The USAID and UK aid-funded Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services project presented the Open Data Roadmap for Ukraine in 2017 on March 10. This document is an action plan for the Government of Ukraine to guide open data publication. The Open Data Roadmap for Ukraine was developed by the State Agency for E-Governance in Ukraine, Eurasia Foundation, and the East Europe Foundation.
The Roadmap is based on the six principles of the International Open Data Charter that define what is considered a good practice of data publication and the priority course for open data in Ukraine:
- Open by Default
- Timely and Comprehensive
- Accessible and Usable
- Comparable and Interoperable
- For Improved Governance and Citizen Engagement
- For Inclusive Development and Innovation
The primary goal of developing the Open Data Charter was to introduce and foster the culture of openness in governments, said Charter representative Robert Palmer in a speech at the presentation.
“One recommendation I might make is to really make sure that data releases are driven by user demand and priorities,” said Mr. Palmer. “A well-founded criticism of much of the global open data movement to date is that it has focused on the supply side – releasing data, but not enough on working out where there’s strong demand from users for data. And of course, for open data to have impact, government must change its approach in response to the insights gained from the publication of data.
“First of all, the access to government data is necessary for controlling, monitoring, and reducing corruption risks, and second of all – it is a major source of development possibilities for the small and medium enterprises. Open data is a source of competitive advantage for Ukraine.”
“By means of open data, citizens can use public resources and the principle of openness will promote more efficient reforms in public administration,” said State Secretary of Ukraine Volodymyr Bondarenko.
Deputy Director of the USAID Mission in Ukraine John Pennell attended the presentation and said that the fact that the presentation of the Open Data Roadmap brought together representatives of government, business, and the civil sector marks the great role of open data in national development.
Open data is a priority topic for the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, said Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mykhailo Titarchuk. “First of all, the access to government data is necessary for controlling, monitoring, and reducing corruption risks, and second of all – it is a major source of development possibilities for the small and medium enterprises. Open data is a source of competitive advantage for Ukraine.”
The Project’s Open Data Team Lead, Kateryna Onyiliogwu, said the two top priorities in the development of the Open Data Roadmap for Ukraine in 2017: to engage as many citizens as possible in defining the Roadmap’s tasks and to structure it in accordance with the International Open Data Charter principles. “Our Roadmap will be one of the examples of open data strategy development for other governments, but this is only the beginning because the success of completed tasks depends on us and on the State Agency’s for E-Governance engagement,” said Ms. Onyiliogwu.
The State Agency for E-Governance is the principal government agency responsible for implementing the principles of International Open Data Charter. Deputy Head Olexii Vyskub said that the Roadmap’s six sections, 21 subsections, and 59 tasks are aimed at establishing the “Open by Default” principle as the primary standard for data publication in Ukraine. Mr. Vyskub commented on all six sections of the Roadmap and detailed the action steps that the Agency will take to implement principles of the Charter. One of these tasks is to develop minimum standards and requirements for publication of data sets because the current lack of consistency causes confusion across regions.
“I am curious whether those who demand data publication from the government are prepared to open the data themselves?”
Data disclosure at the local level is also important, said Mr. Vyskub. “Local data is often more interesting for citizens than data from central registries.” He went on to call out his favorite task, #57: “To initiate data publication of civil organizations and private entities.”
“I am curious whether those who demand data publication from the government are prepared to open the data themselves?” asked Mr. Vyskub at the end of his speech.
The Open Data is the result of a review of Ukraine’s 2016 Open Data Road Map and public consultations with the representatives of business communities, the civil sector, and government in January 2017.
The development of Open Data Roadmap is a part of an international commitment made by Ukraine after joining the International Open Data Charter. The quality of the Road Map is a matter of national appearance and prestige.
The Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services is funded by USAID and UK aid and implemented by Eurasia Foundation.
This article originally appeared on Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services (TAPAS). The footage of the presentation can be accessed here in Ukrainian.