Atelier de lucru “Implicarea cetățenilor în procesele decizionale”

Colaje1Invitație la atelierul de lucru cu genericul “Implicarea cetățenilor în procesele decizionale”
Avem plăcerea de a vă invita la atelierul de lucru cu genericul “Implicarea cetățenilor în procesele decizionale” care va avea loc în perioada 7-8 Aprilie 2015 la Hotelul Regency din Chișinău.
Atelierul este organizat de Academia pentru e-Guvernare din Estonia în strînsă colaborare cu Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă și Centrul de Guvernare Electronică din Moldova.
Evenimentul este dedicat reprezentanților din sectorul public, precum și reprezentanților din societatea civilă și are drept scop de a contribui la dezvoltarea capacităților de implicare activă a cetățenii în procesele decizionale.
Obiectivele cheie ale atelierului sînt:
  • De a introduce conceptul  de proces decizional deschis/open decision making;
  • De a prezenta conceptul “Ghidului privind implicarea cetățenilor în procesele decizionale” și de a obține feedback și recomandări atît de la funcționarii publici cît și din partea reprezentanților societății civile;
  • De a obține cunoștințe practice în vederea implementării diferitor etape ale procesului complex de luare participativă a deciziilor (în baza experiențelor și practicilor din Estonia).
Atelierul este bazat pe situații reale din process decizional participativ, și se bazează pe metode interactive de lucru.
Atelierul este condus de către experții din Estonia și Moldova:
Echipa din Estonia:
  • Liia Hänni, Academia pentru e-Guvernare
  • Kristina Reinsalu, Academia pentru e-Guvernare
  • Anu Vahtra-Hellat, Academia pentru e-Guvernare
  • Hille Hinsberg, Praxis
Echipa din Moldova:
  • Veronica Cretu, Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă
  • Onorica Banciu, Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă
  • Nicolae Cretu, Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă
  • Constantin Rusu, Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă
Atenție: conținutul programului atelierului pentru 7 și 8 Aprilie este același, însă orarul este puțin diferit:
  • 7 Aprilie de la 9.30 – 16.00 la Hotelul Regency, Chișinău
  • 8 Aprilie de la 9.30 – 14.30 la Hotelul Regency, Chișinău

Pentru a consulta Agenda și Formularul de Înscriere accesați http://www.ega.ee/MoldovaOpenGov/seminar

Termenul limită pentru înregistrare la eveniment a fost extins pînă la 3 Aprilie 2015!!!

The value of learning and sharing among OGP and non-OGP member countries

BertoniEtAl-MethodsAndToolsForKnowledgeSharingInProductDevelopment-2011-wordleKnowledge is increasingly short-lived. If you do not make use of your knowledge then it rapidly loses its value. That is why sharing knowledge is a synergistic process: and both, the one who shares and the one who learns from this process get a lot out of this experience.

A week ago, Open Government Institute was the host of a study visit/tour for a delegation from Tajikistan (President’s Office) – the purpose of the study being sharing the knowledge Moldova has gained throughout the past years on issues related to Open Data, Open Government, E-Government based on the reforms initiated by the Government, and initiatives which Moldova joined along with other countries during the past years among which Open Government Partnership (OGP), Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), others.

As the Government of Tajikistan aims to develop a more transparent, accountable, and cost-effective government through the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) it looks at Moldova’s experiences given that:

– Moldovan experiences are still very young/’fresh’ and there is still a good institutional memory that can be transferred to those interested to learn from it;

– Moldova uses the most modern technologies and approaches;

– There are some common problems/similarities Moldova shares with Tajikistan which are crucial in the learning process, which is a little bit different if we take countries like Estonia, Singapore, others.

Additionally, Moldova is considered to be one of the champion countries in the region which managed in a very short time to implement a series of ambitious projects and initiatives related to the issues mentioned above: e-government, open government, open data.

Moldova had a series of success factors which positioned the country where it stands today and I am referring to:

– strong political will/commitment to endorse an ambitious/an unknown and yet, promising agenda;

it managed to capitalize on the experience and knowledge existent already globally and to explore it for its own benefits, through strategic partnerships/connections/influential people at the global level;

it managed to get the funds it needed in order to start the implementation of e-Governance transformation agenda (i.e. World Bank funds, State Funds, PPPs, other donors).

So, from the at least, above success factors, Moldova is still attractive to many countries in the region, particularly those from the former Soviet block and the experiences are worth sharing.

The visit started with an Introductory Workshop organized by the Open Government Institute experts, that of focusing on what is behind ‘open government’, why should we care, what is the value of open government for citizens, what does Open Government Partnership provide in this regards, challenges of open government, etc. The Workshop also provided members of the delegation to hear the story of governance e-transformation initiative – an ambitious agenda implemented by the e-Government Center in Moldova.StelaNext visit was with the e-Government Center – which is the core driver of innovations, e-transformations, e-services, e-opportunities and e-government in the country. The meeting was very productive and allowed members of the delegation to understand the key challenges, critical factors, success stories already registered, ways public services work online, several technical details, legal aspects, others.

Second day continued with Open Data Coordinators who shared from their practical experience in implementing the Open Data Agenda, which is just one small core component but a very important one, of the entire e-governance transformation agenda. Delegates shared and asked questions, and the value of the meeting was in the fact that Open Data Coordinators present during the meeting among whom from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics are considered to be among the champion coordinators.

As the visit continued, members of the delegation met representatives of the Ministry of ICT, and had the opportunity to get more insights into the Public Sector Information Re-use legal framework, its practical implementation methods, challenges. Additionally, the meeting touched upon the Universal Service Fund, Digital Moldova 2020, and other strategic priorities which the Government is working on in 2015.

DataPersonalAs one talks about Open Data, public sector information re-use, we can not avoid speaking about Personal Data Protection, which is why members of the delegation met the young and competent team of the National Center for Personal Data Protection. The meeting addressed several aspects of personal data: legal aspects, practical examples/cases, Conventions Ratified by Moldova and others. For Tajikistan, personal data protection will become an issue once open data will start to be released.

An indispensable part of the Open Data agenda are the users and developers, those who really put data into action. During the study tour, members of the delegation had the opportunity to interact with developers of www.alerte.md from MediaPoint- and it turned out that Tajikistan has a similar application for Dushanbe city which has been institutionalized by the municipal authorities. Additionally, a valuable meeting was held with Trimetrica who have illustrated ways geo-spatial data is being put into maps and used for different purposes including research, agriculture, local development, etc. Expert Grup, is another institution that started using open data from the educational sector and build school report cards based on the data available. In long run, this process should start continuing to influence and improve the quality of the educational outcomes.

Meeting with the World Bank in Moldova has been another valuable experience given that it has exposed members of the delegation to those who have initiated the entire governance e-transformation agenda, know the story from the inside, know what generated the story, what have been the critical elements of it, what to look at, what to reflect more on …

National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology provided members of the delegation with updates on the regulatory processes, the changes that are occurring in the telecommunications sector at the moment, legal framework, others.

Of course, we could not miss a meeting with representatives of the mobile operators – those who are witnessing on a daily basis the increase or decrease or tendencies among the users in terms of the e-services, platforms, what’s popular among them and what is not. Thus, Moldcell provided its perspective on the situation and on the ways it engages with e-Government Center and other players in this ambitious e-agenda.      

All in all, a week of learning and sharing does not stop here …

Open Government Institute will be in Dushanbe, early March, to conduct some demo-workshops and capacity building activities for representatives of the public sector on issues related to open government, e-government, open data. So, for Tajikistan is to be continued …   

And indeed, in order to bring the vision that governments should become more transparent, more accountable and more responsive to their citizens one needs to be exposed to those who are already doing it in practice. And not necessarily in the ideal or perfect way, no …  shift in norms and culture to ensure genuine dialogue and collaboration between governments and civil society does not happen overnight, but at least countries like Moldova have tried and know what is behind this shift. Sharing with the others is an additional value in itself, and only through learning and dialogue we can achieve in both OGP and non-OGP member countries more aspirations towards citizen-engagement, transparency, participation; it is more likely that there will be more reformers in government identified and encouraged to continue the change … improving the lives of thousands and millions across the globe!!!  

 

Open Data in Government: how to bring about change

imagesBy Open Data Institute 255887396-Open-data-in-government-how-to-bring-about-change

Governments around the world are increasingly looking for ways to harness the potential of open data for improved policy-making, and social, economic and environmental benefit. A lot of work has been done to familiarise governments with open data and help them to publish open data. There has been less focus on the longer-term process of embedding open data as standard practice and how that might happen. Ensuring your open data initiative is sustainable is essential to realising the impact of open data. The Open Data Institute (ODI) is exploring how organisational change within government happens to support and sustain open data in the long-term. Through extensive interviews and examination of the literature surrounding organisational change management, the ODI has developed guidance for policy-makers who have been tasked with implementing their own open data initiatives. Thinking about the process of change management from the beginning of your initiative will be essential to realising the social, environmental and economic benefits of open data.

The result: 12 recommendations to help governments sustain open data change and realise its impact

1. Articulate your vision, with clear examples of benefits open data will bring. Start with a vision of the problem open data can help you solve, or the benefits you want to produce: think beyond simply releasing open data. Being able to connect your release of open data to a tangible benefit you would like to achieve can help people connect to the initiative and understand its value.

2. Secure support for your open data initiative from both senior/political leadership and government officials within departments before launch. Build in mechanisms to educate government officials about open data, and explain its benefits, from the very beginning of your open data initiative. Fostering support for the change before launching an initiative will help encourage early uptake.

3. Combine top-down leadership for your open data initiative with support for individual or frontline champions in government. While senior buy-in is important to maintain open data as a priority, frontline champions are important to growing the initiative from the bottom up, and driving implementation of your open data vision.

4. Build open communication and mechanisms for feedback into your open data initiative from the outset, both inside and outside government. These could be formal mechanisms, like advisory groups, online feedback forms and regular meetings, and informal mechanisms, like social media outreach. Invite feedback and be open with your department(s) about the transition to using and producing open data, and how their work could be affected. This will ensure employees are more engaged and satisfied with the change.

5. Set out some quick wins for your open data initiative – like releasing a certain number of datasets as open data, or supporting a pilot use-case – but make sure these are part of a long-term goal for open data, which each department can align progress with. Linking quick wins to long-term goals can help maintain momentum for change.

6. Be flexible and responsive to the strengths and needs of different departments and teams. Be clear on your long-term vision for open data, but be careful not to get locked into one transition plan for open data from the beginning. Look for examples of best practice in managing the transition to using and producing open data, and use these to help other departments. Being agile and responsive helps ensure the transition continues to align with any public sector reform and changing technologies.

7. Consolidate your change management efforts: use your emergent leaders as peer educators and innovators. Keep building on your incremental quick wins as part of your long-term open data strategy. Consolidating efforts helps to make each element of change management more effective, and helps identify gaps in strategy.

8. Ensure there are people with responsibility for change management – supporting departments and coordinating feedback – as part of your open data team. Quite often, we think of a ‘change team’ as being set up to deliver open data objectives: build a portal, release datasets and stimulate reuse. Change management is an equally important part of the process, and can increase initial buy-in for the initiative, as well as a sense of ownership within departments of their open data efforts.

9. Seek out and foster stories of the impact of open data, to help illustrate its value for government implementers. Adjust your impact narrative or ‘business case’ for different departments, so it makes sense in terms of their overall visions, capacities and existing processes.

10. Foster external support within industry, civil society and academia to drive continued demand for open data. External support can help to maintain political will to support open data, and be a source of ongoing learning and dialogue.

11. Introduce opportunities for civil servants to take part in ongoing learning about open data. This could be through open data training, secondments to ‘best practice’ teams working with open data or regular workshops. It will help you continue to improve and expand the reach of your open data initiative.

12. Build metrics to regularly evaluate your open data activities. This will help you to measure progress, benchmark success and identify areas for improvement.

The guidance is not absolute; some principles will be applied differently in different contexts. However, the principles for managing open data change that are set out in this paper should provide a useful framework or template for long-term thinking. This paper is the starting point for a deeper exploration of how change happens in government to support open data. Over the next 12-18 months, we will look to build on the themes and scope of this paper, through ongoing research and discussion with global leaders.

 

 

 

Moldova’s Open Data Movement

Case study: Moldova’s open data movement

This case study was supported by the Partnership for Open Data, funded by the World Bank

Author: Veronica Cretu, Open Government Institute, Moldova


Executive summary

Moldova embarked on a national open data initiative in 2011 as part of its Governance e-Transformation Agenda. The initiative has drawn support from the highest levels of government, with two Prime Ministerial directives and new legal provisions solidifying the country’s commitment to opening up government data by default.

Led by the e-Government Centre, the initiative has spurred the release of 782 datasets from 39 institutions across the government.

One critical factor contributing to the success of the initiative was the political support from the Prime Minister and State Chancellery. Other crucial elements have been the solid legal framework and the development of the open data portal: date.gov.md.

Although Moldova has taken significant strides towards the goal of making government data open by default, a number of challenges remain. These include:

  • A lack of interoperability and digitised data.
  • Outdated practices in charging for PSI reuse.
  • A lack of inventories to keep track of available data for reuse.
  • A lack of necessary data-related skills in the public sector.
  • Uncertainty surrounding privacy and confidentiality.

Current efforts revolve around the need to enforce existing legislation and maintain political support for open data.

In the next phase of open data implementation, the following steps are recommended:

  • An entry test or examination for to equip civil servants working with open data with the necessary skills for working with data, and presenting it in appropriate formats for consumption.
  • Support initiatives based on the use of open data for creation of useful applications for citizens/different target groups/beneficiaries.
  • Continue raising awareness about the importance of open data for government transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • ‘Open data by default’ should be embedded into any IT system or e-service being designed, developed and used in government.
  • Match the supply of open government data with demand from civil society, media and business to unlock economic value and track government performance.
  • Promote local ownership of open data efforts, so that open data becomes part of Local Public Authorities’ agenda.
  • Develop open data competencies across society by introducing data analysis, coding and other relevant skills into the formal school curriculum.

 

For more please visit http://theodi.org/case-studies/case-study-a-profile-of-open-data-initiatives-in-moldova

The need for proper consultation processes around Open Data

ConsultationsLast week, on January 30th, Open Government Institute together with E-Government Center organized a working meeting with open data coordinators from Ministries and public agencies.

The meeting had a number of objectives among which:

  • Setting the scene for 2015;
  • Sharing some practical examples on the use of open data;
  • Reflecting on ways to improve the consultation processes around open data in order to boost more demand for open data;
  • Assigning open data coordinators with a task: identify one ambitious open data commitment that could be part of the Action Plan on Open Government for years 2015-2016.

Whether the meeting managed to achieve its objectives remains to be seen from the way this agenda moves forward in the year 2015.

The open data agenda is not a new one for Moldova … Moldovan Government, like many other Governments from around the globe, has acknowledged, more than three years ago, that opening up the data collected by the Government can increase government transparency and generate more public trust, stimulate innovative approaches and help in improving governments’ performance results.

The open data portal www.date.gov.md started to gain more popularity in 2014 and thus, registered 787 open data sets available to the public, 4 new public institutions joined the platform and more than 222 thousands downloads took place last year.
One aspect which was at the core of January 30th meeting related to the way public institutions consult their stakeholders who might be interested in particular open data sets. The discussion revealed that there is no proper consultation process in place when it comes to open data, even though open data is like any other policy issue which needs to undergo the same process as any other initiative (as per Law on Transparency in the decision making process from 13.11. 2008).

There is still this tendency among many public servants to state that civil society is not interested in, that the general population has no clue about what the data is and what is the data important/or what is it for, etc.

me_moderatingOr, may be, the issue is with the public institutions themselves who do not apply adequate practices and tools to reach out to potential users of the data, do outreach and identify what are their interests and needs. Isn’t it something that fits into the government’s job?! Isn’t the government the one to work for its people and working for its people means hearing what they have to say, on different dimensions?!

There are some very simple and clear steps in any consultation process and they relate to the following:

  • Mapping all the potentially interested stakeholders;
  • Defining, together with key stakeholders, the main objectives of the consultation process;
  • Selecting/identifying most appropriate/ relevant consultation methods and tools (cost-effectiveness is to be considered as well);
  • Setting a time line for consultations;
  • Preparing both online and offline resources needed for a proper consultation process;
  • Sharing with the wider public about the consultations being announced and thus allowing as many other interested parties to get engaged;
  • Sharing with the public what suggestions/recommendations have been received;
  • Doing an analyses of the proposals received and providing feedback to those who provided contributions. This will definitely increase the chances for their participation any other time;
  • Review/evaluate how the consultation process worked, capitalize on the experience and draw lessons which could be valuable in the next consultation rounds.

There are some principles to be considered as well and they relate to:

  • Clear language – don’t depart in the interaction with different stakeholders’ groups from the assumption that everyone is an expert in the field. This is totally wrong. The language used during the consultation process has to be adjusted in a way that responds to the needs, readiness, education, perceptions of those whom are being addressed;
  • Diversify the platforms for interaction – even the classical round table meetings can be much more participant centered and more dynamic as compared to a presenter-centered model;
  • Provide feedback on any comment received – it is important that people feel empowered, and it does not matter if it is a “Thank You for your comment” message, it is important that there is a communication going on. Without it there is no trust, openness and no participation.

I am very much aware of how much resistance is still there in the public sector towards things which are new, towards changes that are being required …  but any positive change leads to another positive change, and isn’t it something we want for the society we live in today?!

By Veronica Cretu (President, Open Government Institute) 

Elaborarea proiectelor inovative în domeniul culturii şi învăţării pe tot parcursul vieţii

În perioada 19-21 noiembrie 2014, DVV Internațional Moldova în parteneriat cu Ministerul Culturii și Institutul pentru o Guvernare Deschisă a organizat un atelier de inițiere în domeniul “Elaborarea proiectelor inovative în domeniul culturii şi învăţării pe tot parcursul vieţii”. Principalul obiectiv a fost consolidarea capacităților de generare și scriere a proiectelor inovative în domeniul culturii, atelierul mobilizînd participarea a 30 de lucrători din secțiile rationale de cultură și membrii ai ONG-urilor partenere din aceleași raioane. Atelierul a fost moderat de Nicu Crețu, Director de programe și dezvoltare organizațională în cadrul Institutului pentru o Guvernare Deschisă. Evenimentul a finalizat cu schițarea a cinci idei de proiect, cu 5 echipe consolidate și deschise spre a face parteneriate pentru dezvoltarea și implementarea proiectelor.

Poze  19-21 noiembrie

Challenges of the transparency in the decision making processes in Moldova …

On November 15, 2014 Open Government Institute was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to conduct a workshop on Open Government & Transparency in Decision-Making processes for more than 60 representatives of the public sector, many of whom are directly responsible for the implementation of transparency in decision making and citizen engagement as part of the Ministry they work at. Public servants had the opportunity to share details about the implementation of the transparency related processes in ministries or other  public authorities.

Veronica Cretu, President of the Open Government Institute, who moderated the workshop, challenged participants to think about a number of issues and encouraged them to share about ways public servants are currently implementing the provisions of the legal framework related to transparency in decision making and citizen engagement.

Veronica also shared with participants the main principles adopted by Moldova once joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and what is OGP all about.

When it comes to practices implemented by the Ministries/Central Public Authorities, the following have been shared:

  • Press conferences announcing launching of a decision making process;
  • Consultative Groups;
  • Thematic councils;
  • Debate forums;
  • Surveys;
  • Opinion polls;
  • Hot lines;
  • Working Groups

Participants added that more work could be done to promote the consultation platform of the State Chancellery www.particip.gov.md. There should be more efforts put in place to strengthen the inter-institutional cooperation between CPAs and CSOs, particularly with the National Participation Council. Participants also mentioned that it is important for CPAs to implement more video promotional materials which would encourage citizens to get more actively engaged in meaningful debate around different issues of their interest.

Among the key difficulties mentioned by participants in terms of practical implementation of the provisions of the existent legal framework on transparency in decision making process the following have been enumerated:

  • Resources are always an issue when it comes to organizing round table meetings, debates and other initiatives related to consultations and so realistic estimation of the costs is a challenge indeed;
  • Political or high level commitment for transparency and citizen engagement agenda;
  • Respecting/following strictly the deadlines for consultations, etc;
  • CPAs are not good at utilizing and referring to already existent reports, studies, analyses produced on the issues addressed, and waste time and resources producing new ones;
  • Ex-ante evaluation of the public policies is still weak;
  • Lack of citizens’ engagement in policy making, in providing feedback and comments;
  • Weak engagement of CSOs in decision making processes. Often, there are the same usual ‘suspects’ involved and this does not lead to generating new input into the processes;
  • There is a weak understanding of the broader concept of Open Government and lack of a common vision on this issue leads to low engagement of CPAs in the Open Government Agenda.

One of the challenges lies in the fact, as it has been articulated during the event, that the mandate of CPAs is not Communication per ce. Even if the role of the public institutions is policy elaboration and implementation, any public authority has to be able to clearly communicate with its target beneficiaries and get their input. So consultations and citizen engagement is a mandatory part of CPAs agenda, and it is important that this vision is shared across the public sector and all public servants.

First National OGP Forum in Skopje, Macedonia

November 26, 2014 is a day in which Macedonia organized its first ever National Open Government Partnership Forum. The event was organized by the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) in cooperation with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration in the framework of the “Advocacy for Open Government Partnership” project funded by the European Union and the British Embassy in Skopje.

The Forum brought together international and domestic representatives from civil society, government and business and stir discussion along the following topics:

  1. National and local level initiatives on OGP – comparative perspectives;
  2. OGP – an avenue for linking government and the business community through open data;
  3. Inter-institutional communication and cooperation with CSOs – a value added.

The Forum featured three panels. Veronica Cretu, President of the Open Government Institute Moldova, was invited to present during the third panel focusing on the different frameworks for inter-institutional cooperation. Mrs. Cretu joined remotely and her video intervention can be accessed here:

A note on the project “Advocacy for open government: civil society agenda setting and monitoring of implementation of national action plans” is funded by the EU and coordinated through the PASOS network of policy institutes. It has so far provided baseline study and tracked change of citizens’ perception on OGP in the Western Balkan region; facilitated coalition building between civil society organizations in the seven priority areas of OGP and has fostered public dialogue with Government with an aim for civil society to have greater impact on the policy agenda set with the adoption of the new country action plans for Open Government.

Geneva Internet Conference’s first edition delivers powerful recommendations and questions for the future of Internet governance

Geneva Internet Platform 2014

During November 17-19, 2014 Geneva hosted an important two days event focusing on Internet Governance issues, probably most important event on Internet Governance of the year 2014. Following ICANN President Fadi Chehadé’s opening speech, more than 250 experts from all stakeholder groups, including some 50 leading figures/authorities and high-ranking officials in Internet governance, participated in this high-profile event, scanning significant pending Internet governance issues. This conference is an illustration of the Geneva Internet Platform’s (GIP) potential as a prominent facilitator and a natural hub for incoming digital negotiations, bringing together all actors, and increasing inclusion with outreach through remote meeting hubs around the world.  Geneva Internet Conference  agenda started with an introduction to internet governance. For the next day The Internet governance landscape was the main topic for debates. The  third day continued with open forum on The complexity of Internet governance: sustaining innovation while ensuring equality, discussing about Internet policy issues.

IMG_0846-L

Veronica Cretu, President of the Open Government Institute and member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Commitee, took part in the event and shared some thoughts and reflections during the session focusing on “Aim for full transparency – accept exceptional translucency”. The session aimed at bringing different perspectives on transparency issue, and Mrs. Cretu reflected on the issue from the Government stand point of view, particularly departing from the current practices and mechanisms implemented today as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Mrs. Cretu shared that transparency was one of the principles to which 65 Governments committed as of today, along with fighting corruption, and engaging citizens in policy making. The question is, what levels of transparency should governments commit to in their OGP agenda? Cretu described four key dimensions:

  1. Data transparency: it is not enough to provide access to data if citizens are unable to interpret the data to influence policy-shaping – this is tantamount to translucency, and not transparency.
  2. Process transparency: once the data and information is in place, such as open data by default processes, there needs to be proper places for discussions.
  3. Strategic transparency: before policy decisions are made and formal documents are approved, there should be a mechanism for governments to feel the pulse of stakeholders. There should be a strategic approach to that.
  4. Transformational transparency: related to social accountability is the need to have a mechanism in place for all stakeholders to be able to monitor and evaluate the quality of the decisions.

If governments are ambitious enough and have these four key dimensions in place, the next step is radical transparency, which Cretu describes as ‘painful’. ‘If openness and transparency means pain, then we go for pain,’ she stressed.

Here is the video part of the session:

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Geneva Internet Platform 2014

Approximately 100 online participants, including 15 remote hubs who watched the meeting online and intervened through in situ remote moderators, attended the first Geneva Internet Conference, organised with the support of the Swiss Confederation. A number of high profile speakers shared their views here over the future of the Internet, highlighting the following facts and challenges:

  • Need to advance innovation in Internet governance triggered by NETmundial and advanced by other major events (WSIS +10 and Internet Governance Forum)
  •  More than 50% of global Internet policy is discussed and decided on in Geneva
  • Concerns about surveillance and lack of privacy protection are increasingly growing
  • Most of the content on the Internet is still easier to get from illegal rather than legal sources
  • The more the Internet impacts all spheres of our life, the more complex and broader Internet governance will become
  • There is a need to aggregate the information available on Internet governance to make it more accessible
  • Every Internet entity has its own needs
  • There is a communication problem between engineers, politicians, or diplomat

Lively discussions roved around the following key questions:

  • To map or not to map: the more mapping that we engage in, the more it seems that complication ensues
  • Business sector involvement in IG: are they profitable partners or will they hold IG hostage to their needs?
  • The double-edged sword of Human Rights: the platform Human Rights so desperately needs can and does create the need for surveillance
  • The NETmundial initiative: a new paradigm or more of the same?
  • ICANN: monopoly or model of diversity?
    Other items under discussion included:
  • Issues of conditionality and the relationship between policy positions, actions, and activities and the provision of funds
  • Sustainability of investment
  • How to use innovative ways of funding

Check more on Geneva Internet Platform

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

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.