of, for example, the protocols for the production of content on the web pages of the National Planning Department and security protocols that impacted the estimated times for the production of the Datalog.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
6 December 2022