World has changed in unprecedented ways in the last several weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic and urgent action is required to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, inform public effectively and treat those it has affected. In this difficult time, it is indispensable that all data and information related to the pandemic is open and available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact and spread of the disease.

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The availability, openness, dissemination and use of data during the Coronavirus disease pandemic is indispensable and necessary for public benefit to help defeat disinformation and mythms as well as risk of digital security threats or cyber attacks. Open data  contributes greatly in the fight against coronavirus, insight into preventive actions, population mobility, the spread of the disease, and the resilience of people and systems to cope with the virus, can help public health and humanitarian leaders respond more effectively to the COVID-19 epidemic.

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On March 7, 2020 with support of Open Knowledge Foundation, Bareedo Platform organized commemoration of Open Data Day under theme of ” Encouraging uptake of local public contracting data in Somalia” in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia. The event was participated by 35 participants from the government, media, civil society organizations, private sector and academic institutions.

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What is open contracting?

At its core, open contracting consists of: 1) the affirmative disclosure of information; and 2) participation, monitoring, and oversight. According to the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), “open contracting is about publishing and using open, accessible, and timely information on government contracting to engage citizens and businesses in identifying and fixing problems.” Importantly, open contracting consists of disclosure and engagement throughout the entire chain of procurement, including planning, tendering, awarding, and implementation. It can also cover non-procurement issues such as licensing and extractives contracts.

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The online users and access to internet have been getting momentum in Somalia and at the same time, the breaches of social media have been on the rise. People log in to their social media site and notice a string of posts or messages definitely not posted by them or they get a message that their account password has been changed without their knowledge.

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