In our conversations with humanitarian professionals about data and information sharing with affected populations, one of the most interesting themes of discussion has been accountability. This term, much like open data, is a buzzword for humanitarians.
While it is undeniably true that the idea of open data is becoming better recognized and prominently pursued in parts of the humanitarian community, this belief is not universal nor without serious complications. Issues of data privacy, security, and the need to first 'do no harm' make humanitarian data sharing with affected populations that much more difficult.
Open data is a buzzword, or more accurately a buzz-phrase, these days. In certain segments of the humanitarian community, there seems to exist an energy behind making data more openly and publicly available. Whether looking at UN OCHA’s impressive new HDX data-sharing site, the IATI registry, or a bevy of individual organizations’ online data portals, one could come to the conclusion that open data has fully arrived.
As media and technology are rapidly changing the quantity and quality of the information circulated in our daily lives, we all know intuitively that our practices and standards for dealing with these shifts has not caught up.
The "Open Budget Initiative” aims to find a way to inform local communities about municipal budgets, and tell citizens how they can influence authorities’ decisions about the allocation of public funds.
This question occupied minds of 15 Ivano-Frankivsk (Western Ukraine) activists, who took part in the 2-day workshop on April 3-4th. The training is part of the Initiative “Open Budget” implemented by UNDP and Internews in Ukraine. The participants were of different backgrounds, i.e. public activists, journalists, CSO workers and employees of state financial department.