What is the Ministry of Data Challenge?

Track 1: Cities of Tomorrow Challenge

Do you want to understand how local governments across Western Balkans work? Do you love crunching data for public good: if you find a way to make sense of it, the citizen will, too. Visualizations/analytics, mobile apps and other e-solutions welcome. Two teams will win tailored mentorship schemes and a cash prize of $2,500.


Track 2: My City Can do Better Challenge

Are you from Podgorica, Gjakova/Djakovo or Tirana? Do you have ideas how your cities can work better? Can you use data to make it happen? Show your fellow citizens your city in a new light. This year special three spots at the boot camp are reserved for visualizations/analytics, mobile apps and other e-solutions for these specific cities. The best team will be awarded a cash prize of $2,500, too!


Special Mention Award: Spaces in the Balkans

Are you interested in working with spatial data? Do you have an idea how to put your city on the map? Do you know an interesting spatial dataset that needs a bit of work to become a brand new solutionfor a city? You can win a special award of additional $2,500 for the best visualizations/analytics, mobile apps and other e-solutions using spatial data.


Can you apply?

Do you have an idea how to transform our cities and improve governance, effectiveness and public participation at the local level? Is your idea applicable to Western Balkans? Are you 18 year+? Then join us! The deadline has been extended until December 5th, 2016. “Ministry of Data” Challenge 2016 is the second edition of open data app challenge series held in the region of Western Balkans. Check out the Rules and regulations.

Why do we do this?

By participating in a challenge like this, we encourage, support and demand from public administration to proactively publish data for reuse. We improve the supply of data and ensure transparency. On the other hand we support the demand, strengthen all stakeholders that use the data for public good or profit, and ensure growth and transparency. We also invest in IT skills and digital competences in the region as well as good (local) governance.

Selection and Bootcamp

The top six  teams will be  invited to a bootcamp in Zagreb, Croatia, where seasoned experts will help you build your projects and presentation skills. Addittional four places at the boot camp are reserved for the “My City Can Do Better” Challenge. At the end of the bootcamp, you will harness all the advice to dazzle a jury with an elevator pitch and an opprtunity to win cash prizes and four month incubation mentoring program. 

What can you win?

What's in it for me? Awards amounting to a total of $10,000, tons of expert advice and contacts, a Bootcamp and an opportunity to pitch to investors in Croatia and  to organizations like the United Nations and governments in South-eastern Europe. Two awards of $2,500 will be awarded to the two best teams at the end of the bootcamp. A special spatial mention award of adittional $2,500 will be awarded for the best idea that uses spatial data and another award of $2,500 will go to the best team working on a solution for Podgorica, Gjakova/Djakovo or Tirana.

Expert Jury Panel

  • Viktoria Mlynarcikova

    Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic

  • Ruslana Velychko - Tryfoniuk

    Coordinator of the Civil Network OPORA

  • Bardhyl Jashari

    Metamorphosis Foundation

  • Feda Kulenovic

    Communications and Knowledge Management Consultant

  • Boran Loncaric

    Chairman/CEO of GDi Group

  • Eleanor Stewart

    Head of Transparency at Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Friends of the Ministry of Data have kindly shared different datasets, downloadable below. Using them will give you a better chance of seeing your e-solution implemented in real life. But you can also use data from other sources in the Western Balkans you have access to. The only requirement is that it helps citizens understand how their taxes are spent, and take a more active watchdog role vis-a-vis their governments.

Show us what you can do with the data! These are the suggested datasets: 

My City Can do Better Challenge


Challenge: Visualizing open data (through infographics, apps or web-apps) and treating social issues based on those data.

Data sets:

1. Analytical expense report 2014

2. Detailed expense report 2015


Challenge: Civic participation for sustainable mobility in cities. The challenge is to develop an online platform through which citizens could receive interactive information on existing and planned sustainable urban transport infrastructure (cycling paths, parking lots for bicycles, lines and timetable for public transport, etc.). Additionally, citizens would be enabled to make suggestions about what needs to be improved based on their needs. The inputs received via online platform would be used for development of the Strategic Development Plan of the Capital City. The aim of this initiative is to reduce the use of private cars, promote multimodal transport, preserve of natural resources, improve access for "vulnerable" groups, reduce emissions, improve the quality of public transport services, and finally, improve the quality of life of citizens.


Challenge: Public finance transparency and efficiency of administration.

Data sets: Tirana Budget 2016, Budget Expenditures Economic Classification, Treasury Financial Transactions.

Cities of Tomorrow Challenge

Regional data

Various countries World Bank Open Data http://data.worldbank.org/
Various countries Procurement Data from around Europe http://digiwhist.eu/resources/data/



Various data sets provided by Albanian National Agency for Information Society https://e-albania.al
National Geoportal of Albania http://geoportal.asig.gov.al/Map.aspx?lang=EN

Public consultations registry for draft laws and strategic documents

Improve the city http://permiresoqytetin.al/index1.php


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Statistical Agency http://www.bhas.ba
Federal Bureau of Statistics http://fzs.ba
Institute of Statistics http://www.rzs.rs.ba
Communications Regulatory Agency http://rak.ba/
Statistical and IT Bureau of Sarajevo Canton http://zis.ks.gov.ba 
Sarajevo Public Transport System http://gras.ba



Open data portal of the Republic of Croatia https://data.gov.hr/data/search



Repository of various data sets Link to a Dropbox file



Buildings of Skopje http://skopje2014.prizma.birn.eu.com/en



Monitoring of Local Budgets in Montenegro http://mojgrad.me/
Ministry of Sustainabale Development and Tourism http://www.ctr.mrt.gov.me/Portal/
Ministry of Sustainabale Development and Tourism http://www.planovidozvole.mrt.gov.me
Central Registry of Business Entities www.crps.me
Energy Efficiency www.energetska-efikasnost.me
Public Procurement Portal http://portal.ujn.gov.me/delta2015/login.jsp
Ministry of Culture www.mku.gov.me
Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology www.meteo.co.me
Environmental Protection Agency www.epa.org.me
Directorate of Youth and Sport www.upravazamladeisport.me
Statistical Office www.monstat.org/cg/
Central Bank of Montenegro www.cb-cg.org/index.php?mn1=statistika
Tobacco Agency www.aduvan.co.me
Directorate for Protection of Classified Information www.nsa.gov.me
Directorate for Lotteries www.upravazaigrenasrecu.me
Phytosanitary Office www.fito.gov.me
Port Authority www.luckakapetanija.me



Data Centar http://datacentar.io/en
Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Open Data Portal http://opendata.mpn.gov.rs/


Data used in Ministry of Data 2015 edition can be used, too!




Call for application is 21.9.-21.10, Selection of finalists 26.10., Online training by Hekovnik Startup School 28.10-15.11., Bootcamp 18.11., Announcement of the winner 19.11.


The public voting has already finished. Please see the results here (redirects to Survey Monkey website).

You could cast your vote for 1, 2 or 3 preferred ideas until 13th December, 2016. Three projects with the most votes were invited to the Bootcamp in Zagreb, as well as another four that will be selected by the Jury. Three places on the Bootcamp are guaranteed for My City Can Do Better Challenge teams. In total, 10 teams will meet in Zagreb in February next year for the final round of the Challenge.

You can also still check out the datasets and rules of the Challenge.



The challenge is organized by GONG Croatia and TechSoup and generously supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and GDi Group Croatia