Belgrade, May 29th, 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Office for IT and eGovernment, has chosen and awarded three organizations proposing the most innovative ideas for using open data in the areas of environmental protection, citizen participation, and business development. These ideas were awarded as a part of the new round of Open Data Challenges which also aimed to improve the work of public institutions based on data available on the national Open Data Portal https://data.gov.rs/sr/.

The Challenges were announced on April 16, 2019 and lasted for three weeks. All interested stakeholders could propose ideas and applications arriving from startups, civil society organizations, and small and medium-sized enterprises were especially welcomed. Under the Challenge rules, three ideas would be awarded, one for each topic, and they will receive support to realize their ideas, up to 10 000 US dollars per challenge.

The winners of the Challenges are the Centre for the Development of Informal Education of Citizens - CRNOG, Catalyst Balkans and the Kikinda Technological Community.

Within the challenge Our Environment and Us, the Centre for the Development of Informal Education of Citizens – CRNOG, in cooperation with the organizations One Degree Serbia and the Serbian Case for Space Foundation, developed an algorithm based on open satellite data. This solution will enable institutions and citizens to evaluate optimal locations for forestation on the whole territory of Serbia for three tree species - black pine, sessile oak, and silver birch. Based on the algorithm, the awarded team suggested the development of a portal that will visualize these locations. Forestation that is based on data and adequately planned can contribute to fighting climate change through the absorption of carbon dioxide, lessening the adverse effect of heat waves, preventing and managing erosion, reducing the risk of floods, etc.

Within the challenge Citizen Experience, the foundation Catalyst Balkans proposed the development of a platform neprofitne.org which will gather data on civil society organizations recently opened by the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society in partnership with the Business Registers Agency. Organizations that share their data regularly on the platform will receive transparency ratings depending on the quality, timeliness and comprehensiveness of the information they provide. In this manner, Catalyst Balkans wants to increase the trust of citizens in civil society, as well as help donors in choosing quality organizations they could collaborate with. The transparency ratings will be integrated on other websites and platforms, such as Giving Balkans and Donacije.rs.

Within the challenge Open Data for Business, the Kikinda Technological Community, in collaboration with the local self-government, proposed the creation of Košnica (eng. The Hive) – a free and open platform that will enable citizens and businesses to get information through research and data visualization on the available workforce, educational profiles, unemployment and other available data on related programs and activities within the public sector in Kikinda.

Open Data Challenge was implemented in the scope of the project Open Data – Open Opportunities, supported by the World Bank and UK Good Governance Fund, with the goal to enable development of open data ecosystem, through stimulation of open data reuse, promotion of different use cases and benefits of open data, and capacity building of different stakeholders for open data reuse and analysis. The project is implemented by UNDP Serbia in partnership with the Office for IT and eGovernment of the Republic of Serbia.

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