Finalists of Open Data Hackathon Albania 2015

Date: 19.12.2015

Organizer: AIS in the framework of MG&P

Place: My Office, Tirana

Topic of this year: Life in a Different City

Hackathon (Hacker + Marathon) is an open marathon, where various individuals may participate, work, and finalize an application or map. This year, Hackathon was held on 19 December, and the suggested topic was: Life in a Different City. An open invitation was addressed to ordinary citizens, analysts, storytellers, scout programmers, and designers.


The event was organized as a contest among groups and individuals. Six groups managed to get to the finals, presenting the following topics:

Topic: Health Care in My City. How is money spent in the hospitals for citizens’ health? Where is budgeting done best: Gjirokastra, Fieri, Korça, Dibra, or Kukësi? Students of Economics monitored budget-related facts for regional hospitals. Money means first health services, and then health. Some of the Hackers’ findings include: more money is paid for salaries than medications, equipment, and hospital treatment. .


Topic: Albanian Facing European Tourism. What should know a tourist visiting Tirana, and what those managing tourism should know about other European countries and about countries neighboring Albania? This was the theme of an application presented at Hackathon 2015.

Topic: Infrastructure Expenses. Two municipalities with the biggest budget for Infrastructure: Gjirokastra and Tirana. Public Works and Infrastructure that each citizen would like to have in his/her municipality. One of the Hackathon contestants identified the two municipalities with the biggest budgets and expenses for infrastructure. Gjirokastra and Tirana are on the top of the list, and Hackathon presentation identified the private companies contracted for public works in these two municipalities.


Topic: Improve My City#‎Saranda. APP or web page? Do you have problems with infrastructure or urban planning? Do you live in Saranda? Report your problems to ‘Improve My City’!! Afterwards, your report shall be posted on the website of the Mayor or City Council. An APP for e-Participation.


Topic: Employment vs. University in My CityThe number of those pursuing their University studies is much higher than the number of new jobs requiring a University degree. An analysis of these figures presented at this Hackthon brings a comparison showing how disintegrated these two trends are. Finding: 6% of the country population is University students. However, the number of jobs that require a University degree is far from that. Study fees are the highest at the University of Medicine, but the highest salaries are paid in the Hydrocarbure Industry. The number of IT students is the lowest, but the highest number of new jobs is found precisely in this sector. There is a need for more research in the labor market and its relation with the University – that is the conclusion of the first presentation at Hackathon Albania. qytetin tim cdokush shkon ne Univ. A ja vlen/list.html


Topic: Taxes in a Different City. How do I pay for my Municipality?!! A student of the Faculty of Economics, another one from the Faculty of Medicine, and one from IT joined their efforts in finding out the city, where people pay the highest and the lowest taxes.


The six final ideas were presented to a jury composed of the following:

  • Anisa RULA, Scientific Researcher, University of Milan, Bicocca, Italy
  • Elga MITRE,Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana
  • Julia HOXHA, Scientific Researcher, Albanian Institute of Science (AIS), University of Columbia, USA
  • Leonid BLLOSHMI, Open Society Foundation Albania
  • Rron NUSHI, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana


Hackathon took place in the premises of My Office. This is the fourth year that AIS organizes a Hackathon for Albania. The next event to be organized by AIS is Open Data Day 2016 Albania.

Transparent data about the assets of high officials in the Justice System

The Spending Data Albania portal has published some data about the assets and economic interests of some high officials of the Justice System under its Money and Power section.

Thus, you may find the latest annual incomes of the three Presidents of the Republic, i.e. Mr. Rexhep MEIDANI, Mr. Alfred MOISIU, and Mr. Bamir TOPI, by using the search filter in the ‘President of the Republic’ category.


You may also find the Declaration of Assets of the two latest General Prosecutors, i.e. Ms. Ina RAMA and Mr. Thedhori SOLLAKU, by using the search filter for ‘General Prosecutor’


In the same section, you may also find the official declarations of assets of some judges of the high level and judges of the Court for Serious Crimes. This data section is enriched as part of the activities organized by the Albanian Institute of Science (AIS) for the implementation of Money Government &Politics Program (MG&P).

Local Government Law. The Election Situation Room against three mandates for locally elected officials

Tirana, 15 December 2015

The Election Situation Room has asked the Assembly of Albania not to change the original draft law on local government, which restricted the time in office of locally elected officials to 2 mandates.

The latest decision to increase the number of mandates to 3 is considered a regress by the Election Room. According to the representatives of this Room, this decision is a move backward, because all the mayors, who had won a third mandate, were actually criminally prosecuted for abusing their power.

Gerti Shella (INFOCIP): The Albanian experience with the local government dictates today more than ever the need to restrict the mandates of locally elected officials to two. At the beginning of this year only, the mayors of the most important cities, who had already two mandates each, and ran for a third one, were criminally prosecuted for misuse of duty and corruption. Those prosecuted included also tens of commune mayors.

Aranita Brahaj (AIS and Za’Lart Albania 2015): The observation of election situations in the 2015 local government elections showed that where the existing mayors reran in these elections, there were higher expenses and more cases of misused of the public administration for purposes of electoral campaign. The Za’Lart platform received reports from citizens about problems with the transfer of voters’ names on the civil register. In municipalities, where existing mayors reran, there were also cases of pressure being exercised to intimidate voters through public services, violating thus the principles of fair competition among the candidates. Therefore, the law should not tolerate the use of power for such a long time.

Kristaq KumeWe are going to use such restrictive mechanisms such as the restriction of the right to be elected to no more than two mandates”

The changing of the original local government draft law is, according to the Election situation Room, against the recommendations made by the international bodies, as well as against the consultation process with the interest groups.


  • Title: Election Room against the draft law: Such draft law produced corruption – Top Channel Albania – News – Lajme

Shekulli Newspaper: Election Room – Mayors should be elected for two mandates only


Ballkanweb: Election Room – Mayors should be elected for two mandates only


MAPO Newspaper: Declaration of the Civil Society – Draft Law on Local Government makes negative deviation


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Albania is awarded the European prize for using Information and Communication Technologies

Evaluation based on the inspiring stories presented by representatives of participating countries

 Author: Erisa ZYKA

Broadcast by ABC News TV

The Albanian society is among the most active European societies in using Information and Communication technologies. In other words, Albanians, and mainly young Albanian men and women use social networks like FB and Twitter, but it was even awarded a prize. Even though non-EU countries, Albania and Serbia are part of an electronic network of 11 countries, among other EU member countries. This was enabled thanks to the Albanian Institute of Science, which has included Albania in the Telecenter Europe network, which, through the optimal use of Information and Communication Technologies, intends not only to fight social exclusion and poverty, but also increase citizen’s participation in political decision-making through electronic instruments.

 At a ceremony that took place in the European Parliament, the winners of an electronic participation contest, which had presented inspiring stories of active citizenship, were awarded prizes of appreciation. Jora Risto is one of the 12  winners among hundreds of stories presented on how European young people use instruments of electronic participation in order to raise public awareness, influence, or solve social issues. The story for which Jora was awarded the price represents an important moment of civic participation in Albania. She presented the story of the ‘Students of November 2013’, who managed to mobilize protests against the process of dissembling the Syrian chemical weapons in Albania.

 In EU member countries, active electronic citizenship may lead not only to protests being organized against certain decisions, but even to changes in the legislation. According to the Executive Director of Telecenter Europe network, Gabriel Rissola, active electronic participation is promoting democratic processes of societies among societies themselves.

 Gabriel Rissola: “The so-called ‘Spanish Revolution’ of 15 May was a process that mobilized a lot of people, millions of citizens in Spain. The entire process started through phone calls with people being informed about a protest that was going to take place in the center of Madrid. There were many proposals made by, let’s say, people’s assemblies, but none was translated into changes to the legislation. Nothing happened. That is why it was very interesting to hear the case of Estonia today, where protests managed to be materialized into 7 new laws”.

Active electronic participation intends to make best use of citizens’ initiative in European decision-making. Based on Lisbon Treaty, if 1 million signatures are collected on a given issue, the European Commission is expected to initiate its legislative process on that issue.

 Broadcast on13 December 2015 on TV ABC NEWS

Phases of the Court process of AIS vs Political Parties for transparency on electoral financies

In the framework of its efforts to promote electoral transparency, AIS has appealed at the Administrative Court of Appeal against the decision of the Court of Tirana to dismiss the organization’s request towards the main political parties PDPS and LSI (two of them in power) to make available their information on campaign spending and donations. Considering this issue the first court case where an entity / organization submitted a claim against the three main political parties

The Constitution of Albania, which brings one of the best models of access to information on election finances with no restriction, discrimination, bureaucratic procedures and institutional intermediaries.

AIS will continue to advocate the judicial position that political parties are subjects to the Public Law, and obliged, based on the Constitution to provide information to the citizens, media and other civil actors. Also, transparency over campaign spending and donations is an essential aspect of free and fair election.

Chronological steps of the process

  1. Official request sent to the three main parties on 09.06.2015
  2. Request based on the Law on right of information and the Constitution
  3. The three parties didn’t replied to the official request of AIS
  4. AIS addressed the issue to the Commissioner for the Right of Information (Mr. Besnik Dervishi), but the claim was dismissed
  5. AIS sued the three political parties in the Administrative Court
  6. The court held three sessions, in which were present only the representatives of the Socialist Party and the Commissioner for the right of Information
  7. The last session held on November 10th the court decided to dismiss the AIS claim
  8. AIS appealed the decision in the Administrative Court of Appeal,
  9. In this process AIS is represented by the Law firm Gumi & Associates
  10. Appeal to the Administrative Court of Appeal
  11. Request for acceleration of adjudication
  12. AIS addresses the Strasbourg Court. Albania does not guarantee trial within a reasonable time (Article 6 of the ECHR)
  13. Administrative Court of Appeal Decision dated 22.11. 2017 with no. 4916 (5236)
  14. AIS addresses the Court of Strasbourg in the absence of both a High Court and a Constitutional Court in the country, asking this court to review the merits of a case, which is now in a process of recourse.

Important Documents of the Court Process:

Request for Information PS                  

Request for Information PD

Request for Information LSI

Complaint for the Commissioner of the right to information

Law suit act                       

Court Call document

Decision of the Administrative Court

Appeal to the Administrative Court of Appeal

Request for acceleration of adjudication

AIS Request to Strasbourg Court (PDF)

Decision Administrative Court of Appeal

Request: AIS addresses the Court of Strasbourg in the absence of both a High Court and a Constitutional Court in the country, asking this court to review the merits of a case, which is now in a process of recourse.



Invitation for participation: Hackathon Albania 2015 “Life in another city”

Hackathon Albania is a yearly event organized to celebrate Open Data and promote their use, adoption, and development of new exciting apps. This year, the event takes place on December 19th 2015 with the topic “Life in another city”.

The event is open to individuals, analysts; engineers; (storytellers); scout programmers, designers or students able to develop an application based on Open Data.

How to prepare for the Hackathon (Hacker+Marathon) ?

Everyone can collect data about its city or town (not just digital) and create a map or an application. This edition triggers data analyses and applications of various themes affecting different aspects of life in Albanian cities regarding

  • Economy, employment, enterprises
  • Infrastructure including urban distances, buildings, forests ect.
  • Technological development and Internet access in various cities
  • Demography

All those who would like to participate in this event, may be registered for free in the following link : Hackathon Albania 2015  or join the event on the facebook page of the Albanian Institute of Science

Thank you in advance!

The impact of Open Data in the democratization of fiscal policy

Within the framework of project, AIS participated at the workshop “Democratization of Fiscal Policy” organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation International and OKF Germany, on 30th November and 1st December, 2015. The workshop aimed at creating an open-source model that would integrate all Budget data and transactions expenditures for various public sectors to foster better understand what role open data plays.

AIS promoter of open budgeting through the implementation of Open Data Albania and Open Spending platforms, presented different models that made transparency over state budget expenditures and treasury transactions. Also, the use of linked data helped in the identification of conflict of interest, cases of corruption and nepotism in Albania.

Different civil society organizations such as: Fair-Play, Hasdana, k-monitor, UNDP, journalists and policymakers, worked together on the processes of partnership-building, the acquisition of the best open budget practices, as well as shaping concrete actions in the Democratization of fiscal policy.12309084_10153157338517051_1514968783_n12325358_10153157338577051_101162729_nUntitled

Declaration of assets of elected Mayors on 21st of June 2015

In the framework of Money, Government and Politics program, updated data are released in Spending Data Albania portal, “Money and Power” column, about declared assets of newly elected Mayors of June 21st, 2015, as well as their relatives’ assets. The data are published in compliance with access to information, transparency and accountability principles. Through these publications every journalist or citizen can be informed of the annual income of each mayor such us income from rents, bargains, intellectual property, gifts, opening of inheritance acts etc.

  • In case of employment of the family members through declarations, we can provide information on labor relations in the public or private sector and in some cases investigative journalists can assess whether it is necessary to undertake an investigation on possible conflict of interest.
  • Statements also contain information on their income abroad such as credits in foreign banks and real estate outside the country.
  • The release of these data creates the possibility for citizens to monitor, if the Mayors will favor the development of specific properties and businesses.

As we would like to thank you for your attention, we want to remind you on the eventual use of the data contained in our publications without any restriction. But on the other hand we would like that you always cite Spending Data Albania portal, Money and Power column, developed in the framework of our organization program AIS titled  Money, Government and Politics.