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Global Open Data Index – Kosovo Insight

Open Knowledge - December 14, 2015 in open knowledge

his post was written by Arianit Dobroshi

Kosovo is ranked 35th in the 2015 Open Knowledge Global Open Data Index , down from 31st place in last year’s measurement and marked as 43% open. In South East Europe, Albania ranked 37th and Macedonia, 69th. Others, such as Serbia and Bosnia, have not been scored since they did not submit all datasets to this year’s Index.

The drop in ranking is due to three reasons:

Firstly, the Government did not make any advancements in open data during 2015 on the datasets the Index covers.

Secondly, there are still copyright notices that mark content on public websites as protected, when actually it is in public domain. This is done despite the Law on Copyright which places documents the Government produces with the purpose of informing the public into the public domain.

Thirdly, Kosovo ranks particularly low in the four new datasets that were added this year to the Index. Kosovo is completely missing two datasets: Location datasets and Weather forecast. The Hydro-meteorology Institute collects the required weather data on their website but they are published only for a few days and then removed.

While the government of Kosovo does a fine job collecting the data in question, the data is not made publicly available on what I suspect are, for the most part, pure organizational reasons rather than political or technical ones. While this is unfortunate, the good news is that improvement would be quite easy. The requirements are modest to start with and Kosovo has already met most of the publishing criteria.

Let’s divide it into the index criteria:

Kosovo public data is in digital form; again not a fancy requirement today since having it otherwise makes it more burdensome for public officials.

Open License: Kosovo copyright law is rather good in placing public documents in the public domain for free use, including for commercial purposes, with the exception of the national map which is protected and commercialized by the Cadastre Agency. The Law on Access to Public Documents is another matter, however, since it stops use of documents accessed through this law “for commercial or propaganda purposes”. On machine readability, it starts getting tricky as many of the public websites were not developed with this requirement in mind.

On bulk availability Kosovo again misses out. Here the country would probably score worse if it was not for some of the datasets being shared in simple Excel format. We have quite a bit of spreadsheets and not enough databases. In cases of good databases, the public can’t access them in bulk.

We score well on up to date provision, but once again requirements are not very high here. Pollution data for example, are required on a yearly basis.

Where do we go from here?

The Kosovo Open Government Partnership Action Plan (in Albanian) has an action item dedicated to Open Data. An Open Data Portal has been set up this year, though the datasets provided are rather limited at this point. The Office of the Prime Minister has started consultations on amending the Law on Access to Information to include the EU Directive on the re-use of public sector information which will provide a strong legal basis for open public data by positively committing the country to an open PSI policy.

Fresh devotion needs to be found about open government data once again. Not that the outcome will be the panacea to Kosovo’s problems, but it will strengthen transparency and evidence-based policy making and offer a strong base for other good governance efforts in Kosovo.

Post-war Kosovo was lucky to establish an administration without the burden of legacy systems. yet from the age of policy decision making to the current status, the lack of capacity and ability to adapt is beginning to be an impetus to the country’s progress.

Global Open Data Index 2015 – Rwanda insight

Open Knowledge - December 9, 2015 in open knowledge

This post was written by Stephen Abbott Pugh from Code for Africa

Rwanda’s jump in the Global Open Data index rankings from 74th to 44th comes at a time when the open data conversation is gathering pace in the country.

As Rwanda’s cabinet prepares to debate the draft national open data policy in early 2016, the focus over the next year should move from the supply of data to stimulating demand and encouraging use of open data.

The good news is that an early draft of Rwanda’s national policy recognises this stating that the aim “is to achieve a sustainable open data initiative that addresses both the supply and the reuse of open data” and that “demand for data and engagement with user communities are vital”. The policy also acknowledges how open data will help monitor and evaluate Rwanda’s progress towards its national development targets.

Once the policy is in place, the Government of Rwanda’s open data team could focus on making budget documents/data available in open formats and providing more up-to-date data on mapping and land use which would build on the work already done to open up location data and land ownership information.

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Projects like the Girl Impact Map show how to unlock the value of this geographical data while the annual infographics competition run by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda demonstrates how important it is for local partners to use open data and make it accessible to the public.

Key stakeholders at the recently-announced centre of excellence for the sustainable development goals – to be created in Rwanda’s capital Kigali – could also help stimulate data demand in the country and set an international example by working with local developers to create projects which make good use of open government data.

Stephen Abbott Pugh is an ICFJ Knight international journalism fellow based in Rwanda. He works as the engagement strategist at Code for Africa and is the co-founder of Tumenye, a civic technology company in Rwanda.

Global Open Data Index 2015 – Uruguay Insight

Open Knowledge - December 9, 2015 in Global Open Data Index, Ideas and musings, open knowledge

This post was written by Daniel Carranza from DataUY

Uruguay has made headlines in the news lately. Mostly due to our unconventional former president José “Pepe” Mujica, and initiatives such as legalized abortion, regulated marijuana market and egalitarian marriage. It’s not the first time that our small country brings up innovative ideas ,as with divorce by mere will of the wife or the 8 hour workday at the beginning of the 20th century. But what most people don’t see behind the “maverick” headlines is the steady – but usually slow – processes that follow. Our country is not -and probably never was- in a rush. And Open Data doesn’t escape that contradictory logic that reigns everything over here; that tension between innovation and resistance to change.

This year’s seventh position in the Global Open Data Index tells only part of that story.

Open Data initiatives had a relatively early start in Uruguay from the government side, but amazingly demand actually came after that. Government policy and initiatives, such as it’s Open Data Portal, have been praised and recognized internationally, but we’re still working on a firm legal framework that supports all those initiatives for the long term. In civil society, we’ve been lucky enough to launch a couple of surprisingly successful projects (ATuServicio.uy, Rampita, PreciosUY), but struggle with only a handful of organizations (grouped at the Red de Gobierno Abierto) actively involved in Open Data and Open Government. We need to “open“ the open data space (pun absolutely intended).

The challenge is then to keep moving forward. To rid ourselves from our conservative instincts and keep pushing until Open Data is the norm, not an effort, and requires less of all of the ecosystem’s energy. Reaching the Index’s top 10 should help us tip the scales just enough to keep things moving, but the risk of conformity is there, waiting for the slightest distraction.

The best news is that most of the actors involved in open data are working together on this, and it gives us the hope that the only way on is forward. Another trait of our country is closeness; you can share a seat on a bus with a Senator or call some big shot in government and actually get an answer. The same goes for middle managers -many of whom became our friends-, crucial players in delivering on the promise of Open Data. You see this among the relationships that build the Open Data ecosystem as well. This gives us incredible opportunities for dialogue, collaboration and most importantly co-creation. From a roundtable dialogue, to actually drafting legislation. Now it’s time to be calm, but bold. So we can keep advancing at our own pace, to our own mellow rhythm, but firmly moving forward.

Global Open Data Index 2015 – United Kingdom Insight

Open Knowledge - December 9, 2015 in Global Open Data Index, open knowledge

This post was written by Owen Boswarva

For a third year running the United Kingdom has come out at or near the top of the Global Open Data Index. Unlike many of the countries that did well in previous years, the UK’s overall standing has not been greatly affected by the addition of five new categories. This demonstrates the broad scope of the UK’s open data programme. Practitioners within UK government who work to develop and release open datasets have much of which to be proud.

However the UK’s role as an open data leader also carries the risk of overconfidence. Policymakers can easily be tempted to rest on their laurels. If we look in more detail at this year’s submissions we can find plenty of learning points and areas for further development. There are also some signs the UK open data agenda may be losing momentum.

The biggest gap this year is in election results data, with the Electoral Commission dataset disqualified because it only reports down to constituency level. The criteria have changed from previous years, so this decision may seem a little harsh. But globally most electoral fraud takes place at the polling station. The UK is a mature democracy and should set an example by publishing more granular data.

There is a similar weakness in UK public data on water quality, which is available only at a high level in annual reports from regulators. Environmental data in general has been a mixed bag in 2015. Ordnance Survey, which maps most of the UK, published the first detailed open map of the river network; and the environment department Defra announced an ambition to release 8,000 open datasets. However there is a noticeable absence of open bulk data for historical weather observations and air pollution measurements.

UK progress on open data is also held back by the status of land ownership data. Ownership records and land boundaries are maintained by Land Registry and other government agencies. But despite (or perhaps because of) the considerable public interest in understanding how property wealth is distributed in the UK, this invaluable data is accessible only on commercial terms.

In other categories we can see deteriorations in the quality of UK open data.

National Archives is struggling to maintain its much-admired Legislation.gov.uk dataset. The latest version of Contracts Finder, an open search facility for public sector procurement contracts, no longer offers bulk downloads. Government digital strategy is turning steadily towards APIs and away from support for analytic re-use of public data.

Can the UK sustain its record of achievement in open data policy? Most of the central funding streams that supported open data release in recent years came to an end in 2015. A number of user engagement groups and key initiatives have either been wound up or left to drift. Urban and local open data hubs are thriving, but political devolution and lack of centralised collection are creating regional disparities in the availability of open data. Truly national datasets, those that help us understand the UK as a nation, are becoming harder to find.

UK open data policy may play well on the international stage, but at home there is still plenty of work for campaigners to do.

Profile photo of Open Knowledge Featured

The Global Open Data Index 2015 is live – what is your country status?

Open Knowledge - December 9, 2015 in Global Open Data Index, open knowledge

We are excited to announce that we have published the third annual Global Open Data Index. This year’s Index showed impressive gains from non-OECD countries with Taiwan topping the Index and Colombia and Uruguay breaking into the top ten at four and seven respectively. Overall, the Index evaluated 122 places and 1586 datasets and determined that only 9%, or 156 datasets, were both technically and legally open.

The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of data in thirteen key categories, including government spending, election results, procurement, and pollution levels. Over the summer, we held a public consultation, which saw contributions from individuals within the open data community as well as from key civil society organisations across an array of sectors. As a result of this consultation, we expanded the 2015 Index to include public procurement data, water quality data, land ownership data and weather data; we also decided to removed transport timetables due to the difficulties faced when comparing transport system data globally.

Open Knowledge International began to systematically track the release of open data by national governments in 2013 with the objective of measuring if governments were releasing the key datasets of high social and democratic value as open data. That enables us to better understand the current state of play and in turn work with civil society actors to address the gaps in data release. Over the course of the last three years, the Global Open Data Index has become more than just a benchmark – we noticed that governments began to use the Index as a reference to inform their open data priorities and civil society actors began to use the Index advocacy tool to encourage governments to improve their performance in releasing key datasets.

Furthermore, indices such as the Global Open Data Index are not without their challenges. The Index measures the technical and legal openness of datasets deemed to be of critical democratic and social value – it does not measure the openness of a given government. It should be clear that the release of a few key datasets is not a sufficient measure of the openness of a government. The blurring of lines between open data and open government is nothing new and has been hotly debated by civil society groups and transparency organisations since the sharp rise in popularity of open data policies over the last decade.

odi-600 While the goal of the Index has never been to measure the openness of governments, we have been working in collaborations with others to make the index more than just a benchmark of data release. This year, by collaborating with topical experts across an array of sectors, we were able to improve our dataset category definitions to ensure that we are measuring data that civil society groups require rather than simply the data that governments happen to be collecting.

Next year we will be doubling down on this effort to work in collaboration with topical experts to go beyond a “baseline” of reference datasets which are widely held to be important, to tracking the release of datasets deemed critical by the civil society groups working in a given field. This effort is both experimental and ambitious. Measuring open data is not trivial and we are keenly aware of the balance that needs to be struck between international comparability and local context and we will continue to work to get this balance right. Join us on the Index forum to join these future discussions.

Government contracts: Still a long way from open

Open Knowledge - December 9, 2015 in open knowledge

This blog post was written by Georg Neumann from Open Contracting

Global Open Data Index: State of disclosure and data of government contracts

For the first time ever, the Global Open Data Index is assessing open data on tenders and awards in this year’s index. This is crucial information. Government deals with companies amount to $9.5 trillion globally. That’s about 15% of global GDP. Schools, hospitals, roads, street lights, paper clips: all of these are managed through public procurement.

Public procurement is the number one risk of corruption and fraud in government. Too often, when government and business meet, public interest is not the highest priority. Scandals from failed contracting processes abound: ‘tofu’ schools, constructed to substandard specifications in an earthquake zone, that fell down on their students; provision of fake medicine and medical equipment that kills patients; phantom contracts siphoning off billions of dollars dedicated to national security; or kick-back schemes in contracts that steal direly needed monies from school children.

To make sure this money is spent fairly and honestly, it is essential that data is disclosed on how much, when and with whom governments spend money on.

This is why we were delighted that the Open Contracting Partnership was asked to evaluate the submissions from the more than 120 countries participating in this year’s index. The Index assesses whether monthly information on both tenders and awards is available and basic information disclosed. This should include name, description and status of a tender, as well as the name, description, value and supplier information of an award or a contract. Ideally, this information should not only be public, but also machine-readable and downloadable as a complete dataset.

Here are some of the highlights and aggregated findings of what we learned.

The bad news first: Government contracts are a long way from being open. Less than 10% of the countries surveyed provide timely, machine-readable and openly licensed data on tenders and awards of government contracts. Without this information available to the public, there is little opportunity to scrutinise and monitor public spending.

Now the good news: We can see a trend towards publishing more data and doing so in an open format. 11 countries is definitely progress and it is clear that some global champions are beginning to emerge. Some of the credit, we hope, could go to the Open Contracting Data Standard, that is being implemented in countries such as Canada, Paraguay, and the ProZorro procurement portal being currently developed in Ukraine. Other countries are implementing open data on contracting after committing to them in their National Action Plans under the Open Government Partnership, such as Colombia, Mexico and Romania.

The Index doesn’t score quality, so this is important to keep this in mind when looking at the data. At the Open Contracting Partnership, we are aware that the quality of disclosed data on tenders and contracts varies strongly. The better the quality of contract information and the more recent is, the more valuable it is for evaluation, analysis, and monitoring. While timeliness of the data in general was relatively good, the quality of the open data is still problematic.

Digiwhist, a research initiative, has looked at the amount of information actually available in tenders and contracts in the EU and found common id’s are rarely available to match tender and award data, government agencies and business. a key quality issue of this data.

Other findings of the Open Data Index include:

More countries publish tenders rather than awards data: Focussing on publishing tender data makes business sense. More competition drives savings. In Slovakia, opening up the procurement process has led to doubling the number of bidders and reduced costs. But to be able to track public spending, matching awards to tenders is crucial. Over 100 countries and places now publish both tender and award data.

Information can be public, but is not necessarily open. The majority of countries have well developed e-procurement platforms through which they publish information. In the majority, these systems are closed and so is the data. You could have a lot more public openness from a relatively small investment in publishing the data in reuseable, accessible formats. Contract data needs to be aggregated to ensure all information is available in one place. In many countries only some sectors of government publish tenders and awards data.

Countries shouldn’t hide behind official thresholds of beyond which amount contracts should be publish. All contracts should be made available publicly. However, thresholds for publication of tenders and awards varies strongly by country. EU countries, for examples, have to publish tenders above specific amounts via the electronic tender database TED. Systems for publishing nationally or locally are much less standardised. This allows for all EU submissions to qualify as publishing open procurement data even though some countries, such as Germany, do not publish award value for contracts below those thresholds, and others have closed systems to access specific information on contracts awarded.

Timeliness and completeness of downloadable data on awarded contracts, is an issue. Formats for downloads are diverse as well, going anywhere from a PDF download to a full set of XML or JSON data. We have given brownie points to 18 countries that publish some bulk downloads, but this criteria definitely needs tightening. To qualify, the datasets needed to be updated more frequently than just yearly to ensure data is relevant to analyze recent contracts.

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Lot’s of work needed, as these results of the index shows. Looking forward, at the Open Contracting Partnership we believe that next year’s results can be only improved by implementing the following policies.

Open data on contracts is a key dataset that adds value to all stakeholders involved. This is why contracts should not be legal and enforceable until published. There are too few countries who have made publishing contract data open by default. Credit to those who have such as Colombia, Georgia, Slovakia and, hopefully, the Czech Republic.

Public procurement is a process that starts at the planning stage and ends only with the final service or construction being delivered. To harness the most of open data, engagement and feedback channels need to be available to get problems fixed. Data on complaints and contract adjustments needs to be made public as well.

By publishing more data on government contracts, citizens will be able to follow the money from planning to implementation of policies, from the budget to the actual contracts, to showing how taxes are being spent, and how this benefits citizens.

While this year’s Open Data Index first assessment of open data of awards and tenders highlights many of the deficiencies, some positive trends can be detected where information has been made public. Everyone has to gain from open and better quality data on government contracts. Government receive more value for money in their investments. Business, especially small and medium enterprises and minority-owned enterprises, gain access to a fair marketplace of contracting opportunities with the government. Citizen can evaluate how money is spent and managed. Going the extra mile to make government deals with companies truly open might be just the way to show the real impact of open data.

Calling all Project Assistants: we need you!

Open Knowledge - November 12, 2015 in Jobs, News

The mission of Open Knowledge International is to open up all essential public interest information and see it utilized to create insight that drives change. To this end we work to create a global movement for open knowledge, supporting a network of leaders and local groups around the world; we facilitate coordination and knowledge sharing within the movement; we build collaboration with other change-making organisations both within our space and outside; and, finally, we prototype and provide a home for pioneering products.

A decade after its foundation, Open Knowledge International is ready for its next phase of development. We started as an organisation that led the quest for the opening up of existing data sets – and in today’s world most of the big data portals run on CKAN, an open source software product developed first by us.

Today, it is not only about opening up of data; it is making sure that this data is usable, useful and – most importantly – used, to improve people’s lives. Our current projects (OpenSpending, OpenTrials, School of Data, and many more) all aim towards giving people access to data, the knowledge to understand it, and the power to use it in our everyday lives.

Now, we are looking for an enthusiastic

Project Assistant

(flexible location, part time)

to join the team to help deliver our projects around the world. We are seeking people who care about openness and have the commitment to make it happen.

We do not require applicants to have experience of project management – instead, we would like to work with motivated self-starters, able to demonstrate engagement with initiatives within the open movement. If you have excellent written and verbal communication skills, are highly organised and efficient with strong administration and analytical abilities, are interested in how projects are managed and are willing to learn, we want to hear from you.

The role includes the following responsibilities:

  • Monitoring and reporting of ongoing work progress to Project Managers and on occasion to other stakeholders
  • Research and investigation
  • Coordination of, and communication with, the project team, wider organisation, volunteers and stakeholders
  • Documentation, including creating presentations, document control, proof-reading, archiving, distributing and collecting
  • Meeting and event organisation, including scheduling, booking, preparing documents, minuting, and arranging travel and accommodation where needed
  • Project communication and promotion, including by email, blog, social media, networking online and in person
  • Liaising with staff across the organisation to offer and for support, eg public communication and finance

Projects you may be involved with include Open Data for Development, OpenTrials and OpenSpending, as well as new projects in future.

This role requires someone who can be flexible and comfortable with remote working, able to operate in a professional environment and participate in grassroots activities. Experience working as and with volunteers is advantageous.

You are comfortable working with people from different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. You are happy to share your knowledge with others, and you find working in transparent and highly visible environments interesting and fun.

Personally, you have a demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively, with respect and a focus on results over credit.

The position reports to the Project Manager and will work closely with other members of the project delivery team.

The role is part-time at 20 hours per week, paid by the hour. You will be compensated with a market salary, in line with the parameters of a non-profit-organisation.

This would particularly suit recent graduates who have studied a complementary subject to Open Knowledge International, looking for some experience in the workplace.

Successful applicants must have excellent English language skills in both speaking and writing.

You can work from home, with flexibility offered and required. Some flexibility around work hours is useful, and there may be some (infrequent) international travel required.

We offer employment contracts for residents of the UK with valid permits, and services contracts to overseas residents.

Interested? Then send us a motivational letter and a one page CV via https://okfn.org/about/jobs/. Please indicate your current country of residence, as well as your salary expectations (in GBP) and your earliest availability.

Early application is encouraged, as we are looking to fill the positions as soon as possible. These vacancies will close when we find a suitable candidate.

If you have any questions, please direct them to jobs [at] okfn.org.

Treasures from the Public Domain in New Essays Book

Adam Green - November 12, 2015 in Featured, Public Domain, Public Domain Review

PDRBook2014_Cover2_540

Open Knowledge project The Public Domain Review is very proud to announce the launch of its second book of selected essays! For nearly five years now we’ve been diligently trawling the rich waters of the public domain, bringing to the surface all sorts of goodness from various openly licensed archives of historical material: from the Library of Congress to the Rijksmuseum, from Wikimedia Commons to the wonderful Internet Archive. We’ve also been showcasing, each fortnight, new writing on a selection of these public domain works, and this new book picks out our very best offerings from 2014.

All manner of oft-overlooked histories are explored in the book. We learn of the strange skeletal tableaux of Frederik Ruysch, pay a visit to Humphry Davy high on laughing gas, and peruse the pages of the first ever picture book for children (which includes the excellent table of Latin animal sounds pictured below). There’s also fireworks in art, petty pirates on trial, brainwashing machines, truth-revealing diseases, synesthetic auras, Byronic vampires, and Charles Darwin’s photograph collection of asylum patients. Together the fifteen illustrated essays chart a wonderfully curious course through the last five hundred years of history — from sea serpents of the 16th-century deep to early-20th-century Ouija literature — taking us on a journey through some of the darker, stranger, and altogether more intriguing corners of the past.

Order by 18th November to benefit from a special reduced price and delivery in time for Christmas


If you are wanting to get the book in time for Christmas (and we do think it’d make an excellent gift for that history-loving relative or friend!), then please make sure to order before midnight on Wednesday 18th November. Orders placed before this date will also benefit from a special reduced price!

Please visit the dedicated page on The Public Domain Review site to learn more and also buy the book!

Double page spread (full bleed!), showing a magnificent 18th-century print of a fireworks display at the Hague – from our essay on how artists have responded to the challenge of depicting fireworks through the ages.

Announcement – Open Definition 2.1

Rufus Pollock - November 10, 2015 in Open Definition, open knowledge

Today Open Knowledge and the Open Definition Advisory Council are pleased to announce the release of version 2.1 of the Open Definition. The definition “sets out principles that define openness in relation to data and content” and continues to play a key role in supporting the growing open ecosystem.

The Open Definition was first published in 2005 by Open Knowledge and is maintained today by an expert Advisory Council. This new version is a refinement of version 2.0, which was the most significant revision in the Definition’s nearly eleven-year history.

This version is a result of over one year of discussion and consultation with the community including input from experts involved in open data, open access, open culture, open education, open government, and open source. This version continues to adhere to the core principles while strengthening and clarifying the Definition in three main areas.

What’s New

Version 2.1 incorporates the following changes:

  • Section 1.1 Open License or Status, formerly named Open License, has been changed to more clearly and explicitly include works that while not released under a license per se, are still considered open, such as works in the public domain.
  • In Version 2.0, section 1.3 specified the requirement for both machine readability and open formats. In Version 2.1 these requirements are now separated into their own sections 1.3 Machine Readability and 1.4 Open Format.
  • The new 1.4 Open Format section has been strengthened such that in order to be considered open, the work has to be able to be both in a format which places no restrictions, monetary or otherwise and it has to be able to be fully processed by at least one free/libre/open-source software tool. In version 2.0 only one of these conditions was needed to satisfy the requirement.
  • An attribution addendum has been added to recognize the work that the definition is based on.

Version 2.1 also includes several other less significant changes to enhance clarity and better convey the requirements and acceptable conditions.

More Information

Authors

This post was written by Herb Lainchbury, Chair of the Open Definition Advisory Council and Rufus Pollock, President and Founder of Open Knowledge.

Join the School of Data team: Technical Trainer wanted

Open Knowledge - November 9, 2015 in Featured, Jobs, School of Data

Background

The mission of Open Knowledge International is to open up all essential public interest information and see it utilized to create insight that drives change. To this end we work to create a global movement for open knowledge, supporting a network of leaders and local groups around the world; we facilitate coordination and knowledge sharing within the movement; we build collaboration with other change-making organisations both within our space and outside; and, finally, we prototype and provide a home for pioneering products.

A decade after its foundation, Open Knowledge International is ready for its next phase of development. We started as an organisation that led the quest for the opening up of existing data sets – and in today’s world most of the big data portals run on CKAN, an open source software product developed first by us.

Today, it is not only about opening up of data; it is making sure that this data is usable, useful and – most importantly – used, to improve people’s lives. Our current projects (School of Data, OpenSpending, OpenTrials, and many more) all aim towards giving people access to data, the knowledge to understand it, and the power to use it in our everyday lives.

The School of Data is growing in size and scope, and to support this project – alongside our partners – we are looking for an enthusiastic Technical Trainer (flexible location, part time).

School of Data is a network of data literacy practitioners, both organisations and individuals, implementing training and other data literacy activities in their respective countries and regions. Members of the School of Data work to empower civil society organizations (CSOs), journalists, governments and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively in their efforts to create better, more equitable and more sustainable societies. Over the past four years, School of Data has succeeded in developing and sustaining a thriving and active network of data literacy practitioners in partnership with our implementing partners across Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Our local implementing partners are Social TIC, Code for Africa, Metamorphosis, and several Open Knowledge chapters around the world. Together, we have produced dozens of lessons and hands-on tutorials on how to work with data published online, benefitting thousands of people around the world. Over 4500 people have attended our tailored training events, and our network has mentored dozens of organisations to become tech savvy and data driven. Our methodologies and approach for delivering hands-on data training and data literacy skills – such as the data expedition – have now been replicated in various formats by organisations around the world.

One of our flagship initiatives, the School of Data Fellowship Programme, was first piloted in 2013 and has now successfully supported 26 fellows in 25 countries to provide long-term data support to CSOs in their communities. School of Data coordination team members are also consistently invited to give support locally to fellows in their projects and organisations that want to become more data-savvy.

In order to give fellows a solid point of reference in terms of content development and training resources, and also to have a point person to give capacity building support for our members and partners around the world, School of Data is now hiring an outstanding trainer/consultant who’s familiar with all the steps of the Data Pipeline and School of Data’s innovative training methodology to be the all-things-content-and-training for the School of Data network.

Objectives

The hired professional will have three main objectives:

  • Technical Trainer & Data Wrangler: represent School of Data in training activities around the world, either supporting local members through our Training Dispatch or delivering the training themselves;
  • Data Pipeline & Training Consultant: give support for members and fellows regarding training (planning, agenda, content) and curriculum development using School of Data’s Data Pipeline;
  • Curriculum development: work closely with the Programme Manager & Coordination team to steer School of Data’s curriculum development, updating and refreshing our resources as novel techniques and tools arise.

Terms of Reference

  • Attend regular (weekly) planning calls with School of Data Coordination Team;
  • Work with current and future School of Data funders and partners in data-literacy related activities in an assortment of areas: Extractive Industries, Natural Disaster, Health, Transportation, Elections, etc;
  • Be available to organise and run in person data-literacy training events around the world, sometimes in short notice (agenda, content planning, identifying data sources, etc);
  • Provide reports of training events and support given to members and partners of School of Data Network;
  • Work closely with all School of Data Fellows around the world to aid them in their content development and training events planning & delivery;
  • Write for the School of Data blog about curriculum and training events;
  • Take ownership of the development of curriculum for School of Data and support training events of the School of Data network;
  • Work with Fellows and other School of Data Members to design and develop their skillshare curriculum;
  • Coordinate support for the Fellows when they do their trainings;
  • Mentor Fellows including monthly point person calls, providing feedback on blog posts and curriculum & general troubleshooting;
  • The position reports to School of Data’s Programme Manager and will work closely with other members of the project delivery team;
  • This part-time role is paid by the hour. You will be compensated with a market salary, in line with the parameters of a non-profit-organisation;
  • We offer employment contracts for residents of the UK with valid permits, and services contracts to overseas residents

Deliverables

  • A lightweight monthly report of performed activities with Fellows and members of the network;
  • A final narrative report at the end of the first period (6 months) summarising performed activities;
  • Map the current School of Data curriculum to diagnose potential areas of improvement and to update;
  • Plan and suggest a curriculum development & training delivery toolkit for Fellows and members of the network

Requirements

  • Be self-motivated and autonomous;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (Spanish & French are a plus);
  • Reliable internet connection;
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills;
  • Proven experience running and planning training events;
  • Proven experience developing curriculum around data-related topics;
  • Experience working remotely with workmates in multiple timezones is a plus;
  • Experience in project management;
  • Major in Journalism, Computer Science, or related field is a plus

We strive for diversity in our team and encourage applicants from the Global South and from minorities.

Duration

Six months to one year: from November 2015 (as soon as possible) to April 2016, with the possibility to extend until October 2016 and beyond, at 10-12 days per month (8 hours/day).

Application Process

Interested? Then send us a motivational letter and a one page CV via https://okfn.org/about/jobs/.

Please indicate your current country of residence, as well as your salary expectations (in GBP) and your earliest availability.

Early application is encouraged, as we are looking to fill the positions as soon as possible. These vacancies will close when we find a suitable candidate.

Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis and may be requested on short notice.

If you have any questions, please direct them to jobs [at] okfn.org.

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