On June 28, 2021, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), in cooperation with Tbilisi City Hall and with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (USAID GGI), held an online public discussion of the Open Data Portal concept.
This event aimed to introduce the concept of the Tbilisi City Hall Open Data Portal to the public, and ascertain stakeholders’ views including civil society, academia, business, and media regarding the concept.
It should be emphasized that the concept of the Tbilisi City Hall Open Data Portal was elaborated in close cooperation with Tbilisi City Hall and IDFI, and with the support of USAID Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (USAID GGI).
Irakli Chincharauli, the Chair of the OGP (Open Government Partnership) working group of Tbilisi City Hall welcomed all the distinguished participants and appealed to the local stakeholders for active and diligent participation. He also highlighted the importance of their participation in ensuring the high quality of the City Hall Open Data Portal.
Programs Director of IDFI, Levan Avalishvili also addressed the audience. He emphasized the importance of participation of the private sector and civil society, noting that the open data portal will contribute to improving access to public information and public services, which was also demonstrated by the study of international best practices. Chief of Party at USAID Good Governance Initiative, Levan Samadashvili underscored the importance of open data in his opening remarks and praised the concept development process, which involved both local stakeholders and international experts.
After the welcoming speeches, Teona Turashvili, Media, Internet and Innovations Direction Head at IDFI, presented the concept of the open data portal. Afterward, during the Q&A session, the local stakeholders participating in the event were allowed to express their views, as well as share their suggestions with the City Hall representatives.
It is noteworthy that IDFI used evidence-based and inclusive approaches in elaborating the concept of the open data portal. In particular, a comprehensive situation analysis was prepared to identify the current business process, as well as the challenges at the Tbilisi Municipality in terms of processing and publishing open data. Based on the tendencies and international practice identified as a result of the analysis, the main principles of the Tbilisi City Hall Open Data Concept were determined, including high-level governance, functionality, technological, presentation, marketing, security, and legal layers.
The situation analysis and portal concept was developed with the involvement of City Hall and local stakeholders, including media, the private sector (banks, startups), NGOs and academics, as well as international experts. To incorporate stakeholder views, focus groups also took place in the light of discussing the availability and access to the City Hall. Furthermore, participants have mentioned the categories of open data they would like to be published via the portal. To effectively consider international practice, the draft version was peer-reviewed by Nickol Global Solutions LLC (NGS) international consultants, whose comments and feedback was incorporated in the final version of the concept.
The event was organized within the framework of the project - Development of Tbilisi City Hall’s Open Data Portal Concept and Terms of Reference (ToR) - implemented by IDFI with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (USAID GGI).
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