Open Data Initiative in Moldova – what are the key challenges as of today?!

Open Data Initiative in Moldova – what are the key challenges as of today?!

By Veronica Cretu, President, Open Government Institute

On November 21st, 2014 Open Government Institute, in close partnership with e-Government Center Moldova and with support from Open Data Institute in UK, organized a half a day workshop  with 34 open data coordinators/public servants directly responsible for the open data agenda in their respective Ministries/Agencies. The workshop comes as part of a case study work on Moldova Open Data Initiatives carried by the Open Government Institute, and given that data and open data in general is one of the key elements of transparency and decision making/evidence based policy making, the study team decided to look into what are the current challenges that open data initiative faces in Moldova today.

Among the sources of resistance or challenges related to the implementation of the open data agenda in Moldova, participants mentioned the following:

  • The regulatory framework is not sufficiently clear
  • The definition of open data applied is ambiguous
  • Some public authorities do not have clear understanding which data should be open and which should not
  • Many public authorities publish data in wrong formats
  • Data sets placed on the portal contain texts and aggregated data not row data as required
  • Some advanced public authorities have good informational systems that provide reports containing row data, but many public authorities collect data using “old” methods
  • The role and responsibilities of open data coordinator is not sufficiently clear
  • Some public authorities are hesitant or even resistant to opening their data
  • There is a big flow of staff in public authorities and there is no continuity in the function of the open data coordinator
  • Public authorities are afraid not to open by mistake data sets that contain sensitive or personal data
  • There is no inter-departmental collaboration within institutions in opening data
  • More training for civil servants on open data is required
  • Quality of data received from public authorities is not good
  • The new positions created within CPAs did not have financial coverage
  • Many CPAs does not have qualified staff for open data coordinator positions
  • Responsible persons have insufficient knowledge about open data
  • There is no sufficient verification of the published datasets accuracy
  • A systematization and standardization is required for the open government data sets
  • It is not clear what data sets are demanded by the users
  • There are no companies (private sector) that would add value and sell analytical reports based on open government data
  • Not all CPAs have information systems that will allow collecting and publishing of the open data
  • The role of the e-Governance Center related to open data is not clearly defined
  • It is not clear what data should be published by the CPAs on open data portal and what on its official web page (Comment from eGC: structured & raw data should go to open data portal and documents like strategies, procurement plans etc should be placed on the official web page of the CPA)
  • CPAs does not collaborate with each other on open data subject and this leads to duplications
  • Open Government Data as a Concept and Open Data Portal are not sufficiently promoted
  • Pure interaction between the technical staff and persons responsible for opening data
  • There is a necessity to implement an on-line training module related to open government data.

All these details are important, because they are affecting the overall transparency in the decision making processes and will affect the trust Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders have in the Central Public Authorities if the quality of the data is weak.

The workshop was conducted by Open Government Institute in close partnership with E-Government Center and support from Open Data Institute, UK.

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