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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Open Data?

Open Data are data that are made available to the public free of charge, without registration or restrictive licenses, for any purpose whatsoever - including commercial purposes - in electronic, machine-readable formats that ensure data are easy to find, download and use.

Data reuse, both by data experts and the public at large, is key to creating new opportunities and benefits from government data.

What is the purpose of the Open Data Portal?

The portal is a search engine and publication platform designed to support the discovery, use, and reuse of open data. While it can certainly be used to promote engagement between data owners and data users, it’s primary function is to ensure that data are published along with the metadata which describes it.

What are metadata?

Data about the data is called metadata. The term is ambiguous, as it is used for two different concepts:

  • Structural metadata correspond to internal metadata (i.e. metadata about the structure of database objects such as tables, columns, keys and indexes);
  • Descriptive metadata correspond to external metadata. (i.e. metadata typically used for discovery and identification, as information used to search and locate an object such as title, author, subjects, keywords, publisher);

Descriptive metadata permits discovery of the object. Structural metadata permits the data to be applied, interpreted, analysed, restructured, and linked to other, similar, datasets.

**What is a data license? **

By default, any information, content and data published on the Web belongs to the author, and the reuse of the material requires a specific permission from the author. However, to leverage and ease reuse of published data, core open data principles include the use of open and unrestrictive licences (see Principle 3 of the Open Data Charter):
“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose, subject, at most, to requirements that identify the data’s provenance and preserve openness. Licenses should be published and linked to open data to ensure data users can easily find and understand the conditions of data access and reuse.”

The Ghana Open Data policy makes mandatory, with exceptions, the use of Open Data Commons Attribution license (https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/ ) for all Ghana Government open datasets published.

Can I use the data for commercial purposes?

The Open Data Commons Attribution license (https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/) allows the use of published data for commercial purposes. However, as exception are allowed by the policy, reusers should check whether the dataset of interest has such an exception listed in the metadata.

The list of exceptions are available online.

Must I acknowledge the source of the data?

The Open Data Commons Attribution license (https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/) has a mandatory requirement that you acknowledgement the source of Ghana Government data. Attribute the publisher listed in the dataset metadata.

What legislation and policies govern open government data in Ghana?

The Ghana Open Data policy is being finalized and define the framework for the publication of Open Data in Ghana.

How do I download a dataset?

Datasets can be downloaded directly from the Ghana Government Open Data portal (https://data.gov.gh). You do not need a login, or to ask permission, to do so.

Datasets can also be downloaded using the Application Programming Interface (API). Details of the API are at @@@

How do I request a dataset not available on the portal?

The form to request data is here (https://data.gov.gh/node/feedback/add)

How do I send comments/questions on datasets?

On each dataset page, you’ll see a button to send feedback or questions on that dataset. Look for “Add Feedback”. Each publisher should also have an email address listed with each dataset who you can contact.

How do I send comments/feedback on the portal?

Contact the site administrators at this email address: @@@

Do I need to create an account to download data?

No, there is no requirement to create an account to download data, and neither can you create an account on the National Open Data Portal. However, you are welcome to connect to the Ghana Open Data Alliance (GODA) where the Ghana Open Data community meets. You can open an account on GODA to get notified about new publications, to stay tuned to news, and to be able post feedback, comments and requests.

Is there an API for the open data portal?

Yes, the Ghana Government National Open Data portal offers an API to access and download datasets. Details of the API are at @@@

**How can I get information about what’s happening in the open data community? **

To connect to the wider Ghana open data community, you should connect ot the Ghana Open Data Alliance at @@@

How can I share what I’ve done with open data (e.g. apps, visualization, etc.)?

The Ghana Open Data Alliance web site is the place where people can share apps, visualization etc. Please connect to Ghana Open Data Alliance at @@@

How can I publish or make my own data available?

The Ghana Open Data Alliance web site is the place where people can share and publish their own datasets. Please connect to Ghana Open Data Alliance at @@@