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Open data and the fight against corruption in Latvia, Sweden and Finland

- December 7, 2018 in financial transparency, finland, Latvia, network, OK Finland, OK Sweden, Open Data, Sweden

This blog has been crossposted from the Open Knowledge Sweden blog.
Transparency International Latvia, in collaboration with Open Knowledge Sweden and Open Knowledge Finland, has published a new study on open data and anti-corruption policies in Latvia, Sweden and Finland, showing that governments in the three countries could do more to leverage the potential of open data for anti-corruption policies and public accountability.  The study comprises an overview report summarising the overall findings and identifying opportunities for knowledge transfer and regional cooperation as well as specific reports assessing to what extent governments in Latvia, Sweden and Finland have implemented internationally agreed-upon open data principles as part of their anti-corruption regime, providing recommendations for further improvement at the national level.                                 The study is the outcome of a project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The aim of the project was to gain a better understanding of how Nordic and Baltic countries are performing in terms of integration of anti-corruption and open data agendas, in order to identify opportunities for knowledge transfer and promote further Nordic cooperation in this field. The study assessed whether 10 key anti-corruption datasets in Latvia, Finland and Sweden are in line with international open data standards. The datasets considered in the frame of the study are:
  1. Lobbying register
  2. Company register
  3. Beneficial ownership register
  4. Public officials’ directories
  5. Government Budget
  6. Government spending
  7. Public procurement register
  8. Political Financing register
  9. Parliament’s Voting Records
  10. Land Register
Within this respect, Sweden has made only 3 of 10 key anti-corruption datasets available online and fully in line with open data standards, whereas Finland have achieved to make 8 of these datasets available online, six of which are fully in line with open data standards.  As for Latvia, 5 of them have been found to be available and in line with the standards. When it comes to scoring these three countries with regard to anti-corruption datasets, in Sweden, the situation is more problematic compared to other two countries. It has the lowest score, 5.3 out of 9, while Finland and Latvia have scored 6.1 and 6.0, respectively. Similarly, there are some signals that transparency in Sweden has been worsening in recent years despite its long tradition of efficiency and transparency in the public administration, good governance and rule of law as well as being in the top-10 of the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for several years. The problem in Sweden stems from the fact that the government has had to cope with the high decentralization of the Swedish public administration, which seems to have resulted in little awareness of open data policies and practices and their potential for anti-corruption among public officials. Thus, engaging the new agency for digitalisation, Agency for Digital Government (DIGG), and all other authorities involved in open data could be a solution to develop a centralised, simple, and shared open data policy. Sweden should also take legal measures to formally enshrine open data principles in PSI (Public Sector Information) law such as requiring that all publicly released information be made ‘open by default’ and under an ‘open license’. The situation in Finland and Latvia is more promising. In Finland, a vibrant tech-oriented civil society in the country has played a key role in promoting initiatives for the application of open data for public integrity in a number of areas, including lobbying and transparency of government resources. As for Latvia,in recent years, it has made considerable progress in implementing open data policies, and the government has actively sought to release data for increasing public accountability in a number of areas such as public procurement and state-owned enterprises. However, the report finds that much of this data is still not available in open, machine-readable formats – making it difficult for users to download and operate with the data. Overall, in all three countries it seems that there has been little integration of open data in the agenda of anti-corruption authorities, especially with regard to capacity building. Trainings, awareness-raising and guidelines have been implemented for both open data and anti-corruption; nonetheless, these themes seem not to be interlinked within the public sector. The report also emphasizes the lack of government-funded studies and thematic reviews on the use of open data in fighting corruption. This applies both to the national and regional level. On the other hand, there is also a considerable potential for cooperation among Nordic-Baltic countries in the use of open data for public integrity, both in terms of knowledge transfer and implementation of common policies. While Nordic countries are among the most technologically advanced in the world and have shown the way with regard to government openness and trust in public institutions, the Baltic countries are among the fastest-growing economies in Europe, with a great potential for digital innovation and development of open data tools. Such cooperation among the three states would be easier in the presence of networks of “tech-oriented” civil society organisations and technology associations, as well as the framework of cooperation with authorities with the common goal of promoting and developing innovation strategies and tools based in open data.

MyData 2017 -konferenssi luo perustaa reilulle, ihmiskeskeiselle ja sykkivälle datataloudelle

- August 28, 2017 in Conference, datatalous, estonia, ethics, Events, Featured, finland, gdpr, impact, My Data, mydata, mydata 2016, mydata 2017, mydata alliance, mydata declaration, Open Data, vaikuttavuus, Working Groups

Ke 30.8. Tallinnassa, Tallinn University Conference Centre, Narva Maantee 29 To-pe 31.8.-1.9. Helsingissä, Kulttuuritalo, Sturenkatu 4 Kolmipäiväinen MyData 2017 -konferenssi vauhdittaa siirtymää yrityskeskeisestä henkilökohtaisen datan hallinnasta ja hyödyntämisestä kohti ihmiskeskeistä ja yksilöllistä datan hallintaa. Konferenssissa julkaistaan MyData Declaration, eli ihmiskeskeisen tietojenkäsittelyn teesit, jotka ovat allekirjoitettavissa konferenssin aikana. Yksinkertaistettuna MyData -periaatteet voimaannuttavat kansalaisia/palveluiden käyttäjiä, sillä käyttäjä itse voi esimerkiksi uudelleenkäyttää itsestään kerättyä tietoa tai määritellä, miten tietoa jaetaan esimerkiksi muihin palveluihin, mainostajille, tutkijoille tai muille tiedon hyödyntäjille. MyData tulee paitsi tehostamaan julkisia palveluita, myös tuottamaan aivan uudenlaisia palveluinnovaatioita ja on myös todennäköistä, että käyttäjät itse voivat esimerkiksi myydä tietoja itsestään mainostajille. MyData voimaannuttaa kuluttajakansalaisen.

MyData nivoutuu vahvasti tiedon avoimuuteen – ja on internetin suuria haasteita

World Wide Webin keksijä Sir Tim Berners-Lee on nostanyt henkilötiedon käsittelyn yhdeksi kolmesta suuresta internetin tulevaisuutta määrittäväksi haasteeksi. Siksi henkilötieto onkin ollut tärkeä asia Euroopan digitalisaatioagendalla ja uusi EU:n tietosuoja-asetus (GDPR) astumassa voimaan alle vuoden päästä. Siinä missä tietosuoja-asetus tuo itsessään kansalaisille turvaa ja uusia digitaalisia oikeuksia henkilötietoon liittyen, MyData tavallaan rakentaa tämän päälle, tuomalla lisää oikeuksia, ja määrittelemällä periaatteet ja eräänlaisen arkkitehtuurin sille miten henkilötietoa hallinnoidaan käyttäjän ja palveluiden kesken. Myös henkilötietoon liittyvien palveluiden taloudellinen merkitys on valtava. Henkilötiedot ovat yksi merkittävimmistä tulevaisuuden liiketoimintaa muokkaavista voimista (World Economic Forum, 2013) ja niihin liittyvien palvelujen kokonaismarkkinan on arvioitu kasvavan Euroopassa jopa 1000 miljardiin euroon vuonna 2020 (Boston Consulting Group, 2012). Nokkela lukija kysyy mitä tekemistä MyDatalla on avoimen tiedon ja avoimen datan kanssa. Siinä missä avoin data viittaa kaikkien julkisesti saatavilla oleviin tietovarantoihin, MyDatassa puolestaan yksi olennainen osa on vastaavasti yksilön Kansainvälisen Open Knowledge -järjestön (ent. Open Knowledge Foundation) perustaja Rufus Pollock tiivisti avoimen datan ja MyDatan suhteen viime vuoden konferenssissa. Avoimen datan potentiaaliseksi suoraksi hyödyksi on arvioitu 40 miljardia ja välillisiksi 100 miljardia euroa vuosittain EU -alueella (Vickery, 2011).  Sinänsä arviot ovat suuntaa antavia, mutta kokoluokaltaan henkilötiedon taloudellinen potentiaali on näin arvioituna jopa kymmenkertainen avoimen datan potentiaaliin verrattuna. Teimme Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnalle (VN TEAS) selvityksen avoimen datan taloudellisista vaikutuksista ja yksi raportin löydöksistä olikin nimenomaan se, että tarvitaan laajempaa datatalouden osaamista ja että arvo syntyy yhdistelmällä erilaisia datalähteitä. Toki on tärkeää muistaa, ettei kyse ole vain taloudellisesta merkityksestä. Yhtä kaikki, avoin data, MyData, tekoäly, big data, data-analytiikka – mm. nämä kulkevat käsi kädessä ja lisäävät toinen toisensa merkitystä ja vaikuttavuutta datataloudessa.

MyData 2017 -konferenssi – kansainvälinen yhteisö luo tulevaisuuden!

Toista kertaa järjestettävä tapahtuma on ainutlaatuinen, sillä se tuo yhteen yritykset, yhteisöt, kansalaisjärjestöt tutkijat ja hallinnon edustajat. Viime vuonna ensimmäistä kertaa järjestetyssä konferenssissa oli 670 henkeä 25 maasta, eli onnistumme mainiosti. Viime vuoden konferenssin merkitystä ei kannata aliarvioida, sillä sen jälkeen MyData-verkostoja on käynnistetty useissa maissa, alunperin Liikenne- ja viestintäministeriölle tehty MyData selvitys on käännetty useille kielille ja julkaistu ympäri maailmaa, ja yli 400 hengen MyData-konferenssi järjestetty Japanissa. Tänä vuonna MyData 2017 -tapahtuma järjestetään 3-päiväisenä (30.8. – 1.9.2017) siten, että ensimmäinen päivä on Tallinnassa (tietyt teemasessiot ja akateeminen osuus), ja kaksi päivää (päätapahtuma) Helsingissä. Odotamme paikalle yli 700 henkeä – mukana on peräti yli 150 puhujaa, ja yli 40 eri sessiota! Olemme pyrkineet pitämään lippujen hinnat maltillisena, että saadaan osallistujia erityyppisistä organisaatioista mukaan. Liput saa ostettua suoraan sivulta:  https://mydata2017.org/registration/ MyData 2017 -konferenssin järjestävät yhteistyössä Open Knowledge Finland, Aalto-yliopisto, Tallinnan yliopisto, ja ranskalainen tutkimusorganisaatio Fing. Konferenssi on yhteisöllisesti tuotettu – mukana on noin 10 palkattua henkilöä, yli 35 vapaaehtoista ja yli 50 ohjelman tuottajaa – ja se on Open Knowledge Finlandin vuoden suurin tapahtuma – tervetuloa mukaan!
Yo. tekstissä mainittuja lähteitä: Rufus Pollock MyData 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SRUqQO_1CQ MyData Declaration https://mydata.org/declaration/ Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor, The Web Foundation (March 12, 2017) https://webfoundation.org/2017/03/web-turns-28-letter/  Boston Consulting Group. (2012). The Value of Our Digital Identity. Liberty global Policy Series. PDF-dokumentti. Saatavissa: http://www.libertyglobal.com/PDF/public-policy/The-Value-of-Our-Digital-Identity.pdf. Koski, H., Honkanen, M., Luukkonen, J., Pajarinen, M., & Ropponen, T. (2017). Avoimen datan hyödyntäminen ja vaikuttavuus. VNK.  Saatavissa: http://tietokayttoon.fi/julkaisu?pubid=18703 Vickery, G. (2011). Review of Recent Studies on PSI Re-Use and Related Market Developments. PDF-dokumentti. Saatavissa: https://www.nsgic.org/public_resources/Vickery.pdf. World Economic Forum. (2013). Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage. PDF-dokumentti. Saatavissa: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_IT_UnlockingValuePersonalData_CollectionUsage_Report_2013.pdf. The post MyData 2017 -konferenssi luo perustaa reilulle, ihmiskeskeiselle ja sykkivälle datataloudelle appeared first on Open Knowledge Finland.

Finnish Opera Singer Eino Rautavaara (1905–9)

- October 4, 2016 in finland, finnish opera, opera

Recordings made between 1905 and 1909 by Finnish opera singer Eino Rautavaara (1879–1939)

Finnish Opera Singer Eino Rautavaara (1905–9)

- October 4, 2016 in finland, finnish opera, opera

Recordings made between 1905 and 1909 by Finnish opera singer Eino Rautavaara (1879–1939)

Finnish Opera Singer Eino Rautavaara (1905–9)

- October 4, 2016 in finland, finnish opera, opera

Recordings made between 1905 and 1909 by Finnish opera singer Eino Rautavaara (1879–1939)

OGDCamp + OKCon = Open Knowledge Festival 2012 in Helsinki, Finland!

- February 7, 2012 in Events, finland, OGDCamp, OKCon, OKF Finland, OKFest

The following post is by Kat Braybrooke, London-based Community Coordinator of the Open Knowledge Foundation (Regional Chapters and Groups) and a core organiser of OKFest. OGDcamp 2011 On September 17-22 this year, global communities will be descending on the shores of Helsinki for a week-long celebration called the Open Knowledge Festival – and you’re the first to be invited! For this festival – the first of its kind in the world – we are bringing Open Government Data Camp (OGDCamp) and Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) to the same place to provide new opportunities for collaboration. We’ll start the week by supporting practitioners working in the fields of open government and municipal data, and end it by exploring the diversity of open knowledge initiatives from a global perspective. The organising team, a talented gathering of Finns and leaders from around the world, are already hard at work planning a busy week of seminars, workshops, lectures, hackathons, keynotes, coding jams and interactive media sessions that will bring together participants from a wide variety of backgrounds in new ways. Another important element of OKFest is its Nordic location. The host city of Helsinki is in the midst of an urban Finnish renaissance built on inclusive communities. It is home to one of our first incubating Local Chapters, and as the next World Design Capital for 2012, the city will also be hosting an inspiring cohort of open data practitioners who combine design, art, academia and technology to support innovation in new and interesting ways. Helsinki locals organised the city’s first Open Knowledge Meetup this October and have just opened the first FABlab in Finland at the Aalto University Media Factory. We look forward to highlighting even more Finnish projects in the field of open knowledge, and hope to see the participation of many representatives of Nordic nations. Most importantly of all, we want your ideas to be highlighted at OKFest. We are currently looking for proposals regarding sessions, satellite events, research streams, hackathons, lecture topics and other forms of collaboration. Have a great project or idea that you want to share with the global community? This is the place to do it. Join our public discussion list and say hello here and start finding collaborators on Twitter using the hashtag #okfest. We hope to see you in Helsinki, Finland this September for a week of new friends, open knowledge and global inspiration with a Nordic twist! Photo from OGDCamp 2011 thanks to Volker Agüeras Gäng on Flickr.

Finland Joins our Global Open Data Community

- November 17, 2011 in Chapters, Events, finland, helsinki, Meetups, OKF, OKF Finland, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Knowledge

The following post is by Kat Braybrooke, one of OKFN’s London-based Community Coordinators and the contact point for incubating Local OKFN Chapters around the world. Looking at Data, OKFFresh from days (and late nights) full of discussing open web communities in Barcelona at the Free Culture Forum, exchanging code and starting sites about information freedom with hackers in Brasil, and creating the world’s first Data Driven Journalism Handbook at the Mozilla festival in London, the team here at the Open Knowledge Foundation is excited to welcome a new community to our worldwide network – OKFN Finland. Those of you who actively engage with our projects may have noticed that we’re rather interested in the local side of open data lately. This is because, as others have already explained with more eloquence than myself, an essential ingredient to successful open data initiatives is the community that is built around them. Most importantly, we have found that when hackers, civil servants, public service representatives, coders, activists and citizens are brought together in new ways, the really exciting projects tend to emerge. Whether this is facilitated through conferences like last month’s Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw, at urban co-working venues like the C4CC in London,  around hackathon tables at public cafes or at the Open Data Meetups we’re now helping co-host around the globe, it’s exactly the type of collaboration that gives us all a sense of personal and community-focused agency in an increasingly decentralised world. The talented group of folk who have come together to organise Finland’s first open data meetup with the OKF are as diverse as they are passionate, representing a vast assortment of networks including Wikimedia, Linux and F/LOSS usergroups, cultural think-tanks, Creative Commons, local hackspaces and government bodies. They aim to enrich our work by bringing a distinctly regional perspective to existing open knowledge frameworks – and they have invited the world to join them at their first public meetup this November 30th in Helsinki. I’ll be there, and I hope to see many of you there as well, whether virtually on Twitter (using the hashtags #OpenDataFI in English and #AvoinData in Finnish) or in-person. A hearty welcome to our new Finnish friends from Open Knowledge Foundation members around the globe!

Finnish Turku City Library and the Vaski consortia now Open Data with 1.8M MARC-records

- October 13, 2011 in Bibliographic, Data, finland, Guest post, licensing, OKFN Openbiblio, openbiblio, value

Let's open up our metadata containers

I’m happy to announce that our Vaski-consortia of public libraries  serving total 300 000 citizens in Turku and the a dozen surrounding municipalities in western Finland, have recently published all of our 1.8 million bibliographical records in the open, as a big pile of data (see on The Data Hub). Each of the records describes a book, recording, movie, song or other publication in our library catalogue. Titles, authors, publishing details, library classifications, subject headings, identifiers and so on systematically saved in MARC -format, the international, structured library metadata standard since the late 1960s. Unless I’ve missed something, ours is the third large scale Open Data -publication from the libraries of Finland. The first one was the 670 000 bibliographical records of HelMet-consortia (see on The Data Hub), an another consortia of public libraries around the capital Helsinki. This first publication was organized and initiated in 2010 by Kirjastot.fi Labs, a project seeking for more agile, innovative library concepts. The second important Open Data publication was our national generic theseurus Yleinen suomalainen asiasanasto YSA which is also available as a cool semantic ontology. Joining this group of Open Data publications was natural for our Vaski-consortia, because we are moving our data from one place to another anyway; we are in the middle of the process of converting from our national FinMARC -flavour to the international MARC21 -flavour of MARC, swapping our library system from Axiell PallasPro to Axiell Aurora, plus implementing a new, ambitious search and discovery interface for all the Finnish libraries, archives and museums (yes, it’s busy times here and we love the taste of a little danger). All this means we are extracting, injecting, converting, mangling, breaking, fixing, disassembling and reassembling all of our data. So, we asked ourselves, why not publish all of our bibliographical data on the net while we are on it? The process of going Open Data has been quite seamless for us. On my initiative the core concept of Open Data was explained to the consortia’s board. As there were no objections or further questions, we contacted our vendor BTJ who immidiately were supporting the idea. From there on it was basically just about some formalities with BTJ, consulting international colleagues regarding licensing, writing a little press-release, organizing a few hundred megabytes of storage space on the internet. And trying to make sure the Open Data -move didn’t get buried under other, more practical things during the summertime. For our data license we have chosen the liberal Creative Commons-0 license (CC0), because we try to have as little obstructions to our data as possible. However we have agreed on a 6 month embarko with BTJ, a company who is doing most of the cataloguing for the Finnish public libraries. We believe that it is a good compromise to prefer publishing data that is slightly outdated, than try to make the realm of immaterial property rights any more unclear than it already is.

Traditional library metadata at Turku main library

We seriously cannot anticipate what our Open Data -publication will lead to. Perhaps it will lead to absolutely nothing at all. I believe most organizations opening up their data face this uncertainty. However what we do know for sure is, that all of the catalogue records we have carefully crafted, acquired and collected, are seriously underutilized if they are only used for one particular purpose: finding and locating items in the library collections. For such a valuable assett as our bibliographical metadata, I feel this is not enough. By removing obstacles for accessing our raw data, we open up new possibilities for ourselves, for our colleagues (understood widely), and to anybody interested. Mace Ojala, project designer Turku City Library/Vaski-consortia; National Digital Library of Finland, Cycling for libraries, etc. http://xmacex.wordpress.com, @xmacex, Facebook etc.