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Apps4Russia and Open Government Data in Russia

June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

The following guest post is from Ivan Begtin, founder of OpenGovData.ru, and member of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Government Data.

I know that not too many people know about Russian open government projects. To be honest we don’t have many of them. But, at the same time, they do exist, and we have lots of active people who worry about government accountabilty, transparency, and about helping people to solve common problems.

Just take a look at these examples…

Two years ago I created the opengovdata.ru project, the first open government data project for Russia. It’s non-governmental, non-profit and completely public. It’s project created by one person during just few weeks. Another project is Datagov.ru, which is CKAN-based and launched by Russian think tank INSOR (www.insor-russia.ru). It’s still beta but we hope to improve it soon.

StreetJournal is another Russian project, from the city of Perm. It’s very similar to FixMyStreet or SeeClickFix projects, dedicated to solving various city problems.

And one more example – nalogometer.ru is a very simple yet useful tool to calculate money that any Russian gives to the government as taxes.

And so on, and so on. People are active, but not government agencies. Especially when it comes to open data. We don’t have laws like US “Open Government Directive” or similar laws of European Union. Only a
few officials understand words “open data”. And so on.

That’s why we decided to change it. If we don’t have a government agency that could launch open data competition – we will do it ourselves. Our competition, Apps4Russia is non-governmental, non-political and non-commercial. Its organisers and jury are people who have decided that we are ready for such activities in our country, and who have invested their own personal funds.

There is no limit for participants as to the choice of topic for their projects, however first and foremost projects within the following topic areas will be considered:

  • Urban infrastructure/environment
  • HOA/tariffs/prices
  • State finances
  • State services
  • Ecology
  • Transformation and/or visualisation of historical data

The jury and initiators of the project are:

  • Ivan Begtin, Founder of OpenGovData.ru, Rosspending.ru and other open government projects
  • Simon Kordonsky, professor at the National Research University High School of Economy
  • Ekaterina Aksenova, active businesswoman and open government blogger at gov-gov.ru
  • Dmitry Izkovich, chair of the editorial board of Polit.ru news agency

The competition has three prizes (100,000, 40,000 and 15,000 Ruble), and runs from June 30st to October 1st, with the winners announced on 15 October. A kick off meeting is on June 28th in Moscow. Find out more at http://www.apps4russia.ru/!

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