Why is Millennium Foundation Kosovo running the Dig Data: Air Quality Challenge?

The Millennium Foundation Kosovo is supporting the Government of Kosovo to implement policy and institutional reforms in two areas critical to economic growth and poverty reduction: reliable electricity; and transparent and accountable governance. To address concerns regarding air quality, we seek to strengthen feedback loops between government and civil society by identifying civil society needs and the government’s response to those needs through open government data.

The Dig Data Challenge seeks to create productive partnerships between government, civil society (NGOs, the media, think tanks), and the private sector and to support innovation in data use and analysis. The activity is designed to help the government identify problems they seek support in solving, to build collaborations between government, civil society, and the private sector to foster solutions-oriented partnerships, and to create informed dialogue in Kosovo around air quality that is based on data.


What kind of tools and approaches are we looking for?

We are looking for tools and approaches that:

  1. Furnish reliable information
  2. Derived from open data, that
  3. Empower policymakers, the private sector, educators, and citizens to make data-informed decisions and to take constructive personal and civic action related to outdoor air quality data in Kosovo,
  4. Improves understanding of the challenges faced by Kosovo citizens and/or the government regarding air pollution and proposes actionable solutions to strengthen data-informed decision making with regard to air quality. These tools and approaches might include but are not limited to curricula, mobile applications, communication campaigns, technical assistance, training programs, data visualization, digitally-enabled trusted personal networks, pilot or national projects, hardware or software solutions, computing platforms, digital communications, social networking and audio-visual material, etc. These tools and approaches must be data-driven, applicable to Kosovo, and deliberately inclusive to women and other underserved communities.


Who can enter the challenge?

The challenge is open to individuals, groups, and organizations. We encourage ideas from Kosovo citizens, including informal groups and networks, community groups, businesses and existing service providers. Government and political parties are not eligible. Religious groups may submit a solution, but it may not have an exclusively religious purpose. Individuals and organizations from outside Kosovo are eligible to apply, but must have a Kosovan partner.


Can I apply if I am not from Kosovo?

Yes, but you must have a Kosovan partner.


Can I submit more than one solution?

Yes, but we encourage you to submit your best solutions.


What language should my application be in?

All applications should be in English.


What data should be used?

All applicants should propose creative solutions based on the open data from the Government of Kosovo (KEPA/KHMI,NIPH). They are also welcome to use other credible, vetted open data from national and international institutions, to inform Kosovo citizens about the impacts of outdoor air quality on health, economy, quality of life, etc. Data from private sources (such as personal sensors) is acceptable, but must be used in concert with Government of Kosovo open data. MFK has developed a Data Guide with various datasets to guide applicants in constructing their solutions.


I have developed a product/service. Can I use that as an entry for this challenge?

Yes, a pre developed product/service can be used as an entry for this challenge as long as it meets the criteria. Prior to submission, we encourage you to ask yourself:

“Why isn’t my product/service in greater use? What steps can I take to make it more data-driven? More appealing and accessible to my customers? More inclusive of women and underserved populations? More cost-effective?” We encourage you to make those adjustments or propose making those adjustments to modify your submission so that it is unique to this Challenge.


Who owns the intellectual property of the submitted ideas?

Intellectual property submitted must solely belong to the Applicant and will remain property of the Applicant. Such Intellectual Property must be clearly marked as proprietary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are not infringing on the Intellectual Property of others. The Grantor cedes a royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, paid-up license to produce, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use any and all Funded Intellectual Property for its individual purposes. The Grantor and the grantee are allowed to delegate rights for reproduction of the Grantee’s intellectual property to a third party as per agreement reached following the comprehensive consultation between the Grantor and the Grantee.


Can I remove my application once I have submitted?

Yes, please be in touch with our Dig Data Challenge staff digdata@millenniumkosovo.org and they will pull your solution from the challenge.


Can I get advice on how to enter the challenge?

MFK will provide advice and respond to questions during the “Interested Applicant Data Workshop”. Questions can be sent to digdata@millenniumkosovo.org at any time and questions and answers will be posted on the MFK website on a rolling basis within 5 business days. All advice shared will be made public to ensure all competitors have the same information and opportunities.


What do I do after submitting the idea/proposal?

We will send an email confirming receipt of your submission. We aim to announce our decisions November 2019.


Would a solution be considered if it doesn’t meet Kosovo’s local context?

No, all submissions must reflect the demands and needs of Kosovo’s citizens and be implementable in a Kosovan context.


Who will be using the tools and approach developed?

That is a question we encourage you to ask yourself.

Who is your customer? What are their interests:

  • Government officials and policy-makers struggling to make better, more data-driven decisions, in order to reduce air pollution and/or mitigate the negative impact of air pollution?
  • Economists attempting to analyze the economic cost vs. benefit of interventions that would reduce air quality or mitigate its negative impact.
  • Kosovan citizens who are concerned about their health and would like to make data-informed decisions with regard to air quality?
  • Women who would like to be informed on how air pollution will affect them, their children, and unborn children?
  • Elderly people who might be affected by air quality and have an increase in the risk of certain diseases?
  • Kosovo citizens who have serious health issues that might be worsened by air pollution?
  • People who would like to know how to avoid health effects that air pollution might inflict in individuals?
  • Does air quality impact productive sectors in Kosovo (such as tourism, agriculture, etc.)?
  • Does air quality reduce productivity and increase sick days from work?
  • Does air quality-related illnesses reduce educational outcomes?
  • Does air quality affect quality of life? (e.i. participation in sports or outside activities)
  • Does air quality reduce life expectancy in Kosovo?
  • What constructive steps can an individual, business, organization, or coalition take to reduce the impact of poor air quality in their life or work? What politicians, offices, or organizations should they engage to improve air quality or address its impacts?

Once you have answered that question for yourself, we encourage you to refine your solution with that customer in mind.


What if my submission doesn’t qualify?

The fact that you have been inspired to submit an application is a great start. If you believe in your concept and demonstrate that, someone will believe in you.


What do I do with the award if I win?

After you win, our grants manager will work with you to structure a grant agreement with tasks, milestones and a budget that makes clear the amount of grant funds that will be disbursed upon completion of each milestone. After you submit documentation of completing an agreed upon milestone, you will receive grant funds per the terms of the grant agreement you sign with MFK. You’ll also meet your Champion – a partner at a government office who will work with you to ensure that your solution has a willing and receptive customer in government. Together, you’ll mutually home your solution so that government is in a position to make data-informed decisions and Kosovo’s citizens are best positioned to benefit from them.

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