Armenia has to overcome obstacles to benefit from open data

Supporting the comprehensive and more results-oriented approach, “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO forms cooperation with StrategEast within the framework of their new project: “Bulleting on the main issues on the bilateral agenda of the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries.” The Bulletin is designed as a useful tool for public institutes and decision-makers whose sphere of interest includes the EaP region and will be distributed among over 1000 senior EU and EaP officials, international institutions, and distinguished experts.

In 2020, the European Commission adopted its European Data Strategy. On November 25, 2020, the European Commission issued the Data Governance Act, the first proposal regarding the implementation of the Strategy. With the Strategy implementation, the EC is targeting to reach €829 billion value of the data economy in 2025 in EU from €301 billion (2.4% of EU GDP) in 2018.

StrategEast has interviewed leading experts from Eastern Partnership countries to hear about the role of the data economy in their home countries. Here are the answers from the expert on Armenia.

Does your country use data-sharing platforms and ecosystems? What are the perspectives of data economy in your country, can it bring economic benefits to businesses and citizens?

Armenia is now ranked 68th in the world E-government Development Index (EGDI, 2020), and ranked 57th according to the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) score (2020). In 2018, Armenia developed its long-term digital strategy called “2018-2030 Digital Transformation Agenda”. One of the priorities of the strategy is to ensure that data will be used to its maximum potential in decision-making processes. In that sense, open data is a high priority topic in the Digital Agenda.

Multiple initiatives were undertaken in the last years to improve the data ecosystem in the country including the development of e-services. Thus, the Government developed the e-government portal (, which provides information on regulations and other initiatives such as e-signature.

The accumulated and released open data from many state institutions compose quite large volumes in Armenia today. Due to the big amount of platforms at the national level, Armenia has a large spread of data. Also, the decentralization and the diversity of how data is provided create obstacles for the further process of data analysis. Data available on public institutions’ websites are either available in Html format or pdf. There is no specific format or a clear form. Hence, the data is not provided in a machine-readable format. Thus the creation of an Open Data Portal with its standards is a necessity for further development of the data ecosystem in Armenia.

The information released by state agencies, when adopted by a third party, can provide the grounds for numerous programs to improve public life, including systematic and automatically processed information of the education system, transportation, environment, agriculture, and other sectors.

Opportunities for the development of the Data ecosystem in Armenia are very large. Currently, several private companies work with specific types of data and provide narrow data services. There are many possibilities in health, education, agriculture, and other fields where public-private dialogue could lead to positive social impact if only the data of the government was processed and analyzed. Data processing can be performed by either the state, the private sector, or civil society. Furthermore, the state could also benefit from data created by private companies, e.g. taxi companies can provide data for reforming traffic in the cities of Armenia.

Tatev Ghazaryan, analyst of the “Enlight” Public Research Center NGO (Armenia)

Original source: Strategeast