A growing data community in Paraguay

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Girolabs from Paraguay received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership, to organise events under the Open Contracting theme. The Spanish version of this blog is available at the Girolabs blog. 

For the sixth year in a row, we organised an Open Data Day event in Paraguay, as part of the Open Gov WeekThis initiative was born 9 years ago and has become a world event with more than 250 events in hundreds of cities. In Asunción, this meetup was lead by Girolabs and Fundación CIRD on 14 March, at Loffice Las Mercedes.

The meetup was a chance to bring together people that are passionate and interested in the philosophy: to connect with other people and organisations, hear about projects, experiences and exchange ideas.

For the last edition, we had an unconference format, where the participants designed the agenda for the conversations. This year, the goal was to make the number of possible projects more visible. For this reason, we selected nine initiatives (through submissions and invites) to present their work linked to Open Data.

We were surprised by the response of the community. Like never before, we had more than 160 people sign up to the event. Despite the rain of previous days in Asunción (similar to London lol), approximately 70 people attended Open Data Day Asunción 2019.

The methodology for this edition was to have 9 different sessions: we built three spaces in three different locations, where people could attend based on their interest. Loffice Las Mercedes was an ideal place to do this.

Room 1

CEAMSO  (Center for Environmental and Social Studies for its acronym in Spanish), represented by Raúl Quiñonez, shared about their Observatory of Political Financing (ONAFIP).

The Paraguayan Government was also there. Irina Vologdina from the office of Electoral Justice led the conversation about their Open Data Portal.

At the same time, Carlos Magnone from Wild-Fi Paraguay shared his experience with Frutos de Asunción (Fruits of Asunción).

Room 2

Afterwards, Juntos por la Educación represented by Maria Fe Dos Santos, Oscar Charotti and Santiago García presented the website of the Citizen Observatory of Education.

Roy Ramirez from Fundación CIRD with his initiative A Quienes Elegimos shared an analysis of data of public funds destined to political parties and the spending of the Electoral Justice department on marketing and advertising.

In parallel, Fernando Maidana of Info Paraguay shared his portal on places and activities in the country.

After an hour with a lot of inspiration, we had a break with mingling and networking. We hosted an open mic where everyone could share and hear about the ideas in the room.

Room 3

In the third and last conversation, Julio Pacielo and Juan Pane of the Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible (CDS) shared some open data on Open Contracting.

Katrina Nichuk of Maps Py talked about Open Steet Map and the OSM community in Paraguay.

Lastly, Luis Pablo Alonzo of TEDIC presented the Observatorio Anti-Pyrawebs, an initiative that opposes the law to track and store data from IP traffic.

Looking ahead

For one more year Paraguay shares the different works that use open data and shows that the society recognises the importance of people and organisations that can transform these data into valuable information for decision making. For 2020 we want to make this meeting even bigger to have greater impact, carrying proudly the ODD flag, on the Mandi’obyte version.

You can see all the even photos here.