6th Ukraine Breakfast Debate with Vladyslav Herasymenko

On 5 April 2018, the sixth Ukraine Breakfast Debate of the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) took place at the Institute for European Politics  in Berlin. This time, Vladyslav Herasy­menko from the think tank TEXTY.org.ua shed a light on the situation of open data in Ukraine and discussed with our guests challenges and chances of the provision of open data and its great impor­tance for the Ukrainian reform process.

Herasy­menko started his presen­tation by intro­ducing the activ­ities of his organi­zation which focuses on the analysis of public acces­sible data, data journalism, education of open data activists, and the support of government insti­tu­tions in optimizing their data publi­cation. Major projects include a cooper­ation between TEXTY.org.ua and the Ministry of Infra­structure of Ukraine to analyze rail traffic and the detection of corrupt practices in the system of public parking in Kyiv by evalu­ating monitoring cameras.

To first step towards open data in Ukraine sees Herasy­menko in the law “On Access to Public Infor­mation” in 2011, which foresaw to give persons access to collected data on request.

After the Euromaidan Revolution and especially since 2015, greater progress has been made. The launch of public data portals – such as the data portal of the government – the electronic procurement system “ProZorro” as well as the electronic asset decla­ra­tions system for government officials “e‑declarations” are here to mention, according to Herasy­menko. The provision of data by the government extended further by civil society initia­tives which inter alia publicize data on Ukrainian companies or analyze electronic asset decla­ra­tions. Thanks to the progress made, Ukraine advanced from the 54th position (2015) to the 31st position (2016) of the Open Data Index. Especially three out of 15 categories (Government Budget, National Laws, Company Register) scored 100% in all access­ability criteria.

Challenges concerning official statistics on regional and national level, as Herasy­menko stated, especially showed in the insuf­fi­cient control of the timeliness of data and the lack of legal respon­si­bility for the publi­cation of imperfect data. In addition, the compe­tences to use public acces­sible data and a common under­standing about the impor­tance of open data are not suffi­ciently estab­lished among officials and citizens.

In the ensuing discussion the guests of the Breakfast Debate, mainly from the journal­istic, academic and diplo­matic spheres, were partic­u­larly inter­ested in fields of cooper­ation between the civil society and the admin­is­tration in regard to open data. In this context questions about the impor­tance of organi­za­tions like TEXTY.org.ua were addressed and how their work could be supported by Western donors to promote trans­parency, free access to data, and control of the government by the civil society.

Vladyslav Herasy­menko is an analyst, programmer and data journalist at TEXTY.org.ua and specializes in data processing, analysis and inter­active visual­ization. TEXTY.org.ua as a platform for data journalism strengthens trans­parency in the Ukrainian admin­is­tration and contributes to informed decision-making by analyzing great amounts of data and – via visual­ization – making them compre­hen­sible for large audiences. In their publi­ca­tions, TEXTY.org.ua works with data inter alia on public spending, education, elections, transport, urban­istics, and commu­ni­cation.

The Ukraine Breakfast Debates take place under the project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) at the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in Berlin. Designed as a place for discussion, experts from Ukrainian think tanks present current topics which are after­wards discussed with guests over crois­sants and coffee.

The project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) is conducted by the Institute for European Politics e. V. (IEP, Berlin), in cooper­ation with the Inter­na­tional Renais­sance Foundation (IRF, Kiev), the Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kiev) and the think tank initiative think twice UA (Kiev), supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany in 2017–2018.


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