Open Data Forum celebrates Ukraine’s role as global innovator
Open data has been one of the big success stories of Ukraine’s post-Maidan transformation since 2014. This progress is now beginning to earn the country greater international recognition. For example, Ukraine recently took seventeenth place globally in the 2018 Open Data Barometer. This result is all the more remarkable given that Ukraine was languishing in sixty-second position just two years ago. Ukraine’s impressive embrace of open data principles was in focus in September as Kyiv’s cavernous Art Arsenal venue played host to the country’s second annual Open Data Forum. The event brought together state officials, international and Ukrainian experts, activists and members of the country’s vibrant startup scene. There was an almost evangelical air to proceedings as speaker after speaker outlined the game-changing benefits of open data technologies, which range from transforming state services to conquering corruption. All this is tailor-made for the contemporary Ukrainian environment. With a population that is both highly IT-literate and receptive to change alongside state apparatus that is often long past its sell-by date, Ukraine is widely seen as one of the most exciting open data environments in the world. The Open Data Forum provided a boost to this progress in the form of financial support for projects using open data, with UAH 2.5 million distributed to winners of the annual Open Data Challenge. Recipients included the Ukraine Regulatory Map project, the ProZorro Infrastructure public portal, Monitor.Estate, Grinval from Grow in Value, LvivCityHelper, and NORA.