Global goals, local impact – open data development in Ukraine

Open data development of the last few years places Ukraine among leaders of the global openness movement. Thanks to UNDP's support many initiatives were adopted and implemented to make Ukrainian Government and Parliament more inclusive, accountable, and transparent.

29864211900 7422bfc1b9 b545657657A precise public transport route planner, a crime map of Ukraine with information about crimes committed in any selected area, a mobile app with a handbook for emergencies in Donbas and Crimea – these are just a few examples of useful services for citizens based on open data.

There will be many more as the government and civil society are working together to advance the open data agenda in the country.

In this framework, representatives of Ukrainian government and civil society organisations (CSOs) participated in the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Spain on 6-7 October. It is a global platform for dialogue that brings together governmental leaders from local and national level, academia, civil society, and international organizations from all over the world to emulate the open data ecosystem. While taking a critical perspective of accomplishments thus far, the panelists discussed on how to create a conducive environment for tangible results from open data.

"Since the very beginning of my career, I've strongly believed that public information should be open in adequate formats in order to be processed and that government should publish it proactively," emphasised Nadiia Babynska, a civic activit from Civil Network OPORA, who participated in the conference with UNDP support.

She has a longstanding experience in volunteering for different CSOs, monitoring parliament, training journalists and activists on how to access public information, and working on parliamentary openness. In any sphere of her activities, Nadiia has a strong believe that openness and accountability are the main tools to fight corruption and promote the development of Ukraine.

IMG 4254 14656756678797897880"I try to turn my believes in the crucial role of openness and accountability into reality via a technical instrument – open data. I read a lot and talked to open data activists around the world. I understood that open data is a key tool. I am not an IT specialist, neither a coder. I am just an open data activist who try to build bridges between government, IT, CSOs, citizens, science, and business for common wealth, for better and easier life, for fighting corruption at all levels, for social engagement and prosperity," said Nadiia.

Being UNDP's important partner in promoting open data and public participation in political processes, Nadiia's organisation was able to develop the Open Data Portal of the Verkhovna Rada launched in a test mode with over 400 data sets available in spring 2016.

UNDP has actively supported first steps taken by the parliament to ensure its greater openness. The Working Group was established to implement the Open Parliament Action Plan for Ukraine, endorsed by the Ukrainian Parliament in February 2016.

In addition, UNDP has supported the government's initiative for open data development and, thus, for government transparency, through commissioning the Open Data Readiness Assessment, which laid the foundation for developing the Open Data Roadmap for Ukraine adopted in February 2016. It details the government's plans to move forward with the open data agenda this year.

Moreover, UNDP worked side by side with the Government of Ukraine to organize national consultations that ultimately resulted in producing the National Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which Ukraine joined in 2011 through endorsing the Open Government Declaration.

UNDP continues to encourage opening government data at the national level in an effort to make public institutions more inclusive, accountable, and transparent.