Transparency in the Health Service (Special recognition of responding to the COVID-19 crisis)

Countries

Spain

Policy areas

Organisation name Junta de Castilla y León (Governing Council of Castile-Leon)

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Contact person: Joaquín Meseguer Yebra, Director-General of Transparency and Good Governance

The Transparency in the Health Service project was born in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic with the purpose of informing the citizenship as much as possible about what was happening. The administrations had to offer them the maximum possible amount of data to produce an accurate account of reality, since media and public officials were demanding reliable, abundant, timely and clear information. Junta de Castilla y León met these requests by creating a web portal where it would report daily on the coronavirus situation in the region, so that all health information on the impact of the pandemic could be offered.

Thanks to the project, the information was structured into sections that have grown in number and data as the situation evolves. The web portal includes tables, visualisations and explanatory notes that everyone can easily understand the methodology used to obtain the data, and the policies carried out. The final download section allows downloading the data of the visualisations in different format, together with a query API that lets anyone search and download records with various criteria. In this way, the most specialised users could use the data in different ways.

The web portal data needed to be updated daily, including weekends and holidays. Being a living project in continuous evolution and increasingly popular, it kept growing, becoming the most visited portal of the Junta de Castilla y León in all its history. It is being promoted by Spanish media as the best and highest quality public information project on the pandemic thanks to the information it offers, its detail, clarity, updating and making data sets available. The limited resources, the need to obtain complex data from different sources and the speed in the execution of the project that the situation demanded, have made this initiative unique. This not only applies in the Castilla y León administration but also at worldwide level, because no Spanish database and only a few around the world come close to such a wealth of information and datasets.

The coordination between several ministers and departments responsible for the sources of information, many users to process data from multiple sources and a huge effort made by the administration, were essential for the project’s success. It has been developed with its own resources and using a technological platform that was already available before the pandemic, therefore it did not result in any additional costs.

The main principles behind the project were openness and transparency, which permeated all levels of the administration and makes it much more resilient and solid in the face of changes that may occur from an organisational point of view or in political leadership.

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