Page 1

E-MAGAZINE - Małopolska Region Brussels Office


Bliżej Brukseli

CLOSER TO BRUSSELS Open Data The Big Data Opportunity for Governments Internet contributes to a better functioning democracy

Open Data is the „oil” of the new economies

Model Open Data needs the support of a strong leader





Małopolska Region Brussels Office Rue de Luxembourg 3, 1000 Brussels, BELGIUM

Parastudio tel: +32 484 100 604



Open Data by and for Europe’s Regions

| Florian Marienfeld


The big data opportunity for government

| Chris Yiu


Internet contributes to a better functioning democracy

| Interview with Róża Thun




Putting open innovation policy into practice

|Ohyoon Kwon


Model Open Data needs the support of a strong leader

| Interview with Alek Tarkowski


Małopolska wins over Brussels

| High Level Conference


Questio Iuris


Statement on Open Data




Ladies and gentlemen, We are all aware that ICT can be a powerful tool that can push forward economies and stimulate development. But ICT Technologies also have a different dimension – they can also be extraordinarily attractive and inspiring to people that have no specific link with the IT or the telecommunications sector. It has indeed become increasingly difficult to find a person who does not use a mobile phone or a computer. In fact, according to a study carried out by the Mobile Marketing Association, there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes worldwide. This fact may be astonishing for some, but it only reflects the huge power of ICT and the way advanced technologies have become an integrated part of our daily lives. The Open Data phenomenon – that is, the publication and sharing of data- is becoming increasingly attractive for both private companies and public institutions. However, discussion about this topic is still very much needed in order to allow for a better understanding of the potential that lies behind this phenomenon. Indeed, while Open Data is


becoming a world-wide phenomenon, many aspects of it have yet to be discovered. I have the pleasure to recommend the latest issue of the e-magazine Closer to Brussels which will provide us with explanations about the phenomenon of Open Data and why it has been gaining so many followers. This publication will also help us to find out what has already been achieved in this field in Poland and Małopolska and what are the challenges currently facing the public administration. You will also have the opportunity to read about the “fuel” of contemporary economies, that is, the different ways to process and re-use published data. I am glad to invite you to read our latest issue of the e-magazine,

Marek Sowa President of the Małopolska Region



Open Data by and for Europe’s Regions




Florian Marienfeld Florian Marienfeld is a software engineer who started focusing on Open Data in 2011. He is co-author of the Open Data studies for both Berlin and Germany and developed various portals including,, the Open Cities data portals and He has been carrying out a lot of work with everyone’s favorite OD tool CKAN including several extensions, the German metadata schema „ogd-metadata” and various workshops. His specialty is harvesting, i.e. aggregating metadata from smaller to larger regions. He shares his thoughts on open-data.fokus.

Open Government Data is a recent trend that is based on a very intuitive assumption: The public authorities have a great amount of valuable information - why don’t they put it on the Internet so that everyone can use it? Let’s have a look at the motivation and key elements of open data as well as at the resulting chances and challenges for Europe’s regions.


There are three main driving forces behind this movement. The first is innovation: Imagine everyone from freelancers to major

corporations had access to all data about public streets and bu-

ildings, opening hours of public institutions, and land use plans. Possibilities to re-use these datasets in small and handy apps or as parts of larger service bundles are only limited by the deve-

lopers’ imagination. Transparency is the second key motivation: Open data allows citizens and NGOs to actually inspect what

is going on inside governments and make reliable comparisons and analyses for particular contexts. Last but not least we have

efficiency of the administration itself: in any major organization, it is hard for one department to know what the others are do-

ing. This holds applies especially to governmental departments. Hence, publishing as much as possible by default has shown to improve intra-government communication.

Broadly speaking, there is already a great amount of public sector information on the web. However, open data experts like

Fraunhofer FOKUS or the Open Knowledge Foundation conti-

nuously emphasize the importance of three key factors that need

Possibilities to re-use these datasets in small and handy apps or as parts of larger service bundles are only limited by the developers’ imagination.



Normally a developer or journalist has to research into the portals of various institutions; open data, instead, is presented in a central portal rather than hidden in the depths of numerous web sites.

to be in place in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Factor one is machine readability: only if data is available in an inte-

roperable format can it be fed into some program. PDF reports

typically do not meet this criterion, since extracting the raw data out of these reports is an expensive manual piece of work.

Factor two is free licensing. This means not only the absence of direct costs but rather internationally recognized terms of use

like the Creative Commons or Open Data Commons licenses,

which are granted for all purposes without the need for a requ-

est. The third of the most challenging factors is the ease of access. Normally a developer or journalist has to research into the portals of various institutions; open data, instead, is presented in a

central portal rather than hidden in the depths of numerous web sites.

For Europe’s regions, open data offers a number of opportuni-

ties. In contrast to many other similar initiatives, e.g. INSPIRE, it is neither a strict top-down nor bottom-up approach. On the

contrary, every region can embrace the open data idea at its own pace and possibilities. This leads to both cooperation and com-


petition in the race for more and better open data portals (See,, http://daten.,

And this seems to be a better path, at least for the current phase, than national or local legislation. Opening data makes regions

more attractive in terms of potential for innovation and also al-

lows for a transparent comparison of regions according to com-

mon indicators. Moreover, it enables their local infrastructure to be integrated in cross-regional applications and services.

For the near future, we expect above all two developments: more and more governmental data sets will be made available and

shared in increasingly interconnected portals. Perhaps even more

notably, we will see an even stronger commercial interest in open data. Companies are providing more and more services based

on open data and they also begin to see the benefits of a culture

of transparency, as it has been the case with the Berlin electrical grid operator Stromnetz Berlin (

Opening data makes regions more attractive in terms of potential for innovation and also allows for a transparent comparison of regions according to common indicators.


For the near future, we expect above all two developments: more and more governmental data sets will be made available and shared in increasingly interconnected portals.

Further reading:



The big data opportunity for government



Chris Yiu Chris Yiu is Head of the Digital Government Unit at the UK think tank Policy Exchange, and author of its report The Big Data Opportunity. He has been researching and writing extensively about the topics of open data and big data, the digital economy, and government digital services and is currently focusing his research on digital enterprise, broadband policy, and technology-enabled public sector reform. He is a regular commentator on digital policy, speaking at conferences and writing for print and online media. Chris is also a member of the UK Government’s Data Strategy Board and has spent the past decade working at the heart of public policy and business strategy. In government he held a number of positions, including advising on tax and financial services policy at HM Treasury, and on economic and foreign policy at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. In business, he served a range of UK and international clients as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

The modern world generates a staggering quantity of data, and the business of government is no exception. In the UK, vast quantities of data are amassed in the course of running public services – from managing welfare payments and the National Health Service, through to issuing passports and driving licences. Regardless of the stance a government chooses on openness and transparency, an abundance of data and computing power gives the public sector new ways to organise, learn and innovate.


The opportunity for public service transformation is real. Data technologies open up the potential to avoid duplication, learn

what works well and less well, personalise activities, solve com-

plex problems, and foster innovation. For citizens, this can save time and make interacting with government a much smoother experience. This runs across the whole spectrum – from pre-

-populating forms rather than asking for the same information

twice, through to personalising welfare to help people access the support they need.

There is also significant scope to save money. The UK govern-

ment’s annual budget is around £700 billion, so even incremental improvements in productivity can add up to big savings. We already know that fraud in the public sector costs the UK aro-

und £21 billion a year, a further £10 billion is lost to errors, and

£7-8 billion lost in uncollected debts. And we know that the tax gap – the difference between theoretical tax liabilities and what people actually pay – is around £35 billion. So there is clearly potential to make progress.

Data technologies open up the potential to avoid duplication, learn what works well and less well, personalise activities, solve complex problems, and foster innovation.


Both governments and businesses are exposed to tensions when attempts to extract value from data collide with individuals’ wishes not to be tracked, monitored or singled out.

Of course, data and analytics technologies alone are not a silver bullet for transforming the public sector. Underlying data and

statistical issues like quality, standards and bias still need to be

recognised and addressed, and we need an open and constructive conversation about legislative and practical barriers around data sharing and linking.

Governments must have people with the capability to conduct

and interpret data in order to make analytics working intelligently. The potential expertise of these people should cover a range of disciplines from computer science and quantitative methods, to the ability to tell stories and visualize complex relationships.

And this is only partly about cutting-edge technical skills. Just as important – if not more so – is ensuring that public sector le-

aders and staff are literate in the scientific method and confident combining data with judgment.

Governments will also need the courage to pursue this agenda

with strong ethics and integrity. The same technology that holds so much potential also makes it possible to put intense pressure on civil liberties. Both governments and businesses are exposed


Governments must have people with the capability to conduct, interpret and consume the outputs of data and analytics work intelligently.

to tensions when attempts to extract value from data collide

with individuals’ wishes not to be tracked, monitored or singled out.

Our research delivered two main recommendations for the UK government to consider.

First, to kick-start this agenda set up an Advanced Analytics

Team at the heart of government, with responsibility for identifying big data opportunities and helping the public sector to

unlock them – be they in central departments, local authorities

or elsewhere. The team should take a lean, agile approach – this is emphatically not about starting with a large, lengthy IT programme. It should also have the job of spreading awareness,

understanding and demand for data and analysis in the public

sector. If successful, data science should be formalised as a pro-

fessional grouping inside government, alongside existing tracks for economists, statisticians and operational and social researchers.

Second, adopt (or possibly even legislate) a Code for Responsible Analytics, to help people in the public sector adhere to the


highest ethical standards in data use. Important elements of such a code might include being transparent about what data and

analytics capabilities are being accumulated and why; respecting the spirit of the right to privacy; and committing to review big data initiatives in a lab environment before implementation.

The prize at stake from making better use of data in government is immense. We need to accelerate practical, radical efforts to

capture it, whilst being mindful, always, that we do not sacrifice our integrity along the way.


The prize at stake from making better use of data in government is immense. We need to accelerate practical, radical efforts to capture it, whilst being mindful, always, that we do not sacrifice our integrity along the way.


Internet contributes to a better functioning democracy Interview with R贸偶a Thun


Małgorzata Ratajska-Grandin: „Open Data” is more than just a technical solution or a digital tool, it is a model used in public space, based on values​​ such as transparency, openness, efficiency and availability, it also strengthens the cooperation and participation, thus the foundation of civil society. Is Poland and, on a broader scale, Europe, ready for its widespread use? Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein: „Open data” is a con-

cept which assumes that some data should be available to all and should not be copyrighted, patented or have to face other limits regarding its processing and publishing. Poland and Europe are only in a learning phase as far as the philosophy of openness is

concerned. This would not be possible without the Internet and the ability to automatically process large amounts of data. We

are talking about using the internet to build a better functioning democracy in which cooperation and participation play a great role.

Róża Maria Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein She is a Member of the European Parliament (European People’s Party Group). Prior to taking up this post she was Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Poland (2005 - 2009). Since 2009 European Parliament election, member of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska). In European Parliament, she works in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and, as a substitute, in the Committee on Culture and Education. She is also a member of the Delegation for relations with Israel, Delegation to the UfM Parliamentary Assembly and Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. In November 2011, voted “The MEP of the Year” in the category Internal Market and Consumers Affairs during the MEP Awards Gala of “The Parliament Magazine”. In 2012 voted “2011 Person of the Year in Malopolska” by the readers of the “Gazeta Krakowska” and one of the five most influential women of Malopolska in 2011.


Next to fighting the economic crisis for more than four years already, Europe is also experiencing a serious crisis concerning the loss of confidence in governments. In this difficult climate, new generations come into adulthood, including the so-called “Digital natives�, born and raised in the era of e-mails and widespread Internet access, in a time in which mobile phones have in fact become so important that they can almost be considered like another limb. How can we interest these young people in their regions, in the development of cities, or communities? How do we convince them that the actions of the local government have a direct impact on their quality of life?

Nowadays, Europe faces some serious problems, but let’s not

forget that we have withstood

many crises already, so I believe

we will be fine this time as well.

Young people largely live on the internet, so if the government

or politicians want to get their

opinions, the internet is where

they should look for them. If I want to hear the views of my

voters I will also ask them via Facebook or Twitter. It is the

most efficient way. I think that

the government should act in a similar way.


There are thousands of web applications around the world, enabling citizens to communicate with authorities at local and central levels, such as the action „fix my street”, launched in the UK, and now available in many European cities as well. This tool allows residents of a certain district to take a picture of a hole in the pavement in front of their home by using their mobile phone, and subsequently to send it to the municipal authorities, and thereby to monitor the progress of the undertaken repairs. However, in Poland such initiatives are rare. How would you explain that?

We see such initiatives appear

its equivalent, it’s called „let’s

the project “city space” (prze-

also a project called „open sights”

in Poland as well. I remember, which targeted the removal of graffiti from

public buildings which were offensive to minorities. Often, of an anti-Semitic nature. People

could take pictures of such graffiti’s, upload them on a website, and someone would monitor it regularly and report to the

municipal police who subse-

quently enforced the removal

of the unsightly and offensive

graffiti. The cityscape changes

through such joint action. “Fix my street” also seems to have

fix it” ( There is (, which is

about creating a database of Po-

lish monuments through a common effort. In June this year, the European Parliament adopted a

Directive on the re-use of public sector information. Many of its

provisions are already implemented into the Polish legislation.

And in this case, we are among the best in the EU, in having a good legal environment.


In the upcoming weeks, Małopolska is going to publish a new website providing information which is collected and created by the government at the regional and local level. The tool will meet all modern requirements for this kind of technology, and it is certainly a step forward towards the creation of a modern environment and a response to the needs of citizens. But how can we engage citizens so that they can benefit from this kind of technology, and how can we encourage innova-

Who should be responsible for the education of citizens, in order to increase public awareness activities at the local or central level?

tive businesses to develop applications based on them?

This needs to be done through

It should be dealt with by schools,

universities, on the internet.

non-governmental organizations.

the media, but also by schools,

I’m sure that the entrepreneurs themselves will be interested

as soon as the data will be provided in a form that will allow

ministries, governments, media,

In fact, by all of them. Without a

concerted effort it will be difficult to reach out to citizens.

further processing. There is no

How to define the mission of go-

fically. You just need to provide

investments in so-called ‚hard’ in-

way to do this is through vario-

be responsible for the creation and

need to encourage them speci-

vernments, should it be limited to

them the information. The best

frastructures or should authorities

us professional organizations.

delivery of content?


I would not make a division

guidance counselors from the

only. I would rather refer to in-

help building digital skills.

into infrastructure and content frastructure and skills. It won’t be enough to stock schools or

libraries with laptops and high-speed internet if there won’t

be any trained school teachers with an educational program for the youth. The “Digital

School” program clearly exemplifies this problem.

We also need programs that will encourage older people

to use the Internet. There is a coalition called „maturity in

the network”, which does a lot

of good work already. We have

Polish Digital program who

Concerning the content, it is

of course also necessary to have digital textbooks. We need a

range of public services availa-

ble online, so that the Poles will be able to use its full potential. In this regard, public institu-

tions still have a lot of work to do, although it should also be noted that a lot is being done already.


Open Source civic app development and sustainability is the future Capturing the value of working through commonst



Katalin Gallyas Katalin Gallyas is an Open Innovation Policy Advisor for the City of Amsterdam, Economic Development section. For the last 3 years, she has been actively engaged in policy making about Open Innovation, a completely new city program. She is currently coordinating 3 EU Innovation projects (Code4EU, Open Cities, City SDK) in Amsterdam to show the added value of Open Data, Open Source App Development and working with commons and smart toolkits in cities. Passionate about innovation, app industry, city governance renewal, Katalin is responsible for the EU and local policy lobby in ICT and Innovation field and engaged in setting up a Civic Innovators’ network as well as an innovation hub between cities, innovation labs, hackers and start ups.

City governance is challenged by abrupt changes, budget cuts, and reorganisations. In 2013, it is a restless, continuously evolving context, exposed to many contradictions. On the one hand city governance is starting to lack enough internal capacities to enter into the technical innovation market, as it lacks in both insight on what is cutting edge application and in resources to build them and share them among other cities. On the second hand, city governance is more risk averse than ever, and urban redesign is also experiencing many roadblocks to plan and implement new designs and costly plans. Citizens, thanks to their constant connectivity and growing number of membership to so many emerging platforms, are creating a new demand for interactive, feedback oriented and transparent citizen services.


Citizens are opting freely about who they want to share cars,

food and neighbourhood with, and who they want to be con-

nected with. More than ever the city is going to be determined by its ability to play the role of interface, as citizens are impa-

tient and want to get instant answers from their city hall when they report an issue related to public spaces (i.e. issue tracking,

broken lamps, pedestrian roads or trash cans that have not been emptied). This contradiction between the cities’ diminishing

capacities to innovate and the abruptly growing demand from

citizens for digitalization creates a previously unknown ‘technological gap’ and backlog in cities.

Amsterdam has put Open Data and Open Innovation in the forefront when it comes to innovation.


This contradiction between the cities’ diminishing capacities to innovate and the abruptly growing demand from citizens for digitalization creates a previously unknown ‘technological gap’ and backlog in cities.

Amsterdam (Economic Affairs) has chosen to participate in

several IT-driven open innovation EU programs to contribu-

te to the local decision making process with continuous range

of examples and business cases. Moreover, the participation in

these EU ICT-driven projects has enabled the city to gain a quicker access to the most innovative technologies and learn about the advantages to open up governmental datasets or arrange “hackathons”.

More specifically, we have been working on three projects, and

it is truly inspiring to see how far we have got since their launch.


1) Open Cities: This project accentuates the value of Open Innovation for cities, it aims at showing city authorities how to work with platforms, deal with challenges and source ideas from outside to foster

innovation. Open Data is a crucial part in the project, espe-

cially when it comes to arrange competitions or generate novel

app concepts that are using open data from city authorities. See also: 2) Code4Europe: Code4Europe promotes the idea of temporarily working with Change Agent App Developers that have a better understanding of civic challenges and advanced coding tools. The trend

we see is that it is not the development of a new app that is the most exciting part, but rather the speed of sharing, exchanging existing codes via Github or Commons (Civic Commons in

the States, European Commons in the EU) between cities. The Code4EU project has 10 international developer fellows working in 6 EU cities to prove this method of innovation. 3) City Service Development Tool: Project City Service Development Tool shows how the

development of a harmonized back end system between cities can help to leverage the interoperability concept. http://dev. For example, we show developers how to release multimodal transport data through API’s.

With City SDK, we are already focusing on the second gene-

ration of open data , an enriched version with a social layer, real time data as well as crowd-sourced personal data. For instance,

the Waag Society is building a multimodal transport app that-


shows how important is the combination of real time transport data with crowd-sourced travellers information.

In the last years, the city of Amsterdam has released more than 200 datasets and we have been organising 2 hackathons to

promote the use of these datasets by app developers. Through Open Cities, we have made an App challenge during which cutting edge apps, such as Blindsquare from Helsinki, were

rewarded. This proves how useful it is to combine real time public traffic light information with sound system adapted to people with visual impairments, as it can help them to move around cities independently and safely. The development of public

toilets in Amsterdam, for example, has been accompanied by

the creation of Peezy app, which is accessible to all and aims at

helping tourists to easily find a clean toilet during their visits of the city.

Waternet (Water Services Department) has also built an app

where the boat traffic on the canals can be measured, allowing the users to generate a new layer of data about their transport while enhancing the safety and predictability of the traffic.



This can happen in an environment in which the city hall -as a data provider also responsible for civic challenges- collaborates with app developers, innovation agencies, researchers and other prominent cities. Finally, open data can also have a strong educational impact. For instance, the Rijskmuseum has released large parts of their col-

lection as open data and app developers have created a very use-

ful educative app that enables a face recognition of the portrayed person on the museum’s paintings.

Through all these cases, Amsterdam has put Open Data and

Open Innovation in the forefront when it comes to innovation.

Of course, this is motivated by the underlying hope that we can

generate new business models and contribute to the new generation of civic app development. Each city has a big responsibility when it comes to opening up data and serve citizens better. This can happen in an environment in which the city hall -as a data

provider also responsible for civic challenges- collaborates with

app developers, innovation agencies, researchers and other pro-

minent cities. In my opinion, the main task for the cities’ authorities is to listen well, to be present and to experiment with new

models of collaboration like we do in Code4EU, to get acquain-

ted with Github and make use of existing smart tools from other cities.


Open Data program should be an integral part of the new strategic choices of Economic Departments in cities, because open data is the “oil” of the new economies.

To conclude, Open Data program should be an integral part of

the new strategic choices of Economic Departments in cities, because open data is the “oil” of the new economies, it creates jobs for the newer generations and makes it possible to build better services for ever connected citizens.


Putting open innovation policy into practice


Ohyoon Kwon Ohyoon Kwon is working in Amsterdam as a fellow at the Code for Europe project. In the role of a concept designer/business developer, his mission with two other fellows is to co-design long–lasting products while enabling civil servants and citizens to have a sense of ownership on products Code for Europe has developed for and with them. Next to his C4EU-fellowship, he is active as a social innovator co–founding a social venture called Homeless SMS. There, he is developing a social messaging service, working with young homeless people and organisations in Eindhoven. Ohyoon was born and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. Since 2009, he has been based in Europe and graduated cum laude in the Masters in Design for Interaction at Delft University of Technology, being awarded best graduate of his faculty.

Since January 2013, I have had the fascinating opportunity to be involved in the Code for Europe Fellowship Programme, hired as a concept designer/business developer by the Economic Affairs section of the city of Amsterdam. Teamed up with two committed software developer fellows, I have been working within the communities and host organisations in Amsterdam to address local problems by harnessing the potential of open source technologies. In this article, I take the opportunity to reflect on my day-to-day work in Amsterdam; how change makers, joining as outsiders, are turning the city’s open innovation policy into a practice owned by citizens and civil servants.


Three local challenges in Amsterdam: Code for Europe has selected three distinguishable local chal-

lenges through organising a pitching competition with enthusiastic civil servants. The three “winners” received as a reward the opportunity to run a project with the fellows for nine months.

The topics reflect the agenda of local authorities as well as personal aspirations of the individual civil servants. East council: Social Accommodations Anne-Jan Zieleman at East council proposed a challenge aligned with the strong bottom-up community movements in an area called “Indische Buurt”. This neighbourhood and its 25.000

inhabitants have more than 200 active citizen initiatives to their

credit. These mini-citizen organisations demand accessible space for performing a variety of cultural, ecological and educational

activities. East council asked the fellows to come up with a solu-

tion to manage the supplies and demands of “social accommodation” (accessible public spaces in their neighbourhoods).


West council: Frontline Staff Many neighbourhoods in the west district have been suffering

from trouble-making youngsters (overlasting hanggroep), committing nuisances and street crimes. Over the years, the city

authority has lost the control over this problem. In 2011, the west council implemented a programme called “buurtpraktijk team�

(neighbourhood practice team) that politically enabled frontline staff from different organisations to closely work together, while

overriding the walls that traditionally divide organisations. After a year, the team has obtained positive outcomes, although they have faced problems when it came to sharing information. As the existing organisation information systems do not support

the practice sufficiently, the fellows were asked to create a system improving the communication between frontline staff from dif-

ferent organisations. The challenge was proposed by Eelke Jager and Rene de Jong at West council.


This set up enables us to establish networks composed of civil servants and citizens who are motivated to address the challenge. On the other hand, fellows nudge them to think and act outside of conventional practice.

South council: Spreading out Tourists Amsterdam has more than 1.6 million international and local

tourists annually. However, they tend to be concentrated in the

central area and do not visit further than the central canal belt. The city of Amsterdam perceived this as a significant missed

opportunity. Elvira Osmanovic, at South district council, has proposed up the challenge to spread out tourists to areas beyond the centre. The approaches The given challenges briefly illustrate contexts around the problems, however they do not define what exactly fellows have to

deliver at the end of the project. Therefore, throughout the project, civil servants and fellows have been developing the way to work and interact with each other towards possible solutions.

The three civil servants play the role of “runners�, prompting us

fellows where to go and whom we need to meet in order to continue the project. They open doors to engage with organisations and communities. This set up enables us to establish networks composed of civil servants and citizens who are motivated to

address the challenge. On the other hand, fellows nudge them to think and act outside of conventional practice.

Preview of three apps responding the challenges By now, the project reached half of its total duration of nine

months. We came up with concepts for each challenge and are developing three products:




• “Take-a-hike” is an iPhone application offering a novel way to navigate through a city in a playful way, searching hidden treasures and check-in points;

• the “SamenSpel” concept is a communication tool supporting the collaborative practice between professionals

from different organisations working on improving the quality of Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods;

• „SamenApp” is a web tool that allows citizens to reserve

different public spaces in their neighbourhood and to learn about people, events and local organisations at a one-stopshop.

Each challenge has generated several interesting questions for the team and involved civil servants.

In the Frontline staff challenge, one of the needs of the staff that we have identified was that the system should handle and share private information about problem-making youngsters. Their

wish is based on the new legislation agreed between the organi-

sations, which allows frontline staff to share the citizens’ information concerned. This project motivated several civil servants, such as privacy coordinators and information managers, to interpret

the agreements and translate them, with the help of SamenSpel, into a practical guide for product development.

In the Social Accommodation challenge, through which we

closely cooperate with the local community, the sustainability of

the product turned out as a bottleneck to test the application and implement the outcome in the community. Further development

Each challenge has generated several interesting questions for the team and involved civil servants.


Firstly, the programme motivates civil servants and citizens to engage and put abstract policies and political agenda into actions. Secondly, local projects have become the catalyst for the creation of new connections and network across unconnected organisations and different functional roles. Lastly, the programme creates an environment ideal for experiments, pushing ordinary civil servants and citizens to think and act differently from their current daily practice.

and ongoing maintenance are important assets for the use of the SamenApp in the community after the period of the fellowship programme.

Making use of open data is an important objective of the Code

for Europe fellowship. The “Take-a-hike� app is conceived to be able to derive location information from existing tourism infor-

mation data sets. However, we realise that the majority of tourist data in Amsterdam concerns attractions located in the centre of

the city, which does not support the goal of the challenge. Therefore the application includes a back-end tool allowing admin users to register additional location information for users, exceeding what is available today.


Possibilities for change agents Although the Code for Europe fellowship has just begun its

first pilot year, I am convinced about the possibilities that the

work of fellows can bring to local authorities and communities. Firstly, the programme motivates civil servants and citizens to engage and put abstract policies and political agenda into ac-

tions. Secondly, local projects have become the catalyst for the creation of new connections and network across unconnected organisations and different functional roles. Lastly, the pro-

gramme creates an environment ideal for experiments, pushing ordinary civil servants and citizens to think and act differently from their current daily practice. Ohyoon Kwon Code for Europe Fellow in Amsterdam


Waag Society and Open Data What is the impact of the

open access to data, and others

be developed within the pro-

emerging technologies on

through organizing app con-

main goal is creating successful

developing Internet and

our society? This is the main

question that Waag Society’s

Future Internet Lab researches. Waag Society is an institute

for art, science and technolo-

gy. The organisation develops creative technology for social

innovation, conducts research, develops concepts, pilots and prototypes and acts as an intermediate between the arts, science and the media.

Waag Society wants to keep

technology accessible and safe,

and share information in order to allow everybody to participate in this changing society on their own terms. Most of

the efforts in this field curren-

tly deal with open data. Suzanne Heerschop, project manager at Waag Society: “We try to

stimulate the public sector to

to re-use this data. We do this tests, for instance, but also by building technical platforms and interfaces to facilitate

development of applications.”

An example of such a platform is CitySDK, a service develop-

ject Apps for Europe and the

Open Data startups. The Business Lounge can be seen as an ‘add-on’ for the existing Open

Data contests and hackathons.”

ment kit that enables develo-

Participation, innovation and

on Open Mobility Data.

for cities. And they are the

pers to built applications based Next to this, the organization stimulates developers to turn their idea into business. “We show investors the ocean of

viable concepts that arise from the Open Data contests that

we organize,” explains Suzanne. “For those concepts that have a realistic chance on the market, and for the developers that are eager and motivated to turn

their idea into reality, we are

working on a European Business Lounge. This lounge will

engaged citizens are important main factors within the project Code for Europe, on which

Waag Society is working together with the department for

Economic Affairs of the mu-

nicipality of Amsterdam. After a public pitch session in which civil servants pitched their

most important civic challenge

to an audience and a jury, three challenges were selected. Next, three fellows were selected to take up these challenges and come up with solutions. In


this process, they can count on

the Netherlands. Because the

coaching by Waag Society and

with the people from the mu-

support from the municipality,

inspiration from the international Code for Europe network.

This network allows the fellows to work together internationally, to share code on a platform that is currently created and

to get inspired and learn from

each other. Because everything is open source and freely available, other European cities

can also use the information

and code for their challenges. The fact that Code for Europe is made possible through

funding within the Competitiveness and Innovation Frame-

work Programme (CIP), shows that this form of innovation is

highly supported by the European Union.

In Amsterdam, thirty people

applied for a position as a fel-

low, most of them from outside

fellows are working directly

nicipality, they can test their ideas and create support for

their solutions. In September, Amsterdam will host the

Code for Europe summit to present the results and open

the network to all. “What we already notice, is that both

citizens and civil servants are

very involved, because we tackle issues that are relevant to them. Furthermore, civil se-

rvants are inspired to work in a different manner and they are already asking us for in-

spiration and help with this,”

says Heerschop. “In September we’ll start looking for new

challenges in Amsterdam. And we want even more European cities to join the Code for

Europe movement. So that

they can have specialists and

an entire network focus on the challenges they face.”

o Da d e su ta l O st pp ne pe ro or ed n ng t s o t le f a he ad er



ew I re an all w ith po y le y th Al in wer vel. ink ek bu this an You it’s Ta t a m d c ju an rk s s od ha st iss ow om el - rism nee ue sk eth ma a d s of i ing yb to om lea tha e no real eon der t c t a ly s e w ship an s a tar ith , a be pe t b en t tes rfe elie ou ted ct m vin gh or od g do el, ne .

In te r



Alek Tarkowski Alek Tarkowski (1977) is the director of Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt Polska, a Polish think-and-do-tank building tools and methodologies for using digital technologies to increase civic engagement and openness of institutions. He is the coordinator of Creative Commons Poland and a member of the Council of Information, an advisory body to the Polish Ministry of Administration and Digital affairs, and of the Administrative Council of Communia, an international association supporting the digital public domain. Between 2007-2011, he acted as a member of the Board of Strategic Advisors to the Prime Minister of Poland, responsible for matters related to the development of digital society. He co-founded the Opengov project, which initiated in Poland the debate on the open government model with the publication of the „Roadmap for Open Government in Poland” and is the Co-author of the report „Poland 2030”. Alek holds an MA and PhD in sociology.

Axelle Ponthus, Małopolska Representation Office in Brussels: Until September 2013 Poland was faced by an infringement procedure triggered by the European Commission because it was thought that Poland had not fully implemented the PSI Directive (Directive on the re-use of public sector information, see Questio Iuris). How did the Centrum Cyfrowe work with the government during that period and how did it deal with this issue? Has there been an evolution in the attitude of the government towards the OD model and its use during the last few years? Alek Tarkowski: Starting

Prime Minister. What hap-

involved not so much as an

that indeed the Commission

with the Directive, we were institution but more personally due to the fact that I and my

colleague Igor Ostrowski were part of the so called Board

of Strategic Advisors to the

pened with the Directive is

believed that Poland had not

implemented the Directive on time. Poland for a while ar-

gued that it had actually been

implementing it... I don’t think


A.P.: Would you then say that

that was true but ultimately,

the fact that we have a new

created was, in my opinion,

problems: no-one really un-

it comes to re-using data,

stitutions, how re-use works


although late, the bill that was quite good –partially because it drew on the experience of

other countries. It introduced

quite strong rules for open re-

use, such as the absence of fees other than the cost of prepar-

ing, which is even less than the marginal cost. We now have a legislation that allows for

open data, we have long term

policy documents that have really straightforward yet strong recommendations for making public data available, but the

bill does not solve practical

the main challenges, when

derstands, especially the in-

are more coming from local

and data is not being made

available. But this is not the fault of the regulation. This

triggers stronger pressure on regional and local levels because they are the ones that have the legal framework

necessary for the implemen-

tation and, in theory, they do not need to wait for data to be released at the national

level. But there is not much

problem is the implementation happening yet. of the legislation. Of course,

A.T.: I would not say that the challenges come more from the local level: I think that

probably any level of adminis-

tration has a problem with this model because it is the oppo-

site to the way they have been

functioning until now. Institutions have been supposed to

keep control of their data. So

for example, we have been told, when requesting data, that

the idea of data being made

available would not gain the


I really think it’s an issue of leadership, at any level. You just need someone with enough power and charisma to really start believing in this model - maybe not as a perfect model, but as something that can be tested or done.

trust [of citizens – author].

in one specific office, and you

works only in some cities,...

gest that there is some greater

ing with transportation, pub-

same with NGOs, there are

Those very basic fears sug-

challenge when it comes to making data available. I re-

ally think it’s an issue of leadership, at any level. You just

need someone with enough

power and charisma to really

start believing in this model -

maybe not as a perfect model, but as something that can be tested or done. And without that I don’t think it can be

achieved. I don’t think midlevel officials have enough

power to do this because they face a lot of opposition: if

you work for a municipality ,

need to convince people deallic services, and education, I don’t think this will work.

In the meantime, civil soci-

ety and businesses are doing

and stories like that. And the many stories of them facing

difficulties in gaining access to data.

what they can. You do have

A.P.: So how does your centre deal

applications, transport appli-

your approach?

challenges, they have to pay

A.T.: Our newest approach is

equal: one company can get

ing to go into designing the

companies that try to create

cations for instance. They face licenses. The rules are un-

a license and the other not,

so the competition is broken. You can have a situation in

which a city refuses to make data available so the data

with these different groups? What is

that we put a lot more thinksolution because often the

open data model takes some

very simple solutions and says

“Lets take data presented on a

map and it will be useful”. And


after almost three years work-

small group that has a very

community”, a lot of the most

we need to understand a lot

issue but outside of this group

ing place at the local/regional

think this issue is mainly due to

ples of such innovative initia-

ing on this, our feeling is that

more what people and groups need and figure out what tool will really be helpful and use-

ful. This design approach is in my opinion the right way to

work with open data application.

A.P.: When it comes to society, how would you assess Polish society’s awareness on the possibilities related to opendate re-use and how can we increase this awareness?

advanced understanding on this

efficient approaches are tak-

the understanding is low. I

level. Could you give exam-

a mutual lack of trust between

tives in Poland?

is a challenge we should try

A.T.: I would say that in gen-

Open Data-based projects are a

can really be proud of the ideas

citizens and institutions. This to overcome and I think that

very good way to overcome this mentality and prove that things can work differently. How-

ever, you first need to get them started. This is why we need leadership.

A.P.: As we saw during the A.T.: I think there is a very

conference “Build your smart

eral Poland is a country that

that come out of it, with pro-

jects like Sejmometr, which is

a parliamentary platform, and Prawo wiedzieć which also

tracks parliamentary data. We also have a project that tracks budgets and platform where

we work with data on heritage and monuments.


But the projects are usually

not local. About two years ago, the city of Poznan did release some data-set but the set is

very small and they don’t seem to have a strategy on how to make anything happen with

this data. So that was a good

example for about half a year,

but afterwards not much happened.

It is easier to use data gath-

ered at the local level because it is closer to people’s needs.

The data you can make available at national level is very

abstract, we tested this with

budget data and it turns out

that not too many people were

interested... No doubt that this

tion strategies, and Open Data

parent, as it is important that

of cities’ approach to what is

sort of data should be transthe government shows data on public spending, but the

should be seen as an element innovative today.

truth is that you cannot build

A.P.: Has it been possible to

citizens with it.

competences/best practices

anything really interesting for In a city, it is completely

benefit from the exchange of on the issue of Open Data

different. People care about the with foreign regions and citquality of schools, hospitals


whether their waste is collect-

A.T.: I do not think that it is

issues. I think that is why we

is true that it should be quite

and the roads they drive on, or ed. You can find thousands of

happening yet, to be honest. It

should focus on municipalities. easy, because all this knowlA lot of them are now think-

edge is shared and not hidden.

and have their own innova-

of this knowledge have already

ing in terms of innovation

The tools required to make use


k c a l l is a tu . Th I u m ons nd a o ituti e a very t ue inst rcom re a rove d e ia nly and o ov cts a and p m ens ry t oje ity s i r tal t z i p e t d i su n c oul sed en s i s ee sh -ba is m ly. i h t etw we ta th nt k n t b ge Da me ere i h I t trus llen pen erco diff of a cha at O o ov work is nk th ay t can thi od w ings go t th tha


been built, therefore you don’t

for everyone. In principle, any-

them built, only tens of thou-

to say what sort is the most

have to pay millions to have

sands to have them installed. The main challenge lays in

human capital, when you have people who know what to do and want to work with these tools.

A.P.: Which cases of open data re-use do you find the most useful/appealing and would like to see implemented in Poland? Which social groups would benefit the most from re-use? A.T.: It is a hard question

because there is so many kinds of data that you can find – you can basically find data relevant

one can benefit and it is hard useful. There are types that

are described by everyone as

having the greatest potential,

things like geographic, meteorological or transport data..

This data can be used for the

creation of big solutions. What I like about the examples in

Amsterdam or Berlin is that

they are very small: you take a part of town and try to identify the problem in this part of town. They might not be

the best solutions or the most pressing problem but I like

the idea that you can also deal with small issues.


There are types that are described by everyone as having the greatest potential, things like geographic, meteorological or transport data.. This data can be used for the creation of big solutions.


Małopolska wins over Brussels: Build your smart community: Open Data for cities and regions High Level Conference Co-Organised by the Małopolska Region and Google Brussels


On the 26th of June 2013, Google’s Brussels head offices provided the setting for the conference “Build your smart Community: Open Data for Cities and Regions”, organized at the occasion of the Małopolska Innovation Festival. The event is part of the long-term strategy of the Małopolska Representation in Brussels, the aim of which is to promote the image of Małopolska as a region with a large potential for innovation and investment in the strategic sector of new technologies - one of the priorities of the Regional Innovation Strategy for the 2013-2020 period. As the initiator and main organiser of the conference, the Małopolska Region Office in Brussels was able to make the most of the contacts it has established at the European level and invite representatives of leading European centres in the area of Open Data in order to participate in the debate and share their experience and knowledge on the topic.


The large audience gathered in Google’s modern Brussels offices

was introduced to the topic of Open Data by Alek Tarkowski, director of the Centrum Cyfrowe in Warsaw and co-author of the report “Road Map to Open Government in Poland”.

Following the opening speech delivered by Antoine Aubert,

host of the conference and director of Google Brussels, Jacek

Krupa, a member of the administrative board of the Małopolska Region, briefly presented the region’s new platform for public

In this age of changes, cities and regions which want to remain attractive for both citizens and entrepreneurs must ensure the effectiveness of local administration while offering flexible responses to a rapidly changing reality.

data sharing which is expected to be inaugurated in August this

year. It should be noted that this platform will be the second initiative of this type in Poland, and one of a few in Europe.

The next intervention was that of MEP Róża Thun, who underlined that in this age of changes, cities and regions which

want to remain attractive for both citizens and entrepreneurs

must ensure the effectiveness of local administration while offering flexible responses to a rapidly changing reality. In order to

face those challenges, the public sector in Europe must undergo changes, long term transformations that require a greater open-

ness of the administration, cooperation with various actors from outside the system, and above all, transparency in its activities.

During the first presentation, Katalin Galyas, strategic adviser on innovation for the City of Amsterdam, emphasized that

the key to remain at the forefront of Europe’s leading regional centers is to make public data available in a way that would

be accessible and comprehensible for a varied audience. Amsterdam, which together with Berlin stands among Europe’s


leaders in the development of modern and open administrative practices, has been pursuing such a policy for the last 3 years.

European projects, financed by the CIP Programme – Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme - have been an important incentive for innovative changes in the city.The city intends to keep expanding its activities in this area, and

opportunities for such expansion are expected to be fostered by the new European program Horizon 2020, which will be inaugurated during a conference in Vilnius in November.

Later, Ohyoon Kwon, the youngest of the panel participants and a fellow for the Code for Europe project and co-developer of

Open Data-based apps, currently implemented by Amsterdam-

explained that there is no boundary to the possibilities generated by the sharing of data, other than the human imagination.

Florian Marienfeld, author of rapports on Open Data for both the German Federal Government and the City of Berlin, po-

inted out that public bodies should take into account the huge

The key to remain at the forefront of Europe’s leading regional centers is to make public data available in a way that would be accessible and comprehensible for a varied audience.


benefits for citizens and firms that can result from making

public data accessible, but also the challenges that have to be tackled in order to create “smart cities and communities�.

The issue of the openness and access of data was addressed by

Leo Exter, the creator and animator of the crowd-sourcing platforms Westartup and Digital Health. According to him, only

large resources of data can enable the business sector, especially start ups, to create new commercial models and ways to cooperate with partners which should allow for the achievement of economic and social benefits at various levels.

The second part of the conference consisted of a debate between the experts, actively led by Alek Tarkowski. Every participants

agreed on the fact that data is the basis for the world economy and therefore the possibilities to access and re-use it will keep

increasing. Data sharing and the possibility to develop an infinite number of apps therefore represent a chance to foster economic development and facilitate our daily lives.


The conference “Build your Smart Community: Open Data for Cities and Regions” was one of the many activities of the Ma-

łopolska Representation in Brussels aimed at building an image of the region based on the new technologies sector, one of the so-called smart specializations of the Małopolska region. It

should be noted that presenting the activities of the Małopolska region in the area of open data on a European forum, alongside European leaders in that field - such as Amsterdam and Berlin

-, undoubtedly strengthened our position and generated added-value for the event. Finally, it is worth pointing out that the

theme of the conference also fits in the larger political context of the revision of the Directive on the Re-Use of Public Data.


The speakers’ presentations can be found on the website of our conference:

Data is the basis for the world economy and therefore the possibilities to access and re-use it will keep increasing.


Author: Małgorzata Ratajska-Grandin & Renata Jasiołek, Representation of Małopolska in Brussels


The Małopolska Region can see the opportunities and advanta-

ges brought by open data. That is why we are currently finalizing the revolutionary change of our main web-portal and tool for access to public data. This will allow for data to become more open and easily accessible. In this way, the new Public Infor-

mation Bulletin for public administration units in Małopolska is going to be launched in August this year. This portal aims at ensuring the access to public information, allowing for the re-use of information and supporting the development of open

data-based solutions. Let me add that we are leaders in this area in Poland. The new Public Information Bulletin shall offer new tools allowing for public information re-use:

• API mechanisms • downloadable XML files of each article and list of articles • set of widgets • innovative ways of presenting the public information • and a new technological platform, which would coordina-

te and manage of the content.

Some open data solutions have already been implemented by the Region. For example, air pollution geo-information, or the Of-

ficial Electronic Journal of the Małopolska Region have already been provided with downloadable XML files.

Those were the first steps, and obviously, we are not European

leaders in the area of open data. However, we are aware of its potential and we are willing to learn from the best.

Source: Speech of Jacek Krupa -Member of the Administrative Board of the Małopolska Region- delivered during the conference in Brussels, on the 26th of June.


Questio Iuris The Revision of the PSI Directive: Why was it necessary and which changes did it bring?


The 2003/98/WE Directive,

taken up the task to ensure gre-

rective� concerns the re-use

by national, regional and local

also known as the “PSI Di-

of public sector information.

Public sector institutions withhold information that is gene-

rally thought to be valuable for

citizens and, as such, should be

ater access to the data detained authorities across its members

states and encourage the re-use of this information by citizens and entrepreneurs.

The entry in action in De-

made accessible - according to

cember 2003 of the directive

openness and transparency.

Information marked the cre-

the democratic principles of

During the last decade, this

information has also come to

be seen as having a certain economic value as it has the po-

tential to become the basis for

the development of innovative

business opportunities. For this reason, EU institutions have

on the re-use of Public Sector ation of a EU-wide framework

legislating on the availability of government data for re-use by civil society and private sector

actors. The implementation of such legislation should foster the transparency of govern-

mental activities at every level

This information has also come to be seen as having a certain economic value as it has the potential to become the basis for the development of innovative business opportunities.


while allowing for fairer com-

among the newest EU mem-

and museums), limiting the fee

overall ensuring the develop-

public access and re-use of

to marginal costs, and ensuring

petition between businesses,

ment of an economic environ-

ment favorable for innovation, especially in the third sector

(through the development of apps for example).

By May 2008, the directive

bers, significant barriers to the government data remained to

be overcome. Moreover, several states faced prosecution for

failing to implement the direc-

demanded for PS data-access that all data are available in a format that can be “read� by machines.

tive according to the 1st July of 2005, the deadline fixed by the

had been implemented in every directive. EU member states. Subsequent

The directive has been un-

reviews of the directive and its

der revision since 2011. In June

-state pointed out the overall

adopted a new version of the

implementation in each EUincrease in the re-use of PSI, but also underlined shortcomings in the actual imple-

mentation of the measure. In several countries, especially

2013, the European Parliament text. The new legislation aims

Autor: Axelle Ponthus

concerned by the directive


at increasing the scope of data (with the inclusion of data

withheld by libraries, archives en/legal-rules


I. Extracts from the Directive Whereas:

uld inter alia allow European

companies to exploit its poten-

Article 3: General principle

(5) One of the principal aims of tial and contribute to economic

Member States shall ensure

nal market is the creation of

cuments held by public sector

the establishment of an inter-

growth and job creation.

(16) Making public all ge-

conditions conducive to the de- nerally available documents velopment of Community-wi-

de services. Public sector infor-

held by the public sector - concerning not only the political

mation is an important primary process but also the legal and material for digital content

administrative process - is a

become an even more impor-

extending the right to know-

products and services and will tant content resource with the development of wireless con-

tent services. Broad cross-border geographical coverage will

also be essential in this context. Wider possibilities of re-using

public sector information sho-

fundamental instrument for

that, where the re-use of do-

bodies is allowed, these documents shall be re-usable for

commercial or non-commercial purposes in accordance

with the conditions set out in chapters III i IV. [...]

ledge, which is a basic principle

Article 4: Requirements ap-

is applicable to institutions at

requests for re-use

or international.

Public sector bodies shall,

of democracy. This objective

every level, be it local, national

plicable to the processing of

through electronic means


where possible and appro-

priate, process requests for re-use and shall make the

document available for re-

-use to the applicant or, if a

license is needed, finalise the

electronic means where possible and appropriate. [...] Article 6: Principles governing charging

license offer to the applicant

Where charges are made, the

is consistent with the time-

ing and allowing re-use of

within a reasonable time that -frames laid down for the processing of requests for access to documents.[...] Article 5: Available formats Public sector bodies shall

make their documents available in any pre-existing

format or language, through

total income from supply-

and standard charges for the re-use of documents held

by public sector bodies shall be pre-established and published, through electronic means where possible and appropriate.

Article 9 : Practical arrange-

documents shall not exceed


duction, reproduction and

Member States shall ensure

the cost of collection, pro-

dissemination, together with

that practical arrangements


search for documents availa-

a reasonable return on inve-

Article 7: Transparency Any applicable conditions

are in place that facilitate the ble for re-use, such as assets lists, accessible preferably

online, of main documents, and portal sites that are


linked to decentralised assets lists.

Article 10: Non-discrimination Any applicable conditions

for the re-use of documents shall be non-discriminatory

for comparable categories of re-use. [...]

Article 11: Prohibition of exclusive arrangements The re-use of documents

shall be open to all potential actors in the market, even if one or more market players

already exploit added-value

Full text IN ENGLISH

products based on these documents. Contracts or other arrangements between the

public sector bodies holding the documents and third

parties shall not grant exclusive rights [...]

IV. Illustration - graphs


Overall PSI performance per EU member-states


Performance EU Member-states in PSI re-use


EUROCITIES Statement on Open Data


Information is of course a powerful resource. Responding to the opportunities and challenges of open data requires innovative and creative thinking, using new solutions and existing resources. The data that local authorities collect is an extremely valuable resource. City governments, together with different stakeholders, are increasingly tapping into this to deliver new services, improve liveability, stimulate business and engage and empower citizens. Open data can be used as leverage to stimulate the transition to modern (local) government fit for the continuous digitisation of our society. The opening of private sector data also has great potential for added social and economic value. However, for the purpose of this statement we concentrate on public sector data.


BENEFITS OF OPEN DATA Open data for economic growth Opening up public sector data and making use of available

resources can unlock the benefits from untapped economic

opportunities. The 2011 European Commission communication on open data states that opening and re-using public sector

information can potentially create economic gains of up to â‚Ź40 billion annually in the EU. Transparency Local authorities are actively pursuing open data strategies to increase transparency, and collaborate with citizens and the

private sector in developing services from this data. Citizens


are increasingly ‘internet citizens’, who expect city services to

be available online. Re-using public sector data can lead to the

development of improved, more efficient online public services, whilst increasing transparency by providing more information to citizens and developing more open forms of government. Quick responses to rapidly evolving problems Local authorities can use their data to provide (real time) in-

formation to address issues from traffic congestion to peak load electricity management. Other services such as reporting tools

can allow citizens to report local problems to the council just by locating them on maps. Not only are decisions made and solu-

tions found more quickly; this approach also drives citizen participation.

Citizen engagement Open data can also stimulate behavioural change and citizen

engagement as it relates to issues such as: citizens’ energy use;

housing energy efficiency; real time public transport information; and easy access to online information (regarding every-

thing from public bike rental to cultural events). Hosting hackathons and open data days promotes co-creation and user-driven innovation.

Improved city administrations Merging data and information digitally leads to improved col-

laboration between city departments and more efficient internal information sharing. This can also lead to improved e- government services being developed by public administrations.


Addressing societal challenges One of the key benefits of making data available on open plat-

forms is its potential to address societal challenges, for example: • encourage and develop digital inclusion

• enhance the sustainability of healthcare systems

• improve sustainable mobility (e.g. real time public transport information, traffic flows)

• develop new services to measure and cut GHG emissions

and change energy behaviour and increase energy efficiency

• increase government transparency and build citizen trust

• activate and strengthen quadruple helix co-creation (research, government, industry, civil society)

Smart cities Open data can play an important role in the European Commission’s Smart Cities and Communities Initiative. It can be

used to develop smart technologies integrating data from the

ICT, energy and mobility sectors. For a city to be truly smart, it must have smart citizens and with open data, they have the ca-

pacity to take the initiative, to ‘do it for themselves’, to innovate and to co-create.


CHALLENGES IN OPENING AND RE-USING PUBLIC SECTOR DATA Financial Working with open data requires careful planning, and city go-

vernments need to allocate a budget that guarantees the success of their endeavours. Costs associated with re-use may be marginal in most cases, and with the potential gain in efficiency it

could prove to be a zero-cost operation. But for some processes, such as building open data platforms that enable API data rele-

ase, linked data or server extensions, additional costs exist. Given the current economic climate, this can be a considerable barrier for many local authorities. Administrative City administrations need to develop organisational approaches

aimed at disclosure and access to data involving all departments, developing common criteria for data disclosure and possibly the creation of dedicated data management teams. Developing an

internal open data strategy can be challenging in terms of reor-

ganising city administrations to alter existing management pro-

cesses, legacy (existing IT departments, protective software) and purchase structures. Privacy Data protection issues can often be used as a barrier to publishing data. It is vital that data is aggregated to the correct level before publication and that the privacy of the individual is protected.


Data format To maximise the useability of the data it should be made ava-

ilable in open, non-proprietary and easily processable, machine readable formats. Local authorities should use internationally accepted semantic ontologies and link the data to other open

data formats. This requires new skillsets in the administration.

Releasing data in human readable format will also maximise its reach and effect. Publishing mechanisms and portals for open data should aim to make data accessible and support its pro-

cessing. It should not focus on creating data repositories (storage), unless the local authority sees added value in this. Data quality Data should not only be published in machine-processable for-

mats. Disclosing meta-level information, such as their manage-

ment process and validity period, is also valuable. There is a need to identify institutional audit mechanisms that guarantee the

quality of data and the protection of sensitive information. An

efficient feedback mechanism for open data users is also advisable.

Accountability There must be a clear licence covering re-use of the data. Es-

tablishing a clear licence between the licensor (in this case the local authority) and the licensees (those using and developing services from the data) will address concerns about liability.

Permissions and service level agreements need to be respected and protected in re-use licences.


Legal The revised EU Directive on re-use of public sector informa-

tion provides a good framework for minimum harmonisation of national practices and regulations on the re-use of public

sector data, consistent with the relevant access regime. Whilst the revised Directive can help remove some of the barriers to

the growth of the open data market it must be ensured that EU level action does not result in excessive administrative and cost burdens for local authorities.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO CITIES For city authorities developing an open data strategy, it is important to:

• have the correct internal organisational structure

• have well trained staff to ensure quality and privacy of data published

• publish data in an open machine readable format, and make it available on a well organised open data portal

• aim to engage citizens and build trust

• support citizen engagement with, for example, local hackathons and data demonstrations


RECOMMENDATIONS ON EU LEGISLATION AND FUNDING Further harmonising re-use rules across the EU will lead to in-

creased data sharing and improved service delivery from available data. Our comments on the revised Directive on the re-use of public sector information and other areas for future focus are:

• Public sector bodies that generate a substantial part of their operating costs from public service tasks should be allowed to charge over the marginal costs of production.

• Data should only have to be made available in machine-re-

adable form and together with metadata where it is feasible and appropriate to do so.

• A European standard licence model would be helpful to

align the different licencing models and to maximise the

potential of using datasets originating from different data-owners.

• The Connecting Europe Facility should provide funding for

open data infrastructure and processing, and take account of the needs of local government.

• Horizon 2020 funding should address the development of

innovative open data projects, with a focus on open data for smart cities.


RECOMMENDATIONS TO MEMBER STATES Member states should engage with local governments in the

implementation of the revised EU Directive on the re-use of public sector information.

Member states should consult with local open data experts

when developing any open data and open government strategies.

There is also room for more national coordination on open data. Municipalities often have to drive the development of open

data themselves, but lack the resources to do so. National open

data coordination strategies and platforms could offer better value, quality and quantity.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO PRIVATE SECTOR In order to support urban development and governance, the re-use of data can further be enhanced through privately

owned companies opening up their data to the government (and without such privately owned data becoming publicly available).


Closer to Brussels, no 14 Open Data  

E-magazine of Malopolska Region Brussels Office

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you