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Four New Open Data Applications Promoted in Skopje

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The Metamorfozis Foundation presented yesterday, March 1, 2016, at the EU Infocentre in Skopje, four new open data web-applications to Macedonian civil society organizations, journalists, citizens and the general public. The four applications were selected as most inovative and useful in the Competition for Support to Open Data Projects, implemented in 2015.

Metamorphosis Foundation presented four new open data web-applications (Photo: Dejan Georgievski)Metamorphosis Foundation presented four new open data web-applications (Photo: Dejan Georgievski)

The openprocurement.mk application, prepared by “ICT for Changes” association from Tetovo, allows for easy and simple browsing and analysis through the list of electronic public procurement procedures conducted in Macedonia.

The Institute for Rural Community Development (IRRZA), presented the application, available on URL irrza.mk, that analyzes the economic benefirts of the IPARD Programme for Macedonia.

The ratemy.bar application, prepared by the ZIP Institute from Skopje, aims to detect positive and negative practices of Macedonian restaurants, bars and cafes that serve food and drinks. The citizens can use the application to report negative and illegal practices they noted during a visit to food and drinks serving establishments.

The “All for Fair Trials” Coalition prepared an application that allows easy access to data on judicial cases tried in Macedonian courts, collected through the many years in which the Coalition has monitored both civil litigations and criminal trials. The application is available on URL otvorenosudstvo.org.mk.

The representatives of the organizations that prepared the applications presented yesterday noted several problems in the process of collecting the data they used. Above all, they emphasized the time-consuming process of acquiring the data held by state and public institutions, having in mind that they are often forced to get the data with FOI requests, or in direct contact with institutions.

Also, the data are often badly organized or are not available in machine-readable format, which complicates the work on the applications, intended primarily to facilitate the daily decision-making processes for the citizens and to help them resolve some problems they face.

Ambassador Garret watches carefully as open data applications are presented (Photo: Dejan Georgievski)Ambassador Garret watches carefully as open data applications are presented (Photo: Dejan Georgievski)

The British Ambassador to Macedonia Charles Edmund Garret said at the presentation that open data is a new area that has very direct impact on citizens’ lives and should be additionally studied and researched.

“Open data have direct and significant impact on the decisions people make every single day. These applications promoted here today will change the lives of many. I am very happy with the results achieved by the teams that participated in the project”, Garret said.

Bardhyl Jashari, the Director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, said that open data will increase the trust between citizens and institutions, thus contributing to further development of democracy in the country.

“This project makes a direct contribution to the achievement of our mission, that is, it supports and contributes to improved quality of life for the citizens. The four applications do exactly that. This project gains in importance in the current situation in which the trust in state institutions is at extremely low levels. The project contributes to greater trust of citizens through opening of those institutions”, Jashari said.

The Metamorphosis Foundation announced the work on a new web-application that will compare activities of politicians and political parties on the social networks, primarily on Facebook. The applications, which should be up and running by the end of this month, aims to present and analyze the actions and behaviour of politicians on social networks during the election campaign for the coming Parliamentary Elections in Macedonia.

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