Open Government Data on the Web: A Semantic Approach

Julia Hoxha
Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Armand Brahaj
FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, Germany

Initiatives of making government data open are continuously gaining interest recently. While this presents immense benefits for increasing transparency, the problem is that the data are frequently offered in heterogeneous formats, missing clear semantics that clarify what the data describe. The data are displayed in ways, which are not always clearly understandable to a broad range of user communities that need to make informed decisions. We address these problems and propose an overall approach, in which raw statistical data independently gathered from the different government institutions are formally and semantically represented, based on an ontology that we present in this paper. We further introduce the approach deployed in publishing these data in alignment with Linked Data principles, as well as present the methods implemented to query single or combined dataset and visualize the results in understandable ways. The introduced approach enables data integration, leading to vast opportunities for information exchange, analysis on combined datasets, simplicity to create mashups, and exploration of innovative ways to use these data creatively.

Link to publication:

[JHoxha_ABrahaj] OpenGovernmentDataontheWeb-ASemanticApproach

Utilization Cases of Open Data Albania

Julia Hoxha` and Aranita Brahaj*

`Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

 *Albanian Institute of Science, Tirana, Albania  

In this paper, we describe Open Data Albania (ODA) project and concrete cases of open data utilization. ODA aims at providing open datasets of valuable information which can be structured, analyzed and presented in different forms leading to intuitive knowledge representations. Besides the datasets, the project has also produced analytical studies based on the data and insightful visualizations to make the knowledge understandable and easy to utilize by different communities.

The platform where the data is published online is the most prominent one for open data in Albania and very popular between the journalists, who are continuously using data from ODA to provide the public with information on different social-economic aspects. In many cases, the project has been used in direct advocacy initiatives. In this paper, we described a set of cases where the data is utilized by different groups, such as government institutions, NGOs, media, and academia.

To read the paper



Fiscal Impact Assessment of Structural Reforms – Case Study on Albania

The country case studies in this volume represent just such an in-depth needs assessment for countries in the region, on an issue that is both critical and insufficiently addressed: how the fiscal impacts of structural reforms are integrated within the budget process. Working closely with Montenegro’s Ministry of Finance and with support from the World Bank’s SAFE trust fund, the Center of Excellence in Finance(CEF) identified authors with the right knowledge to assess the situation and offer recommendations for improvement. The Fiscal Impact Assessment of structural Reforms (FIASR) project is part of a long-term CEF program, Building Capacities for Policy Design and Implementation. The capacity development needs that the case studies have identified will be addressed through a series of CEF learning events entitled Strategic Planning and Budgeting from 2013 to 2015.

For this study, the working group of AIS focused on the most important structural reforms undertaken over the last 10 years in five sectors: Enterprise, Financial, Human Resource Development and Labor Market, Administrative Services, and Network Industry.

The main sources of data were taken from the Ministry of Finance, the Institute of Statistics, the Bank of Albania, line ministries and other responsible institutions, sector strategies, and the related legal framework in the five sectors examined, as well as signed agreements with other countries or international organizations. The European Commission’s progress reports on Albania and the reports from international organizations, such as the World Bank and UN, were also taken into consideration.

This case study consists of four sections. The first introduces the methodology used for this case. The second introduces the process of budgeting, not only its importance but reforms made during recent years, the legal framework, detailed procedures, and the main actors of this process. The third section focuses on the reforms undertaken in key sectors, institutions, and processes to include the cost of structural reforms in the state budget. The last section gives some conclusions and recommendations for all of the issues treated above.

Publication on the case study for Albania.

Link to the complete publication.