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PRESS RELEASE

Ulyanovsk Oblast: Regional Government Launches Open Data Initiative in Russia

April 10, 2013

Russian Federation, Сity of Ulyanovsk, April 10, 2013 – Ulyanovsk Oblast Government launched an Open Data Initiative based on the recommendations of an Open Data Readiness Assessment prepared by the World Bank, at an “Open Region” seminar today.

Ulyanovsk Oblast Deputy Chair of the Government Svetlana Opyonysheva, who is already a champion for Open Government in Russia, acknowledged the value of Open Data for her region from the government and business perspectives:

Open Data is a mechanism that can help ‘bring to life’ large amounts of information owned by the government. As a result, web studios and developers can create mobile and web applications for the population. This will simplify citizens’ lives, facilitate policymaking, and make the budget process more transparent. Development of enterprises based on open data will allow us to attract additional tax revenues at all levels of government,” said Deputy Chair of the Government Opyonysheva. The next step for the government will be to launch the Open Data portal, which is forthcoming. Ulyanovsk Oblast has a well-developed local IT community successfully operating in Russia and globally.

The “Open Region” seminar in Ulyanovsk Oblast convened world-renowned open data and open government experts, including Mr. Andrew Stott, Member of UK Transparency Board; Mr. Jeff Kaplan, Senior Consultant with the Information and Communication Technologies Unit at the World Bank; Ms. Amparo Ballivian, Chair of the Open Government Data Working Group at the World Bank; Yuri Hohlov, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute of the Information Society; Ivan Begtin, Director of Nongovernment Partnership “Informatsionnaya Kultura”; and Ms. Lucy Chambers, Head of Knowledge at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Chris Vein, Chief Innovation Officer for Global ICT Development at the World Bank, said: "The World Bank is pleased to deliver the world's first Open Data Readiness Assessment to Ulyanovsk Oblast, using our brand new methodology. We would be happy to offer this tool to other Russian regions and clients worldwide."

The Open Data Readiness Assessment, which aimed to measure the government’s readiness to use open data, was designed under the auspices of the World Bank and piloted in Ulyanovsk Oblast during January-March 2013. The Assessment looked at several dimensions, such as leadership, policy and legal framework, institutional preparedness, data within government, demand for data, data user communities, financing, technology and skills infrastructure.

 “We are delighted that Ulyanovsk has chosen the World Bank to support their efforts towards greater public transparency and efficiency through open data,” said Amparo Ballivian, Chair of the Open Government Data Working Group at the World Bank. “Today, the authorities have a practical, action-oriented plan based on best global experience and we stand ready to discuss the recommendations and continue our support to Ulyanovsk as it implements this plan.”

Ulyanovsk Oblast Government has been cooperating with the World Bank on open data since October 2012, within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/ECA/060