Albania has adopted the 2015-2020 Digital Strategy (1) with principles of transparency, open data, open government partnership and freedom of information as key focus. In this regard, on September 25, 2015, the first regional OGP conference was held in Tirana (2).
The Ministry for Innovation and Public Administration (MSIPA) is the lead institution coordinating OGP in Albania and responsible for implementation of the Digital Strategy. The strategy has foreseen establishment of various sources for open data dealing with specific fields such as justice, education, businesses etc. The most recent OGP action plans (5, 6) include also commitments to open spending and contracting data.
In addition, an e-Gov portal was launched (3) that contains various e-services for citizens of Albania and some data, but only in the form of documetation required for the services. A civil society driven portal Open Data Albania features also various information and data sets on various fields in Albania (4).
Albania has a Law on Personal Data Protection that determines the rights, responsibilities, principles and measures with respect to the protection of personal data (1). The Data Protection Commissioner is the highest authority when it comes to data protection, who reports annually on developments in the field through annual reports (2).
In addition, Albania has ratified the Convention on the Protection of Individuals regarding the automatic processing of personal data (Law no. 9288/2004) and follows international developments in the field.
According to the Law on Access to Information of Albania a request for official documents can be submitted orally or in writing (1). In September 2014, the law received a legislative upgrade providing greater access for the public to official documents as well as concrete penalties for public officials who refused to make information available compared to the one introduced in 1999. The amended law includes a number of novel concepts, including the possibility of reclassifying secret documents, the release of partial information and the use of information technology to make information held by public institutions available to the public (2).
The law also obliges public institutions to appoint coordinators for access to information and created the institution of a Commissioner for the Right to Information, an appeals body in cases where institutions either refuse to answer FOI requests or hand out partial information.
The FOI law in Albania enables public bodies to charge for photocopying but there is no charge for providing electronic copies. The public body must decide within ten days from the initial submission of the request whether it has been accepted. If the request is rejected, the applicant can appeal to the Commissioner and then the courts. A number of exemptions are applied to the release of information, including to documents related to national security and international and intergovernmental relations (3).
(1): LAW No 119/2014 ON THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION: http://idp.al/images/english/legislation/LAW_119-2014.pdf.
Civil society as well as technology professionals have been active in promoting joint efforts in opening government data and promoting the concept of open data in Albania. In this regard, the Albanian Institute of Science has been a pioneer of open data promotion. The AIS has published an open data portal, the first portal of its kind featuring valuable open data related to budget spending, elections, public procurement, education, economy etc. (1)
Other data available that has been promoted by civil society includes:
Budget spending (2)
Asset declaration of public officials (3)
Local governance spending (4)
In addition, civil society has been the key promoter of Open Government Partnership, in the scope of which a regional conference was held on September 2015 (5).
The Ministry of Innovation supports different startups and activities held during innovation weeks, such as the “Open data experience” competition (2), however there are no set grant schemes or support actions established for such support. However, the Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation still lacks the resources to promote cooperation on research and innovation. Albania should take actions to improve the scientific excellence and participation of the private sector in research and innovation should be stimulated. (1)
In a very limited scope, there are local initiatives at the level of the city for open data, including:
- Capital City, Tirana (1)
- Budget for specific municipalities across Albania (2)
Open Data Albania provides trainings for all interested parties including public officials, youth, civil society, media and other actors for usage of open data. The trainings include modules on usage of ICT tools to increase government transparency, data analysis, data journalism etc. (1) Some other data training is available on mobile data, microdata, macrodata and data visualization as well (2) There is also access to training on general data issues, data science and technology, statistics or geographic information systems (GIS) for example as part of the regular University offer.
Argentina has strengthened its open data initiative during the period of study. The open data initiative is part of a larger modernisation and open government strategy (1)(2) of the new government which took office in December 2015. Previous to this period, there was an open data initiative in place, which did not change significantly compared to the last Barometer (20)(18). Since January 2016, the initiatve has been redesigned and a new open data website was released (11), having a dedicated unit with a team (policy makers, data specialists, programmers and designers), allocated budget and a new normative framework (19)(12)(13).
As part of the new Ministry of Modernisation (3) and its Undersecretariat for Innovation and Open Government (4), Argentina has provided institutional backing and political support to the initiative in the form a dedicated decree for open data (5) and further commitments in Open Data Charter (6)(7) and OGP action plans (8)(9)(10). This decree promotes active disclosure in a specific list of datasets, and mandates ministries to develop sectoral open data plans with the technical and methodological support of the open data unit. However, these plans are expected to be completed by December 2016, hence governments efforts observed during the period of study were focused on creating awareness and the institutional framework for open data (19)(such as a law for transparency, 17). However, these efforts are not reflected yet into a wider and more solid initiative that reaches all sectoral agencies, as well as more collaborative spaces for civil society organisations (18).
This year the open data unit has developed a series of sessions with public officials and open data civil society (entrepreneurs, academics, advocates and journalists). The unit has developed a CKAN template to be used for all ministries and public units for their sectoral open data platorms, hence facilitating future federation of data portals. Besides, the open data team has released an open data kit (14), a document promotes open data use but which does not provide any further regulatory framework for data disclosure.
However, this effort has not been reflected into an expansion of published datasets and sectoral ministries during the period of study. The platform comprises 10 datasets and a only a few ministries have published their data as part of sectoral open data websites. During the period of study, two ministries launched sectoral open data portals, such as Energy and Mining (15) and Agriculture (16)(17).
(5) Gobierno de Argentina, 2016. Decreto 117/2016 de Plan de Apertura de Datos. https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/#!DetalleNorma/139928/20160113
(8) OGP, 2013. 1st Action Plan of Argentina. http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Action%20Plan%20ARGENTINA.pdf
(9) OGP, 2015. 2nd Action Plan of Argentina. https://goo.gl/YDrthl
(10) OGP, 2016. 2nd Action Plan of Argentina (modified). http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Argentina_NAP2_V.2.pdf
(18) Interview to Andrés Snitcofsky, Cargografías, November 2016.
(19) Interview to Gonzalo Iglesias, Natalia San Pietro and Gabriel Buenos, Ministry of Modernisation of Argentina, November 2016.
There is a limited engagement between the government and civil society organisations in Argentina. Formal coordinated activities were limited only to the open data working group for OGP, and the participation of the open data unit of the Ministry of Modernisation in the Datafest 2016 organised by "La Nación Data" (2)(3) and the Open Data Day 2016 (4)(5). Besides, in February 2016 there was a formal meeting between the open data team and CSOs to discuss future open data plans (17)(19)(20).
In the absence of coordinated activities in Argentina, there is a solid civil society pushing for open data in the country. As stated, the local chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation has been monitoring the compliance of the open data legal framework (6)(7), as well as creating awareness of open data through the organisation of the Open Data Day (5). Although not fully using open data, other organisations are also advocating for while using public information to monitor the political system. Cargografías (8) exposes political careers of top-level politicians, while Chequeado (9) provides fact-check to Argentinian political discourses. Besides, "Analice.me" There are some think tanks involved in open government and open data, such as CIPPEC (10). Thanks to the open data day, civic hackers are now organised in "Codeando Argentina" (18).
Argentina also has a leading data journalism movement. The main national newspaper "La Nación" has a dedicated team for data analysis (11), which has produced several reports by using public data and has been internationally awarded for its work on open data (12)(13). Other newspapers have been also involved in data journalism, such as "El Revelador", "El Clarin", or "La Nueva", among others (14)(15)(16).
Most of these organisations are active agents in OGP action plans and further advocacy for open data in Argentina. While Argentina has a coordinated and active civil society, the government still has the challenge of increasing coordination and collaboration opportunities with civil society organisations.However, there is still an absence of more collaborative spaces between them and the government (19).
(19) Interview to Andrés Snitcofsky, Cargografías, November 2016.
(20) Interview to Gonzalo Iglesias, Natalia San Pietro and Gabriel Buenos, Ministry of Modernisation of Argentina, November 2016.
There is an active ecosystem for local open data initiatives in Argentina (13). Several cities are actively implementing their own open data initiatives, facilitated by their independence to promulgate and implement local initiatives. There are 10 local government running their own open data initiatives, highlighting Buenos Aires and Bahía Blanca, two global leaders in local government open data (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(14). The local chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation has analysed the level of openness of this active local open data movement in local governments (12).
(13) Interview to Andrés Snitcofsky, Cargografías, November 2016.
During the period of study, there was a limited framework for transparency and access to information in Argentina. The National Constitution (1) defines the publicity of all government acts. In order to operationalise this principle, in 2003 a dedicated decree was promulgated which only covers the executive branch of the state (2). This decree frames both active and passive transparency. For passive transparency it defines a formal procedure where public agencies have 10 days to answer. The Ministry of Justice is responsible of cases where solicitors are not satisfied with the answer. The law does not include an independent organisation overseeing the compliance to the legal framework (5).
The federal nature of the Argentinian government made most of regional governments passed their own access to information laws (3). In any case, the lack of comprehensiveness of this legal framework made the government to introduce a bill for federal access to information in Argentina in April 2015 (4). The law incorporates electronic means to implement access to public information, and fosters disclosure of data in open formats. However, this law was only passed in September 2016, 3 months after the end of the period of study.
(1) República de Argentina, 1995. Constitución de la República. http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma.htm
(5) Interview to Andrés Snitcofsky, Cargografías, November 2016.
Argentina has a positive legal framework for data protection. National Constitution (1) provides protection to citizens against public and private holders to gain access to their personal data if they require to update, amend, ensure confidentiality or suppress their records.
Besides, there is a dedicated data protection law since 2000. The law 25326 operationalises the rights ensured in national constitutions and provides broader protection (2). According to international standards, the law provides protection against public and private data holders, gives to citizens the right to consent, access and redress their records. The law defines an independent body that oversees compliance to this legal framework ('Dirección Nacional de Protección de Datos', 3), as well as specific sanctions in cases it is infringed. The law followed international data protection principles, and thus it has been recognised by the EU as a positive legal framework according to its data protection directive (95/46/EC)(4)(5).
(1) República de Argentina, 1995. Constitución de la República. http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma.htm
There have been limited opportunities of training for individuals or businesses interested in using open data. During the period of study, the government focused mainly on developing an institutional framework for open data, although there was limited emphasis on providing training in open data skills, as well as creating awareness of open data value (12). The government collaborated with "GeoDatos" a geographical open data workshop (1), and also participated in DataFest (2), a conference organised by "La Nación Data" where government officials in open data and open government were involved (12). This conference included some workshops that may be fostering development of data skills.
Besides, during the period of study there were some dedicated open data training run by CSOs and educational organisations (3)(4)(5)(6). There were also training in big data (7)(8)(9) and data science (10)(11), among others.
There is limited evidence of specific and concrete government initiatives that support a culture of innovation during the period of study. Most of the efforts of the incoming government have been focused on creating awareness for innovation through open data, but with limited initiatives to implement it. The Undersecretariat for Innovation and Open Government (1) released an innovation kit which highlights the relevance of using open data for creating a culture of innovative services (2). This kit is complemented with the dedicated open data guidance that provide further technical support (3).
The government has been directly involved in only one hackathon that made use of the new national official website (4) during the period of study, although there is political interest to organise other activities in the future (7)(8). Besides, there have been several engagement activities, such as conferences and workshops (5)(6), most of them led by CSOs and where the government has participated (7). However, there is not a consistent public policy to foster innovation through open data to date.
(7) Interview to Andrés Snitcofsky, Cargografías, November 2016.
(8) Interview to Gonzalo Iglesias, Natalia San Pietro and Gabriel Buenos, Ministry of Modernisation of Argentina, November 2016.
As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government has released its Public Data Policy Statement on December 7, 2015. The statement formalises the Government’s commitment to open data and data-driven innovation. (1)
As part of the commitment to Open Government and as a response to the Government 2.0 Taskforce report, the national open data portal (data.gov.au) was created to provide easy access and encourage reuse of public data. As of November 2016, there over 23k datasets, with 5712 of them are available in Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) format (2).
As for the institutional support, the Public Data Branch at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is responsible for public data policy and related matters. Such function was previously jointly performed by the Department of Finance and the Department of Communications. The shift signals the importance of public data and digital policy agenda within the governance process (3).
The Government of Australia regularly shares experience and technical expertise with other governments and international organizations or initiatives around the world. Australia works closely with the New Zealand Government on data-related initiatives, including through ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council (4) and GovHack (5). The Australian Government participates in the Open Data 500 Global Network (6). The network has six members, including Australia, Mexico, the United States, Italy, Korea, and Canada. It meets regularly via teleconference to facilitate peer learning on mechanisms to foster demand and encourage the use of public data. Also, Australia participates in the CKAN Government Working Group monthly teleconferences, which is a valuable forum for collaborating, sharing and learning about the use of CKAN technologies and their application within governments.
In November 2015 the Australian Government committed to finalising membership of the Open Government Partnership (7) and launched public consultations to develop an Australian Government National Action Plan (8) for open government. As of July 2016, the
Australian Government is finalising it’s membership of the Open Government Partnership, and the National Action Plan 2016 is expected to include major commitments around Open Data.
Australian Government representatives also attend and participate in international conferences and meetings about data-related matters, such as the International Open Data Conference. Australia works closely with the New Zealand Government on data-related initiatives.
As a key part of the plans to expand the data.gov.au infrastructure, the Australian Government will chair a Cross-Jurisdictional Open Data Technical Working Group to collaborate with Australian state and territory governments towards a solution for accessing Australian data at all levels of government.
(1): http://www.dpmc.gov.au/resource-centre/data/australian-government-public-data-policy-statement Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.data.gov.au/stats#summary Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): https://www.dpmc.gov.au/public-data/open-data Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): http://www.anzlic.gov.au/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): https://www.govhack.org/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(6): http://www.opendata500.com/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
The Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) (Privacy Act) serves as a legal basis for the federal regulatory framework on privacy protection (1). This is supplemented by the Privacy Regulation 2013 (2) and by codes made under the Privacy Act. As mandated by law, The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) was established with responsibilities including providing advice to the public, government agencies, and business, complaint handling, and investigations (3). Beside the Privacy Act, there are other Australian laws that relate to the privacy, including Telecommunication Act, Anti-money laundering and counter-terorism financing Act 2006, and Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (4).
The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) set out standards, rights, and obligations in relation to handling, holding, accessing and correcting personal information. (5)
However, Australian Internet Service Providers and telecommunications carriers are now required to retain customer metadata for a minimum period of two years under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015, (6) service providers will be required by law to store data such as account holder names and addresses; date, time and duration of communications; the recipient of communications; and the location of equipment used for communications, including cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. The Data Retention legislation was introduced in 2014 (7) as part of a suite of bills designed to address growing national security threats and crime (8).
Civil liberties advocates, journalists and legal experts and Australia’s media union widely raised concerns about the privacy implications of the bill.
(1): https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016C00838 Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00599 Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): https://oaic.gov.au/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): https://oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/other-legislation/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): https://www.oaic.gov.au/individuals/privacy-fact-sheets/general/privacy-fact-sheet-17-australian-privacy-principles Accessed on November 29, 2016
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) serves as a legal basis that guarantees citizen rights to access government documents (1). The legislation applies to official documents of Australian Government ministers and most Commonwealth agencies, although the obligations of agencies and ministers are different.
Under the FOI Act, citizen's requests are made directly to, and generally answered by, the relevant agency or minister with possession of the document/s. The agency/minister are authorized to impose fees according to FoI charges regulation. However, an imposition of a charge is discretionary and must be assessed at the lowest reasonable cost (2).
Once an FOI request has been received, an agency or minister has 30 days within which to make a decision under the FOI Act. The FOI Act allows for the extension of that statutory timeframe in certain circumstances, for example, where third-party consultation is required, with the agreement of the applicant or with the approval of the Information Commissioner (3). The OAIC Annual Report for 2015-2016 shows 82% of responses to 501 FOI requests were made within the applicable statutory time period last year, including with any applicable extension.(4). An applicant and the agency or minister has the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of a decision made by the Information Commissioner (5).
The critiques of the FoI act have pointed to some limitation of its scope, where law excludes the Governor General and the legislature, and only applies to the judiciary in a limited way. Several other agencies are excluded. (6)
(1): https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A02562 Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-resources/foi-agency-resources/foi-agency-resource-2-calculating-and-imposing-charges-for-foi-access-requests Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-resources/foi-agency-resources/foi-agency-resource-13-extension-of-time-for-processing-requests Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): https://www.oaic.gov.au/about-us/corporate-information/annual-reports/oaic-annual-report-201516/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): http://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/foi-guidelines/part-10-review-by-the-information-commissioner Accessed on November 29, 2016
(6): http://www.rti-rating.org/view_country/?country_name=Australia Accessed on November 29, 2016
The Public Data branch is leading the work within the government with other stakeholders to promote benefits of public sector data to citizens and address any privacy concern regarding the use of public sector data. Several public-private partnership initiatives have been initiated over the past year, including Datastart, which aims to give Australian startups new opportunities to develop sustainable businesses through access to public data (1). The current government is also planning to expand Data Start programme by providing more opportunities for startups to collaborate, test their ideas, and partner with government to turn an idea into a service (2). The civil society organizations and tech communities are also actively engaging with the government in the event such as GovHack (3). Other engagement include:
Code For Australia (4)
OKFN Australia (5)
Online engagement is also continuous through several means, including promotion and use of data.gov.au and the Department’s website to provide a central point of information about the public data agenda; use of social media to communicate key messages through the following Twitter accounts (@datagovau and @ANZLIC) and engaging citizens through the data.gov.au blog. There are also numerous presentations on the public data agenda, to a wide range of professional, themed and specialist audiences, as well as roadshows across the country for a number of data-related initiatives to engage with the public at a ‘grass-roots level’.
(1): http://datastart.wpengine.com/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.liberal.org.au/coalitions-policy-better-and-more-accessible-digital-services Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): https://www.govhack.org/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
The government of Australia, especially through the Public Data branch, is actively supporting a culture of innovation using open data through competition, grants, and private-public partnership. At the national level, the government is actively supported open data competitions such as GovHack (1). The 2-day event has been run annually since 2009. In 2016, the event was held on July 29-31, 2016 with a record breaking over 3000 participants and observers (2).
There are also initiatives being done at the state and local level:
Unleashed is South Australiaâ€™s annual open data competition (3) which is part of the GovHack competition Mentors included those working within local government (Government of South Australia) - Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources, Health and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet as well as through Apps4NSW in NSW (4). At a particular sector, "Healthack" was also organized in all states where medical researchers, health professionals, and students are invited to pitch their ideas to talented hackers to solve pressing problems in healthcare and medical research (5).
Data61 is partnering with Australia’s major startup incubators to offer a range of professional and technical assistance to Australian startups to give these dynamic small businesses their best shot at success.(6)
Datastart, which aims to give Australian startups new opportunities to develop sustainable businesses through access to public data (7). The current government is also planning to expand Data Start programme by providing more opportunities for startups to collaborate, test their ideas, and partner with government to turn an idea into a service (8).
(1): https://www.govhack.org/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.govhack.org/competition/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): http://uladl.com/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): http://data.nsw.gov.au/apps4nsw Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): http://www.healthhack.com.au/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(6): http://www.data61.csiro.au/Collaborate-with-us/Startups Accessed on November 29, 2016
(7): http://datastart.wpengine.com/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(8): https://www.liberal.org.au/coalitions-policy-better-and-more-accessible-digital-services Accessed on November 29, 2016
Below is a summary of what about how Open Government is being delivered in State Government and some of the initiatives being delivered within Australia as part of the state-level Open Government movement
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
• data.act.gov.au is the portal for ACT government data.
• Proactive Release of Data (Open Data) Policy (December 2015) at (1)
South Australia (SA)
• data.sa.gov.au is the portal for South Australian government data.
• The South Australian Open Data Toolkit, and the Open Data Process Guide (November 2015) at (2)
• The Open Data Declaration (September 2013) at (3)
• Open Data Action Plan (2013) at (4)
• Digital by Default Declaration (November 2014) at (5)
• Open data is a part of the South Australia Connected Ready for the future strategy (April 2016) at (6)
• data.qld.gov.au is the portal for Queensland government data.
• Each Queensland department or statutory body has an open data strategy. These are accessible at https://data.qld.gov.au/department-strategies. An example is the Open Data Strategy 2015-2020 – Premier and Cabinet (7)
New South Wales (NSW)
• data.nsw.gov.au is the portal for NSW government data.
• NSW Open Data Action Plan was launched in 2016 at (8)
• The New South Wales Open Data Policy was launched in 2016 and replaces the 2013 Open Data Policy at: (9). Progress of the policy is monitored through http://data.nsw.gov.au/plan
• The NSW Data Analytics center was announced in August 2015 at (10)(11)
• NSW Spatial Data Catalogue at https://sdi.nsw.gov.au/nswsdi/catalog/main/home.page NSW Government’s Information Asset Register at http://data.nsw.gov.au/iar/ OpenGov NSW at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main Open Access and Licensing Framework at https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/resources/open-access-and-licensing-framework Government Information Public Access Act 2009 (NSW) at:https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/resources/government-information-public-access-act-2009-nsw
Data.NSW Guidelines at https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/resources/datansw-guidelines
• data.vic.gov.au is the portal for Victorian government data.
• The DataVic Access Policy Guidelines published in August 2015 at (12) Guidelines support the DataVic Access Policy, 2012 at http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Publications/Victoria-Economy-publications/IP-and-DataVic/DataVic-Access-Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy at http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Victorias-Economy/Victorian-Government-intellectual-property-and-data-policies/Intellectual-Property-Policy
Western Australia (WA)
• data.wa.gov.au is the portal for Western Australian government data.
• Open Data Policy, published in April 2015 http://data.wa.gov.au/open-data-policy Fact sheets and toolkit http://data.wa.gov.au/fact-sheets-and-toolkit The Shared Land Information Platform gives users access to Western Australia's significant land and geographic information resources at https://www2.landgate.wa.gov.au/web/guest/about-slip Western Australia Intellectual Property Policy (2015) at http://innovation.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/WA-Government-IP-Policy-2015-final.pdf
• Central Open Data Portal: theList - https://www.thelist.tas.gov.au/app/content/data Tasmanian Government Open Data Policy at http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/stats_matter/open_data/tasmanian_government_open_data_policy
Some local councils also have open data policies. For example:
• Glenorchy, Tasmania: The Glenorchy City Council Open Data Policy was released in November 2014 (13). Data for the council area is available on data.gov.au and https://maps.gcc.tas.gov.au/.
• Bendigo, Victoria: The City of Greater Bendigo is helping residents to find out if their properties are prone to flooding. The map relies on the data.gov.au infrastructure to display the flood zones. See: (14) • Melbourne, Victoria: The City of Melbourne published an open data policy in November 2014 (15)(16)
(1): http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/859430/2016-Proactive-Release-of-Data-Open-Data-Policy.pdf Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): http://digital.sa.gov.au/resources/topic/open-data/open-data-toolkit Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): http://digital.sa.gov.au/resources/topic/open-data/open-data-declaration Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): https://data.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/Open%20Data%20Action%20Plan.pdf Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): http://digital.sa.gov.au/resources/topic/digital-government/digital-default-declaration Accessed on November 29, 2016
(6): http://digital.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/content_files/strategy/SA-Connected-Strategic-Directions-Update-Apr2016.pdf Accessed on November 29, 2016
(7): https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/open-data-strategy-premier-and-cabinet. Accessed on November 29, 2016
(8): https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/resources/open-data-action-plan. Accessed on November 29, 2016
(9): https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/resources/nsw-government-open-data-policy Accessed on November 29, 2016
(10): https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict/nsw-data-analytics-centre Accessed on November 29, 2016
(11): http://www.cio.com.au/article/581132/nsw-see-australia-first-government-data-analytics-centre/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(12): http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Victorias-Economy/Victorian-Government-intellectual-property-and-data-policies/DataVic-Access-Policy-and- Accessed on November 29, 2016
(13): http://gcc.tas.gov.au/infocouncil/Open/2014/10/OC_13102014_AGN_EXTRA.PDF Accessed on November 29, 2016
(14): http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3915002/how-would-your-home-fare-in-flood/ and http://www.pozi.com/bendigo/?layers=amendmentc221-proposedoverlays Accessed on November 29, 2016
(15): https://data.melbourne.vic.gov.au/about#principles Accessed on November 29, 2016
(16): http://www.themandarin.com.au/19401-melbourne-city-opens-environment-data/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
General training on data technologies and statistics is regularly available at the University, for non-degree (1)(2) and degree courses (3). However, they do not cover the aspect of open data issues. the Australian National University has begun offering a Graduate Diploma in Applied Data Analytics and a Masters of Applied Data Analytics (6).
Related to Open Data, OD Queensland and NGIS are actively providing training material on Open Data skills and policy. (4)(5)
(1): https://apollo.anu.edu.au/apollo/default.asp?pid=8952 Accessed on November 29, 2016
(2): https://www.maths.unsw.edu.au/courses/math2871-data-management-statistical-analysis Accessed on November 29, 2016
(3): http://www.deakin.edu.au/course/master-data-analytics Accessed on November 29, 2016
(4): http://www.odiqueensland.org.au/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
(5): http://ngis.com.au/open-data-series/ Accessed on November 29, 2016
Austria has maintained a purposeful federal open data initiative for the past six years. Efforts are also integrated with local, societal and international programs. Notably, Austria published a national open innovation strategy in November 2016 with a crucial role for open access and open data (15) (16). However, there is not yet a wider, long-term open data strategy. Despite being credible and well-coordinated, Austria’s open data initiative therefore also appears somewhat fragmented and incremental.
Already in July 2015, the law on the reuse of public sector information from 2005 was amended to accommodate the revised EU PSI Directive on re-use of government information. While not mandating pro-active publishing of such information the law does create a general default right to re-use for non-commercial and commercial purposes anything that is public or requested to be made public, and mandates whenever possible the use of open standards and machine readable formats (1).
Further expansions of open data and freedom of information principles are nevertheless subject to contentious discussions in the parliament as well as among public and civic stakeholders. Parliamentary decision making on a new freedom of information law (“Informationspflichtgesetz”) has effectively stalled due to dissent about its intended reach. While members of the governing coalition as well as other public stakeholders (including federal ministries and agencies) criticize the draft for being too demanding, opposition parliamentarians and civic stakeholder groups demand more progressive legislation towards transparency by default (2) (10) (11).
On a more voluntary basis, the Federal Chancellery has been involved in open data since at least 2010. In 2011 the Austrian national data portal was launched, which has been developed with staff support from the Chancellery and the Austrian Federal Computing Centre; portal development and implementation were financed by the Austrian Ministry of Finance (3). In its current operational status, the portal is formally published by the Austrian Ministry of Finance, with the Chancellery as editor and the federal datacenter responsible for technical maintenance (4). In January 2016, the portal was relaunched to improve search functions and discoverability of datasets (12). According to the government self-assessment of 2015, the ongoing operations of the portal, including project coordination and further standards development, are managed by two staff members of the Federal Chancellery who are working part time (around 50%) on the project. Further technical operations and maintenance actions are subcontracted to the Austrian Federal Computing Centre. The annual running costs are shared by the chancellery and the City of Vienna. In October 2016, 18 federal level ministries and agencies were publishing data through the national portal. In total, 37 government bodies from all administrative levels have published data through the portal (5).
The Federal Chancellery, representing all federal ministries, is furthermore one of the initiators of the Cooperation OGD Österreich. The cooperation started in 2011 and celebrated its fifth anniversary in June 2016 (13). Its aim is to strengthen cooperation with civil society, businesses, academia and culture in building the future of open data with shared standards and frameworks, as well as creating one license (CC BY) for all open government data. The Cooperation includes state, regional and local governments. Furthermore, the Chancellery ensures the participation of the federally initiated national internet society competence centre KIG and the Platform Digital Austria (6). For cooperations with the German speaking part of Europe, the Chancellery also leads the international exchange of Austrian experiences with Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein (D-A-CH-LI network and conferences) (6). Additionally, there are strong exchanges and collaborations with non-governmental stakeholders, e.g. on standardisation issues. In June 2015 the Federal Chancellery co-hosted the 4th DACHLI conference in Vienna, with active participation of several federal level ministries and agencies (7).
In 2016, Austria is still not a member of the Open Government Partnership (8), despite civic and community stakeholder groups pressing for its accession (14).
The federal effort concerning the national data portal has been presented with a UN Public Service Award in November 2014 (9).
(1): Informationsweiterverwendungsgesetz, Änderung, sections 2a and 6, 2015, http://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXV/I/I_00629/index.shtml
Formally, Austria has a strong personal data protections law (1), which is also available in an English translation (2). All major points for a strong data protection law are regulated by the law, i.e.:
- Broad applicability: sections 1, 3 and 4;
- Right of choice/consent: sections 8.1 and 9;
- Right to access and correct: sections 3.1 and 26 through 28;
- Responsibilities of information holders: sections 11 through 25;
- Right of redress through an independent body: sections 30-34 and sections 35-38.
Partly due to differing opinions between coalition partners, the Austrian government has until now also refrained from re-introducing data retention laws after these had been overruled by the country’s constitutional court in June 2014 (8) (9).
Despite these formal provisions, a core point of debate over the last years was their enforcement in practice, especially by the federal data protection authority which is Austria’s independent data protection oversight and redress body. In the past, privacy advocates criticised that the Austrian Data Protection Authority had a far too low budget and too little staff to enforce the laws appropriately (4). Temporarily, several thousand unprocessed cases had accumulated at the authority’s office due to a lack of staff (5). The 2014 annual report (published in March 2015) by the data protection authority claims that previous problems with not enough staff have improved, and that the output of processed complaints and requests now matches the input of registered complaints and requests (6). The annual report for 2015 seems to confirm this assessment with response outputs by the authority now largely matching the various inputs from citizens (7).
(1): Bundesgesetz über den Schutz personenbezogener Daten (Datenschutzgesetz 2000 - DSG 2000), 2013, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10001597
(2): Federal Act concerning the Protection of Personal Data (DSG 2000), no publication year, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/Erv/ERV_1999_1_165/ERV_1999_1_165.html
(4): Wimmer, B., Futurezone Technology News, Österreich vor “Datenschutz-Scherbenhaufen”, 24th April 2014, http://futurezone.at/netzpolitik/oesterreich-vor-datenschutz-scherbenhaufen/62.275.980
(5): Peyerl, R., Futurezone Technology News, Der Datenschutz bleibt zahnlos, 2nd September 2013, http://futurezone.at/netzpolitik/neue-behoerde-der-datenschutz-bleibt-zahnlos/24.988.409
(6): Republik Österreich - Datenschutzbehörde, Datenschutzbericht 2014, 2015, https://www.dsb.gv.at/documents/22758/115209/Datenschutzbericht_2014.pdf/a845facf-4b0c-4957-8a2f-9e189abe7d27
Austria formally has a right to information law already since 1987 (1). However, in international comparisons such as the Global Right to Information Rating issued by access info and the Centre for Law and Democracy, Austria is rated as very weak, placed 111th of 111 countries surveyed (2). While the Austrian RTI law does provide anyone the right to request information within a reasonable timeframe, the provision of information is not necessarily in the form of documents but could be a summary (section 1.2) (3). The law also does not mention any redress mechanism.
More importantly, the Austrian constitution (4) establishes a general secrecy rule for all public sector bodies and their civil servants (Article 20.3) (5). It subsequently establishes that government entities need to provide information when requested (article 20.4), but only if such a provision does not violate the provisions in the general secrecy rules (6).
The government in 2012 promised to change the constitution as well as the RTI law. However, the amendments which are in the process of being drafted since early 2014 do not seem to introduce a true RTI. Most importantly, they leave the secrecy rule intact and do not introduce a dedicated redress mechanism other than the courts. Accordingly, the proposed changes have received criticism from civil society organisations (7). These have also started a campaign for a stronger RTI called “Forum Informationsfreiheit” (8) and have furthermore started a petition to introduce a full transparency law (9).
The introduction of a new freedom of information law (“Informationspflichtgesetz”) is subject to contentious discussions in the parliament as well as among public and civic stakeholders. After public consultations on the first draft, parliamentary decision making on the law has effectively stalled due to dissent about its intended reach. While members of the governing coalition as well as other public stakeholders (including federal ministries and agencies) criticize the draft for being too demanding, seeking to protect main elements public secrecy, opposition parliamentarians and civic stakeholder groups demand more progressive legislation towards transparency by default (10) (11) (12).
(1): Bundesgesetz vom 15. Mai 1987 über die Auskunftspflicht der Verwaltung des Bundes und eine Änderung des Bundesministeriengesetzes 1986 (Auskunftspflichtgesetz), 1987, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10000916
(3): Bundesgesetz vom 15. Mai 1987 über die Auskunftspflicht der Verwaltung des Bundes und eine Änderung des Bundesministeriengesetzes 1986 (Auskunftspflichtgesetz), Section 1.2, 1987, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe? Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10000916
(4): Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG), 1945, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10000138
(5): Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG), Article 20.3, 1945, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10000138
(6): Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG), Article 20.4, 1945, https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10000138
(7): Huther, M., Forum Informationsfreiheit, Forderungen für ein starkes Recht auf Zugang zu Information in Österreich, 27th January 2015, http://www.informationsfreiheit.at/2015/01/forderungen-fuer-ein-starkes-recht-auf-zugang-zu-information-in-oesterreich/
Civil society, academia and IT communities are strongly involved with government around open data. Since 2010, regular meet-ups and annual conferences are an important and continuously maintained channel of engagement and consultations (1) (2). The most important actors in this field are Open Knowledge Austria (3), Wikimedia Austria (4), Open3At (5). In academia, the KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research is a major driver for open data, e.g. collaborating intensely with the City of Vienna to implement their local open data initiative (10). From this collaboration, the open data implementation model has emerged (11).
Civil society and academia are also advising the Cooperation OGD Österreich, which coordinates the Austrian national open data efforts and has representatives from all levels of government (6). In July 2016, the Cooperation OGD Österreich celebrated its fifth anniversary; for this, the Centre for Public Administration Research published a critical reflection (9). An ODI node was founded in Vienna on 24 June 2015 to further help open data culture evolve (7).
A major output of the involvement of civil society in open data is the launch of the national open data portal for non-government data in 2014 (8). This works in tandem with the open government data portal and adopts the same standards on metadata, URIs, licences etc.. The project is mainly driven by the Open Knowledge Foundation Austria, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Semantic Web Company and various academic institutions as well as the Cooperation OGD Austria (6) (8).
Between October 2015 and June 2016, the Federal Chancellery ran the open4data challenge 2016 in order to facilitate the creation of innovative open data ideas, data sets and solutions (1). Additionally, the federal government recently published the country’s first open innovation strategy which sees open data and open access as crucial elements (2) (3). However, concrete steps towards both the implementation of the strategy and operationalising the role of open data in it still have to be taken.
Before these more recent efforts, the last national app competition had taken place in 2013 (4) with no documented federal activities afterwards. While various state and local governments have been involved in other competitions in previous years, these activities seemed to have slowed down over the current reporting period. The state of Vienna has a yearly 'Content Award' that has a category both for Apps and, in 2014, for Open (which includes the use of open data). The 2015 awards did not feature an open or open data awards, however users were encouraged to use open data from the City of Vienna for their submissions (5) (6).
The state of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia ran app development competitions in the first half of 2015 (7) (8) (9). However, during the current reporting period, no such activities were noted for all states. The state of Vorarlberg ran a users forum for open geoinformation data May 2016 (10). Local app competitions, however organised by civil society and academia, have taken place in the cities of Graz and Vienna (11) (12). Civil society actors also continue organizing regular open data meetups in Vienna, frequently with government involvement and representation (13) (14). Additionally, the OGD D-A-CH-LI conference has been continued to foster the exchange of ideas and knowledge on open data across German speaking countries (15).
(7): http://its.fh-salzburg.ac.at/events/its-award/open-data-award/ (8): https://www.tirol.gv.at/data/preistraegerinnen-tiroler-app-wettbewerb-2015/
All major cities and all but one of the federal states (Burgenland) have their own open data portals, next to a number of smaller municipalities. All these local and state level initiatives participate in the national coordinating body, the Cooperation OGD Austria (1) and follow its recommendations on metadata, URI's, formats and licenses. States with their own open data initiatives are Tyrol (2), Vorarlberg (3), Lower Austria (4), Carinthia (5), Salzburg (6), Styria (7), Upper Austria (8), and Vienna (9) (the latter playing a duplicate role here as its both a city and a state). Major cities with open data initiatives are Vienna (9), Salzburg (10), Linz (11), Graz (12), and Innsbruck (13). Additionally, all of these initiatives, as well as smaller local government ones such as Engerwitzdorf (14), have all their open data published in the national portal as well (15). Two cities, Klagenfurt and Vocklabrück, publish only through the national portal (15).
The most prominent and open-data-specific offer is the School of Data (1) which offers training for multiple targets groups (such as government officials, journalists, app builders and others) and both for beginners and advanced users. The initiative is ran and supported by a variety of stakeholders around digital literacy (2), as well as the Open Knowledge Foundation and partners likewise involved in the Cooperation OGD Austria (3). Courses are collaboratively organised and taught by instructors from academic institutions (e.g. KDZ Zentrum für Verwaltungsforschung and Centre for E-Governance at the Danube-University Krems), NGOs (e.g. Open Knowledge Foundation Austria), city administrations, and businesses (e.g. ledfish.com and Compass Gruppe) (10).
Open data also forms a part of the e-government lecture of the Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications (IAIK) at the TU Graz (11).
With regards to data science training, a review by the Open Data Institute in May 2016 found eight training offers in Austria. Seven were academic degree programs or university courses; one offer was from a professional training provider (6).
General digital literacy training for all age groups exists across the country from both WerdeDigital (4) and Saferinternet.at (5). On the topics of big data and data analytics there are at least three commercial training providers, and likely more, such as Eduvision (7) ExperTeach (8) and SmaPro (9). In total however, the market for training offers for data-related exploitation and analyses skills is evolving and relatively fragmented.
Bahrain's Open Data initiative (data portal) is well established now (1) and published open data on regular basis. The agency in charge is Central Informatics Organization (2) which also runs the data portal (3).
There is no legal framework for the right to information (or FOIA) in Bahrain. However, the presence of an open data portal can be considered as an indirect fulfillment of information request.
There is no evidence of clear and solid active engagement, but NGOs and CSOs can use the open data in different ways. The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (1) provides stats and services for NGOs. Several mobile apps are also based on open data (2).
Except for providing open data in a usable format (1) and publishing a list of mobile apps based on open data (2), there were no significant efforts by the government on support for open data innovation. Bahrain Business Incubation Center (3) lists open data as a supported business activity but it is not affiliated with government. Last innovation initiative tracks back to 2013 (4).
(1): http://bahrain.knoema.com/ (limited data availability, accessed 8 August, 2016)
Being a small country and a kingdom, Bahrain does not publish city or province open data. Data is centralized and published through the national data portal. Municipal services are managed by the ministry and municipal directory is yet to be published (1).
There are very limited relevant training courses in Bahrain. One Known source is NobleProg (1) which does stats and some data science topics (big data, data mining, ../) but no specific open data training. E-gov also does basic literacy (2) through a capacity building project (includes Excel). One of the reasons for the lack of training is country size and the close proximity of Dubai with better options. Local universities also offer related courses (3).
The Bangladesh's national open data portal (Data.gov.bd) was first launched in 2016, now in beta version, as the government's one-stop portal to its publicly available datasets from more than 35 Ministries and related agencies. The development of the portal aims to provide a single access to government data and analysis (including data visualizations). The portal is an initiative by the Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries, Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), and Statistics and Informatics Division (SID).(1)
(1): http://data.gov.bd/ Accessed on 26 November 2016
There is no separate law or act on protection of personal data, although there are several legal frameworks that regulate such matter, including National ICT Act, Cyber Security Act, and the Right to Information Act. For example, the Right to Information Act under section 7 clarified that no information which may harm the confidentiality of the personal life of an individual should be disclosed (2).
Apart from this, Central Bank of Bangladesh has developed ICT guideline to protect customer sensitive data in the financial sectors.
(1): http://www.moi.gov.bd/RTI/RTI_English.pdf Accessed 26 November 2016
There is a legal framework for the protection of personal data in the country which is in enhancement stage. This regulatory framework consists of National ICT ACT, Cyber Security Act & Right to Information Act. Other associated regulatory tools are also in the process of development. Apart from this, Central Bank of Bangladesh has developed ICT guideline to protect customer sensitive data in the financial sectors. Finance Ministry also has published their budget preparation and budget documents related docs, acts & rules, citizen charters, National Budget and many more documents for public use and knowledge. (http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/).
The Bangladesh Right to Information (RTI) Act was enacted in 2009. Following the enactment of the law, the information commission was established to carry out the implementation of the act. Mechanisms to allow public access to information have also been established in agencies including online forms and portal (2)(3).
In September 2016, in commemoration of the International Right to Information day, the Information Commission of Bangladesh published some interesting facts (4):
(a) Till August 2016, a total number of 22,273 government and non-government officials have received training with regard to various facets of the RTI process,
(b) lectures on the RTI paradigm have been given to hundreds of officials undergoing courses in institutions like BPATC, RPATC, BCS (Administration) Academy, and NILG,
(c) training has also been given by the Information Commission to 250 officials from different districts to create potential instructors who can disseminate information about RTI at district level,
(d) with the help of the A2I, the World Bank, and an NGO called D-Net, the Information Commission is updating and up-linking activities related to the implementation of the RTI process in its web portal www.infocom.gov.bd on a regular basis,
(e) the Information Commission in the past six years has published 19 regulatory manuals and reports related to various aspects of its functional matrix, and
(f) to facilitate wider understanding of the RTI Act, it has also been published in Braille for visually handicapped persons, and a summary of the Act has been included as a chapter in the text book on social science for higher secondary school students.
However, after seven years of its enactment, there are some areas in the implementation of the law that needs to be addressed (5). Particularly in stregthening the demand side of the RTI (6, 7). Bangladesh also has its official secrets act which runs contrary to RTI basic principles. This sounds like "double face" because if the country has intention to really enforce RTI, the RTI law should have repealed the official secrets act.
(1): http://www.bbs.gov.bd/WebTestApplication/userfiles/Image/RightToInformation/RTI_ACT_English.pdf Accessed on November 26, 2016
(2): http://www.forms.gov.bd/ Accessed on November 26, 2016
(3): http://www.services.portal.gov.bd/ Accessed on November 26, 2016
(4): http://www.freedominfo.org/2016/11/evolving-dimensions-bangladesh-rti-act/ Accessed on November 26, 2016
(5): http://www.freedominfo.org/2016/11/bangladesh-rti-paper-law/ Accessed on November 26, 2016
(6): http://www.dawn.com/news/1290749 Accessed on November 26, 2016
Private Sectors, Civil Society, and Technology Professionals are engaged with the Government regarding the Open Data initiative. OGD working group has been formed consisting of all the sectors of the society like enterprises, private sectors (BRAC/Light Castle Partners/OrangeBD), and Academia (CSE, University of Dhaka). Engaging Lawyers (BNWLA), Journalist (BSS, the daily Observer), and members of Civil Society are also in progress. (1)
Already they have been sensitized by two large National Substantives Training on OGD Workshops organized during 2015 & 2016. Technical professionals from Private Sectors & Government and Academia (CSE of Dhaka University) have been included to this initiative as well. They attend regular OGD working group meeting and help to carry forward the purposes of Open Government initiative (2, 3).
The access to Information (a2i) programme on behalf of Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with United Nations Department of Social & Economic Affairs is working to develop a culture of innovation with open Data. a2i has already initiated service Innovation fund (1) and Students’ Innovation camp (2), Challenge Fund and Woman Innovation Camp (3) and several other programs to develop a culture of innovation in collaboration with Academia and other organizations with Partnership model.
Moreover, ICT ministry with the help of private sectors organize regularly Hackathon, a programming competition for the betterment of public services for the citizen. Government with the help of several Ministries and private sectors are trying to develop a culture of innovation in society. Several discussions and programs have been organized and are organizing by a2i in collaboration with Cabinet Division and Ministry of Public Administration to establish innovation in the public service (4).
(1): http://a2i.pmo.gov.bd/innovation-lab/lab/service-innovation-fund/ Accessed on November 27, 2016
Even when 64 Deputy Commissioner’s Offices along with Upazila offices and Union Offices of Bangladesh have some online presence, there is no open data initiative running for at the city or regional level.
The Universities offer Computer Science courses, e.g. (1), (2), but no reference to specific open data training was found. There are also other IT education initiatives, such as the Bangladesh Computer Education Development Society (3), which does, however, not refer to open data either. Also the Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN)(2) conducts IT courses (4).
(1): http://www.duet.ac.bd/cse/?page=aboutcse Accessed November 27, 2016
(2): http://www.cu.ac.bd/ctguni/index.php?option=com_cudata&task=computer%20science%20and%20engineering Accessed November 27, 2016
(3): http://bcedsbd.org/ Accessed November 27, 2016
(4): http://bdosn.org/ Accessed November 27, 2016
In March 2016, the Minister of Communications and Informatization Sergei Popkov said that a national Open Data portal is included in the Strategy of Informatization Development in Belarus for 2016-2020. It should be ready by 2016 and will include at least some 100 datasets (1).
The Strategy defines as one of the main targets of informatization "the development of an effective and transparent public administration". One of the means towards this goal shall be "the implementation of the concept of open data, including by means of the creation of a national portal of open data, which shall serve as a primary tool to facilitate open data distribution and the creation of open data based electronic services" (2)
In October the Ministry of Communications and Informatization announced a tender for the creation of the portal, due on 21 Nov 2016. It is planned to allocate 2 million rubles (1 million US$) for its funding. The portal is said to be created before the end of 2018 (3).
According to officials in the Department of Informatization in the Ministry of Communications and Informatization (4) the open data portal is at an early stage of development - a tender for the implementing body was published. The documents that were created so far are technical and not strategic. The concept will be developed in the first working phase in 2017. An expert report has been written by a private Korean consultant organization with recommendation on the portal development. It was publicly presented at the "TIBO 2016" IT fair in Minsk, but was not later distributed due to intellectual property rights restriction.
(4) Interview with Government
There is an active local open data community, part of the lively IT ecosystem of Minsk. It has developed its own open data portal and is engaged in independently creating and collecting datasets (1). Its members are trying to reach out to the government for information on the planned governmental open data portal and data release strategy. However they state that there is a systemic disconnect between government and citizens, and there are no platforms for communication (2).
Moreover, other interviewees indicate that instead of requesting data from the government they prefer if possible to collect or generate it themselves, as normally they do not willingly interact with the government (3)
(2) Interviews with Anonymous
(3) Interview with Anonymous
There is a culture of innovation sustained by private initiatives without government intervention. For example:
- May 21-22, Hack For Future 2016 (1)
- March 5, Open Data Day Festival Hackathon (2)
- Monthly meetups of OpenData.by group
There is a lively Open Data community in Minsk (1), based on the city's thriving tech ecosystem. The core group organizes monthly meetups, maintains a portal and a google group, develops open data apps and collects datasets, cooperates with the local OpenStreetMap work group, participates in hackathons and gives talks in tech events.
There is some data science and big data training, plus some open data sessions.
Data Talks meetups, Nov 19 & Apr 16 https://datatalks.timepad.ru/events
Hack For Future Hackathon May 21-22 www.facebook.com/events/1020359061375005
Falanster Digital Lab meetups https://falanster.by/ru/digital_lab
Apart from that, there is good technical education in Minsk universities and a strong professional tech community. It's enough to look at the IT Park that hosts 152 companies with about 25,000 engineers, which amounts to 80% of the country's IT industry (1).
According to an independent expert report published by Lawtrend, a Belurussian legal advocacy NGO, there is no consistent protection of personal data (1). Legislation on protection of personal data is included in 3 different laws: "On information, informatization and protection of information" (3), "On the population register" (4) and "On Census" (5). The latter two refer only to census data. The three have conflicting definition of personal data; there is no all-encompassing protection of all types of personal data and no defined mechanisms for enforcing the protection.
Officials from the the National Centre of Legislation and Legal Research have confirmed that no dedicated law exists and the Centre is working on one to streamline the current varying definitions of personal data in current legislation (2).
According to interviews with citizens the protection of personal data in the country still presents serious concerns (6).
(1) Lawtrend report on the protection of personal data in Belarus, 2015, http://www.lawtrend.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Zashhita-personalnyh-dannyh-v-Belarusi-1.pdf
(2) Anonymous Interview
(3) The Law "On information, informatization and protection of information", Article 1, 10 November 2008, № 455-W
(4) The Law "On the register of population", Article 2, 21 July 2008, № 418-W
(5) The Law "On census", 13 july 2006, №144-З
(6) Anonymous Interview
There is no specific RTI law in the country. The "On information, informatization and protection of information" (1) contains provisions for Access to Information. Another law "On appeals of citizens and legal entities" (2) regulates the process of request submission and response issuance.
According to interviews with civil society response times are respected but the implementation is purely formalistic - the responses may simply reference legislation or already available information and not contain the actual requested data (3).
There is no "open by default" policy.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, in 2015 Belarusians’ rights to freedom of expression, were significantly curtailed (4).
(1) The Law "On information, informatization and protection of information", Article 21, 10 November 2008, № 455-W, http://etalonline.by/?type=text®num=H10800455#load_text_none_1_3
(2) The Law "On appeals of citizens and legal entities", 15 July 2015, № 306-З, 15 июля 2015 г. № 306-З, http://www.pravo.by/main.aspx?guid=3871&p2=2/1852
(3) Anonymous Interview
There is a formal open data initiative at federal level led by an Open Data Task Force including staff from the ICT Federal Public Service of Belgium, responsible for e-Govermement (Fedict) (1) and from the Agency for Simplification of the Administration (DAV-ASA), placed under the Prime Minister. (2) Since January 2016, the two data portals at federal level have been merged into one single national open data portal, data.gov.be, indexing, but not hosting, data that are made available by the federal and regional public services, as well as by the federal and regional other government institutions.
The single open data portal is one of the results of the open data strategy, approved by the federal Government in July 2015. (3) The federal strategy is asking to each public service to establish its own open data strategy and appoint an Open Data Champion. The Open Data Task Force, which is comprised of 4 part-time staff only, is responsible for implementing the strategy and the technical maintenance of the portal.
The initiative sometimes shares experience and/or technical expertise with other governments. For instance, one representative of the Open Data Task Force participated in #Hackfrancophonie, a two days event organized in February 2016 by the French Open Data Initiative Etalab which gathered 9 Francophone countries. (4) However, Belgium has not adopted the International Open Data Charter and is neither part of the Open Government Partnership, two international initiative for open data discussions and experience's sharing among national and local governments.
(1): http://www.fedict.belgium.be/ Accessed on October 12, 2016
(2): http://www.simplification.be/ Accessed on October 12, 2016
(3): http://www.fedweb.belgium.be/fr/actualites/2015/20150724_opendata Accessed on October 12, 2016
(4): https://www.etalab.gouv.fr/hackfrancophonie-jour-1-ateliers-sur-louverture-des-donnees-entre-gouvernements-francophones Accessed on October 12, 2016
The country has a robust privacy law since 1992 (1), with a dedicated privacy commission for monitoring and appeals. (2) The privacy law was last amended in April 2014 (3). It provides the right of choice/consent to individuals, the right to access and/or correct one's personal data, imposes clear responsibilities on information holders, and provides a right of redress against both private and public bodies that violate data privacy.
In fall 2014, the Belgian Government increased the importance of data protection, including a cabinet member for this field. (4)
The decision of the Privacy Commission of June 2015 to take Facebook to court over user tracking appears in line with this more rigid approach. (5)
(1): http://www.privacycommission.be/en/privacy-act-and-implementing-decrees Accessed on October 13, 2016
(2): http://www.privacycommission.be/ Accessed on October 13, 2016
(3): Act of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data. Consolidated version 7th April 2014. Unofficial English Translation April 2014. http://www.legislationline.org/download/action/download/id/5514/file/Belgium_Privacy_Act_1992_as_of_2014_en.pdf Accessed on October 13, 2016
(4): http://blogs.dlapiper.com/privacymatters/belgium-belgiums-new-government-sets-privacy-high-on-the-political-agenda-appointing-minister-of-privacy/ Accessed on October 13, 2016
(5): http://www.wsj.com/articles/belgium-takes-facebook-to-court-over-privacy-user-tracking-1434366787 Accessed on October 13, 2016
The right to access to information is enshrined in the constitution since the amendment of its Article 32 in 1993 which now includes the following mention: "Everyone has the right to consult any administrative document and to have a copy made, except in the cases and conditions stipulated by the laws, decrees, or rulings referred to in Article 134." (1)
The right to access information is further detailed in the Law on publicity of the administration of April 11, 1994, (2) which garantees citizens and non-citizens to access to information and establishes an independent advisory Commission. (3)
Since May 2016, there is also a Law on Public Sector Information (PSI) reuse, which is a transposition of the EU Directice. The law establishes an independent Federal Commission for PSI reuse. (5) However, the two laws seems disjoined as they do not reference each other.
Lastly, there is no rule or law that would provide for the proactive publication of information as open data by default.
Overall, the right to access information is scored 59/150 by the Global Right to Information rating, with a notable zero score for sanctions. (5)
(1): http://www.const-court.be/en/common/home.html Accessed on October 13, 2016
(2): Loi relative à la publicité de l'administration, April 11, 1994, http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi_loi/change_lg.pl?language=fr&la=F&cn=1994041151&table_name=loi Accessed on October 13, 2016
(3): http://www.ibz.rrn.fgov.be/nl/commissies/openbaarheid-van-bestuur/ Accessed on October 13, 2016
(4): Loi relatif à la réutilisation des informations du secteur public, May 4, 2016, http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi/api2.pl?lg=fr&pd=2016-06-03&numac=2016009236 Accessed on October 13, 2016
(5): http://data.gov.be/fr/la-commission-federale-de-recours-pour-la-reutilisation-des-informations-du-secteur-public Accessed on October 14, 2016
(6): http://www.rti-rating.org/view_country/?country_name=Belgium Accessed on October 13, 2016
There are some evidence that civil society and information technology professionals are engaging with the Government on open data. For instance, the Open Data Task Force organized a workshop in January 2016 with various public and private stakeholders to explain the new strategy. (1)
The non-profit organization Open Knowledge Belgium, which gathers most of open data advocates in the country, is regularly engaging with the Government on open data and open knowledge issues and has been at the forefront to push for an open data strategy. (2) Open Knowledge Belgium organizes the annual conference Open Belgium (3) where open data practitionners from public and private organizations can meet. Besides Open Knowledge, further organizations are involved in Open Data, such as the Brussels Open Data Science community (6), the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative in cooperation with people at the Flemish iMinds innovation hub (7)
Civil society organizations and professionals are also regularly engaging with local open data initiatives such as Open Data Brussels (4) or Open Data Ghent (5) through dedicated hackathon or events.
There is no evidence of close collaboration between public and private entities in terms of co-production of open datasets.
(1): http://data.gov.be/fr/open-data-workshop-12-janvier-2016 Accessed on October 14, 2016
(2): http://www.openknowledge.be/open-data-in-belgium/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(3): http://2016.openbelgium.be/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(4): http://opendata.brussels.be/page/news/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(5): http://appsforghent.be/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
There is few evidence that the Government at federal level is directly supporting a culture of innovation with open data through investment or other forms of supports, and there is no such objective or commitment in the recent open data strategy, even though open data is recognized as a driver for innovation. (1)
One evidence is that Fedict is paying during 2 years for the salary of a project lead at startup.be to match data supply and demand from the private sector.
Until now, open data innovation has been supported mainly by local initiatives. According to Open Knowledge Belgium, cities such as Ghent, Antwerp and Kortrijk have been organising hackathons and datadives for a long time in order to push the local envelope. (2)
The federal governments reaches also IT professionals via its Startups program (3). On open data, it organises a matchmaking between administrations and start-ups regarding the most interesting datasets.
(1): http://www.digitalbelgium.be/sites/default/files/content/FR_strategisch_dossier.pdf Accessed on October 14, 2016
(2): http://www.openknowledge.be/open-data-in-belgium/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
Open Data in Belgium first started from local iniatives. Cities such as Ghent, (1) Antwerp (2) and Kortrijk (3) have their own open data initiative.
There is also open data iniatives at regions' level. Flanders has its own open data initiative (4) and Wallonia is catching up with the Walloon platform for IT initiatives providing an Open Data portal for the Walloon region. (5)
Brussels, which is both a city and a region, has open data initiatives at both levels. (6) (7)
All datasets from these open data portals are harvested on the central data portal data.gov.be and all use the DCAT-AP metadata standard. The coordination between all the initiatives is done trough regular meetings (every 2-3 Months according to the Open Data Task Force). However, it seems coordination and harmonization between initiatives is mainly done on data standards, less on legalissues, as evidenced by the number of different open licenses used (8) and the various legal regimes between locals and federal levels.
(1): https://data.stad.gent/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(2): opendata.antwerpen.be Accessed on October 14, 2016
(3): www.kortrijk.be/opendata/data Accessed on October 14, 2016
(4): https://overheid.vlaanderen.be/open-data-portaal Accessed on October 14, 2016
(5): http://data.digitalwallonia.be/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(6): http://opendata.brussels.be/page/home/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(7): http://opendatastore.brussels/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(8): http://data.gov.be/en/search/datasets Accessed on October 14, 2016
Overall, there are good but limited trainings program available in the country for individuals or businesses seeking to use open data.
The four-weeks Summer of Code program organized by Open Knowledge Belgium seeks to provide Belgian students with training and mentorship to develop open innovation projects, often based on open data (1)
The Data Innovation Hub provides a list of training programs available on data science. (2)
iMinds tech hub offers training courses on how to do data driven businesses, including a section on open data. (3)
A lawyer offers legal training on open license. (4)
Additionaly, Brussels, as the city of EU institutions, regularly hosts international or european data-related conferences, such as dataharvest for data-journalists, where specific training sessions are provided. (5)
(1): http://2016.summerofcode.be/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(2): http://www.datainnovationhub.eu/ Accessed on October 14, 2016
(3): http://www.iminds.be/en/events/20160606_course_shaping-the-data-driven-company Accessed on October 14, 2016
(4): http://www.legalict.be/joomla-fr/jce/formateurs/76-philippe-laurent Accessed on October 14, 2016
(5): http://www.journalismfund.eu/dataharvest-conferences Accessed on October 14, 2016
No evidence could be found of the Government supporting an open data initiative. The reasoning behind this this claim, is the clear absence of any official statement by a public or Ministerial official on behalf of open in-spite of a few Open Data initiatives in the country. For example, there is evidence of the OpenDataDay was organised in 2011 by the World Bank Benin CO (1) and 2014 by the Agency for the Management of New Information Technologies and Communication (AGENTIC) (2).
Some searches lead to the thought that AGENTIC may be harboring an open data initiative. It supposedly has a website (5) or portal but the site is apparently down so no way to check the veracity of the findings.
Benin has a National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) (1) that was created for the protection of personal data in Benin. The CNIL is bound and aided in its task by the law 2009-09 (2). Briefly the law was drafted to protect and promote, in the digital sphere, individual liberties, the right to privacy and the protection of privacy (Extract from the CNIL website). However there are reports that the CNIL has not been allowed to function properly from its inception data. This is an extract from the report (3):
'There is an incomprehensible and persistent reluctance of the competent authorities to give the Commission the necessary resources for its proper operation, as yet required by law, casts serious doubts on the political will of those authorities to allow the Institution to properly fulfill its mission of protecting the privacy and freedoms.'
The report continues and states that in 2015, the situation improved slightly and staff were able to fulfill their duties to a certain level.
"The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a grouping of fifteen states under the Revised Treaty of the ECOWAS, agreed to adopt data privacy laws in 2008. A Supplementary Act on Personal Data Protection within ECOWAS (ECOWAS, 2010) to the ECOWAS Treaty, adopted by the ECOWAS member states, has established what the content of such data privacy laws should be, influenced very strongly by the EU Directive, and that each state is to establish a data protection authority. Four ECOWAS states have so enacted laws (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and Senegal)." (4)
No sources consulted indicated that Benin has a Freedom of Information law (1,2,3). However, the constitution does guarantee legal access to its citizens(1). Extract from Constitution, Title 2 Art 8:
"The human person is sacred and inviolable. The State has the absolute obligation to respect and protect it. It guarantees it full fulfillment. To this end, it provides its citizens equal access to health, education, culture, information, vocational training and employment."
There is some evidence of civil society calling for the enactment of a Freedom of Information law in Benin (4).
There are a few events found on Open Data in Benin but none of them seemed to have the Government involved. Except for the OPENDATADAY 2014 where AGENTIC had collected data from government institutions for the event (1), but nothing was happening apparently since then.
No evidence could be found of government directly supporting a culture of innovation with open data through competitions, grants or other support actions.
Government open data initiatives at sub-national level are non-existent.
The French agency for media cooperation launched an OpenData media project which selects and trains 50 journalists and leaders of organizations of civil society in political and technical issues of open government and the use of open data which including Benin(1).
As part of its work as a teacher in ICT at the University Abomey-Calavi, Franck Kouyami, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, introduces its students to the concept of open data (2).
Regarding statistics or data science, the National School of Applied Economics and Management (ENEAM) provides training in statistics applied to economics (3), the National School of Statistics, Planning and Demographics of Benin (ENSPD) provides general training in statistics (4).
(2): Skype interview with Franck Kouyami, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie
Bolivia has started an open data initiative in April 2016. The open data initiative is led by AgeTIC (Agencia de Gobierno Electrónico y Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación) (1) with the support of the Ministry of Transparency (2), and is as one of the key policies of the National Strategy for e-Government in Bolivia 2016-2025 (3).
To date, there is an open data portal (4), along with a geographical open data website that discloses relevant geospatial data for Bolivia (5). The initiative has a dedicated team with resources to implement the website and coordinate other dissemination activities (10). However, the national open data portal only comprises a few datasets from key ministries (6), which reflects on the still incipient level of adoption at the central government (11). Other ministries such as the National Statistical Office (7) publish their data in machine-readable formats, but as part of sectoral initiatives rather than a coordinated national effort.
Indeed, most of the work conducted by AgeTIC has been developing a beta version of the portal and co-leading an open data working group to define a national cross-sectoral open data policy (8)(9). In this working group, several ministries, public agencies and individuals/advocates have been actively discussing and developing an open data policy for Bolivia (10). Besides, the agency is disseminating the value of opening up public datasets to sectoral ministries, but the concept of open data has not spread and been clarified among public officials and CSOs yet (11). It is expected that next edition of the ODB observes a significant progression for Bolivia in its open data initiative.
(3) COPLUTIC, 2016. Plan de implementación de Gobierno Electrónico 2016-2025. http://www.agetic.gob.bo/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Plan-de-gobierno-electr%C3%B3nico-versionAGETIC-6-abril-2016.pdf
(9) AgeTIC, 2016. Borrador Política de Datos Abiertos para Bolivia. https://www.ctic.gob.bo/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/prop_borrador_datos_abiertos_reunion_1_septiembre-1_79.pdf
(10) Interview to Eliana Quiroz, Head of e-Government Unit at AgeTIC, November 2016.
(11) Interview to Raisa Valda, CSO Cuenta Más, November 2016.
Bolivia offers a limited data protection framework to their citizens. The main legal regulation for data protection is provided by Bolivian Constitution, which included the habeas data principle in 2002. The Constitution ensures protection to private life and provides citizens the right to appeal to the Supreme Court in case they cannot know, object, delete or redress their personal data (1, art. 130, 131)(2). However, specific means, procedures and sanctions to whom infringe these principles are not defined, as well as the extent to public/private holders.
Apart from this constitutional right, there is no specific regulation in data protection. Other sectoral laws in telecommunications or electoral systems provide limited protection to data in those areas (3).
However, current open data policy draft does not address data protection regulation issues (4)(5). Although this is a non-binding document, it would be of help to introduce some minimum standards for data protection according to the existing limited legal framework.
(1) Multinational State of Bolivia, 2004. Constitución Política del Estado. http://www.redipd.org/documentacion/legislacion/common/legislacion/Bolivia/Constitucionbolivia_ley2650.pdf
(4) AgeTIC, 2016. Borrador Política de Datos Abiertos para Bolivia. https://www.ctic.gob.bo/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/prop_borrador_datos_abiertos_reunion_1_septiembre-1_79.pdf
(5) Interview to Eliana Quiroz, Head of e-Government Unit at AgeTIC, November 2016.
There is a limited transparency and access to information framework in Bolivia to date. The main regulation in place in the country is the Supreme decree for transparency 28168 (1), thus having transparency a lower legal value in Bolivia. The law limitedly defines principles, rights, types of data and direct and indirect access to data. Although there are procedures for both passive and active transparency, its lower legal value compared more advances frameworks does not ensure full access to information by Bolivian citizens. However, units are mandated to provide data in its original source and without further processing, which does not favour an open data culture in the country.
Along with this decree, there is also a national policy for transparency and anti-corruption in place (2). This policy makes a political stand of President Morales against corruption and lack of transparency in the country, and provides some key principles and initiatives to be pursued by his government. One of these initiatives is promulgating a fully functional FOIA, which to date has not occurred (3). There has been significant controversy among stakeholders since there is no agreement yet about the content and extent of this new law (4)(5). For example, there is not an independent, empowered body that can fully monitor this framework, and stakeholders have different positions about the need of this unit as well as its structure, functions and resources.
There is also a dedicated Ministry of Transparency which leads (but not monitors) the implementation of this framework as well as to further promote a culture of transparency within the government (6). Sectoral ministries and public agencies are mandated by law to have dedicated transparency units which actively publish data and answer data requests.
(1) Meza, C. 2005. Decreto Supremo 28168 de Transparencia en la Gestión Pública. https://www.minsalud.gob.bo/images/Documentacion/normativa/DS%2028168.pdf
(2) Morales, E. 2009. Decreto Supremo 214 Política Nacional de Transparencia y Lucha Contra la Corrupción. Ministerio de Transparencia Institucional y Lucha Contra la Corrupción. http://www.miplataforma.gob.bo/uploads/marcolegal/ds21431c02cca39ac7f60.pdf
(3) Ministerio de Transparencia, 2012. Proyecto de Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información. http://www.cedib.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Proyecto-Ley-Transparencia-y-Acceso-informacion.pdf
Although the open data initiative is still at an early stage, there are several civil society organisations and professionals pushing for open data in Bolivia, either at policy-making or advocacy levels. During the period of study the government was committed to develop an open data policy. In this process, a few advocates have participated in the working group sessions (15). However, there is an absence of civil society organisations such universities or other civic-oriented advocacy (16).
There are several examples of civil society organisations pushing for use and promotion of open data in the country. For example, there is a growing data journalism movement led by "El Deber" newspaper, which has a dedicated journalist working on data journalism (2), and has developed several some such as "El Patrimonio de Evo" (3), a website to exert accountability of President Morales and his cabinet asset declarations, and also makes asset declarations available in open formats. This initiative was developed through "DatosBO" (4), an initiative that gather journalists, developers, civic tech advocates and designers to accelerate data journalism projects that make use of open data and favour reduction of information asymmetries between the government and Bolivian civil society (5). Datos BO has the financial and technical support of Hivos and Oxfam foundations (6)(7). Unfortunately, DatosBO has been cancelled as Hivos did not provide any further funding to these initiatives (15). Another case of data journalism comes from "Los Tiempos" newspaper, which has also created a dedicated journalist working on data-based reports (14).
Other international organisations such as "School of Data" have selected Bolivian advocates to train public officials and other interested actors in open data implementation (8). Although out of this period of study, School of Data organised a "Data Tour" across the country to teach data-related skills (9), as well as has an active role in assessing current state of open data in the country (10). "Fundación ARU" has project called "Datos Abiertos Bolivia" with several initiatives making use of open data, developed with the support of IDRC and other organisations (11). "Fundación ACM-ICPC" organised the Open Data Day 2016. Several advocates and organisations participated, but there is no evidence that the government took part of this event (12).
There is also a group on Facebook which congregates open data advocates and interested stakeholders called "DatosAbiertosBO", with active discussions and dissemination of activities in the country (13).
There is an active civil society movement in Bolivia, however other coordination instances are required to enhance its current role in open data policy making and further implementation of the agreed open data initiative.
(15) Interview to Eliana Quiroz, Head of e-Government Unit at AgeTIC, November 2016.
(16) Interview to Raisa Valda, CSO Cuenta Más, November 2016.
There is no evidence of support from the government to foster a culture of innovation with open data. Current government's efforts are concentrated on developing a national open data policy. However, this draft policy does not include any further supporting scheme that facilitate data reuse in the form of competition or any other support action (1)(2).
(1) AgeTIC, 2016. Borrador Política de Datos Abiertos para Bolivia. https://www.ctic.gob.bo/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/prop_borrador_datos_abiertos_reunion_1_septiembre-1_79.pdf
(2) Interview to Eliana Quiroz, Head of e-Government Unit at AgeTIC, November 2016.
There are no local or regional initiatives in Bolivia to date. Efforts are been currently focused on building a national open data initiative, where some local governments have participated in policy decision-making (1).
(1) AgeTIC, 2016. Borrador Política de Datos Abiertos para Bolivia. https://www.ctic.gob.bo/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/prop_borrador_datos_abiertos_reunion_1_septiembre-1_79.pdf
There are a few opportunities, mainly informative sessions, about the role and impact of open data during the period of study. "Fundación ACM-ICPC" has organised the Open Data Day 2016 which offered a series of examples and talks about the challenges of open data in Bolivia (1)(2)(3). "Fundación Gobierno Abierto" also organised a session with Andrew Stott to discuss about open data (4)(5). There also a formal educational opportunity such as a master degree in business intelligence (6) and some other general data training options at University on topics such as statistics.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Agency for Information Society of Republika Srpska had launched its open data portal (1), however, only four datasets were released since it was created in 2015 and the portal is still in the pilot phase.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
There are only isolated civil society efforts with no government support.
For example, an NGO Public Interest Advocacy Center (1) has created a sort of an open data portal of datasets from both civil society and government institutions (2). However, the 'portal' appears to have more of an advocacy purpose as most of the 305 datasets published are in fact not open data (i.e. one-off documents in pdf).
There is also a conference organised by civil society organisations from both Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, POINT (Political Accountability and New Technologies) (2). The conference has been organised every year since 2012 and one of its goals has been to advocate for open data, however, its impact is limited to the civil society sphere (4).
(4): Nermina Voloder, Junior Researcher and Project Coordinator, Analitika Center for Social Research.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
According to Open Data Watch, Bosnia and Herzegovina has both low data coverage and openness (1). There is currently no national or federal open data portal, but there are currently two policy directions which might ingnite government open data efforts, namely, the Open Government Partnership, which Bosnia and Herzegovina joined in 2014 (2), and the process of public administration reform (3). Nevertheless, Bosnia needs still to present its first National Action Plan to the OGP two years after formally joining.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
There is no evidence of training provided to individuals or businesses wishing to increase their skills with regards to open data. However, the POINT conference organised by civil society organisations does provide a networking and knowledge exchange open data venue in the country (1).
The Sarajevo School of Science and Technology has a Department of Information Systems that covers a combination of topics in technologies and their effective application in finding solutions to business problems. The focus of the Information Systems at SSST is on technical analysis, systems design and application, providing candidates with a strong set of skills needed for effective design and system implementation. In addition to topics in Information Systems, the program delivers in-depth coverage of relevant areas in mathematics and computational theories. (2)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
There are evident civil society efforts in advocating for a more proactive approach to transparency in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but directly advocating for open data is too early since the legal and policy framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina is needs basic transparency-oriented reforms in order to only begin with open data efforts (1).
On 28th September 2016 Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina (TI BiH) organized a regional conference entitled „Access to Information and Open Data“ on the occasion of the International Right to Know Day. The conference participants tried to make the principles and standards of the proactive transparency, openness and accountability closer to the attendees through the presentation of the research on the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information in BiH and region and discussions. (8)
In March 2015, Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina published an open data readiness assessment for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, arguing that government institutions do not have a consistent and systematic approach to data collection and management (2). As the report argues further, a strong open data initiative in the country would require extensive work, for example, strengthening of institutions on the federal level and creating a centralised unit which would have the capacity to implement an open data initiative, but civil society organisations have demonstrated demand for open data. Another example is the Center for Investigative Reporting, which has its own open databases of government data (e.g. assets of politicians, budget reserve, etc.) (3).
For example, an NGO Public Interest Advocacy Center (6) has created a sort of an open data portal of datasets from both civil society and government institutions (7). However, the 'portal' appears to have more of an advocacy purpose as most of the 305 datasets published are in fact not open data (i.e. one-off documents in pdf). Center for Social Research Analitika is another non-profit, non-governmental organization that has been pushing towards formal open data adoption in the country with a first paper about open data policies in the country back in 2014 (4) and, more recently, creating an open data guide for public institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (5).
As these examples demonstrate, while there is not a lot of direct open data engagement between civil society and the government, civil society is able to demand open data and contribute their knowledge and expertise, which could be crucial to open data progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
(1): Nermina Voloder, Junior Researcher and Project Coordinator, Analitika Center for Social Research.
(2): Open Data Readiness Assessment in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 2016, https://ti-bih.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Procjena-stanja-spremnosti-na-otvorene-podatke-u-FBIH-mart-2016..pdf.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a functioning Law on Freedom of Access to Information, first adopted in 2000 (1). The Global Right to Information Rating places the country's Law on the 28th position out of 111 countries (2). However, Bosnia and Herzegovina's legal framework does not score well in terms of sanctions for authorities undermining the right to information or systematically failing to disclose information, for example (3). Apart from the Law's weaker sides, there are indications that its implementation is inconsistent and varies across different institutions, and that authorities misuse the complexity of Bosnia and Herzegovina's political system to avoid the responsibility for disclosing information (4). Nonetheless, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a highly ranked law and a dedicated institution (i.e. the Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina) (5) in charge of protecting the citizens' right to access information.
(4): Nermina Voloder, Junior Researcher and Project Coordinator, Analitika Center for Social Research.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a Law on the Protection of Personal Data, which was adopted in 2006 (1). The Personal Data Protection Agency is the national government institution in charge of data protection (2). The Agency's report on 2015 indicates that that year had the lowest number of complaints since 2009 (3), which could be a positive indication regarding the functionality of the Law. In fact, the extent of the Law's broad applicability can be seen in the fact that civil servants, as the Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina's research demonstrated, often use the Law on the Protection of Personal Data to refrain from delivering requested information (4).
(4): Open Data Readiness Assessment in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 2016, https://ti-bih.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Procjena-stanja-spremnosti-na-otvorene-podatke-u-FBIH-mart-2016..pdf.
The Central Office of Statistics has made data on all sectors available on its website and regularly updates it as new data becomes available (2).
The government has been working with the World Bank to develop an open data action plan since June 2015 (3), but there are no indications that they have made any open data commitments (4) and no statement from the Anti-Corruption Summit London 2016 (5). The Botswana Innovation Hub does, however, list an Open Data Portal under ICT commitments (6). Currently, only a microdata portal with limited statistical data exists (7).
The country has not joined the Open Government Partnership, and there is no indication that it plans to do so (8). An open data readiness assessment was conducted back in 2014 in partnership with the World Bank (9, 10), with the conclusion of a favorable, even though top-level leaders have not yet expressly committed to Open Data (11).
The Statistics Act of 2009 (4) clearly stipulates that All persons employed/engaged in the execution of any duty under the Statistics Act (or any regulation made there under) are required to sign a declaration of secrecy on entering upon duty. This provision of the Statistics Act also applies to non-Statistics Botswana staff, including short and long term consultants. Breaches of the oath of secrecy, and the use of insider information for personal gain, are offenses punishable by payment of a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The Statistics Act prohibits the dissemination of information (and its admission into evidence in any civil or criminal proceedings) "so arranged to enable identification of such particulars with any person, undertaking or business," without the prior written consent of the respondent.
The ICT policy Maitlamo (2007) included goals to increase cyber security, thereby protecting personal information. A status report in July 2015 described the progress as being in the "embryonic stage" (1)
At the International Conference on Internet, Cyber Security and Information Systems in May 2016, Botswana reiterated their commitment to protecting citizens' information by developing a cyber security strategy (2)
Though drafting of and consultation on protection of information legislation is ongoing (1), thus far the country has enacted no such law (3). The proposed legislation covers the most important principles of data protection (1)
(1): Keetshabe, A.M., Developing Cyber-Legislation in Botswana - Update, e-Records Symposium, 29 July 2015, http://www.cit.co.bw/downloads/elegislation%20in%20botswana%20-%20keetshabe.pdf
(2): Tlhobogang, O., The Patriot, Cyber Security Under Scrutiny, 19 May 2016, http://www.thepatriot.co.bw/news/item/2524-cybercrime-under-scrutiny.html
A proposed Freedom of Information Act has repeatedly been rejected by the national government (1) (2) (3). There is no indication that it will be passed in the near future, and no further information is available online.
The Statistics Act of 2009 (4) indicates information should be made accessible and disseminated to all as it is a public good. All requests are attended to with anonymization taking place. However it should be acknowledged that there is a pricing policy aimed at recovering costs for publications and customising data as per the needs of the customer/user.
(3) Mmegi, We Need Freedom of Information Bill, 6 May 2016, http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=59766&dir=2016/may/06
The government of Botswana consults with ICT professionals to develop new strategies to increase access to information, including CRASA (1) and Moro Group (2), amongst others (3). To ensure commitment by the country, the Statistics Act of 2009 has made provision for the member of the Civil Society to be a member of the Directors of the Board for Statistics Botswana (5).
A data dissemination workshop aimed at increasing the use of statistics in Botswana was held in June 2016 (4). However, since there is no clear open data strategy there is no clear indication of active collaboration between government and civil society regarding open data. There is no local chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation or a similar organisation.
(1): Chigaazira, A., SADC Digital 2027 Agenda, Botswana ICT Pitso 2015 http://www.gov.bw/Global/MTC/ICTPitso/Day1/Digital%20SADC%202027%20Regional%20Integration%20and%20Harmonisation.pdf
(2) Monametsi Kalayamotho, ICTs and Employment Creation, Botswana ICT Pitso 2015, http://www.gov.bw/Global/MTC/ICTPitso/Day1/ICT%20Innovation%20and%20Employment%20Creation.pdf
There is no clear indication that there are specific units dedicated to supporting a culture of innovation with open data through grants, competitions or other support actions in the period of study (1).
Statistics Botswana regularly engages with the media community, a capacity building initiative (Data Dissemination Strategies in the Digital Age’) (2) in collaboration with PARIS21 was held during the month of JUNE 2016 aimed at capacitating statistical staff, spokespersons from National Statistical System (NSS) line Ministries, and journalists from various media houses, on the use of visual aids amongst data producers, with the goal of increased interpretation and usage of statistics. The workshop presented an excellent opportunity to capacitate producers of statistics with tools for data visualization. And also media briefs are normally held when disseminating the monthly statistical briefs.
There is no evidence for local open data initiatives, either by cities or regions.
There is little evidence of training on open data for individuals and businesses, nor in fact for governmental departments during the reporting period for this study, apart from one workshop (1). Basic courses are also available in Botswana in university (2). Moreover one could find also some private training for example on visualisations (3)
Brazil has continued consolidating its open data project. The government does have an open data initiative since 2012 (1), supported by a comprehensive policy framework (2). The initiative, known as National Infrastructure for Open Data (3), is led by the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, as part the National Governance Strategy of Brazil (4). There is a national open data platform which collates datasets from ministries, sectoral agencies and some sub-national governments (5). To date, the national open data platform (based on CKAN) comprises 1.156 datasets from 50 institutions.
The government has made explicit commitments to implementing open data to foster transparency and accountability in the country, and it has continued implementing the open data decree despite current political issues present in Brasil (10). These commitments are present in the existing policy framework (6)(7), which comprises key legal regulation such as standards (open data by default), technologies and procedures to implement the initiative. Besides, both 1st and 2nd OGP action plans made explicit commitments to implement this open data initiative (8)(9), as well as spreading this rationale across public agencies, including involving more local governments. Besides, there are specific commitments to develop more specific initiative related to open data such as open educational and contracting data (9).
There is a team of two full-time members responsible of the initiative at the leading ministry, while other civil servants are responsible of the initiative at sectoral agencies. However, there is no allocated budget apart from maintaining the existing team. There are, however, three more generic provisions (“Plano Orçamentário”) in the annual budget law for 2015 that could potentially be used for open data (12).
This lack of funding often constraints participation and exchange of experiences in international events on this topic. Neverthelessl, the Ministry of Planning has participated on the Americas Regional Meeting of the Open Government Partnership, which happened in Uruguay in May-June 2016 (11).
(6) Rouseff, D. 2016. Decreto 8638 Institui a Política de Governança Digital. http://www.planalto.gov.br/CCIVIL_03/_Ato2015-2018/2016/Decreto/D8638.htm
(7) Rouseff, D. 2016. Decreto 8777 Institui a Política de Dados Abertos do Poder Executivo federal. http://www.planalto.gov.br/CCIVIL_03/_Ato2015-2018/2016/Decreto/D8777.htm
(8) OGP, 2012. 1st action plan of Brazil for the OGP. http://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/BR-PlanoDeAcao-ActionPlan-revisado_ago-13.docx
(9) OGP, 2014. 2nd action plan of Brazil for the OGP.
(10) Interview to Gisele Craveiro, Academic, November 2016.
Brazil does not have a comprehensive regulatory framework for data protection yet. To date, the Ministry of Justice has developed a draft bill of data protection regulation which went to public consultation in January 2015 (1)(2). However, it has not been promulgated yet.
In the absence of a formal data protection framework, there are several laws that cover some of the issues related to the treatment of personal data. The Brazilian Constitution ensures that privacy and private life are inviolable and guarantees sanctions in case of violation of this principle (3). The Access to Information Law 12.527 offers limited protection to personal data held in public databases (4). The Brazilian Regulatory Framework for the Internet 12.965 (5) regulates the collection, use, storage, processing, guarding, disclosure, delivery to third parties and protection of personal data. However, it does not offer the key principles expected in a formal data protection regulatory framework since it is oriented to ensure the correct functioning of internet services (6). Other laws protect data held by private entities in the financial sector, but again they are not oriented to provide a holistic data protection framework (7).
Although Brazil has a limited legal body to protect personal data, the government formally mandates agencies participating in the open data initiative to fully respect existing data protection laws (8).
(2) Draft Bill for Data Protection, 2015. http://pensando.mj.gov.br/dadospessoais/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/02/Brazil_pdp_bill_Eng1.pdf
(3) Republica Federativa do Brasil, 1988. Constituçao da Republica. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/Constituicao/Constituicao.htm
(4) Rouseff, D. 2011. Transparency Law 12527. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2011-2014/2011/lei/l12527.htm
(5) Rouseff, D. 2014. Lei 12965 Estabelece princípios, garantias, direitos e deveres para o uso da Internet no Brasil. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2011-2014/2014/lei/l12965.htm
(7) Rouseff, D. 2011. Law 12414 to regulate credit historical information. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2011-2014/2011/Lei/L12414.htm
Brazil does have a functioning FOIA since 2012. The law 12.572 covers access to information at national and sub-national levels, as well as in the three branches of the state (1). The law frames both passive and active transparency, and defines procedures, sanctions, time-frames and exemptions related to data disclosure. The law also covers partially principles to protect personal data, and in the absence of a full data protection framework the transparency law plays a significant role addressing this issue (2)(3).
For passive transparency, citizens can request information to public agencies through e-SIC, a dedicated portal to channel their FOI request (4). Public agencies have 20 days to reply and can postpone this deadline by 10 days in certain cases. Citizens can also appeal through a specific procedure in case they are not satisfied with the pertinence and quality of the answer.
For active transparency, agencies are mandated by law to publish as much information as possible through the web, and the law requests to publish data in open data formats. Each public agency is mandated by law to have a dedicated section to publish transparency-related information. Recent decree for national open data policy covers addresses this by incorporating an open data by default article (5). Data should be published on a dedicated website (6).
Currently, the Official Comptroller of the State is the independent public body responsible to oversee the fulfilment of this legal framework. However, much controversy has generated attempts from the government to transfer this role to the Ministry of Transparency, which is a more politised agency (7). Brazilian RTI movement has demanded that this responsibility remains at the Official Comptroller to ensure the correct application of the law in the country, especially after critical corruption cases affecting the country.
Finally, current corruption cases also questions the extent to which the framework can foster transparency and accountability, as well as the cultural change it has produced in Brazil. The country is experiencing a critical political crisis due to corruption at different levels of the state and it has also diminished the relevant of transparency-related policies such as open data (8). In this role, different actors value the role of OGP to help institutionalise transparency in the country (9).
Decree n. 8.777/2016 (10) also introduced the possibility to ask for opening up databases by filing freedom of information requests.
There are measures to protect freedom of expression and prevent censorship in the law Marco Civil da Internet, Lei n.º 12.965/2014 (11), section III, which defines responsibilities for damages on third party content on the internet, protecting service providers. Freedom of expression provisions are also present on article 8 and other parts of the law.
(1) Rouseff, D. 2011. Transparency Law 12527. http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2011-2014/2011/lei/l12527.htm
(5) Rouseff, D. 2016. Decreto 8777 Institui a Política de Dados Abertos do Poder Executivo federal. http://www.planalto.gov.br/CCIVIL_03/_Ato2015-2018/2016/Decreto/D8777.htm
Although there is an active community of CSOs and research centres involved in open data related activities (1)(2), there is a lack of collaborative spaces to plan the open data policy, and have been reduced to hackathons and dissemination activities. Brazilian CSOs such as the local chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation (4) have organised the Open Data Day 2016 (5), where the government has participated as co-organised of this event in Brasilia (5). Besides, sectoral ministries such as the Ministry of Justice organised a hackathon with anti-corruption as thematic key (6).
The Ministry of Communications joined this trend by organised a hackathon to solve public service delivery issues, with more than 900 projects registered and 100 selected at the end of the process (7). Formal interaction between CSOs and the government has occurred through an email list for the National Open Data Infrastructure (8). Rather than for collaborative activities, this network serves to disseminate activities and requests information. Other organisations have partial collaboration spaces with the government, such as the local chapter of the W3C (9)(10) or Open Data Lab (11).
However, there is a concern among openness-related civil society members about the extent CSOs are engaging with the government under the current political crisis in the country (13). Since both open government and open data communities are highly related, current reports from the OGP show an increasing lack of confidence of CSOs regarding the real commitment of the Brazilian government to promote openness-related policies after the impeachment of Dilma Rouseff (12)(13). These organisations have also shown concern about the future of open data given the transparency crisis the country is experiencing nowadays (13).
(13) Interview to Gisele Craveiro, Academic, November 2016.
There has been only a few activities during the period of study. Sectoral ministries have organised hackathons such as the Ministry of Justice (focused on anti-corruption)(1) and the Ministry of Communications (focused on general public service delivery issues)(2). However, these have been isolated activities rather than a systematic approach to foster open data innovation.
The government has also participated in dissemination activities such as the open data day (3), but again these seem to be one-off initiatives rather than a policy to foster innovation in the country. There is evidence of hackathons at sub-national level also occurring in Brazil. For example, the municipalities of Curitiba (4), Londrina (5) and Campinas (6) have organised their own events along with local communities. Despite these events, stronger interest from the central government to promote innovation through open data is needed in Brazil, which was not present during this year.
There are several municipalities and local governments implementing open data initiatives in Brazil. Favoured by the existing legal framework for transparency, local governments are mandated by law to disclose information, ideally in open data formats (1). Currently, there as 12 state and 11 municipalities implementing their own open data programmes (2), which still represents a marginal number for the country (26 states and 5.570 municipalities). Most of the municipal initiatives belong to the capital cities (6), which also questions the real extent to which open data has spread at this level. Current evidence shows that there has been a positive impact from existing local open data initiatives across the country, specially by increasing participation of citizens in local accountability (3)(4)(5).
As for collaborative experiences, there have been some exchanges with some local governments in Brazil, such as offering courses and talks on open data to public servants on states such as Alagoas, Distrito Federal, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. (7)
(6) Interview to Gisele Craveiro, Academic, November 2016.
There is evidence of available training in open data and other data-related disciplines. Specifically in open data, there are a few alternatives in the form of online modules provided by local chapters of international organisations, such as the School of Data (1) which also offers training in visualisation and data mining. CeWEB Brazil also offers training in open data, linked data and web technologies such as HTML5 and CSS (2). Big Data University offers courses in big data and web technologies (3). Data Science Academy also offers courses in big data, data mining and data analytics (4).
There also educational institutions offering academic degrees in data-related topics. For example, the Institute for Data Management offers a specialised data science MBA (5). The University of Sao Paulo offers an online specialisation module on big data (6). Several universities offer modules in big data, data science or data mining as part of other academic degrees.
The Open Data Initiative in Bulgaria has progressed very fast in the recent years. An Open Data Portal was created in 2014 (https://opendata.government.bg/) (1). At the political level, responsible for the initiative is the Political Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for Coalition Policy and Public Administration and Minister of Interior. The Modernization of the Administration Directorate at the Council of Ministers Administration (CMA) assists the Deputy Prime Minister in the implementation of open data policies. Additionally, the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications is tasked with open-data related activities. In July 2016 the Electronic Government Act was amended, providing for the establishment of a State Agency for Electronic Government, which is planned to have an open data directorate.
Under the Operational Programme “Good Governance” 2014 – 2020, 550,000 BGN are designated for upgrading the Open Data Portal, conducting a survey among the stakeholders in order to prioritize the information to be published in open format, and for creating a tool for the automatic upload of data to the portal. The roadmap for e-governance for the period 2015 – 2020 allocates 5 million BGN for the creation and/or upgrading of open data interface.
Measures for the Open Data Initiative are envisaged in the Second Action Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria for the Open Government Partnership. (2)
According to the Access to Public Information Act (2000, amended 2011), the Protection of Personal Data Act (2002, amended 2011) (1), and the bylaw regulatory framework, personal data and classified information are excluded from the scope of the initiative and not published on the portal (2).
According to the Modernization of the Administration Directorate, each administration is criminally liable for the publication of personal data. The Modernization of the Administration Directorate reviews the datasets and, if necessary, alerts the relevant organization.
The Commission for Personal Data Protection was established on 23 May 2002. (3) On April 15 2014 the 42nd National Assembly elected the new Commission for Personal Data Protection (4).
Issues related to access to information are covered by the Access to Public Information Act (1) and bylaw regulations.
At EU level matter is covered by Directive 2013/37 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 amending Directive 2003/98 / EC on re-use of public sector information. The Directive was transposed into Bulgarian legislation through the Law on Access to Public Information. (2)
On November 26, 2015 The Bulgarian National Assembly adopted amendments to the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) to enhance proactive disclosure, encourage electronic requests, and facilitate re-use of information. In particular, "the standard licenses for the re-use of public sector information and its publication in an open format are to be set by a Regulation of the Council of Ministers. Public sector bodies are to publish information in an open machine-readable format in a government Open Data Portal." (3)
“Public sector bodies shall be obliged to make their documents available as much as possible in open and machine-readable format together with their metadata,” said Alexander Kashumov, Head of Legal Team, Access to Information Programme, a nongovernment group that advocated for the amendments. (3)
Such initiatives have been planned and are to be carried out. So far there have been multiple events organized by NGOs with the participation of one or several government representatives
The open data policy in Bulgaria is centralized, but includes all provinces (oblasts), municipalities and districts (2). Each administration has its own profile on the portal, with more than 20 different ones contributing so far although usually with very few datasets (no more than 10 each).
"At a recent open data & linked data meetup in Sofia, Bozhidar Bozhanov, adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister at the Council of Ministers of Republic of Bulgaria, explained that the resistance to opening data and to change could be overcome by making open data cool, amending the Access to Public Information Act, and creating a state agency for e-governance responsible for open data. Additional proposed measures include mandatory requirements for software systems without which government agencies will not be eligible to get funding, and organizing trainings and events to promote the initiative and train talents."
An opensofia.info portal created under a project supported by the Fund for Innovations (Sofia Development Association) and Europe Program of Sofia Municipality the first city datasets are published. (3) (4) Sofia’s urban mobility website has been providing detailed information on urban transport, schedules and routes.
There are several NGOs working jointly with the government in developing the Open Data Initiative in Bulgaria.
The Obshtestvo.bg Foundation maintains the Open Data Portal. (1)
The government regularly organizes major events on open data where non-governmental organizations, businesses, media, administration, academia etc. These meetings provide for the exchange of experiences, discussion of issues, and presentation of open data products.
On March 29, 2016 the 4th Open Data & Linked Data meetup was held in Sofia. (1) For this session, experts were invited from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss Open Data from different angles - to help raise further awareness around Open Data and formulate recommendations on how to move forward. (2)
On July 14, 2015, Sofia Tech Park JSC held the Open Data & Smart Governance Conference to initiate a discussion on the subject of open data and its application in smart governance, including in the transition to e-governance. During the conference, speakers presented success stories from other European countries who have opened their data. In addition, the topic was discussed both from a scientific point of view and from a business point of view (e.g. companies that use open data for the development of new products and services). The event is organized by Sofia Tech Park JSC as a part of the Science and Technology Park project, which is implemented under OP „Development of the Competitiveness of Bulgarian economy” 2007-2013, priority axis 1: „Development of an economy, based on knowledge and innovation activities”, according to the contract with identification number BG161PO003-1.2.05-0001-С0001. (3)
General data training is also available at University. Sofia University offers a degree MSCS + Data Science Concentration (4) for example.
In June 2014, through the Agence nationale de promotion des technologies de l’information et de la communication (ANPTIC), Burkina Faso launched its Burkina Open Data Initiative (BODI) (1). Burkina Faso was assisted in this endeavor by the World Bank (2) and the Open Data Institute (3).
The Open Data Initative is regarded as a viable to the development of the country by the government. The SG of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Hydraulique et des Ressources Halieutiques that Open Data has publicly expressed than open data can be of great service to Agriculture in Burkina Faso (4). And the Prime Minister, in his speech in front of the National Assembly, has recognised that open data is stimulator for economic growth, innovation and transparency (5). Burkina Faso has also witnessed "the creation of many associations working for government that are strengthening the transparency efforts of the BODI. These include, among others, the Open Burkina association working in the field of transparency in the ‘extractive industries’ and the association ‘Open Education’ fighting for the accessibility of education data" (6).
The Open Data Intitiative has published an open data portal (7). 261 datasets could be found on the open data portal as at 20 October 2016, an increase of 109 datasets compared with the number of datasets available as at 24 July 2015. This would indicate that resources have been made available for the continuous updating of datasets on the portal. ANPTIC, the agency in charge of promoting of ICT has an open data team of 6, with support from a wider team that now includes, for example, a director with responsibilities for applications, that work in Open Data at the agency (8). What is of some concern is that the portal is still in alpha version -- the same as it was one year ago.
While Burkina Faso is not a member of the Open Government Partnership (9) it has joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition network (10) and, from an overview of open data initiatives in West Africa, it appears that Burkina Faso is one of the more advanced countries in terms of implementing open data initiatives (11).
(6) Tapsoba M (2016) Building Trust: The State of Open Data in Burkina Faso. In The State of Open Data: A selection of analyses and articles about open data. FigShare. https://www.digital-science.com/blog/news/state-open-data-report-provides-new-insights-global-state-open-data-stateofopendata/
(10) GODAN (10 June 2015) Burkina Faso launches new open data initiative and joins GODAN. http://www.godan.info/blog-posts/burkina-faso-launches-new-open-data-initiative-and-joins-godan
(11) ICT Works (29 June 2016) The Status of Open Data Initiatives in West Africa. http://www.ictworks.org/2016/06/29/the-status-of-open-data-initiatives-in-west-africa/?utm_source=ICTworks&utm_campaign=5e2e80cce6-ICTworksEmailRSS&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0814c7961e-5e2e80cce6-48281977