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Open government innovation in Croatia driven by civil hackers

Author: Adrian Offerman

Last weekend was marked by an event in Zagreb, Croatia, dedicated to open government innovation, open data and civil hacking, Mia Biberović of the media portal Netokracija reports. This CodeAcross gathering was themed 'The principles of government for the 21st century' and featured presentations and discussions on the first day and a hackathon on the second.

Invited to the roundtable were Anamarija Musa (Information Commissioner of the Republic of Croatia and Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb Law School), Marinko Brkic-Tot (Founder and CEO of 5W), Igor Vidačak (Director of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs), and Eleanor Stewart (Head of Transparency at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

Hackathon

The hackathon was particularly deserving of attention, because the Croatian government is expected to soon launch its open data portal [not yet available] — based on open source. The initiators of the event expressed the hope that Croatia would be able to make good use of its potential. A hackathon provides a good opportunity for civil hackers — i.e. developers and designers — to jointly work on applications and visualisations of open data. This hackathon focused specifically on applications related to public procurement and the right of access to information.

The hackathon was organised by Code for Croatia, an expert group formed within the Croatian Association of Open Systems and the Internet. Other initiators of the CodeAcross event were Open Zagreb, the Open Government Partnership (OPG) and GONG. The latter is a civil society organisation founded in 1997 to encourage citizens to actively participate in political processes.