On Saturday 7th March 2020, the tenth Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme

This blogpost is a report by Mohammed Galib Hasan from the Creative Commons Bangladesh Chapter who received funding from Datopian to host a mini conference to discuss the benefits of open source projects and open government data in the country.

Celebrating Open Data Day at the Bangladesh Open University

Celebrating Open Data Day at the Bangladesh Open University

For the first time, the Creative Commons Bangladesh Chapter arranged International Open Data Day at the Bangladesh Open University on 13th March 2020. It was a collaborative effort of Creative Commons Bangladesh Chapter and the university and was also the first event of the Creative Commons Bangladesh chapter related to open data.

The aim of our Open Data Day event was creating a platform for bringing together open knowledge enthusiasts from different communities and support a series of collaborative events for enhancing knowledge about free and open source software, open data, open content and various open knowledge technologies in Bangladesh. The event was divided into three different activities: presentations; a quiz; and a prize-giving ceremony.

About 45 students joined us on the day, with most of them coming from the Bangladesh Open University Regional Centre. As the main organiser, I opened the event with a speech giving a brief introduction to Open Data Day, how it is observed around the world, and specially why it is necessary for a country like Bangladesh.

Open Data Day participants at the Bangladesh Open University

Open Data Day participants at the Bangladesh Open University

Later Professor Mostafa Azad Kamal, Dean of the School of Business and country representative for the Creative Commons Bangladesh Chapter delivered his speech on Creative Commons. He mentioned the necessity of open access, open data as well open education. He also discussed open educational resources as well as its policy implementation process in Bangladesh.    

After his valuable speech Sawan Shariar, the deputy volunteer coordinator at Team BHOOT (Bangladesh Humanitarian Open Street Map Operations Team), delivered a presentation on OpenStreetMap and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap project. He also took a session on how participants can contribute to OpenStreetMap by playing games. He also discussed how OpenStreetMap contributes to humanitarian responses in the event of disasters like earthquakes, floods, etc.

After the presentation of the keynote speakers, we started our second activity, an Open Data Day quiz where participants were allowed to use the Internet to find the answers from any open contents available. The participants really enjoyed this activity and the winners received Open Data Day T-shirts.

Quiz winners receive an Open Data Day T-shirt at the Bangladesh Open University

Quiz winners receive an Open Data Day T-shirt at the Bangladesh Open University

Later the Pro VC of Bangladesh Open University, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, delivered a closing speech, as well as handing over the prizes to winners.

Overall it was a really great event between the open source community in Bangladesh. As we believe that by this event we were able to promote open data activities in Bangladesh by doing these activities. Hopefully we will continue this event in future years with the support of the global community.