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Press Releases, 9/14/2012 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Openly about development

Press Release 213/2012
13 September 2012

Nigerian BudgIt´s visualisation of the country´s  budget for 2012. Screencap from BudgIt's visualisation of the country's budget for 2012. Screencap from

Open knowledge and data will be the topic of the Open Knowledge Festival on 17-22 September. One of the topic streams of the event, jointly organised by Open Knowledge Foundation, the Finnish Institute in London and Aalto Media Factory, is openness and open data related to global development and financing. In the event, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will launch a competition on visualising development cooperation statistics.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, are the main sponsors of the Open Development topic stream. Development cooperation appropriations will be used for expenses such as covering the travelling costs of open data experts from developing countries to ensure diversity of development views in the programming workshop on 20 September. Other support targets include the Africa Live! video discussion between Finland and 40 African innovation and IT hubs.

Finnish Development Policy Programme emphasises good governance and openness both in the contributor and partner countries. ”Open governance and public access principle are areas where Finland can set an example. Open knowledge is also one of the basic premises of successful development cooperation. It allows the citizens of developing countries and contributor countries to control the use of money and what is achieved with it,” Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala says.

Methods for promoting transparency include making development cooperation data systems more user friendly. Therefore, in context with the Open Development topic, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will launch a competition on visualising development cooperation statistics. The competition is based on the data reported annually to the OECD Development Assistance Committee, DAC.

The International Aid Transparency Initiative IATI will be discussed in a number of workshops with representatives from the Foreign Ministry and Finnish development cooperation organisations.

The programming workshop will have IT experts from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Budgit from Nigeria will help understand and visualise public financial flows and Code4Kenya, supported by the World Banks in Kenya, builds open knowledge systems. Young Innovations from Nepal processes and analyses open data from various development contributors.

Development issues will also be out as a part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation topic stream programme with Hans Rosling from Sweden as the main speaker. He has used statistics visualisations for introducing global development issues for years.

Further information: Information Officer Marja-Leena Kultanen, tel. +358 40 705 7688, email marja-leena.kultanen(a)


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Updated 9/14/2012

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