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And what are your plans for Transparency Camp Europe?

Mor Rubinstein - May 2, 2016 in Events, Network

This post was written by our friends at Open State Foundation in the Netherlands. 

tcampEU

Let’s face it. When it comes to relevant open data and transparency in European decision-making, we have a lot to do. Despite growing open data portals, and aggregating European data portal, if you want to make sense of European decision-making and public finance, it takes a lot of efforts.

Dieter Schalk / Open State Foundation

The time is ripe. With the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Brexit, debates around immigration and refugees, new bailout talks between the EU and Greece, decisions by the EU affect millions of citizens living and working within its member states and people around the world. As everyone has the right to information, people need to know how these decisions are taken, who participates in preparing them, who receives funding, how you can make your views known, and what information is held or produced to develop and adopt those decisions. 

In the wake of the Panama Papers, renewed calls for open company registers and registers on beneficial ownership, the need for open spending, contracting and tenders data, require us to come together, join efforts and help to make the EU more transparent.

TransparencyCamp Europe comes at the right moment. This unconference on open government and open data, to be held on June 1 in Amsterdam will bring together developers, journalists, open data experts, NGOs, policymakers, and activists. In the run-up, an online European-wide open data App Competition (deadline for submissions May 1) and a number of local events or diplohacks are organized. This will all come together at TransparencyCamp Europe, where apart from numerous sessions organized by participants themselves, developers will present their open data app to a jury.

Dieter Schalk / Open State Foundation

EU decision making is quite complex, involving national governments and parliaments, the European Commission and the EuropeanParliament, the European Council and the many EU institutions and agencies involved.  Still, there is already quite some open data available, differing in quality and ease of use. Definitely, you want to know more about the EU’s institutions, who work there and how you can contact them. Although the information is available at the EU Whoiswho website, the data is not easily reusable. That is why we scrapped it and had made it available to you on GitHub as CSV and JSON. And if you’re crawling through information on EU budgets, finances, funds, contracts and beneficiaries, you’ll notice there is much room for improvement.

So, there you go, join us and help to make the EU more transparent as TransparencyCamp Europe comes to Amsterdam. Registration for the unconference is free, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter.

Open Data Day Uganda – Promoting girls in Science and Technology

Mor Rubinstein - April 22, 2016 in Open Data Day

This post was written by Alwenyi Catherine Cassidy from Fund Africa Inc.

Fund Africa Inc. is powered by Open Knowledge International, in partnership with NetSquared and Communication Without Boarders. We’re excited to be part of the 2016 International Open Data Day celebration in Kampala, Uganda.

This event topic focused on open science and methods to encourage girls to join Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Africa. The event was attended by mostly non-profit representatives, developers, data journalists, and members of the private sector. Participants were briefed about open data, features, types of open data, and its importance.  This was followed by a presentation from a representative of the ‘One Million Code Girls Project’, a program that aims to teach up to one million girls in Ugandan Secondary Schools between the ages of 13 and 17 how to code. Other resources shared include learning skills in project management, use of software to be used interactively by teams, and the reasons for open data.

The presentations were followed by a focused group discussion and online twitter chats using the hashtag #TechchatAfrica.  A few recommendations were made, and the meeting concluded with a networking session.

The following are the presentations we had:

1. Trello – Ednah Karamaji

While we were waiting for more participants to attend, we had Ednah Karamaji from Communications without Boarders (CWB) make a presentation on Trello – an android app that can be a useful tool for project management, especially in organizing events like the Open Data Day.

She explained several features of Trello that include: team building, where a project manager can subscribe all team members to Trello, assign roles using cards, and allow the project manager to specify venue and time of the event.  Trello allows the user to set alerts for project deadlines, and indicate completion of activities.

SAM_18292. Introduction to Open Data – Alwenyi Catherine Cassidy

The meeting was officially opened with a prayer by Mr. Robert Kibaya of NetSquared, following which the participants were introduced to Open Data by Ms. Catherine Alwenyi Cassidy of Fund Africa Inc. The presentation described how open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

The key features of openness are:

Availability and access: the data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.

Reuse and redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.

Universal participation: everyone must be able to use, reuse, and redistribute — there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), are not allowed.

There are many kinds of open data that have potential uses and applications:

  • Cultural: Data about cultural works and artifacts — for example, titles and authors — generally collected and held by galleries, libraries, archives and museums.
  • Science: Data that is produced as part of scientific research from astronomy to zoology.
  • Finance: Data such as government accounts (expenditure and revenue) and information on financial markets (stocks, shares, bonds etc).
  • Statistics: Data produced by statistical offices such as the census and key socioeconomic indicators.
  • Weather: The many types of information used to understand and predict the weather and climate.
  • Environment: Information related to the natural environment such presence and level of pollutants.
  • Transport: Data such as timetables, routes, on-time statistics.

3. One Million Code Girls – Ashiraf Sebandekke

Since our event was focusing on Open Science and how to engage girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We had Ashiraf who presented to us about his experience working with girls on coding on the One Million Code Girls, a project of Google developers group Makerere University Business (MUBs – GDG) School that aims at training up to one million girls, coding through different programming languages including Scratch, Java, Java Script, e.t.c.  Ashiraf explained the different experiences as the project lead comparing two schools, one mixed secondary school (both boys and girls) and the other single school (girls only) and how they embarrassed the program. He observed that the girls-only schools were more conducive to learning than those in the mixed schools, as some students in the latter feel inferior, thinking science subjects are for boys; but altogether the students managed to change their mindset through the carrier guidance lectures given to them by the project facilitator and they expect to balance other subjects with science and technology.

SAM_1823

4. Why Open Data – Mr. Joseph Elunya

This year we also had an opportunity to hear a presentation from Mr. Elunya a data Journalist from Media Initiative for open governance and Reality Check Uganda who explained to us the why data should be open and not restricted to patents and copyrights as follows; Transparency. In a well-functioning, democratic society citizens need to know what their government is doing. To do that, they must be able freely to access government data and information and to share that information with other citizens. Transparency isn’t just about access, it is also about sharing and reuse — often, to understand material it needs to be analyzed and visualized. This requires that the material be open so that it can be freely used and reused. Regarding the release of social and commercial value: in a digital age, data is a key resource for social and commercial activities. Everything from finding your local post office to building a search engine requires access to data, much of which is created or held by governments. By opening up data, governments can help drive the creation of innovative business and services that deliver social and commercial value.

Participation and engagement – participatory governance or, for businesses and organizations, engaging with your users and audience. Much of the time citizens are only able to engage with their own governance sporadically — maybe just at an election every 4 or 5 years. By opening up data, citizens are enabled to be much more directly informed and involved in decision-making. This is more than transparency: it’s about making a full “read/write” society, not just about knowing what is happening in the process of governance but being able to contribute to it

SAM_1835Discussion Session

The presentations were followed by active discussions; some of the questions that were asked included:

“Is Open Data really a practical way to move forward?” Asked Ednah, who explained an incident where a certain gentleman used to extract information and images from their non-profit website to use on his website to solicit for funds. Catherine explained some basic principles that apply when opening data including having an open data license to give clarity the host’s rights.  To Ednah’s question of ‘if open data was really a practical way to move forward?’, Catherine also added the advantages of open data, and shared how most people have learned some skills like web design, programming, graphical design, etc. through data contributed freely by others on the internet.  She also referenced a highly useful open source website: Wikipedia.

“To what extent should data be open?” asked Robert. Some of the participants explained that not all data is to be opened, some data is sensitive and need to be protected.  Ashiraf gave an example of how Apple Inc. could not share information from a client’s phone that would be used to curb terrorism.

Some of the participants from Youth in Technology – Uganda were not conversant with ICT laws in Uganda to protect their ideas, saying that they work sleepless nights to come up with innovations and for them to just provide them in an open source manner for people to just use without crediting them didn’t make sense.  Ashiraf explained, “All ideas need to be patented for you to be protected”.  He continued by outlining a few Data laws in Uganda which include;

 Computer Misuse Act 2011

 Electronic Transaction Act 2011

 Uganda Electronics Media Act

 Data protection and Privacy Bill 2014

 Electronics Transaction Act

The discussion was continued and was also available twitter using the #TechchatAfrica

 

International open data day report from Yaounde Cameroon

Mor Rubinstein - April 8, 2016 in Open Data Day

The Open Data Day 2016  was successfully hosted and celebrated in Cameroon by the netsquared Yaoundé community.  The theme of the day was ‘Empowering Cameroonians to accelerate open data’, bringing together 90 participants.

The event was hosted in Paraclete Institute in Yaoundé, which brought together multiple stakeholders and students, to empower them in advancing open data in this part of the world.

The event started at 3pm with a theoretical session and ended with a practical workshop at 7pm.

12783518_1018005344927962_8147199272335209675_oThe theoretical session was hosted to shared with participants the basic concept of open data, its importance, and how it could be accelerated. This was demonstrated through a powerpoint presentation from panel members who shared examples of the impact of open data on government intermediaries, education and agriculture in strengthening citizen engagement. And the importance of the release of data sets.

This event help to encourage participants to use open data for local content development in Cameroon,  showing how data could be made available for everyone to use, especially government data.

The key concept was resourcing technologies that could be used for smart visualization of data and how data could be made available on a database for everyone to use to encourage innovative collaboration. We also discovered that most data has not been made accessible in Cameroon.f In order to encourage innovation, transparency, and collaboration we need to advance the open data movement in Cameroon,

The practical workshop empowered participants to blog about data andto share it for reuseIt can be distributed on a platform like internet database website using blogg.com and other blogging sites like simplesite.com.

We also made them to understand that research data must be made available for people to reuse and distributed for everyone to visualize it. We also empower them on how they can  made their data  available  socially, teaching participants that they can share data from blogs to other communication platforms or social media platforms  like Facebook, Twitter and Google  

The event was appreciated by every participant.

Open Data Day Spain – Towards IODC 16

Mor Rubinstein - April 8, 2016 in Open Data Day

This post was written by Adolfo Anton Bravo from OK Spain.

Open Data Day in Spain is not something exceptional anymore. Five years after the first Open Data Day was born in Canada, nine Spanish cities have adopted in 2016 this celebration by organizing various local events It is not a coincidence that Spain will host the next International Open Data Conference 2016 in october, given the good health of its data communities, in spite of the fact of its poor results shown in the Open Data Index. Open Data in Spain is definitely a growing seed.

Alicante, Barcelona –with two events–, Bilbao, Girona, Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Valencia, and Zaragoza were the cities that held activities to celebrate Open Data Day.

Open Knowledge Spain took part in the organization of the event in Madrid, and created a website to announce all of the activities that were going to be held in Spain, including the International Open Data  Conference, that its Call for Proposals had just been opened for applications.

 

spain ODD

Overview of the events

In alphabetical order, Barcelona celebrated Open Data Day twice.  apps4citizen organized a gathering where people deliberated about the importance of personal data, transparency, the knowledge acquisition process, or the various results that may be reached from the interpretation of data. A week later, Procomuns.net organized a data visualization contest on Commons Collaborative Economies in the P2P value project.

In Bilbao, the event run by  MoreLab DeustoTech-Internet, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto, and the Bilbao city council. The group focused on the scope of the movement in general, and in specific, linked open data.  The participants split into working groups with the objective to design and implement fast and easy applications that link and use open data.

The Girona Municipal Archive and the Center for Research and Image Distribution organized the event in Girona; their theme revolved around the documentary heritage data that included 125 archives and collections, 31 inventories, and 75 catalogues.

In Granada, the Free Software Office at the University of Granada organised a hackathon with eight candidate projects from March 4 to March 7. The projected looked at various topics, from traffic to gender bias.

The Medialab-Prado data journalism group, Open Knowledge Spain, and Open Data Institute (ODI) Madrid, organised a hackathon where three teams from different background such as   developers, journalists, programmers, statisticians, and citizens worked to open data in different aspects of open data: city light pollution, asbestos, and glass parliaments.

Pamplona took the opportunity to present the open technological platform FIWARE, an initiative for developers or entrepreneurs to use open data for innovative applications.FINODEX is the first European accelerator that is already funding projects that reuse open data with FIWARE technology.

The first OpenDatathon ETSINF – UPV took place in Valencia and was organised by  It was organised by the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, MUGI, the Master’s degree in Information Management, and the DataUPV Group.   16 teams participated,, with the objective of supporting, promoting and disseminating the use of open data, especially among the members of the university. It was supported by the Department of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation at the Valencia Regional Government, Inndea Foundation, Cátedra Ciudad de Valencia at UPV, and the private companies BigML and Everis.

The Zaragoza city council is well known  for  its support to open data. The city mission is to provide open, accessible and useful data to its citizens. For example, all the information about bills is open and can be found on the city website. In this regard, they are not only talking about open data but also transparency and municipal policies on open data.

Finally, on March 17, the University of Alicante organized a meeting  with participants from the Department of Transparency at the Valencia Regional Government, the Open Data Institute Madrid (ODI), the data research data opening network Maredata, and an initiative that promotes the University of Alicante startup ecosystem, ua:emprende.  The Open Data Meeting 2016 consisted of a series of lectures about the current condition of open data in Spain,  and emphasized that public sector information (PSI) reuse means an opportunity for entrepreneurship and the impact it generates in the field of of transparency and accountability. and some of its participants are. The event concluded  with the #UAbierta for open data entrepreneurship award ceremony

Open Data Day 2016 Birmingham, UK

Mor Rubinstein - March 24, 2016 in Open Data Day

This blogpost was written by Pauline Roche, MD of voluntary sector infrastructure support agency, RnR Organisation, co-organiser Open Mercia, co-Chair West Midlands Open Data Forum, steering group member Open Data Institute (ODI) Birmingham node, founder Data in Brum

20 open data aficionados from across sectors as diverse as big business, small and medium enterprises, and higher education, including volunteers and freelancers gathered in Birmingham, UK on Friday, March 4th to share our enthusiasm for and knowledge of open data in our particular fields, to meet and network with each other and to plan for future activities around open data in the West Midlands. We met on the day before Open Data Day 2016 to accommodate most people’s schedules.

Organised by Open Mercia colleagues, Pauline Roche and Andrew Mackenzie, and hosted at ODI Birmingham by Hugo Russell, Project Manager, Innovation Birmingham. The half day event formally started with introductions, a brief introduction to the new ODI Birmingham node, and watching a livestream of the weekly ODI Friday lecture: ‘Being a Data Magpie’. In the lecture, ODI Senior Consultant Leigh Dodds explained how to find small pieces of data that are shared – whether deliberately or accidentally – in our cities. Delegates were enthralled with Leigh’s stories about data on bins, bridges, lamp posts and trains.

We then moved on to lightning talks about open data with reference to various subjects: highways (Teresa Jolley), transport (Stuart Harrison), small charities (Pauline Roche), mapping (Tom Forth), CartoDB (Stuart Lester), SharpCloud (Hugo Russell) and air quality (Andrew Mackenzie). These talks were interspersed with food and comfort breaks to encourage the informality which tends to generate the sharing and collaboration which we were aiming to achieve.

During the talks, more formal discussion focused on Birmingham’s planned Big Data Corridor, incorporating real-time bus information from the regional transport authority Centro, including community engagement through the East of Birmingham to validate pre/post contract completion, for example, in: road works and traffic management changes. Other discussion focussed on asset condition data, Open Contracting, and visualisation for better decisions

Teresa Jolley’s talk (delivered via Skype from London), showed that 120 local authorities (LA) in England alone are responsible for 98% of the road network but have only 20% of the budget; also each LA gets £30m but actually needs £93m to bring the network back to full maintenance.The talk highlighted that there is a need for more collaboration, improved procurement, new sources of income and data on asset condition which is available in a variety of places, including in people’s heads! The available research data is not open, which is a barrier to collaboration. Delegates concluded from Teresa’s talk that opening the contracts between private and public companies is the main challenge.

Stuart Harrison, ODI Software Superhero, talked about integrated data visualisation and decision making, showing us the London Underground: Train Data Demonstrator. He talked about visualisation for better decisions on train capacity and using station heat maps to identify density of use.

Pauline Roche, MD of the voluntary sector infrastructure support agency, RnR Organisation, shared the Small Charities Coalition definition of their unique feature (annual income less than £1m) and explained that under this definition, 97% of the UK’s 164,000 charities are small. In the West Midlands region alone, the latest figures evidence 20,000 local groups (not all are charities), 34,000 FTE paid staff, 480,000 volunteers and an annual £1.4bn turnover.

Small charities could leverage their impact through the use of Open Data to demonstrate transparency, better target their resources, carry out gap analysis (for example, Nepal NGOs found that opening and sharing their data reduced duplication amongst other NGOs in the country) and measure impact. One small charity which Pauline worked with on a project to open housing data produced a comprehensive Open Data “Wishlist” including data on health, crime and education. Small charities need active support from the council and other data holders to get the data out.   Tom Forth from the ODI Leeds node, showed delegates how he uses open data for mapping with lots of fun demonstrations. Pauline shared some of Tom’s specific mapped data on ethnicity with 2 relevant charities and we look forward to examining that data more closely in the future. It was great to have a lighter, though no less important, view of what can often be seen as a very serious subject. Tom invited delegates to the upcoming Floodhack at ODI Leeds on the following weekend. He also offered to run another mapping event the following week for some students present, with more assistance being proffered by another delegate, Mike Cummins.

Stuart Lester of Digital Birmingham, gave an introduction to CartoDB and reminded delegates of the Birmingham Data Factory where various datasets were available under an open license.

The second last talk of the day was a demonstration of SharpCloud from Hugo Russell, who described using this and other visualisation tools such as Kumu to tell a story and spot issues / relationships

Finally, Andrew Mackenzie presented on air quality and gave some pollution headlines, relating his presentation topically to the LEP, Centro and HS2. He said that some information, while public, is not yet published as data yet, but it can be converted. There were some questions about the position of the monitoring stations and a possible project “What is the quality of the air near me/a location?”. Andrew says it’s currently £72,000 to build an air quality monitoring station and gave some examples of work in the field e.g. http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/environmental-sensors.html , http://airpi.es/ and Smart Citizen . He also mentioned the local organisation Birmingham Friends of the Earth and a friendly data scientist Dr Andy Pryke. One of the delegates tweeted a fascinating visualisation of air pollution data

Summary

Our diverse audience represented many networks and organisations: two of the Open Data Institute nodes, Birmingham  and Leeds , West Midlands Open Data Forum , Open Mercia , Open Data Camp, Birmingham Insight, Hacks and Hackers (Birmingham) , Brum by Numbers and Data in Brum. Our primary themes were transport and social benefit, and we learned about useful visualisation tools like CartoDB, SharpCloud and Kumu. The potential markets we explored included: an Open commercialisation model linked to the Job Centre, collaboration where a business could work with a transport authority and an ODI Node to access Job Centres of applicable government departments on a Revenue Share and an Air Quality Project.

Future Events information shared included the Unconference Open Data Camp 3 in Bristol, 14-15 May (Next ticket release 19 March), an Open Government Partnership meeting on 7 April at Impact Hub Birmingham, a Mapping workshop with Tom Forth (date TBC), and offers of future events: CartoDB with Stuart Lester (½ day), OpenStreetMap with Andy Mabbett (½ day) and WikiData with Andy Mabbett (½ day) Pauline also compiled a Post-event Storify: https://storify.com/RnROrganisation/open-data-day-2016-birmingham-uk

International Open Data Day in Addis Abba, Ethiopia

Mor Rubinstein - March 18, 2016 in Open Data Day

This blog post was written By Solomon Mekonnen Co-founder, Code4Ethiopia & Local Organizer, Open Knowledge

Group-participants

An open data interest group representing 25 participants from universities, NGOs, CSOs and government ministries attended an open data event on 5th March, 2016, with theme “Raising Open Data awareness in the grass root community of Ethiopia”. The event was organized by Code4Ethiopia and Open Knowledge Ethiopia, with the support of Open Knowledge International and Addis Ababa University, in connection with Open Data Day which is a global celebration of openness.

The event was opened by Mr. Mesfin Gezehagn, a University Librarian at the Addis Ababa University (AAU). Mr. Mesfin briefed the participants that Addis Ababa University has been providing training on open research data and open science to postgraduate students and academicians to see more researchers practicing open data sharing (making data free to use, reuse, and redistribute) and open science (making scientific research, data and other results and work flows available to all). He also stated that the University collaborates with open data communities like Open Knowledge Ethiopia and Code4Ethiopia.

groupMr. Mesfin also informed the participants that AAU has started drafting a policy to ensure mandatory submission of research data for researches that are sponsored by the University to open the data to the public.

Following the opening, three of the Cofounders of Code4Ethiopia (Solomon Mekonnen, Melkamu Beyene and Teshome Alemu), and a Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science of AAU (Desalegn Mequanint) presented discussion areas for participants. The presentations were focused on Code4Ethiopia and Open Knowledge Ethiopia Programmes , raising Open Data awareness to the grass root Community of Ethiopia , open data experience in African countries, and,  social, cultural & economic factors affecting open data implementation in the Ethiopia.

Following, the workshop was opened for discussion by Daniel Beyene, co-founder of Code4Ethiopia. The participants recommend that advocacy should be done from top to down starting from the policy makers to grass root community of Ethiopia and they also proposed that Code4Ethiopia and Open Knowledge Ethiopia in collaboration international partners should organize a national sensitization Open Data Hackathon to reach various stakeholders.

The workshop also identified challenges in Ethiopia for open data implementation including lack of awareness, absence of policy level commitment from governments and lack of appropriate data science skills & data literacy. The participants also selected data sets that need priority for the country’s development and that interest the general public which includes budget data, expenditure (accounts) data, census,  trade information, election data, health and educational data.

The workshop was concluded by thanking our partners Open Knowledge International and Addis Ababa University for their contribution to the success of the event. All of the participants have also been invited to join Code4Ethiopia and the Open Knowledge community. Most of the participants have agreed to join these two communities to build open data ecosystem in Ethiopia.

ILDA to join Open Data Day Mini grants!

Open Knowledge - February 22, 2016 in Events, News, Open Data, Open Data Day

This post was written by Fabrizio Scrollini

We are happy to announce that The Latin American Open Data initiative (ILDA) is joining the global efforts to enrich Open Data Day mini aims to promote and support the engagement of the Latin American community on Open Data Day. Our support will go to Latin American individuals and organisation that already applied to this year’s call.

In 2015, almost every country in Latin America held an Open Data Day event. Latin America is one of the most active regions in the world in the field of open data, with a number of growing national and city-based organisations, a strong community and very creative ideas. We hope this contribution will keep the movement growing by exploring relevant challenges for an Open Latin America that will lead to new forms of innovation and strengthen relationships between citizens and their governments.

See announcement in Spanish on ILDA blog: http://idatosabiertos.org/dia-de-los-datos-abiertos-pequenos-apoyos/

 

Open Data Day Mini Grants: back for 2016!

Mor Rubinstein - January 29, 2016 in Open Data Day, open knowledge

This year, on Saturday, the 5th of March, the fourth annual Open Data Day will take place. For us in Open Knowledge, Open Data Day is one of our favourite initiatives. This is a grassroot event that has no particular organisation behind it, and it is able to bring together people from all over the world to discuss, hack and promote open data. From Japan to Vancouver, Cape Town to Oslo, Brazil to Nepal, London and Greece, Open Data Day is a global celebration of openness. It helps us all raise awareness about openness of data in different fields across the world and It unites us once a year as a community.

Last year, Open Knowledge International started the mini grant scheme to support Open Data Day events across the world. As a volunteer based event, we know how a small chunk of money can make a great difference – from getting food to your hackathon to hiring a venue to whatever you need. In 2015, with the support of ILDA, Sunlight Foundation and the Caribbean Open Institute we were able to give 28 grants all over the world and to enrich Open Data Day.

This year We are happy to announce that we will keep giving mini grants to support Open Data Day around the world. Open Knowledge will be able distribute a total amount of $7500 USD between different groups around the world. The mini grants will be in the sum of $250-$350 USD each and will serve Open Data Day 2016 events only. The deadline to all applications is Sunday, 14/2/2016.

indonesia

2015 Open Data Day participants in Indonesia

How to apply for the mini grants scheme?

First, add your event to the Open Data Day website and wiki. Then, fill out this FORM. NOTICE: Events that are not be registered on the Open Data Day website will not be considered for the grant.

Who can apply for a mini grant?

Any civil society group from anywhere around the world. We will give preference to current groups and affiliates groups that already work as part of the Open Knowledge Network, but we will consider other groups as well. Notice, we will not give this grant to governments.

Is there any topic that the event should focus on? No, it can be Open Science, Open GLAM, Open Gov… As long has it has something to do with Open Data. :-)

Are there any geographical restrictions? It doesn’t matter where your event is, you are welcome to apply. Please note that we will not fund two events in the same country, so we encourage groups to merge to one event as they can.

What is the catch? Do I have to do anything in return? Yes there is a small catch, but only for the sake of knowledge sharing and smooth operations!

  1. Since Open Data Day is really around the corner, we ask you to provide us all information for delivering your grant, within 3 working days after you have been notified you will get the grant.
  2. We do ask you to write a blog post that describes your event and what the group learned from it. We believe that in this way the Open Knowledge Network can learn better from one another and make better connections between people and ideas.

If my application is successful, how are you going to transfer us the money?

If your application was successful, you will be required to immediately provide sufficient Bank information in order to make payment. All payments will either be made via Paypal, or direct to you bank account.

When will you announce if I got the mini grant? We aim to notify all grant winners by Friday the 19/2/2016.

The deadline to all applications is Sunday, 14/2/2016.

For more information please ask in our forum, and one of us would be happy to assist. – https://discuss.okfn.org/c/network-and-community/open-data-day

OpenCon 2015 is launched

Marieke Guy - April 10, 2015 in Access to Information, Events, Open Access, Open Education

This blog post is cross-posted from the Open Access Working Group blog.

Details of OpenCon 2015 have just been announced!

OpenCon2015: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data will take place in on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium and bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.

OpenCon2015

Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC. More than 80% of these participants received full travel scholarships, provided by sponsorships from leading organizations, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, PLOS, and more than 20 universities.

“OpenCon 2015 will expand on a proven formula of bringing together the brightest young leaders across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements and connecting them with established leaders in each community,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon is equal parts conference and community. The meeting in Brussels will serve as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s three issue areas.“

OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects.

The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas.

Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts. Patrick Brown and Michael Eisen, two of the co-founders of PLOS, are confirmed for a joint keynote at the 2015 meeting.

“For the ‘open’ movements to succeed, we must invest in capacity building for the next generation of librarians, researchers, scholars, and educators,said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “OpenCon is dedicated to creating and empowering a global network of young leaders across these issues, and we are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze these efforts.”

OpenCon seeks to convene the most effective student and early career academic professional advocates—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. The majority of participants will receive full travel scholarships. Because of this, attendance is by application only, though limited sponsorship opportunities are available to guarantee a fully funded place at the conference. Applications will open on June 1, 2015.

In 2014, more than 1,700 individuals from 125 countries applied to attend the inaugural OpenCon. This year, an expanded emphasis will be placed on building the community around OpenCon and on satellite events. OpenCon satellite events are independently hosted meetings that mix content from the main conference with live presenters to localize the discussion and bring the energy of an in-person OpenCon event to a larger audience. In 2014, OpenCon satellite events reached hundreds of students and early career academic professionals in nine countries across five continents. A call for partners to host satellite events has now opened and is available at opencon2015.org.

OpenCon 2015 is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, and a committee of student and early career researcher organizations from around the world.

Applications for OpenCon 2015 will open on June 1st. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit opencon2015.org/updates. You can follow OpenCon on Twitter at @Open_Con or using the hashtag #opencon.

OpenCon2015

Open Data Day 2015 Recap #4: Hacks, Meet Ups and Data Exploration in Africa!

Katelyn Rogers - March 25, 2015 in Featured, Open Data Day, open knowledge

Open Data Day 2015, which took place on February 21, was celebrated in hundreds of communities around the world. In this blog series, we have been highlighting the discussions and outcomes of a small selection of the hacks, data dives and meetups that were organised that day. In this fourth post in the series, we will be looking at a selection of events that took place in Africa, from Tunisia to South Africa and Nigeria to Kenya! If you want to learn more about what transpired in other parts of the world, check out our recaps posts on Asia, the Americas and Europe.

Open Data Day was rocking this year on the African continent, here is just a sample of some of the incredible events that were organised through open community members!

Cameroon

As far as we can tell, the award for largest open data day event in the world goes to the open data community in Yaoundé, Cameroon who managed to pile 2,000 people into the amphitheater at the University of Yaoundé to learn about open data and its potential to improve the lives of citizens in Cameroon. Furthermore, as if 2,000 people in an university amphitheater on a Saturday afternoon wasn’t impressive enough, the event had 5,000 registered participants and incredible online engagement.

ODD Cameroon

The NetSquared Yaoundé community brought together students, open data experts and professors to listen and learn about the importance of open data and specifically the benefits that open data can bring education, economic development, citizen engagement and government transparency and accountability. In a keynote talk, the president of the College of Law and Political Science at the University of Yaoundé emphasised the importance open data for researchers in Cameroon and West Africa as a whole, highlighting that access to open data allows researchers to better understand the challenges they are facing and to developed evidence based and locally specific solutions.

Our hats are off to the open data community in Cameroon, what an exceptional result!

Tanzania

In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, open data day was attended by technologists, programmers, hackers, students, activists and NGOs, all of whom came together to grow the local open knowledge community, introduce newcomers to civic hacking and demonstrate the incredible storytelling power of data and data driven projects. Overall, the event was a great success. Several open data projects were presented and a number of open data challenges were identified discussed (for example, the lack of open licence, FOIA, and reluctance of government agencies to share data). Together, participants, shared their strategies to overcome these challenges and brainstormed an effective best path forward.

Participants acknowledged the very real challenge that the open movement is facing in Tanzania as some civil society groups still fail to see the value of coming together to collectively raise a louder voice in demanding open government data. Ultimately, participants determined that the open movement in Tanzania would benefit from increased community building efforts and targeting new partners in order to push the open agenda forward with a larger, more joined-up, base. The participants also determined that there was a need to encourage government officials to attend events like this in the future.

Nigeria

In Nigeria, the open data community organised Benin City’s first open data hackathon with resounding success.

The goal of the event was simple, to raise awareness for open data by using the agricultural sector as an example and demonstrating how data was being used by entrepreneurs in the sector. By the end of the day, organisers hoped that they would generate a pool of ideas on how to stimulate innovation within the agricultural sector through data driven applications and were pleased to report that a number of ideas emerged from the day’s discussion. Keynote presentations were used to introduce key concepts and provide examples of open data. Subsequently, participants were asked to get their hands dirty and actually work with data and think about solutions to challenges within the sector.

Open Data Day participants in Benin City worked with agriculture data from the state’s open data portal – www.data.edostate.gov.ng. The emerging projects are still in development phase and are not yet online but organisers were incredibly excited to see participants working with the data the government has been publishing!

Uganda

Kampala, Uganda was bustling with open data day activities this year, so much so that hackathons were carried out across two weekends!

Open Data Uganda

On February 28th, Reality Check organised an open data day event for journalists, researchers, entrepreneurs, students and technologists. This followed up on data storytelling from the week before. Participants learned about the strengths and weaknesses of tools like videos, pictures, charts as well as about the various tools that are available. Participants learned how to clean and visualise data it in order to use it for effective storytelling. New visualisations were created as well. .. Check it out here.

The participants discussed the progress that had been made over the past year, specifically focusing on what worked and what didn’t, in order to plan better for the year to come. The event was a great success and created such excitement among participants that many of them want to meet and discuss the subject on a monthly basis! In addition, a new google group as well as facebook page were opened to allow people can keep in touch and continue to engage with one another online as well as offline.

Finally, in February in Kampala, open data related activities were not limited to one off hackathons> check out the awesome Code for Africa Bootcamp organised the following week! February was a busy month for open data in Uganda!

Tunisia

In Tunisia, Clibre organised a meetup with a diverse group of participants to celebrate open data day 2015! There were a number of participants with little to no technical knowledge and the goal of the meetup was to expose all participants to the concept of open data and open government as well as to discuss the legal implications of open government in light of the new Tunisian constitution.

ODD Tunisia

Following the presentations and discussion, a number of initiatives using Open Data in Tunisia were presented. M. Nizar Kerkeni, president of the CLibre Association, presented the new open data portal developed for the city of Sayada. At the end of the day, after having had the chance to play around with the new data portal, M. Ramzi Hajjaji from CLibre announced that an official web portal for the city of Monastir would be launched soon, inspired by the portal developed for the city of Sayada.

You can check out a full report of the day (in French) on their website, along with a number of videos (in Arabic)!

Kenya

Kenya ODD

Open Data Day in Mombasa, Kenya was celebrated by organising four separate focus groups in order to explore the potential of open data in the following key areas: security, economy, education & conservation.

The conservation group looked at data on everything from marine and wildlife conservation to the conservation of historic buildings and sites in Mombasa. They looked for various datasets, analysed the data and created various data visualisations documenting pertinent trends. The group exploring the potential of open data on the economy built a prototype for an open tendering system for the government of Kenya, scoping the necessary features and potential impact. The participants exploring open data in education brainstormed various ways in which open data could help parents and students make more informed choices about where they go to school. Finally, in the security group, participants discussed and hacked on ways that they could use open data to combat corruption and fraud.

South Africa

In South Africa, Code for South Africa organised an Data Easter Egg Hunt! If you want to find out more, check out the awesome video they made on the day!

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