Cross border data cooperation

Liza Vassilieva and Atle Staalesen are going to use the next two years to collect, store and most important make huge amounts of data accesible for all. Through the project European Border Dialogues, data which might seem boring to most people will be made far more understandable and interesting on a new web site.

The importance of good data visualization is becoming more and more important as the Internet is flooded with information. One of the key goals of the European Border Dialogues project is to focus on such visualizations.

Atle Staalesen is back at the Kirkenes office of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat as the Norwegian project manager in the European Border Dialogues project. Recently Vassilieva started in her new job at the Secretariat to help him develop this project. Vassilieva (24) has just finished her Master’s degree in European Studies with Project Management from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Disseminating data
European Border Dialogues is a two-year project, which focuses on information and cross-border cooperation. A central aim of the project is to enhance knowledge of the Barents Region by collecting, storing and making accessible regional information and data. This will be done by creating a website, where the information and statistics will be posted and visualized on a regular basis.

- Data visualization is the modern way of disseminating information, which we hope will be used more frequently also in the Barents Region. The website will contain a broad variation of parameters such as data on population, unemployment, health and education which will be visualized on a map as well as in figures, says Vassilieva.

The web site will also have an “embed function”, which will allow journalists, researchers or other Internet users to embed a figure or visualization on their websites. Another goal for this website is to make it an index where information can be stored on a long-term basis and updated continuously.

Slovakia and Bulgaria too
The Barents Region is not the only region captured by the European Border Dialogues. Similar work is being conducted in other parts of Europe as well, more specifically in Slovakia and Bulgaria. The goal is to promote information based cooperation between the countries involved in the project.

Subsequently, one of the upcoming events is a conference on information and journalism, which will be held in Kirkenes early in December. The conference will first and foremost be a meeting place for the statistical authorities of the countries in the Barents Region.

Vassilieva was born in Murmansk but grew up in Kirkenes, where she moved at the age of three. She is very excited about coming back to Kirkenes and start to work at the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, after finishing her degree in Trondheim.

- Having studied the history and politics of the European Union, it is a privilege to start my career at a place where I can use my education and enhance my knowledge of Europe as well as my home region. I am looking forward to being a part of this interesting project”, says Vassilieva.


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The Norwegian Barents secretariat aims at improving the Norwegian-Russian relations by promoting cross border cooperation.

The Secretariat is also a center of compentence for Norwegian-Russian relations and for regional cross border cooperation.