Investigating the barriers faced by stakeholders in open data development: A study on Hong Kong as a “smart city”

Ruiqu Ma, Patrick T.I. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The drive towards open data aims at improving government transparency, motivating citizen participation and unlocking commercial innovation. However, various intertwining barriers hinder the adoption of open data. They are stemming from legislation and licensing, technology and operation, use level, institution and governance, as well as economic considerations. Through the use of social network analysis (SNA), this study identified 43 barriers faced by stakeholders in an open data project in Hong Kong and investigated their interdependencies. Hong Kong was selected as a representative case due to its relatively low ranking in the Global Open Data Index (24th) and poor data quality. It was found that the lack of an open data policy should be tackled as a matter of priority to provide technical guidance for the public sector, ensure data quality and achieve expected outcomes. It is also necessary to improve the IT literacy/mindset of the public sector, refine the governance structure relating to the delivery of open data initiatives, encourage engagement from private entities and provide a feedback loop for users. This study explored the interrelationships between various barriers to open data adoption and proposes practical recommendations to enhance open data development in the context of emerging “smart cities”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Barriers
  • Open data
  • Smart cities
  • Social network analysis (SNA)
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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