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North Macedonia

To Resilient Skopje Via Data Availability (MK0135)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: North Macedonia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: City of Skopje

Support Institution(s): Center for Innovation of the City of Skopje - Skopje Lab skopjelab@skopje.gov.mk

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Infrastructure & Transport, Land Rights & Spatial Planning, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: North Macedonia Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, North Macedonia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

To resilient Skopje via data availability
Start and end date of the commitment: August 2018 –August 2020
Lead implementing agency
City of Skopje
Description of commitment
Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment
Cities are vulnerable due to the high concentration of population and constructed facilities in a smaller area. But cities are highly dependent on their infrastructure: the transport system, the communication systems, the distribution of water and energy, the drainage systems and the waste collection systems. The concentration of people and goods in cities and their dependence on these infrastructural systems make the cities vulnerable. The City of Skopje is inhabited by 1/3 of the population in the Republic of Macedonia, and the population inflow from the region and wider creates very large daily migrations. This causes problems in the operation of the city as a system, the new population needs are difficult to meet, and the functioning is complicated. The city is limited in its resources and is making great efforts to deal with numerous problems, which confirmed the calculated environmental footprint, which is extremely unfavorable. Bearing in mind that the success of policies and measures that are created at the local level depends among other things on the availability of on-field collected primary data that allow to see the actual situation, over the past years the City of Skopje supported the preparation of a series of studies that helped identify the main causes and problems, as well as the possibilities for an action. As a result of that, the City of Skopje has large databases that are not always used adequately/sufficiently. Resiliant Skopje is a challenge for joint action, which will pave the way with measures and actions during the following years, in order to build capacity for urban resilience and improve the quality of life of its citizens.
Main objective
Providing conditions for greater transparency of data at local level.
Brief description of the commitment
Citizen’s inclusion in the creation process of solutions for Resilient Skopje
OGP challenge addressed by the commitment
Improved access to databases of the City of Skopje and incuding of the citizens in the creation process of solutions for resilience
Additional information
Refference to Objective 11: ,,Cities and human settlements to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable“, Target 11.6: by 2030, reduce the per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying particular attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management.
Milestone
5.4.1 Providing free access to a series of data in different sectors that the City of Skopje and its public enterprises have: transport, energy, water, erosion, greenery, climate change, etc.
5.4.2 Active inclusion of the citizens in the creation of at least two solutions/public services that will increase the resiliance of the City of Skopje
5.4.3 Organizing a hackathon that, based on open databases, will enable citizens to create solutions for a sustainable and resilient City of Skopje
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency
Cvetanka Ikonomova Martinovska ljiljana Onchevska
Title, Department
Head of Environment Sector Assistant Head of Sector for Environmental and Nature Protection
Phone and e-mail cikonomova@skopje.gov.mk LiljanaO@skopje.gov.mk
Other actors involved
Center for Innovation of the City of Skopje - Skopje Lab skopjelab@skopje.gov.mk

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Theme V: Transparency at Local Level

5.4. To resilient Skopje via data availability

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [73]

“Citizen’s inclusion in the creation process of solutions for Resilient Skopje.”

Milestones:

5.4.1 Providing free access to a series of data in different sectors that the City of Skopje and its public enterprises have: transport, energy, water, erosion, greenery, climate change, etc.

5.4.2 Active inclusion of the citizens in the creation of at least two solutions/public services that will increase the resiliance of the City of Skopje

5.4.3 Organizing a hackathon that, based on open databases, will enable citizens to create solutions for a sustainable and resilient City of Skopje

Start Date: August 2018

End Date: August 2020

Context and Objectives

The capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, is home to approximately one third of the country’s population and it is one of the most polluted cities in Europe. [74] This commitment aims to facilitate access to data in different sectors held by the city of Skopje and public enterprise. It also calls for involving citizens in the creation of at least two public services that will increase the “resilience” of Skopje to address issues around climate change as well as organizing a hackathon to improve the city’s sustainable development.

This commitment is tied to the Resilient Skopje project (supported by UNDP), which aims to make the city more resilient to climate change and other environmental threats, and to help public administration to design and deliver better services for its citizens. [75] According to the action plan, over the past years Skopje supported a series of studies (partly under the Resilient Skopje project) that collected data for Skopje’s database. [76] For example, during the preparation of the climate change strategy for Resilient Skopje, research was undertaken into potential alternative resources for the supply of good quality water. [77] Not all of this data and research findings are easily accessible to the public.

The first milestone promises free access to “a series of data in different sectors”. The milestone, however, does not provide specific information on the source and scope of the data it is referring to. It remains unclear if providing free access would address the problem. The second milestone envisions citizens’ engagement in the creation of at least two solutions/public services. This milestone does not specify how this measure will be carried out, for example, how the citizens will be selected for participating in the two solutions/public services. The third milestone includes organizing a hackathon.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and civic participation. If implemented, given the way it is written, the commitment could have a minor impact on improving transparency and civic participation. The commitment discusses citizens’ engagement in the creation of solutions to increase the resilience of the city but limits this engagement to at least two solutions/public services. It also does not specify how citizens can remain engaged in the process.

According to the government, Skopje’s Nature and Environment Protection Department has mapped existing studies/documents and databases in order to identify potential data sources. These potential data sources cover different sectors of environment protection, like water, soil, greenery, air, noise, climate change, emission control, and health. The city plans to collect and organize all the available datasets that can be easily extracted from the data sources and publish them in open data format. [78]

Next steps

The city of Skopje could specify which types of information are to be made public. It could also establish ongoing mechanisms for civic participation in the selection and planning of projects on improving environmental sustainability. Finally, the city of Skopje could specify which institutions are involved in the implementation of the “Resilient Skopje” project.

[73] The texts for all the commitments are an abridged version of the commitment texts. For the full commitment texts, see the Republic of North Macedonia 2018-2020 National Action Plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Macedonia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

[74] Al Jazeera, Inside Skopje, Europe's most polluted capital city, 19 March 2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/skopje-europe-polluted-capital-city-190312092012504.html

[75] UNDP, Republic of North Macedonia, Resilient Skopje: Scaling-up for Sustainability, Innovation and Climate Change, http://www.mk.undp.org/content/north-macedonia/en/home/projects/Resilient-Skopje-Scaling-up-for-Sustainability-Innovation.html

[76] OGP National Action Plan 2018-2020, p 43, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Macedonia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

[77] Resilient Skopje: Climate Change Strategy, p. 19 https://skopje.gov.mk/media/4051/resilient-skopje-strategy-eng.pdf

[78] Information provided to the IRM by MISA during the pre-publication review period of this report, 6 April 2020.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 5.4 Resilient Skopje via data availability

Substantial:

Three datasets (on characteristics of identified landslides, on torrential rain hotspots, and a register of wells for the City of Skopje region) were published to the national open data portal http://www.data.gov.mk. In addition, the webpage skopje.gov.mk contains information on six areas: environment, control of emissions from economic entities, climate change and sustainable development, nature protection, health and environment, and increasing public awareness of environmental issues. [82]

The City of Skopje cooperated with the CSO Skopje Lab and UNDP on three solutions/services: redesign of green public areas, the “Future Cities of South East Europe” project, and redesign of the service for collecting bulky waste. [83] Based on fieldwork with citizens (interviews, observations, and online surveys) Skopje Lab developed seven detailed concepts for the redesign of green public areas (financed by the budget and private donations), which were published in the local media to allow additional citizen input prior to their adoption by the city. [84] These concepts are yet to be implemented. [85]

In cooperation with the UNDP, Skopje Lab organized a two-day workshop in November 2020 for the “Future Cities of South East Europe” project, where more than 80 representatives from 40 institutions discussed solutions for improving air pollution, infrastructure, public services, immigration, and decreased faith in public institutions. [86] As a result of the workshop, the City of Skopje and Skopje Lab started work on the above project, led by EIT Climate KIC, [87] and have committed to the following priorities: improving air quality (per the standards of the World Health Organization) by 2023; achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; equal access to decent housing, healthcare, education, mobility, food, water, green and vibrant public places, safe and productive job opportunities; and reducing the effects of heat and floods. [88]

Regarding the redesign of the service for collecting bulky waste, Skopje Lab prepared a draft redesign of the service, a draft of International Organization for Standardization standards, and concepts for the disposal of furniture, which are yet to be finalized and implemented. [89] Additionally, the government’s self-assessment states that plans were made to organize the hackathon by the end of 2020 [90] but there is no information on whether it took place.

[83] Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Information on the results of the Working Group for Implementation of the OGP Action Plan 2018-2020 Including a Final Self-Assessment Report (Draft Version), December, https://ovp.gov.mk/en/council_sessions/7-%d0%bc%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%be%d1%82-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bf/, p.38-40.
[84] Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Information on the results of the Working Group for Implementation of the OGP Action Plan 2018-2020 Including a Final Self-Assessment Report (Draft Version), December, https://ovp.gov.mk/en/council_sessions/7-%d0%bc%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%be%d1%82-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bf/, p. 39.
[86] Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Information on the results of the Working Group for Implementation of the OGP Action Plan 2018-2020 Including a Final Self-Assessment Report (Draft Version), December, https://ovp.gov.mk/en/council_sessions/7-%d0%bc%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%be%d1%82-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bf/, p. 39; Also, see https://www.innovationlab.mk/work/future-cities-of-south-east-europe/
[89] Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Information on the results of the Working Group for Implementation of the OGP Action Plan 2018-2020 Including a Final Self-Assessment Report (Draft Version), December, https://ovp.gov.mk/en/council_sessions/7-%d0%bc%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%be%d1%82-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bf/, p.40.
[90] Ministry of Information Society and Administration, Information on the results of the Working Group for Implementation of the OGP Action Plan 2018-2020 Including a Final Self-Assessment Report (Draft Version), December, https://ovp.gov.mk/en/council_sessions/7-%d0%bc%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%b5%d0%b4%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b0-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%81%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%be%d1%82-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%bf/

Commitments

Open Government Partnership