This week is Open Data Week in Serbia. It kicked off on Tuesday with a conference session, and an unconference. I was invited to join a panel on current trends and developments. The panel was balanced to provide a nicely layered perspective. Where my role was to talk about global and European developments, my UNDP colleague Lejla Sadiku provided insight into developments in the Balkans and the wider eastern European region. The perspective on Serbia itself was provided by Мihailo Jovanovic who is the director of the Serbian government office for IT en e-government, and Djordje Krivokapic who represented Serbian civil society.

The panel, ltr, Djordje, me, Lejla (speaking), Mihailo, and Slobodan (moderator). Photo: Aca Ivic

We did two rounds of comments from the panel, and then discussion with the other participants in the room. The first round focused on general developments and trends, the second round focused on how that plays out for local government and cities / communities.

Spread out over the coming 8 postings are the notes I used for my statements in the panel. I am posting them as separate blog postings, as otherwise the postings get quite long. The first 4 are observations about the general open data developments and trends I see. The second 4 are observations about open data developments in local settings.

General observations:

  1. EU and Global Trends
  2. Open data as infrastructure, going under the hood
  3. The GDPR is an opportunity
  4. Fragmented community, splitting into sectors

Local government level observations:

  1. Local is where you are, but not the data professionals
  2. Well considered outreach is key
  3. Local data may need national coordination
  4. Citizen generated data, and sensors in public space

I will also post some thoughts about the unconference session where we discussed more deeply the role of open data in local government settings.

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