This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Environment theme.

Data Lab (Dlab) Tanzania hosted Open Data Day at the University of Dar es Salaam and invited participants from the government and private sectors. Data for Sustainable Development was one of such participants. As advocates of open data, we took the opportunity to educate people on how to use data to drive effective decision-making.

Dlab prepared booths for all participants who wished to use the opportunity to educate visitors and introduce them to open data since the concept of open data is gaining momentum albeit slowly in Tanzania.

We believe that healthcare services can be improved tremendously when supported by geographic data. If information about the environment [where we live and work] is included as part of the medication, it will help to know and trace the environmental causes of diseases before they spread.

Below are pictures showing the Project Coordinator for Data for Sustainable Development, Abas, engaging some visitors on the use of open data.

Journalist and others visit the Open Data booths

Abas explained to a journalist on how he can use data visualisation to tell great and impactful stories which can stimulate the curiosity of readers and help them engage with issues of community and national importance without the need to use thousands of words. The journalist was also shown how demographic data can be used to serve the need of the community. For instance, choosing the site of new hospitals or clinics can be based on demands and demographic factors.

Some visitors were introduced to the importance of Geospatial ecosystem and its relevance for the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially in Tanzania.

Others were also introduced to how population growth and urban migration in Dares Salaam city contribute to increasing of epidemics like cholera outbreak. On the roller banner, visitors were shown pictures of dumpsites that are closer to residential areas and might lead to the outbreak of diseases such as diarrhea.

Also present was the Regional Coordinator for the Millennium Challenge Corporation and his team who engaged us in a discussion on how geographic information can be used in healthcare services to support health professionals to relate environment we living or working with the source of diseases.








We are most grateful to Open Knowledge International for making it possible for us to celebrate open data day at the University of Dar es Salaam.