Open Data for Civic Participation

Open Knowledge Sweden together with ManaBalss in Latvia and with Belarusian partners is running a project on open data for civic participation. This project is implemented with the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ funding programme for NGO co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region.

The goal of the project is to exchange knowledge and experiences between the NGOs in Latvia, Sweden and Belarus about the availability and the use of the open data for civic participation, and ultimately to make civic activism more informed and effective.

Governments around the world are promoting and involved in efforts to achieve greater openness, transparency and trust in the public sector. This includes the disclosure of data (i.e. meteorological, geographical, statistical and legal) in order to improve the quality of public services and enhance data-based decision making. However not all data is available in open format that is easily accessible and reusable. More emphasis is placed on business necessities while there is less awareness about data needs of citizens, journalists, and the civil society. Our project will improve the capacity of civic organisations to better communicate with their target groups about and with open data, and exchange knowledge between the three countries, which have different levels of data availability and maturity.

The target groups of the project are:

  • NGOs /CSOs working with and/or engaged in open data-related topics
  • Data holders in the public sector
  • Academics
  • Policy-makers

The project will deliver case studies on open data readiness and use for civic participation in Sweden, Latvia and Belarus. The case studies will form the base for the “Digital Transformation Handbook” aimed at civic activists, public sector representatives and policy makers.

We will also carry out awareness-raising activities to engage stakeholders in discussions about the situation with open data and to understand their needs to enable actions towards further data openness. At the end of the project, a strategic document will be developed to map out the framework for further cooperation.

Feel free to get in touch if you would like to join our initiative!

Contact: [email protected]