Ukraine Now Among 50 “Most Open” Countries

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Government reforms in the areas of openness and transparency are starting to show positive results. For the first time, Ukraine is now ranked among the world's 50 "most open" countries.

Ukraine has shown considerable progress in its Open Data position, as per the latest rankings from the Global Open Data Index . Since the ranking began in 2013, Ukraine is for the first time among the 50 most open countries. Ranked 32nd this year, the country has shown great improvement since 2015, when it was only 54th.

The ranking – which evaluates factors of transparency and openness in government, business and civil society – now lists Ukraine above countries like Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland and just behind Slovenia, Poland and Austria.

Taiwan, Australia and Great Britain lead the global rankings in first, second and third place respectively.

Government Drive For Openness
Open Knowledge International – the non-profit organization behind the research – has specifically praised Ukraine's national Open Data Portal ( data.gov.ua), containing more than 38,000 datasets, and the Opendatabot service, that helps more than 70,000 people navigate through gigabytes of registration data on Ukrainian companies and court filings.

Since 2016, Ukraine has been significantly implementing the Open Government Partnership Initiative and steadily increasing the availability and quality of open data, say researchers.

The initiative includes five "big challenges": improving access to public services, enhancing integrity in public administration, better management of public resources, creation of safe communities and increase of corporate accountability.

More Transparency on the Horizon
In 2017, the Ukrainian government doubled the list of data sets that are required to be publicly released by government agencies, and integrated the open registry of beneficial ownership with the global Open Ownership Register, a website that combines data from company registers around the world.

Government figures here say it's not just about transparency and making non-profits happy; it has also been beneficial for business.

"In 2017 alone, open data enriched the Ukrainian economy by more than $700 million. If open data in Ukraine continues to gain momentum, by 2025 this figure could reach $1.4 billion," as the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, recently wrote on his Facebook account, in reference to the independent research from the Kyiv School of Economics.

While Ukraine scores highly on factors such as transparency related to government budgets, laws and draft laws, company registration and national statistics, there is still some room for improvement.
Research from Global Open Data shows that data on land ownership and the environment can be made more open.

According to a study on the European Data Market, the market size for Open Data (market of digital products and services) in 2020 is estimated to reach around 77 billion euros and in 2025 can reach 85 billion euros.

Meanwhile, analysts say that the EU data economy can ultimately exceed the threshold of 1 trillion euros.

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