The Ministry of Digital Transformation unveiled its vision for advancing open data in Ukraine

The presentation took place at the annual Open Data Day event, which focuses on the role of open data in enhancing transparency, accountability, and fostering a democratic society. The event was organized with support from USAID, UK aid, and the East Europe Foundation.

Ukraine is taking a leading position in the development of open data in Europe. Currently, more than seven million Ukrainians use products and services based on open data every month. Despite temporary restrictions on access to certain registers during wartime, Ukraine has continued its efforts to advance open data.

Open data is  an effective tool to respond to the challenges of wartime and efficiently manage the recovery process. Deputy Prime Minister for Innovations, Development of Education, Science, and Technologies and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov emphasized:

“Ukraine stands out as the only country globally developing open data initiatives amidst the challenges of war. In recent years, we have become one of the top three European leaders in this domain. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine prioritizes efforts in this direction. Open data facilitates the tracking of recovery processes by granting citizens access to vital information concerning funding, project stages, and management details. This commitment ensures a level of openness and transparency critical for rebuilding the country post-war. Also the utilization of open data empowers the creation of highly effective strategies, aligning with the real needs and preferences of the population.”

The Ministry of Digital Transformation developed a plan to promote the use of open data in the upcoming years. The plan was announced by Mstyslav Banik, Director of the eServices Development Department, and Yanina Liubyva, during the Open Data Day 2024 event.

The plan encompasses five strategic directions: implementing the national open data policy, addressing security concerns during martial law, modernizing national and local open data portals, and enhancing data quality and proficiency in working with open datasets. The Ministry also identified key tasks within these directions.

  • Adopting the national open data development strategy.
  • Making amendments to the legislation regarding data standardization and approving high-value datasets.
  • Harmonizing Ukrainian legislation with European legislation. 
  • Coordinating with the national security bodies and the Office of the Ombudsman to identify optimal solutions for data disclosure.
  • Restoring access to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs, and Public Organizations, and to tax reporting.
  • Opening the Register of Damaged and Destroyed Property.
  •  Implementing the updated methodology for conducting a three-fold test to achieve a balance between ensuring national security and openness.
  • Creating an education ecosystem in the field of open data.
  • Enhancing the architecture and functionality of the national open data portal.

By 2026, the Ministry of Digital Transformation aims to add about 100 new datasets and conduct training for 5,000 civil servants, 200 journalists, and students from over ten higher education institutions, while also offering grant support to 15 services based on open data.

Open data plays a crucial role in enhancing transparency of government institutions and preventing corruption. Theodora Dell, USAID Deputy Mission Director, praised Ukraine’s efforts to restore public access to vital data, emphasizing its role in preventing and detecting corruption.

“Open Data Day, which the world celebrates today, reminds us of the key role that data plays in strengthening democracy around the world. In this aspect Ukraine is a real leader. Cooperation between the authorities, society, businesses, and international partners in Ukraine shows how open data can work for the benefit of a society.” said Theodora Dell.

The event also shed light on the impact of open data on digital product development. Over 100 available open data services currently aid Ukrainians in various aspects of their lives, from checking business partners and safely investing in real estate to accessing free medicines and medical services. Stefan Kossoff, Development Director at the British Embassy in Kyiv, underscored the importance of supporting such projects.

“For the past eight years, we have been actively fostering the growth of open data initiatives in Ukraine, with a particular focus on supporting startups that integrate open data into their products. Thanks to dedicated support programs, every year new services emerge that not only enhance the lives of Ukrainians but also effectively mitigate corruption risks, contributing to the resolution of challenges posed by war. In the last two years alone, eight teams dedicated to developing open data products have received substantial grant support, totaling approximately $240,000. New opportunities will be open for the technological business sector to create products with social benefits and a role in aiding Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction efforts,” said Stefan Kossoff.

In addition to showcasing developments in open data, the event covered trends, solutions, and future directions for open data in Ukraine. Educational courses on open data advocacy and data journalism were also presented.