Open government

Understanding the challenges posed by mis- and disinformation to develop better policy responses


OECD partners with The GovLab on the 100 Questions Initiative

The challenges faced

The rapid spread of mis- and disinformation, which has been especially significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, poses fundamental challenges to public governance by drowning out and confusing official messages and factual information. Beyond the health crisis, mis- and disinformation more broadly cast evidence and facts into doubt, sow distrust and can threaten the integrity of democratic processes.


Despite a rapidly evolving field of research and analysis of the various social, technological, and political dimensions of these challenges, the creation, spread and impact of mis- and disinformation require more complete understanding. More significantly, policy solutions that are effective at scale while also preserving open and free information ecosystems remain elusive.

Developing responses to mis- and disinformation

To help address this evidence gap and develop better responses, the OECD Open Government Unit is collaborating with The GovLab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering on the Disinformation Domain of The 100 Questions Initiative. The initiative “seeks to map the world’s most pressing, high-impact questions that could be answered if relevant datasets were leveraged in a responsible manner.” 

During the first phase of this initiative the OECD and the GovLab brought on board a cohort of over 100 “bilinguals”, meaning experts and practitioners in the field to collaboratively define ten key questions to answer with new and existing data and approaches.


Between July and December 2020, the bilinguals formulated and submitted their questions, ranked them and produced a set of final questions for public vote. Having clustered well over 100 individual questions received from the bilinguals through an iterative process, the final 10 questions have been put online for public voting on the 100 Questions website.


Ultimately, the team will match data to the selected questions and establish data collaboratives that will work to find the answers.


Further information

The OECD Open Government Unit is developing new policy analysis in the field public communication and media ecosystems, by gathering evidence on the ways governments are responding to disinformation and using communication to increase citizens’ trust and participation. In this context, it is focusing on holistic approaches to combat disinformation that include actions on better communication, media literacy, or support for the media.





Related Documents