Community program in Lviv, Ukraine, was initiated in December 2015, as a result of the Lviv City’s expressed interest and admirable motivation to work towards building a more open, transparent and smart city of Lviv.
In order to facilitate the knowledge exchange and to support Lviv in reaching its strategic goals, TechSoup Europe has taken its experience and knowledge from Apps4Warsaw Project, presented it to interested parties in Lviv and extended continuous support in the process.
The initiative “Lviv Open Data” was launched by series of initial meetings on open data advantages in bolstering civic participation and improving daily lives of citizens. In cooperation with Lviv City, City Institute and Fundament, an Open Data Seminar has been organized for employees of city administration, to share experiences with Polish local authorities and examine how opening data of Lviv city would be beneficial to the relation with citizens and improvement of the overall life quality in Lviv. The seminar brought together representatives of Warsaw, Gdansk and Lviv and has set the foundation of future inter-city collaboration and Lviv’s political decision to start opening datasets for public use.
An Introductory Open Data Workshop for civil society in Lviv has been organized on the same day in partnership with OPORA and The Unit for Social Innovation and Research – Shipyard. The goal of the workshop was to popularize the subject among social activists, NGOs, independent media and all other interested parties. The workshop also provided space to source ideas for the local problems to be solved in the city and the data sets that might prove useful in the process.
SUPPORTING THE OPENING OF LVIV CITY DATA
In the course of 5 months, TechSoup continuously worked with civil society on promoting the importance of open data activism and civic participation; and supported local authorities to open their first datasets and making it available for the public use. To keep the local civil society motivated, TechSoup and OPORA have organized additional meetups for activists during which the guests from Code for Poland and Apps4Warsaw communities have been brought to Lviv to share their motivation and experiences within the open data movement.
The cooperation with City Lviv was formalized by a written expression of will to cooperate and work jointly on developing the open data initiative in the city of Lviv. As a result, an open data platform using CKAN (an open tool for data publishing) was set up, with tech support from Fundament.
DATA IN PRACTICE – HACKATHON
In order to practically test the interest of civil society in the opened datasets of Lviv City, a hackathon: Open Data Challenge was organized on April 23 and 24, 2016 by City Institute Lviv. It has been a milestone of this cooperation initiative and has provided valuable space and time for connecting local administration and citizens over various social and everyday life challenges.
Key actors from Lviv community were invited to share their experiences during Personal Democracy Forum Ukraine, which TechSoup Europe was co-organizing on 22nd June, 2016 in Kyiv.