On 26 April, an updated Open Parliament Data Portal (opendata.rada.gov.ua) was presented in Kyiv. The resource contains over 110 structured parliament data sets covering legislation, draft laws, plenary sittings, MPs of Ukraine etc. These data may be used to create analytical products and online instruments, which provide accessible information about activities of the parliament.

Development of the Portal was based on collaboration of Civil Network OPORA and the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine assisted by the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine.

Acting Head of the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus of Ukraine Volodymyr Slyshynskyi has announced that an order on new measures for parliamentary openness is being prepared, including the use of information technologies and publication of more parliament open data sets.

Head of the State Agency on Electronic Governance Oleksandr Ryzhenko has informed that the abovementioned Open Data Portal will be integrated with the Unified Open Data Portal. He emphasized that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is one of the best managers that publish data sets on the Unified portal.

Democratic governance expert of the UNDP in Ukraine Diana Zubko has informed that open data is a component of the Open Parliament initiative, which the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has joined on 5 February 2016. In particular, a lot of obligations under the Work Plan for Implementation of the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness are directly related to publication of information in open data format.

Director of the Open Parliament Data Portal project, Civil Network OPORA's expert on parliamentary openness Nadiia Babynska has stated that the data on the Portal will remain mere numbers and text if they are not used by stakeholders to analyze parliamentary activities, develop software and applications. She called on citizen activists, journalists, analysts and developers to process open parliament data.

Project manager Vadym Hudyma told about the project implementation plans: development of software for automatic upload of financial information and Parliament's agenda on the Portal, improvement of its functionality and dara cleansing. Besides that, Civil Network OPORA is planning to continue organizing meetings of experts, analysts, developers and representatives of the Computerized Systems Department of the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Finally, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus of Ukraine Mykola Shevchuk called all the attendees to help improve the openness of Parliament.

The Open Parliament Data Portal contains the following data sets in formats csv, json and xml:

  • Members of Parliament (II–VIII convocation)
  • Draft laws (III–VIII convocation)
  • Regulatory and legislative framework
  • Plenary sittings (III–VIII convocation)
  • Financial and administrative information
  • Organizational structure of the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus

Besides that, Civil Network OPORA has prepared the list of 32 data sets (information about activities of committees, electronic petitions etc.), which are worth publishing during the year. We sent the list to the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada to take necessary measures for publication of socially important information.

All the data sets will be regularly changed based on the schedule of updates on the official websites of the Verkhovna Rada.

The other public information of the Parliament may be also published on the Portal in open data format. For example, data of the VRU Committees, petitions, verbatim records, parliamentary inquiries and appeals, changes in draft laws and other socially important information about activities of the Parliament.

The data may be uploaded on the Portal through API, or more specialized query (to the documents in cvs format).

Publication of parliamentary data in open data format will make the work of web-developers and analysts easier.

Civil Network OPORA calls on developers and analysts to use the parliament data and create handy and useful instruments for citizen oversight and analysis of the main legislative body.

Computerized Systems Department of the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine provides the Portal with software and technical support.

Civil Network OPORA, with assistance of the UNDP in Ukraine, is planning to conduct a series of presentations and trainings in Ukrainian cities dedicated to the opportunities the Open Parliament Data Portal provides. Besides that, we are planning to organize a competition in writing of analytical materials based on open parliament data.

See pictures from the event here

Send propositions, recommendations, and comments concerning the functioning of Portal at virna@opora.org.ua

For comment, please contact:
Vadym Hudyma, +38 0682384430, gudvadym@gmail.com

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This publication is prepared within the framework of “Democratization, Human Rights and Civil Society Development in Ukraine” programme, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark during 2013-2016.
The opinions, attitudes, and assessments contained in the report do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Development Programme, other UN Agencies or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.