In 2016, through ODECA, UNDP leveraged the investment of the previous year and expanded the portfolio. Regionally, there continues to be a growing interest in open data, especially in terms of its applications. Of the 18 countries in the region, 11 are members of the OGP, and though no new members joined in 2016, Kazakhstan has adopted new access to information legislation in its bid towards the OGP. Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, continued taking the lead in terms of the datasets that are available through the governmental portals; however, their usability remains low. Other parts of the region continued taking a sequenced approach where open data is put in the function of solving identified governmental challenges, supporting open government and doing so in collaboration with civil society (Serbia, Albania, the fYR of Macedonia).
The purpose of the grant was to undertake the project entitled, Global Partnership on Open Data for Development. The overall objective of the project is to support innovative approaches that have been proven to work, and strengthen coordination amongst open data initiatives to ensure they benefit citizens in developing countries. The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the ability of developing countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to identify priorities and coordinate regional open data for development efforts.
The activities of the project are firmly rooted in the findings of the data revolution report, as well as the Global Goals of the 2030 Development Agenda. Its outcomes are especially linked to Goal 1, 12 and 16, which pertain to improving public services, supporting cities in provision of services and strengthening governance and accountability, respectively.
During 2016, UNDP leveraged OD4D funds and funding from the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Slovakia, associated to the outcomes of the Transformative Governance and Finance Facility, which have a focus on data (outcomes 1, 2 and 3). The increased budget expanded and deepened the activities, across core support functions of the ODECA network: 1) country level interventions; 2) improving capacities for using data, 3) research and 4) regional learning and sharing.
The funds of the grant were used to support governments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia release and publish open data, promoting open data standards, including principles of the International Open Data Charter, the development of a data literacy programme for journalism faculties in the region, regional rolling out of the Open Data Barometer and the promotion of knowledge and best practices in implementation of open data.