Our organisation has been working with open data for five years and during this time we have built a large open data community in Ukraine. In 2021, our team (including specialists from the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the USAID Project TAPAS, Eastern Europe Foundation, and the 1991 Open Data Incubator) decided to go beyond the community and focus on how open data improves average person's lives.
For one day, we launched a real Open Data Television – with news, life stories, sports, weather forecast, and even the Wheel of Fortune show. All these 'TV programs' revealed the situation with open data in the country and easily showed people that their lives can change thanks to open data products and services.
We realised that the topic of open data is really of interest to a wide audience. Communication with this audience can give us new allies in the fight against corruption, but this requires effort and 'translate' information about open data into plain language, without specific deadlines.
We may have to simplify the information a bit and sacrifice details, but the task of the first contact with the 'cold' audience is not to teach but to interest. We need to explain why people need to know about open data and motivate them to explore. They will then find the resources to understand the topic, start using products and thus make the realm of open data more stable.
Since the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014, Ukraine has continued to fight corruption, move closer to European integration and strengthen relations with our international partners. For us, the topic of open data is inextricably linked with the transparency of governance, the development of state institutions, and the strengthening of democracy. Therefore, we take every opportunity to advocate for open data and are pleased to join the celebration of Open Data Day at the national level for the third time in a row.