Open Data – when supply and demand meet halfway

The concept of open data rests on the principle of open access, serving the public good by empowering citizens, boosting businness and informing social development. In North Macedonia, the concept of open data was introduced and promoted with the country’s membership in the Open Government Partnership in 2011. Consequently, in 2014 the Law on the Use of Public Sector Data was adopted. Yet, besides ensuring a legal foundation for open data, progress has been very slow. Institutions struggle to release and update data that they work with and citizens cannot yet see the large potential that these data can bring with them.

It is popularly said that data is the fossil fuel of the future and numerous examples of economic and social development can confirm the statement. Since we are increasingly recognizing the value of data, it is a generational duty to accelerate their release as well as to increase awareness about their value. Metamorphosis Foundation is profoundly committed to support institutions in North Macedonia to develop the infrastructure/resources to be able to carry on the gathering and publication of data in standardized formats so as to allow free use and reuse, driven by the Open Data Strategy – indeed, the backbone of the process. Besides hands-on coaching of institutions to release their datasets and the organization of hackathons to accelerate the demand and use of data, Metamorphosis Foundation, in the framework of USAIDs Civic Engagement Project, supports the harmonization of the Macedonian law with the EU Directive on Open Data and the Re-use of Public Sector Information so as to make the open data processes in the country more ambitious.

The 17th edition of the e-society.mk conference starting on November 30th will provide room for participants to delve on the opportunities and challenges that democracy is undergoing in the digital era, by also comminging significant attention to the role and value of data. In the session Open Data: where supply and demand meet halfway, esteemed advocates and practitioners of the cause will present their views on how to advance open data in the Western Balkans. Irena Bojadzievska, the leading expert in delivering the harmonization of the respective Macedonian law with Directive 2019/1024 will be among the speakers, together with Delvina Haxhijaha from Open Data Kosovo, Lazar Pop Ivanov from the United Nations Development Program and Nada Rakocevic from the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro. All speakers continuously contribute to the improvement of the open data ecosystem in their respective countries and beyond, and the session promises an inspirational setting to learn from one-anothers’ experiences.

More information about the conference and the registration are available on the following link: https://e-society.mk/

The e-Society conference is organized by Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society in synergy with the projects: “Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA” – financially supported by the European Union and “Fact-Checking the Progress of North Macedonia Towards the EU”- financially supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and “Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation” – financially supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), German Marshall Fund, USA. The views expressed during the conference do not necessarily reflect the views of the donors.

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Qëndresa

Sulejmani

Director of Programme, Metamorphosis Foundation

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