Bringing open data opportunities to smaller US municipalities

Release dated 4 September, 2019

In the pursuit of making open data more accessible to all municipalities in the United States JMH Associates and Link Digital have announced their partnership to deliver an open data program for all jurisdictions. Our simple, affordable solution uses CKAN – the open source data portal software that is scalable to meet the needs of all municipality data custodians: no matter where you sit in terms of socio-economic profile.

Broadly speaking, the Federal Government in the US has been quick to advocate the benefits of Open Data. Not least of all with the signing, in January this year, of the OPEN Government Data Act (H.R. 4174). But while data accessibility and best practice data management might be bang on trend in Washington, inadequate resourcing has presented a barrier to smaller local governments embracing open data.

The Federal Government and State and Local Governments don’t often interact except at the broadest of policy levels, but realising the true benefits of open data nationally cannot happen if smaller jurisdictions are left behind.

According to Link Digital Executive Director Steven De Costa “For some years now data portals have been delivering ‘open data for the people’, with the promise of benefits flowing through to citizens, communities and economies. If open data is the new gold, as the Open Data Institute have surmised, then we are in the midst of a gold rush. Everyone, rich or poor, should have the opportunity to stake their claim”.

Jason Hare further notes that “Across government and business sectors, we are finally viewing data as an asset from which parties can derive real economic and social value. What the Open Data movement needs now is more equitable access to the processes, policies and platforms that have to date been available to only the larger of government entities”.

With our experience in delivering solutions to smaller entities with regard to set up, technical and sustainability costs – including maintenance and expanding portal functionalities and capabilities – all municipalities in the US are now invited to:  

  1. Contact JMH to complete the public data Assessment questionnaire and participate in a free two hour discovery session.
  2. Take delivery of your open data action plan from JMH, with Full and transparent costings included.
  3. Decide to take action and partner with JMH to deliver the benefits of public data for your municipale constituents with the proven reliability of CKAN managed by Link Digital.

Press and Media Inquiries

Jason Hare
Data Governance Principal
JMH Associates INC.

Phone: +1919-323-2767


Steven De Costa
Executive Director
Link Digital

Phone: +61 2 6111 2907


Steven De Costa Biography

Steven De Costa is the Executive Director of Link Digital and the visionary lead behind Born curious, creative, and digital, he has been recognised as a co-steward of the CKAN Open Source Project by the CKAN Association. Steven is also an open knowledge community contributor, was the co-secretary and treasurer of Open Knowledge Australia, Steering Group Member and Community Team Lead for the CKAN Association, and formerly a national organizer of the tremendously successful GovHack hackathon.

Jason Hare Biography


Jason is a 25 year information technology executive with leadership experience developing open data programs for the public sector at local, national and international levels. Having been in this space for most of his career, he has cultivated long term profitable relationships with highly visible organizations.

Jason was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Professionals in Government Technology by Onalytica and is listed among the World Bank’s open data experts. In 2016 he served on the Open Data Working Group in the prior administration’s White House Office of Science and Technology, focusing on data quality, reporting, governance and strategy. Since 2013, he is a delegate in the Open Data Working Group for the Open Government Partnership.

Link Digital Company Overview

Link Digital is a global information technology company based in Canberra, Australia. Helping their clients create meaningful change with open data, they pride themselves on providing a unique mix of creativity, strategic advice and technical competence.

Working on digital services for more than 17 years cemented Link Digital’s stellar reputation in the industry. Over the last seven years, the company’s reach has expanded from government and private sectors to clients around the globe. 

Link Digital is also an appointed steward (along with Datapian) for the CKAN Open Source Project by the CKAN Association. The project is geared towards strengthening both the platform and the community in the years to come.

With staff in Canberra, Perth, Melbourne, Berlin and Kharkiv (Ukraine), Link Digital’s main focus revolves around:

  • CKAN development, hosting and support on AWS
  • Drupal development, hosting and support on AWS
  • Enterprise managed hosting and solution architecture with AWS

Some of Link Digital’s notable clients include ACT Government, Government of South Australia, NSW State Emergency Services, Pacific Community, UNSW Canberra, Village Building and more.

JMH Associates Company Overview

JMH Associates INC is a proven leader in delivering quality open data solutions for public governments, from small cities to multinational organizations.

Founded as a North Carolina Corporation in 2016, the team at JMH Associates define their mission as “Data as Infrastructure.” Believing data should be democratized, and that every agency, regardless of size, should have access to affordable, license-free, and platform agnostic open-data solutions, they make data (re)useful through reliable solutions.

JMH Associates also boasts a Certified Data Management Professional credential from DAMA International allowing their associates to build data quality into their open data offerings. Some of the Data Governance and Data Management Offerings include:

  • Manage open government data efforts including coordinating data reuse through APIs, create public data products, repositories, work flows and visualizations
  • Decrease the cost of managing data and increasing the value of the data available
  • Improve how the jurisdiction collects, uses, manages, and publishes data
  • Lead initiative efforts to track data collections, data purchases, databases, physical data models, and linkages between datasets
  • Improve data quality and how data quality is measured
  • Ensure data is available, reliable, consistent, accessible, secure, and timely to support the mission and activities of the jurisdiction
  • Align and standardize data models
  • Set up jurisdictional data-working groups
  • Create a project management methodology
  • Set up ongoing training and accreditation of staff and data sets according to the principles and standards of The World Bank and the Open Government Partnership
  • Provide ongoing support as the auxiliary open data team for the jurisdiction, ensuring institutional memory and sustainability

JMH Associates open data projects include: North Carolina Department of Commerce; North Carolina Department of Human and Health Services; Town of Chapel Hill; Durham City/County in North Carolina; Durham Public Schools, North Carolina; City of Raleigh, North Carolina; City of Newark, New Jersey; City of Cambridge, Massachusetts; City of Chelsea, Massachusetts; Ireland’s Ministry of Reform; Colombia’s Ministry of Information & Communications; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Colorado Secretary of State’s Office; Tunisia’s Open Data Governance Plan and many others.