Kosovo Open Data Visualisation Challenge


The Kosovo Ministry of Public Administration (MPA) // Agency for Information Society (AIS) in partnership with the leading civil society actor, Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK) and supported by Open Data Kosovo (ODK), is hosting the first government open data visualization challenge!

The challenge aims to educate and inspire the general public to generate new perspectives on the usability of data and data-driven decisions, with emphasis on government open data as it empowers a broad group of citizens to push the boundaries of open government.

We invite all curious citizens to transform open and raw government data that originates from the work of Kosovo central government institutions, into interpretable outcomes using modern and creative visualization techniques. The contestant can use three modern means of achieving presenting this visualization, mainly by:

  • An Infographic (€1,000 reward)
  • A blog/article (€500 reward)
  • A video animation (€1,000 reward)

The results of this effort seek to raise broader awareness regarding the usability of data towards the promotion of institutional transparency, accountability, and public engagement, taking a step closer in transforming public service delivery and promoting economic growth.  Furthermore, this challenge shall not only bring the community of developers and public institutions together to visualize available data, but it will also help address the mentality by which we view the impact of data.

The challenge will have a special emphasis on the health sector data, as one of the largest contributors of open data-sets to the portal, as well as civil servants data, environment data, labor, and social welfare data, data originating from the National Statistics Agency, etc. All this data has been opened under open data criteria by Kosovo line ministries and Agencies.

The Ministry of Public Administration and the Agency for Information Society are leading with the Open Data Initiative in Kosovo. To learn more about the Kosovo Open Data Initiative, please visit this.

The challenge - how it works?

Everyone shall team up and will have 26 hours (starting at 11:00 am on Saturday and finishing at 14:00 on Sunday) to interpret real social problems and design solution proposals using open data from the dictated sources pertaining to one of the three categories: 1. The infographic challenge, 2. The blog challenge or 3. The open data video/animation challenge (please check the details below, under The Three Challenges).

Participants will gain access to a selection of open data sets from the National Open Data Portal and associated sources to work with on their preferred platform using their preferred data analysis and visualisation tools. Participants are encouraged to collaborate with a diverse team. Any format is welcome, as long as it adheres to the criteria of the challenge. At the end of 26 hours, participants are required to present and discuss their findings to a preselected jury in a pitching fashion.

There will be:

Mentorship sessions
Expert mentors will be available in intervals thought the two-days and will work with the teams closely to emphasize the importance of high-quality presentation of the ideas. The expert mentors will provide support to help the teams with different technical issues as well as to strengthen their propositions.

Final presentations
Competitors are encouraged to keep their presentations to last no longer than ten minutes, with 5 minutes allocated for Q&A.

The judges will have an hour to make a decision, followed by the announcement of the winners and the closing remarks. The three (3) best teams will be selected for each category and will be awarded cash prizes with an overall value of EUR 2,500 through a voting by the selected jury, following an open debate on how each of the tools helps foster exchanges between communities in practical and concrete ways.

The three challenges

All of the challenges require the competitors to tell a data-driven story that reveals how we can use existing open data to highlight and solve a problem in our society that would ultimately result in one or more of the following: increased institutional transparency, economic growth, empowered innovation, public participation in decision making, improved public service delivery, elevated academic research, etc.

The goal of each challenge is to explore and communicate interesting findings pertaining to the available open government data. Each team or individual can compete using one of the formats/categories:

1. The Open Data Infographic
Create intelligent infographics based on your analysis and findings using the specified open data. Questions to answer with your product: Can your infographic describe a problem or a solution, in your society, or both? How is it innovative? What can it help us understand from government data and how can we use it to solve something?

What is the infographic?
An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. Infographics use striking, engaging visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly.

2. Blog/article
Tell an informative and data-driven story that reveals the existence of an issue in Kosovo, either not explored before or very faintly touched upon. Preference is given to candidates who demonstrate potential solutions to these issues. These solutions should be informed by the data manipulations that are ultimately visualised.

Blog/article criteria: Should contain a minimum of 2 visualizations which are discussed in the text. The length of the text should be 300-600 words. Contestants can use either one of the three official languages in Kosovo.

3.  Video or animation using Open Data
Create innovative multimedia visualising experience using government open data. You can use any tools to prepare the clip as long as it contains data visualisations. The length of the clip should be between 30 and 90 seconds. Competitors are free to choose whether their video will contain a voice over or not. Both text and audio are accepted as a narrative for discussing the visualisations.

Data Sources

The data used for the challenge should strictly originate from the following sources:

The main data source (must be used in the challenge for submissions to be eligible):
Kosovo National Open Data Portal (https://opendata.rks-gov.net/)

Secondary and optional sources (can be used in addition):
Kosovo Agency for Statistics http://askdata.rks-gov.net/PXWeb/pxweb/sq/askdata/
Kosovo Customs – Open Data and Statistics https://dogana.rks-gov.net/en/per-doganen/statistikat-dhe-arritjet/

The rewards

The top 3 eligible submissions will be rewarded the following:

  • Up to 2,500€ cash prizes

    - Best Infographic - €1,000 cash prize
    - Best Blog/Article - €500 cash prize
    - Best Video/ Video Animation - €1,000 cash prize

  • A publication of the final product on the MPA website
  • A chance to present their finding on the 2nd meeting of the Kosovo Open Data Steering Committee that is attended by high-level government officials and civil society representative committed to furthering the open data agenda in Kosovo.

Competitors Eligibility Criteria

The data visualization challenge is open to all individuals aged at least 18 years, who are interested in interpreting and visualizing data. Participants are encouraged to apply and then team up to create different forms of visualised data which will be legible and interactive for the users.

In order to be part of the data visualisation challenge, participants need to fulfil the criteria listed below:

  • All individuals aged at least 18 who are interested in interpreting and visualizing data.
  • Be able to interpret the data which is provided to them from Kosovo’s National Open Data Portal.
  • Have basic skills in visualizing open data using dedicated technology tools.
  • Have skills of processing and formatting data using programming language or tools.
  • Be able to collaborate with a team.
  • Ability to learn concepts and apply them to Open Data Visualization problems.
  • Have a passion for problem-solving and analytical thinking.

Meet our Mentors!
A carefully selected team of mentors will help the teams solve the real-world challenges and guide them on the way to the best solutions and possibly winning the challenge.

Meet the judges
Experts in data analytics, multimedia storytelling, programming, open government and journalism, the judges will use their knowledge, along with the assessment criteria, to select the contest winners.

Selection Criteria
Whether it’s an interactive web app, a graphic image, a video or another form of visualisation, we are looking for responses to these questions that excite and appeal. The judges will test not only how well the work suits the medium (infographic, interactive, data visualization and more) but also how well it illuminates the topic and offers insight to a problem or its solution.

Some aspects that will influence the selection criteria:

The Open Data Visualisation Challenge aims at developing innovative capacity and supporting projects that use open data to a) combat negative phenomenon in the society; b) highlight existing under-utilized resources, c) propose solutions to current social issues. Participants should demonstrate how their visualisations help to increase the efficiency and transparency of the government structures.

Using Open Data
An important selection criterion will be the efficient and innovative use of open data from the specified sources.

Innovative visualisation
Visualizations will be judged by their accuracy, novelty, creativity and innovative thinking.

Development prospects
Extra points will be earned by visualization projects that depict specific opportunities for growth and development of a service and the possibility of its scaling to the whole country.

Projects will be evaluated also based on the quality of the presentation. The presentations should be clear, coherent, fun, and interactive.


Saturday May 18th - Day 1

09:00 Doors open, teams check-in and register
09:30 Welcome Notes
10:00   Data Visualization Information Session/Presentation of the Kosovo National Open Data Portal
11:15   Teams begin working – ‘hacking’ (mentoring available)
12:30   Lunch Break
13:30   Teams continue working (mentoring available)
19:00   Dinner
20:00   Official wrap up of the day (teams can choose to stay and work)

Sunday May 19th - Day 2

09:00   Breakfast, teams check-in
09:30   Welcome back and briefing
09:45   Start wrapping up the hacking and begin preparing the presentations (mentoring available)
12:30   Lunch Break
13:30   Teams wrap-up the preparation of presentations
15:00   Team presentations/pitches (each team up to 10 minutes)
17:00   Judging deliberation
18:00   Announcing the winners and the Awards Ceremony
18:30   Concluding the challenge and dinner


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