In late February, a Data 4 Impact workshop in Ukraine convened members of civil society, government and the private sector from six post-Soviet countries to discuss how data analysis and data visualization can be used to improve resource governance.
Held in Kiev, the workshop was organized by NRGI in partnership with the International Renaissance Foundation, the OSF National Foundations and Publish What You Pay.
Each of the countries represented in the workshop (Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan) have struggled with corruption exacerbated by an overreliance on natural resource endowments and weak oversight institutions. An important first step in fighting this corruption is collecting and analyzing data about the sector that can foster an evidence-based approach to governance.
With this in mind, workshop leaders presented on a wide range of issues related to data, including the philosophy of open data and data communication; the free online tools that can be used to carry out data-driven analysis; and tutorials on how to design data communication products, such as visually appealing charts, graphs and maps.
Participants were placed in working groups tasked with generating tailored data products related to natural resources and extractives, cities and governance, and public spending and social development. The groups conducted data-driven analyses of their products and developed methods to visualize and communicate their findings. Workshop attendees also visited the 1991 Open Data Incubator website, where they learned about tech startups that use data-driven advocacy to boost social and civic engagement.
Participants were encouraged to take advantage of the networking connections they had made over the course of the workshop and also to think about how they can engage other organizations in their orbit, how they can improve their open data sources and how they can use data-driven advocacy to improve resource governance policies.
NRGI’s Eurasia team is currently building on the progress made at the workshop and sponsoring events across the region that focus on resource governance and public finance management.
Ilaha Abasli is a development manager at Baku IdeaLab and was a trainer in the Data 4 workshop.