Digital transparency and the usefulness for open government

Ricardo Matheus*, Roel Faber, Elvira Ismagilova, Marijn Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Open Government efforts are criticized for providing limited value. Instead of looking at a value, we investigate the usefulness of web-based open government portals and apps. Specifically, we investigated the relationship between digital transparency and usefulness. We analyzed perceived digital transparency and usefulness in a survey of 112 respondents using Partial Least Square (PLS) and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The results show that perceived functionality, transparency, and efficiency influence usefulness but that functionality of apps and efficiency are more important than transparency. Usefulness can be created without having high levels of transparency, as the public wants answers to their questions. Apps should be designed for efficient use, as users have limited time and resources. Apps having pre-defined functional views can be useful to provide quick insight but might limit transparency by not offering other views and insights. Opening raw data using portals can provide higher levels of transparency, although more time and effort are needed to analyze. Both portals providing access to raw data and apps having pre-defined views are needed for open government and transparency as they serve other stakeholder groups and purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102690
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • App design
  • Digital transparency
  • Open data
  • Open government
  • Partial least square (PLS)
  • Structural equation modelling (SEM)
  • Transparency
  • Websites


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