The term “open data” is something new to the Somali people, but it is definitely time to apply such approach in Somalia. Open data is not a new concept, although it only seems to have gained fame recent decades. It is simply defined as data that anyone can access, use and share. Openness of government data to the public has been recognized as a tool that can reinforce anti-corruption efforts by strengthening transparency, increasing trust in government and improving public sector integrity and accountability by reinforcing the rule of law through dynamic citizen participation and engagement.
The past ten years have seen a revolution in the ways in which people access, consume and share information. The Internet is now within the reach of more than 1 million in Puntland and an increasing number of them are now turning to social media platforms as a key source for the latest news and information, sharing and exchanging vital issues regarding the country’s political process, the social services and the demand of greater accountability and transparency from the government.
Bareedo Platform promotes Open Government (OG) and as part of this, Bareedo initiates legislative openness and engagement of citizens to the parliamentary work to increase accountability, transparency and access to public information. Bareedo Platform developed the following database to enable citizens and the civil society to learn the parliament well.
Bareedo Platform appreciates Puntland Ministry of Finance for publication of its state revenue and expenditure to the citizens first time. This is first kind of openness to be shown by a budget holder in Somalia and is a time Puntland citizens need greater transparency and accountability from their government. Every year, Puntland collects and spend millions of taxpayer funds to pay for services such as education and healthcare. Citizens have a right to know how their government is collecting and where they are spending their money.
The mayor of Garowe city openly presents the monthly district revenue and expenditure which is a sense of openness and first ever openness amongst the district authorities across Puntland. Although, the budget is presented in numbers which is hard to the public to understand easily, but it is the beginning of an open government and will influence other districts to do so.