On Wednesday, 2 December 2020 more than 70 participants of the virtual conference organised within the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH as part of the support of the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany to public administration reform in BiH have had the opportunity to talk about the path from the hard-copy folders and file drawers to open data in public administration in BiH. During two panel discussion the representatives of institutions and civil society organisations discussed the challenges they meet as well as the institutional plans for piloting of open data. It was accentuated that a strong political vision is required for the opening of data and that is necessary to strengthen cooperation between those who publish the data and those who use them.

During the conference the report on the conducted Open Data Readiness Assessment in BiH was presented. This assessment was prepared by the consortium made of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Transparency International BiH and ProPuh Zagreb and in cooperation with the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, Ministry of Justice of BiH and the Agency for Statistics of BiH. The conference was attended by the representatives of institutions, international and non-governmental organisations, media and academic community. In addition to the challenges in opening data the research has shown that there are great potentials for implementation of open data initiatives, including significant funding in this area through support of international partners as well as the active participation in the initiative Open Government Partnership.

Management of activities in the area of open data has been significantly supported through the process of public administration reform in BiH. Strategic Framework for Public Administration Reform in BiH 2018-2022 as well as the Action Plan for its implementation have placed focus on the open data issues in the area of Accountability. One of the measures in this reform area envisages ensuring maximum availability of information about public administration and a special highlight is the readiness of institutions BiH to publish data in open formats which also represents one of the first and basic steps that the authorities have to make in order to demonstrate commitment to openness and transparency.

Furthermore, through the reform area Service Delivery additional activities have been envisaged in the area of open data and some of them relate to publication of public data goods for commercial and social re-use in full accordance with the legal framework in terms of the personal data protection and privacy, establishment of an open data portal in line with the EU standards, modernisation and digitisation of public registries and ensuring of the availability of data for all users through websites and mobile applications.

The full Open Data Readiness Assessment in BiH report can be found here.