U.S. Charge d’Affaires urges Romanians to request more data from the Romanian Gov’t

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The U.S. Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson urged Romanians to request more data from the Romanian government, and then take the responsibility for finding ways to make that data work for the benefit of all of them.

“The U.S. Government is working with partners all over the world, including Romania, to open access to government data through the Open Government Partnership.  The results so far have been nothing short of revolutionary,” the American diplomat said on Friday at Open Data Day Conference.

Dean Thompson mentioned that the U.S. government efforts are empowering Americans around the nation to contribute to public services in a variety of ways. “Citizen researchers are enabling environmental scientists to track how trees are adapting to climate change by monitoring precisely when trees sprout their leaves in the spring, and when they change color in the fall.  Citizen scientists have created platforms to collect and aggregate data on disease outbreaks and landslide tracking information, which provide warnings about disease-spreading environments and landslide triggers.  “Citizen archivists” have increased the accessibility of American history by transcribing more than 132 million names from the original handwriting for the 1940 Census project.  And web users are creating faster Internet services across the country by providing speed test data of their broadband performance.  To spark creativity, the U.S. Government is using incentive prizes, crowdsourcing, and citizen science to advance national priorities, collaborating with civil societies including companies, universities, foundations, NGOs, and the public,” the U.S. envoy pointed out.

“Today I want to encourage Romanians to tap into their own knowledge and experience,” he continued, arguing there are already excellent examples, like the Romanians who have dedicated their lives to opening up the Securitate archives and shining a light on the past to ensure those practices have no future in a free and democratic Romania. “Other Romanians are building a fact checking service to ensure that information is not just conveyed through mass media, but vetted so consumers can better judge the content they receive,” Thompson also argued, adding that the Romanian Executive’s Department for Digital Design office continues to make data sets available, there is huge potential for better service, more transparent transactions and even expanded commercial applications.  “This is the recipe for new kinds of jobs and economic growth”, U.S. Charge D’Affaires concluded.

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