Why is Millennium Foundation Kosovo running the Dig Data Kosovo 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 the rule of law, we believe that a data-driven approach is needed to increase transparency and accountability in key areas affecting the reality and perception of rule of law and control of corruption in the country.

Dig Data Challenge seeks to create productive partnerships between government, civil society (NGOs, the media, think tanks), and private sector and support innovation in data use and analysis. The activity is designed to help the government identify problems they seek support in solving, and bring civil society and the private sector into that role as solution-oriented partners.

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. Empowers policymakers, the private sector, educators, and citizens to make education,
    employment and time use choices that seek to improve Kosovo’s and their own economic well-
    being, as well as
  4. Improves understanding of the challenges facing women in the labor market and proposes
    actionable solutions to strengthen women’s employment and entrepreneurship.


These tools and approaches might include but are not limited to curricula, mobile applications, communications campaigns, technical assistance, innovative lending, access to credit and other investment packages. training programs, info graphics and data visualizations, digitally-enabled trusted personal networks, pilot or national projects, hardware or software solutions, computing platforms, digital communications, social networking, interactive voice response, 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 Kosovan 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. Applicants competing in the Data Communications and Outreach Track should submit their draft spec, storyboard, script, sketch, or other representation of what you intend to communicate.

What is the primary source of data to be used?

All applicants should propose creative solutions based on the open data from the Government of Kosovo and/or other credible, vetted open data from national and international institutions, to inform Kosovo citizens about the education and economic opportunities to pursue in order to match market needs. Applicants are furthermore strongly encouraged to use GoK open data or MCC LFTUS data. MFK has developed a Data Guide that applicants
can refer to.

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

Even if you have a pre-existing product or service that you believe meets the criteria for this challenge, 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?

Any intellectual property in the submission must belong to the Applicant. Applicants will retain the intellectual property rights to their entry to the challenge. 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.

However, if you are selected as an winner of a MFK grant, the intellectual property rights of the developed solution shall belong to MFK (including the right to produce, reproduce, republish, repurpose, use, store, modify or make available) any portion or portions of Intellectual Property as the MFK sees fit in any medium, now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever.

Can I remove my application once I have submitted?

Yes, please be in touch with our Dig Data Challenge staff 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 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 during October 2018.

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 I developed?

That is a question we encourage you to ask yourself. Who is your customer? Is your customer:

  • Government officials and policy-makers struggling to make better, more data-driven decisions?
  • Kosovan students considering what course of study or training they ought to pursue?
  • Private sector businesses seeking to attract highly-trained, professional talent?
  • Entrepreneurs looking for better market intelligence on what markets they ought to enter?
  • Banks and investors seeking to identify qualified investments?
  • Kosovan citizens looking for more information on labor force issues and how they might
    encourage government and civil society to transparently work together on them?


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

What is the Dig Data Applicant Workshop?

The DIG Data Applicant Workshop is an opportunity to:

  • Familiarize yourself with some of the existing open data on labor force participation,
  • Learn about how to interpret open data and the methodological differences in different labor force participation data sets
  • Test data analysis and visualization tools.
  • Meet the Challenge sponsors and Champions.
  • Ask and get questions answered about the challenge process, criteria, and goals.
  • Meet and potentially partner with other competitors.


While attending the Dig Data Applicant Workshop is not mandatory, we believe it will be useful to you in developing a more competitive solution. We will also record the workshop and post it on our website for competitors to reference.

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?

For the Data Communication and Outreach Track, you should use the seed funding per the budget you propose and is approved by MFK in order to produce your data communication and outreach output.


The winner of the final grant for the Data Communications and Outreach track must use the award to build on the success of the solution and create further discussion about data and labor force participation.


For the Open Data Governance Interventions Track, 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-driven decisions and Kosovo’s citizens are best positioned to benefit from them.