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Luna-Reyes Earns Prestigious IBM Center Stipend


ALBANY, N.Y. (February 8, 2017) – Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes, an associate professor in Rockefeller College’s Department of Public Administration & Policy, has been awarded one of the IBM Center for The Business of Government’s competitive and prestigious research stipends. 

Luna-Reyes’ report will focus on the efforts of US federal agencies to promote open data, seeking to answer questions about current advancements of government open data policy. The six-month analysis will yield a set of practical recommendations for the new administration, contributing to the furtherance of open data efforts and potential next steps. Luna-Reyes’ research, entitled “Opportunities and Challenges in Promoting Innovation with Open Data,” will be guided by the following questions:

  • What are the current results and successes of the open data policy in the US?
  • What are the main enablers and barriers to promoting effectiveness and innovation through opening government data?
  • What are the main recommendations for the coming administration to continue and strengthen open data initiatives?

“In the last administration, open data was an important policy. Basically, a policy to promote public engagement and open innovation in the country,” said Luna-Reyes. “The general idea is that the government releases their information in a way that can be easily processed by citizens, academics, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations, trying to figure out new ways to solve problems, or even creating new solutions through the development of applications using the data.”

Luna-Reyes will also compare the US experience with international case studies to outline lessons learned, best practices, and insights on how open data initiatives can best impact citizens. Through the process, Luna-Reyes will be working with the Center for Open Data Enterprise, which is a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes the use of open data for social and economic impact. 

“The final product is a White Paper that they actually use in many of their publications and activities,” said Luna-Reyes. “Given the competitiveness of the process, it’s an honor to receive this stipend. It is highly rewarding to get it.”

Last year, IBM included in their annual request for proposals a special call for ideas that could help in the transition into a new administration. Through this program, IBM Center for The Business of Government is trying to promote innovation in government during a time of transition. While some of the innovation is related to technology, some of it is related to a wider gamut, such as human resource management. 

Luna-Reyes’ fellow stipend winners include Kevin Desouzza of Arizona State (Realizing the Promise of Cognitive Computing Systems: An Implementation Guide and Capability Maturity Model for Government), Anne Laurent of Consortium for Advanced Management International (Dollars and Sense: Transforming Procurement Based on Lessons from the U.K.), and New Zealand’s Rodney Scott and Ross Boyd (New Zealand’s “Better Public Services Results Programme”).