Center for Continuing Education, Ministry of Telecommunications launch second training program on Open Government Data

Birzeit University’s Center for Continuing Education and the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology have launched the second Open Government Data training program for the first cohort of data producers and processors, on November 23, 2021.

The 30-hour training program, kicked off in a special ceremony with Vice President for Community Affairs at Birzeit University Dr. Lourdes Habash and Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Dr. Ishaq Sider in attendance, is designed to introduce government data producers to the principles of categorizing governmental data, as well as the best practices for uploading personal information on Palestine’s Open Data portal (

In the opening ceremony, Dr. Habash discussed Birzeit University’s mission to connect with the local community, especially through its 12 institutes and centers. The university, she explained, works to find creative solutions for the most critical challenges facing the Palestinian community through a wide range of local and regional partnerships. Projects and initiatives such as Open Government Data, she added, allow for greater data openness within an ethical framework, leading to good governance outcomes and greater accountability.

Dr. Sider emphasized the importance of open governmental data in supporting sustainable development, as such data can be used to help plan for smarter cities in Palestine by promoting digitization. Additionally, artificial intelligence based on such open data could be used to help regulate the information and telecommunication sectors, he added.

Rania Jaber, the general director of IT and tech innovation at the ministry of telecommunications, gave a brief overview of the ministry’s efforts to promote open data platforms. The ministry, she said, is working on the open data platform for Palestinian governmental institutions, and it is collaborating with several partners, such as Birzeit University, to introduce interested professionals to the best practices in instituting open governmental data.

The ministry and Birzeit University’s Center for Continuing Education had launched earlier this month an open data platform with the support of ESCWA. At the launching ceremony, the ministry announced the inauguration of a specialized training program, with discussions across governmental organizations on how official data can be presented on open-source platforms and what legal challenges face the government in disseminating such data.