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MEData strategy in Medellín

MEData is the strategy for providing, appropriating and using the public data of Medellin. It will become the official information source of the city, where citizens will have constant and reliable data that can be used to generate knowledge, promote technological innovation and boost economy. it is the first government platform that integrates strategic information sources into a big data technology and automatically synchronizes them with an open data portal.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The city of Medellín has been positioned in recent years as one of the most innovative cities in the country, this process of innovation has been successful thanks to the articulation of the public sector, private sector and social movements driven by citizens. One of the city strategies to be a smarter city is the MEData whose innovation is the availability of a source of constant, reliable and open information that can be used to generate knowledge, progress and innovation for citizens, universities, companies, local government, among others.
In the future, the platform wants to collect data in real time and through the data improve the quality of life for the citizens.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

MEData is the only open government data strategy in the country with an appropriation component that promote and encourage data use in citizens, with a different approach based on citizens' capacities and needs. Some components are: data shows; data workshops; data analysis committee, among others.

It also includes a technological component the official data portal of the city, which allows the query and download of data in editable format, presents strategic information available to citizens with a friendly interface and allows visualizations in line integrated in the portal. The portal is innovative because it is designed on a Big Data platform (Hadoop) that integrates the strategic data produced by the offices of the Mayor's Office of Medellín and in turn connects automatically with the platform for open data (Dkan).

What is the current status of your innovation?

The Medellín Mayor's Office is promoting and implementing a smart government from different fronts which strategically contribute to the comprehensive development of the city by using the data as raw material and will integrate, among others, the challenges posed by the University - Company – State committee.

One of the great bets of Medellín to become a Smart City the implementation of the MEData strategy. It works under the premise that information is for everyone. MEData seeks to become a source of constant, reliable and open information that can be used by any entity (public or private) and by citizens to generate knowledge and value.

The information provided by MEData is an input to generate proposals for future models that allow to highlight problems and solutions to different situations in the city.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

The Planning Administrative Departement in the exercise of its functions leads and finances MEData strategy, in collaboration with all the government units, who provide the data they produce and do the follow up of meet up groups and, finally, the alliance with Ruta N, which shares its knowledge and leadership in science, technology and innovation.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

The main beneficiaries are:
-Public administration: Transparency with updated information to reduce the volume of information requests in the government units.
-Companies: App development to boost the local economy using data.
-Universities: New researches to provide solutions to city issues.
Civil Society Organizations: Opportunity to develop a new environment for citizen participation as a contribution to the portal development.
Journalists: Value generation from stories or news.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Although the MEData strategy has not been officially launched by the Mayor, so far the following have been observed: the government units have been increase awareness on the importance of open data for government transparency, 11 government units with integrated and displayed data on the MEData website, MEData strategy positioned in the city, public and private sectors appropriation through Focus Group, Meet Up and events.

After the official launched, the city expects the following impacts: public policies and projects planning based on data driven decisions, increase the universities research projects, new or efficiency investments in the private sector by the use government data, knowledge generation by citizens, app development and increased citizen participation in decision making through social networks.

Challenges and Failures

Challenges: the lack of open data culture in government units, so it has been necessary to develop appropriation strategies. Another challenge was to use big data technologies and its integration with an open data platform, for which it was necessary work with the IT area of the Mayor's Office with the platform provider.

Failures: Lack of quality process in the information integrated to the portal, so it was necessary to train the quality criteria through a data analysis committee, once the municipality's platform did not have the capacity to support the portal technologies, it was necessary to renew the hardware.

Conditions for Success

The definition of a standard data management policy within the local government, policy definition to certify MEData as the official data source of the Mayor's Office, application of transparency law, resources prioritization for the strategy development, data sets integration of centralized and decentralized entities, professionals with knowledge in technological tools, strategic alliances with private sector and universities and the interdisciplinary team leading the strategy.


This innovation has become the foundation that drives the city development and integrates, among others, the challenges raised by the University, Business, State committee. It is the city commitment to have an intelligent government under the motto that information is own by everyone and use anyone. Therefore, Medellín, as one of the most innovative cities in the world, wants to replicate the MEData scheme to a national level and turn itself in a model to follow for the Latin America countries.

Lessons Learned

As lessons learned, we share the importance of: Efficient data use as support for the strategic objectives of any entity, gather innovation elements based on trends for data management in cities, the use of big data to project the volume and speed of the information required in the future, create strategies to promote effective citizen appropriation to empowerment the use of data, create a working committee to standardize the information of the entire entity.

It is important to allow the stakeholders to join the strategy voluntarily to avoid oppositions within the entity.

Anything Else?

MEData is included as one of the government's bets towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution and aims to promote data science with the opening of data from Medellin to the world.

Project Pitch

Year: 2019
Level of Government: Local government


  • Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Date Published:

12 April 2019

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