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.
For the first time in history, the Institute for Social Transformation (IST) in collaboration with Centre for Leadership and Management (CLM) both within TUC celebrated the International Open Data Day on the 7th March 2020. This is an annual event whose aim is to open up data to improve efficiency and effectiveness of performance in different development spheres such as economic, social, political, environmental, education, cultural among others. Coordinated by Dr. Judith Pete, an open educational resources and open educational practices scholar, the university organised a series of events to mark this important day.
The TUC team undertook activities focusing on how to challenge the climate change impacts using open data. This was highlighted as “Opening Up Data to Counter Climate Change Impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa”. The activities were:
Indigenous trees were identified and planted within the university compound and to every home of all the attendees. Over three hundred seedlings were bought and shared among all the participants, who were also advised to advocate for indigenous tree planting across local villages to counter the impacts especially to agricultural production regions which will be hardest hit by climate change.
Environmental data talk
This session called on all the faculty members and researchers to openly share their data to help in curbing the challenges that are currently affecting our community. The diverse benefits of open data ranging from improved efficiency of private and public sectors to economic, social and political effects was covered in depth. It was also clear that open data can easily enhance performance and improve quality of public services to all if sharing becomes a norm and a culture in our higher learning institutions. Increased access to information, content and relevant knowledge can in turn contribute to economic development through innovations and creation of new business and academic models for sustainable future. The motivational talk ended by this slogan: My Data, our strength for a sustainable future.
Mother Nature walk
Since our theme was environmental data, the TUC team carried out a 6km walk within the city of Tangaza to mark International Open Data Day to draw attention to the natural environment. This has led to a number of positive proposals for future organisation of similar events that attracts and sensitises the local communities on climate change and its impacts in our midst.
Data is power. Opening up data is a sure way of ensuring that performance is achieved. Improved social welfare, economic growth, sustainable development as well as effective and efficient service delivery at public and private sectors can only be felt through open data.
Tangaza University College is now going ‘open up’. To this effect, Open Data Day will be celebrated annually at different institutes’ levels. We very much appreciated the financial support from Open Knowledge Foundation that helped us to carry out these key activities.