New Open Knowledge Initiative on the Future of Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Jonathan Gray - October 21, 2014 in OKF Projects, Open Access, Open Humanities, Open Research, WG Humanities

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To coincide with Open Access Week, Open Knowledge is launching a new initiative focusing on the future of open access in the humanities and social sciences.

The Future of Scholarship project aims to build a stronger, better connected network of people interested in open access in the humanities and social sciences. It will serve as a central point of reference for leading voices, examples, practical advice and critical debate about the future of humanities and social sciences scholarship on the web.

If you’d like to join us and hear about new resources and developments in this area, please leave us your details and we’ll be in touch.

For now we’ll leave you with some thoughts on why open access to humanities and social science scholarship matters:

“Open access is important because it can give power and resources back to academics and universities; because it rightly makes research more widely and publicly available; and because, like it or not, it’s beginning and this is our brief chance to shape its future so that it benefits all of us in the humanities and social sciences” – Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London.

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“For scholars, open access is the most important movement of our times. It offers an unprecedented opportunity to open up our research to the world, irrespective of readers’ geographical, institutional or financial limitations. We cannot falter in pursuing a fair academic landscape that facilitates such a shift, without transferring prohibitive costs onto scholars themselves in order to maintain unsustainable levels of profit for some parts of the commercial publishing industry.” Dr Caroline Edwards, Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London and Co-Founder of the Open Library of Humanities

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“If you write to be read, to encourage critical thinking and to educate, then why wouldn’t you disseminate your work as far as possible? Open access is the answer.” – Martin Eve, Co-Founder of the Open Library of Humanities and Lecturer, University of Lincoln.

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“Our open access monograph The History Manifesto argues for breaking down the barriers between academics and wider publics: open-access publication achieved that. The impact was immediate, global and uniquely gratifying–a chance to inject ideas straight into the bloodstream of civic discussion around the world. Kudos to Cambridge University Press for supporting innovation!” — David Armitage, Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Harvard University and co-author of The History Manifesto

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“Technology allows for efficient worldwide dissemination of research and scholarship. But closed distribution models can get in the way. Open access helps to fulfill the promise of the digital age. It benefits the public by making knowledge freely available to everyone, not hidden behind paywalls. It also benefits authors by maximizing the impact and dissemination of their work.” – Jennifer Jenkins, Senior Lecturing Fellow and Director, Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Duke University

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“Unhappy with your current democracy providers? Work for political and institutional change by making your research open access and joining the struggle for the democratization of democracy” – Gary Hall, co-founder of Open Humanities Press and Professor of Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University

Celebrating Open Access Week by highlighting community projects!

Christian Villum - October 20, 2014 in Featured, Open Access, Open Access Week

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This week is Open Access Week all around the world, and from Open Knowledge’s side we are following up on last year’s tradition by putting together a blog post series to highlight great Open Access projects and activities in communities around the world. Every day this week will feature a new writer and activity.

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its eighth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

This past year has seen lots in great progress and with the Open Knowledge blog we want to help amplify this amazing work done in communities around the world:

  • Tuesday, Jonathan Gray from Open Knowledge: “Open Knowledge work on Open Access in humanities and social sciences”
  • Wednesday, David Carroll from Open Access Button: “Launching the New Open Access Button”
  • Thursday, Alma Swan from SPARC Europe: “Open Access and the humanities: on our travels round the UK”
  • Friday, Jenny Molloy from Open Science working group: “OK activities in open access to science”
  • Saturday, Kshitiz Khanal from Open Knowledge Nepal: “Combining Open Science, Open Access, and Collaborative Research”
  • Sunday, Denis Parfenov from Open Knowledge Ireland: “Open Access: Case of Ireland”

We’re hoping that this series can inspire even more work around Open Access in the year to come and that our community will use this week to get involved both locally and globally. A good first step is to sign up at http://www.openaccessweek.org for access to a plethora of support resources, and to connect with the worldwide Open Access Week community. Another way to connect is to join the Open Access working group.

Open Access Week is an invaluable chance to connect the global momentum toward open sharing with the advancement of policy changes on the local level. Universities, colleges, research institutes, funding agencies, libraries, and think tanks use Open Access Week as a platform to host faculty votes on campus open-access policies, to issue reports on the societal and economic benefits of Open Access, to commit new funds in support of open-access publication, and more. Let’s add to their brilliant work this week!

Young Coders Festival: Von Baumratespiel bis Wohnqualitätsvergleich

Sonja Fischbauer - October 20, 2014 in event, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News, Transparenz

Am Wochenende vom 11./12. Oktober ging in Wien mit dem Young Coders Festival Österreichs erstes Open-Data-Codefest für Jugendliche über die Bühne. 43 Programmiertalente aus allen Bundesländern entwickelten eigene Softwareprojektideen, die sie selbstständig mihilfe offener Daten umsetzten. Es entstanden acht Spiele und Anwendungen mit gesellschaftspolitischem Anspruch.  Young Coders Festival 2014 - TeilnehmerInnenDas Wasserschloss Laudon an der westlichen Stadtgrenze Wiens hat in den Jahrhunderten seines Bestehens allerlei gesehen. Das, was am vergangenen Wochenende  dort stattfand, war aber nicht nur für das Barockschloss neu: 35 Burschen und acht Mädchen zwischen 14 und 18 Jahren kamen aus ganz Österreich zusammen, um mit Code und offenen Daten zu experimentieren. Die Plattform dafür stellte das Young Coders Festival bereit: Ein Codefest, dessen Ziel es ist, innerhalb eines abgesteckten Zeitrahmens gemeinsam Software zu entwickeln, die der Gesellschaft nützt.

Eigene Ideen mit Code verwirklichen

Die Jugendlichen entwarfen ihre eigenen Ideen für Projekte aus den Bereichen Gesellschaft, Umwelt und Freizeit. Der Bereich Spieleentwicklung war dabei besonders wichtig, auch Geoinformationen und andere offene Daten bauten die TeilnehmerInnen zahlreich in ihre Projekte ein. Die offenen Daten stammen aus den österreichischen Open Data Ressourcen data.gv.at und opendataportal.at und wurden mit freien Quellen, wie Informationen der Open Street Map angereichert.

Das Spiel „Treeguesser“ bedient sich zum Beispiel der Daten aus dem Wiener Baumkataster: SpielerInnen müssen das Alter der Bäume erraten, an denen sie vorbeikommen. Bei „Pingu Flag” hinterlässt man auf einer Landkarte kleine Fähnchen mit Nachrichten für andere SpielerInnen auf der ganzen Welt. Mit der Anwendung „NeXt Home“ lassen sich die Wohnqualitäten der einzelnen Bundesländer vergleichen, mittels offener Daten wie Arbeitslosenrate und Ausbildungsmöglichkeiten. Alle acht Projekte lassen sich hier einsehen.

Wer sich einen Eindruck über die tolle Stimmung am Wochenende verschaffen möchte, dem sei neben den Fotos vom Event auch die Videozusammenfassung (4 min) ans Herz gelegt:

Mehr offene Daten im Bildungsbereich gewünscht

Beim Young Coders Festival zeigten die TeilnehmerInnen nicht nur ihre technischen Fähigkeiten, sondern auch einen aufmerksamen Zugang zu gesellschaftlich und politisch relevanten Themen. Bei einer Diskussionsrunde am ersten Abend stellten die TeilnehmerInnen ihre eigene Open-Data-Wunschliste zusammen. Sie wünschen sich etwa offene Schulfinanzen und transparente Bildungskriterien. Dazu meint Thomas Thurner, Geschäftsführer des Quartiers für Digitale Kultur, Gründer der School of Data Austria und Vorstandsmitglied der Open Knowledge Foundation: „Das Young Coders Festival hat deutlich gezeigt, dass es auch in der jungen Generation ein starkes gesellschaftspolitisches Bewusstsein gibt, das sich im Verlangen nach offenen Daten und Transparenz zeigt. Die Bereiche Schule und Bildung stehen dabei ganz oben auf der Wunschliste.“

Vernetzung in der Open-Data-Community

Die Bandbreite der Ideen der ProgrammierInnen war ebenso groß wie das Spektrum ihrer Erfahrungen. Dank der Unterstützung durch Sponsoren war die gesamte Teilnahme inklusive Verpflegung und Anreise kostenlos. „Viele Jugendliche haben sich ihre Programmierfähigkeiten schon sehr früh angeeignet, oft alleine im Kinderzim mer. Andere Jugendliche wiederum würden gerne coden lernen, finden aber keinen Zugang dazu – beide Gruppen bringen wir mit diesem Projekt zusammen. Mit dem Young Coders Festival schaffen wir programmierbegeisterten jungen Menschen eine Möglichkeit, sich in der Open Data Community zu vernetzen,“ so Meral Akin-Hecke, Digital Champion Austria und Vorstandsmitglied der Open Knowledge Foundation Österreich.

Neun erfahrene Open-Data-SoftwareentwicklerInnen unterstützten die Jugendlichen bei ihren Projekten und standen als MentorInnen für das gesamte Wochenende mit Rat und Tat zur Seite. Dazu Akin-Hecke: „Wir sind beeindruckt von den Ergebnissen, die unsere TeilnehmerInnen mithilfe der MentorInnen in so kurzer Zeit umsetzen konnten. Hier zeigt sich konkret, welches Potenzial in Österreichs Jugend steckt: Was junge Menschen mit Code und offenen Daten schaffen können, wenn wir ihnen die Möglichkeit und das Netzwerk dazu bieten.“ Young Coders Festival 2014 - Gruppenarbeit Veranstaltet wurde das Young Coders Festival von der Open Knowledge Foundation Österreich und dem Quartier für digitale Kultur Wien, im Rahmen der europaweiten Aktionswoche EU Codeweek. Zu den Hauptunterstützern des Young Coders Festivals zählen das Bundeskanzleramt Österreich, das Bundesministerium für Familien und Jugend sowie die Wirtschaftsagentur Wien. Das Young Coders Festival wird 2015 wieder stattfinden.

Fotos der Veranstaltung: http://bit.ly/ycf14pics
credit: Fotografin Luiza Puiu, Lizenz CC-BY 3.0

Videozusammenfassung (4 min): http://bit.ly/ycf14video
credit: Fluxmedia / Georg Schütz

Überblick über die entwickelten Anwendungen: http://ycfestival.hackdash.org/

web:             http://youngcoders.at
facebook:     http://facebook.com/youngcodersfestival
twitter:          @youngcodersAT
#youngcoders

Global Open Data Index: Week 13 -17 October

Mor Rubinstein - October 17, 2014 in census, Global Open Data Index, opendata

Skærmbillede 2014-10-17 kl. 12.02.12

This is your week-by-week update of progress on the Global Open Data Index 2014. You can check for the most recent country submissions here. We’re now welcoming your participation in sprints across all countries for the month of October, concluding with a ‘Global Madness’ sprint on 30 October.

We’re making great progress – thank you so much for participating.

We are looking for help with these countries – can you help?

Armenia, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Estonia, Botswana, Haiti Honduras, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Tajikistan

Feel free to send in your tips, contacts, organisations for these countries that we can contact to Mor.Robinstein (a) okfn (dot) org

Next week (week beginning 20 October): Mor Rubinstein, Community Coordinator for the Global Open Data Index is offering office hours in regional time zones where she is available to answer your questions and talk you through how to contribute to the Index.

Office hours

  • Monday 20 Oct – 14:00-18:00 (Europe) BST / 15:00 – 19:00 CEST/ 16:00 – 20:00 EEST
  • Tuesday 21 Oct – 16:00-20:00 (LATAM) BST / 10:00 – 14:00 EST
  • Wednesday 22 Oct – 9:00-13:00 (Asia) GMT / 16:00 – 20:00 CST / 13:30 – 17:30 IST / 17:00 – 21:00 JST
  • Thursday 23 Oct – 14.00-18.00 (Africa) 16:00 – 20:00 EAT

Skype – mor.rubinstein , IRC : #OKFN irc.freenode.net, Twitter #openindex14

Safety for Civil Society Organizers

marielgm - October 16, 2014 in charity data, Information, security

The engine room

This post was written by Alix Dunn, the co-founder and creative lead at the engine room. The engine room investigates and supports the use of technology in advocacy.


Last week, School of Data asked us to put together a few tips for civil society organizations who want to improve their security practices and keep their communities and operations safe. This post is for organizations who are trying to wrap their heads around how to begin to address information security risks.

 

To be clear, the steps an organization can and should take are as diverse as the contexts they work in. If you are a team fighting corruption in an authoritarian state, have poor internet connectivity, face frequent power cuts, and run large scale data projects, you will obviously have different security needs than a team fighting to increase the amount of open data made available to constituents in a Global North country. Security risks and ‘mitigation tactics’ (read: ways to protect yourself) concern all aspects of work: staff size, organizational resources, office infrastructure, technical know-how of staff, types of services the team uses, current practices, past threats and attacks, and more.

 

To address security concerns it is smart and often necessary to have the support of an experienced security trainer who can help you determine the best course of action. If you are worried about your security, please contact a support organization that you have a relationship with and ask them to point you to a security support organization. But here are a few general tips for starting to understand your security situation.

 

  1. Understand what you have. This might seem obvious, but lots of organizations and teams collect so much information (emails, documents, financial information, spreadsheets, publications, mailing lists, etc.) that often times they don’t know what information they have. Try making as exhaustive a list as you can (and don’t forget physical documents!). Work through the list, and tag by sensitivity (1 being the least sensitive, 5 being super top secret), and importance for operations (1 being we could easily work without it, 5 if we lost it we’d be lost ourselves). With this list, you have a better understanding of what you have. Also remember, that this list is also a piece of information that is both sensitive and important for operations!
  2. Protect what you have from loss and unauthorized use. For things that are most sensitive, precautions should be taken to protect the information. Protecting information means limiting access to only people in the organization that need it, and putting systems in place so that the information cannot be easily accessed by those who are not granted permission. If information is rated as highly important for operations, make sure it is backed up regularly and that the backups are not stored in the same environment (and perhaps not even in the same country) as the originals.
  3. Only collect and save what you need to. If something is highly sensitive and not important for the organization, then you might have a problem collecting too much information that you don’t need. Use that information (about how you are collecting extra information that can only do you harm) to encourage more responsible data collection. If you don’t need it, don’t collect it. And if you already collected it and don’t need it, get rid of it. Got a list of names and personally identifiable information about participants from a workshop you did three years ago? Get rid of it!
  4. Promote individual learning within the organization. The security practice of each member of the organization affects the team as a whole. Provide opportunities and share information about improving security practices in the way that each individual uses digital tools and information. If you have regular learning opportunities for your team, make sure that security training is on offer. For example, if someone is accessing email related to sensitive work on their phone, provide guidance and training on how to make sure the information and the phone are protected.
  5. Identify people in your organization as future security heroes. Learning about, and pushing for, better security practices isn’t for everyone. Find people who are keen to learn more about how to protect information and encourage better security practices for the team. Provide professional development opportunities for them and once their skills are developed, trust them when they say something is important.

 

Some resources to check out if you want to read more about practical steps:

 

 

 

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The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire

Adam Green - October 16, 2014 in Books, frankenstein, lake geneva, Literature, lord byron, polidiri, Religion, Myth & Legend, shelley, vampire, year without summer

From that famed night of ghost-stories in a Lake Geneva villa in 1816, as well as Frankenstein's monster, there arose that other great figure of 19th-century gothic fiction - the Vampire - a creation of Lord Byron's personal physician John Polidiri. Andrew McConnell Stott explores how a fractious relationship between Polidiri and his poet employer lies behind the tale, with Lord Byron himself providing a model for the blood-sucking aristocratic figure of the legend we are familiar with today.

Joint Submission to UN Data Revolution Group

Rufus Pollock - October 16, 2014 in Featured, News, Open Data, Open Economics, Open Government Data, Open Government Partnership, Open Knowledge, open-government, OpenSpending, Policy, Science, United Nations, www foundation

The following is the joint Submission to the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution from the World Wide Web Foundation, Open Knowledge, Fundar and the Open Institute, October 15, 2014. It derives from and builds on the Global Open Data Initiative’s Declaration on Open Data.

To the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution

Societies cannot develop in a fair, just and sustainable manner unless citizens are able to hold governments and other powerful actors to account, and participate in the decisions fundamentally affecting their well-being. Accountability and participation, in turn, are meaningless unless citizens know what their government is doing, and can freely access government data and information, share that information with other citizens, and act on it when necessary.

A true “revolution” through data will be one that enables all of us to hold our governments accountable for fulfilling their obligations, and to play an informed and active role in decisions fundamentally affecting their well-being.

We believe such a revolution requires ambitious commitments to make data open; invest in the ability of all stakeholders to use data effectively; and to commit to protecting the rights to information, free expression, free association and privacy, without which data-driven accountability will wither on the vine.

In addition, opening up government data creates new opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs, drives improved efficiency and service delivery innovation within government, and advances scientific progress. The initial costs (including any lost revenue from licenses and access charges) will be repaid many times over by the growth of knowledge and innovative data-driven businesses and services that create jobs, deliver social value and boost GDP.

The Sustainable Development Goals should include measurable, time-bound steps to:

1. Make data open by default

Government data should be open by default, and this principle should ultimately be entrenched in law. Open means that data should be freely available for use, reuse and redistribution by anyone for any purpose and should be provided in a machine-readable form (specifically it should be open data as defined by the Open Definition and in line with the 10 Open Data Principles).

  • Government information management (including procurement requirements and research funding, IT management, and the design of new laws, policies and procedures) should be reformed as necessary to ensure that such systems have built-in features ensuring that open data can be released without additional effort.
  • Non-compliance, or poor data quality, should not be used as an excuse for non-publication of existing data.
  • Governments should adopt flexible intellectual property and copyright policies that encourage unrestricted public reuse and analysis of government data.

2. Put accountability at the core of the data revolution

A data revolution requires more than selective release of the datasets that are easiest or most comfortable for governments to open. It should empower citizens to hold government accountable for the performance of its core functions and obligations. However, research by the Web Foundation and Open Knowledge shows that critical accountability data such as company registers, land record, and government contracts are least likely to be freely available to the public.

At a minimum, governments endorsing the SDGs should commit to the open release by 2018 of all datasets that are fundamental to citizen-state accountability. This should include:

  • data on public revenues, budgets and expenditure;
  • who owns and benefits from companies, charities and trusts;
  • who exercises what rights over key natural resources (land records, mineral licenses, forest concessions etc) and on what terms;
  • public procurement records and government contracts;
  • office holders, elected and un-elected and their declared financial interests and details of campaign contributions;
  • public services, especially health and education: who is in charge, responsible, how they are funded, and data that can be used to assess their performance;
  • constitution, laws, and records of debates by elected representatives;
  • crime data, especially those related to human rights violations such as forced disappearance and human trafficking;
  • census data;
  • the national map and other essential geodata.

    • Governments should create comprehensive indices of existing government data sets, whether published or not, as a foundation for new transparency policies, to empower public scrutiny of information management, and to enable policymakers to identify gaps in existing data creation and collection.

 3. Provide no-cost access to government data

One of the greatest barriers to access to ostensibly publicly-available information is the cost imposed on the public for access–even when the cost is minimal. Most government information is collected for governmental purposes, and the existence of user fees has little to no effect on whether the government gathers the data in the first place.

  • Governments should remove fees for access, which skew the pool of who is willing (or able) to access information and preclude transformative uses of the data that in turn generates business growth and tax revenues.

  • Governments should also minimise the indirect cost of using and re-using data by adopting commonly owned, non-proprietary (or “open”) formats that allow potential users to access the data without the need to pay for a proprietary software license.

  • Such open formats and standards should be commonly adopted across departments and agencies to harmonise the way information is published, reducing the transaction costs of accessing, using and combining data.

4. Put the users first

Experience shows that open data flounders without a strong user community, and the best way to build such a community is by involving users from the very start in designing and developing open data systems.

  • Within government: The different branches of government (including the legislature and judiciary, as well as different agencies and line ministries within the executive) stand to gain important benefits from sharing and combining their data. Successful open data initiatives create buy-in and cultural change within government by establishing cross-departmental working groups or other structures that allow officials the space they need to create reliable, permanent, ambitious open data policies.

  • Beyond government: Civil society groups and businesses should be considered equal stakeholders alongside internal government actors. Agencies leading on open data should involve and consult these stakeholders – including technologists, journalists, NGOs, legislators, other governments, academics and researchers, private industry, and independent members of the public – at every stage in the process.

  • Stakeholders both inside and outside government should be fully involved in identifying priority datasets and designing related initiatives that can help to address key social or economic problems, foster entrepreneurship and create jobs. Government should support and facilitate the critical role of both private sector and public service intermediaries in making data useful.

5. Invest in capacity

Governments should start with initiatives and requirements that are appropriate to their own current capacity to create and release credible data, and that complement the current capacity of key stakeholders to analyze and reuse it. At the same time, in order to unlock the full social, political and economic benefits of open data, all stakeholders should invest in rapidly broadening and deepening capacity.

  • Governments and their development partners need to invest in making data simple to navigate and understand, available in all national languages, and accessible through appropriate channels such as mobile phone platforms where appropriate.

  • Governments and their development partners should support training for officials, SMEs and CSOs to tackle lack of data and web skills, and should make complementary investments in improving the quality and timeliness of government statistics.

6. Improve the quality of official data

Poor quality, coverage and timeliness of government information – including administrative and sectoral data, geospatial data, and survey data – is a major barrier to unlocking the full value of open data.

  • Governments should develop plans to implement the Paris21 2011 Busan Action Plan, which calls for increased resources for statistical and information systems, tackling important gaps and weaknesses (including the lack of gender disaggregation in key datasets), and fully integrating statistics into decision-making.

  • Governments should bring their statistical efforts into line with international data standards and schemas, to facilitate reuse and analysis across various jurisdictions.

  • Private firms and NGOs that collect data which could be used alongside government statistics to solve public problems in areas such as disease control, disaster relief, urban planning, etc. should enter into partnerships to make this data available to government agencies and the public without charge, in fully anonymized form and subject to robust privacy protections.

7. Foster more accountable, transparent and participatory governance

A data revolution cannot succeed in an environment of secrecy, fear and repression of dissent.

  • The SDGs should include robust commitments to uphold fundamental rights to freedom of expression, information and association; foster independent and diverse media; and implement robust safeguards for personal privacy, as outlined in the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

  • In addition, in line with their commitments in the UN Millennium Declaration (2000) and the Declaration of the Open Government Partnership (2011), the SDGs should include concrete steps to tackle gaps in participation, inclusion, integrity and transparency in governance, creating momentum and legitimacy for reform through public dialogue and consensus.


Colophon

This submission derives and follows on from the Global Open Data Inititiave’s Global Open Data Declaration which was jointly created by Fundar, Open Institute, Open Knowledge and World Wide Web Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation with input from civil society organizations around the world.

The full text of the Declaration can be found here:

http://globalopendatainitiative.org/declaration/

How to create a budget data package

Neil Ashton - October 15, 2014 in Technical, tutorials

This tutorial will show you how to create a budget data package from a (relatively clean) spreadsheet dataset by walking you through the process of converting the Armenian budget from the Open Budgets Portal. Getting started The Armenia BOOST government expenditure database contains planned, adjusted, and executed expenditures covering the years 2006 to 2012. It […]

Women’s Rights Campaigning: Info-Activism Toolkit

marielgm - October 15, 2014 in gender, Infoskills, MENA, NGO, presentation, Storytelling, tactical tech, toolkit, violence, women

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Tactical Tech

This post was written by Lisa Gutermuth, a project coordinator at Tactical Tech in Berlin. Currently she is working producing the Women’s Rights Campaigning: Info-Activism Toolkit. She has previously focused on land grabbing, crowdmapping, and e-waste for different projects at Tactical Tech and with affiliated organisations.

Tactical Tech is an organisation working to advance the skills, tools and techniques of rights advocates, empowering them to use information and communications to help marginalised communities understand and effect progressive social, environmental and political change.


Trying to figure out how to present evidence of violence in a creative way? A campaign by the India-based Blank Noise project offers us an example of how this can be done.

In most parts of the world, a widely-used tactic to discredit women victims of violence is to accuse them of ‘asking for it’ by dressing provocatively. Blank Noise started a campaign called ‘I Never Ask For It’, in which women who had experienced street based sexual harassment were asked to send in photos of the garments that they were wearing when they experienced the harassment. Unsurprisingly, the database of photos was mostly comprised of pictures of school uniforms, burqas, traditional salwar kameez, saris, and jeans and so on: nothing provocative about any of this. These images highlight the very personal side of harassment, while simultaneously creating an understanding among women that they are not alone, as well as working toward wider debate about these kinds of events.

 

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This is one of the examples found in the Women’s Rights Campaigning: Info-Activism Toolkit developed by Tactical Tech.

The toolkit is created for women’s rights activists, advocates, NGOs and community-based organisations who want to use technology tools and practices in their campaigning. The guide was developed as part of CREA‘s New Voices / New Leaders: Women Building Peace and Reshaping Democracy project, which aims to promote security by combating violence against women and enhancing the civil engagement of women in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

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This guide is also a good example of an older project being ‘upcycled’ into something new, updated and relevant to a specific community. The original guides we produced were called Message in-a-Box and Mobiles in-a-Box. CREA, a women’s rights organisation in India, initially approached us to update and customise our toolkits for women’s rights communities.

This gave us a chance to think about a structure and format that would work, and respond to the actual context of how specific communities think about campaigning. Each of the categories included in the guide was carefully considered in the development stages of the project, both because there was a focused community for whom it was being created, and because we had regular feedback from our local partner organisations.

The next step was translating the guide into Hindi, Bengali, Kiswahili, and Arabic. At Tactical Tech we make an effort to integrate localisation into our materials by providing options and resources for translations, as this enables communities to identify more closely with the contents and to read and use it at a more in-depth level. This is also why having the materials printed (i.e. offline) was such an important part of the project, as the communities that need the entry point to learning about the positive use of digital tools are often those most far away from them.

Which brings us to the latest development: the printed toolkits are just off the press! The guide has been printed as a set of four booklets: ‘Basics,’ ‘Grab Attention,’ ‘Tell a Story,’ and ‘Inspire Action,’ representing different strategic themes to use in creating a campaign. The next phase will be distribution – sign up to Tactical Tech’s monthly magazine In the Loop  for updates!

 

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Open Science Sum-Up September

stefankasberger - October 15, 2014 in Featured, Open Science

Der monatliche Open Science Sum-Up fasst aktuelle Geschehnisse zu Open Science zusammen und gibt einen Ausblick auf nächste wichtige Ereignisse: Weltweit mit Schwerpunkt auf Österreich und Deutschland sowie zu openscienceASAP.

Das letzte Monat im Rückblick

Hat sich Open Access schon die Zähne ausgebissen? Eine ökonomische Studie von Bernstein Research bescheinigt Open Access sinkendes Potenzial, das Publikationswesen tiefgreifend zu verändern. Double Dipping und Hybrid Journals werden als Gründe genannt, ein weiterer kann mangelnder Fokus der Bewegung sein. Ähnliche Wahrnehmung dürfte auch zur abwartenden Haltung der AAAS zu Open Access geführt haben. Entscheidungen wie auf der Uni Konstanz, alle Verträge mit Elsevier zu beenden, müssen erst noch ökonomische Wirkung entfalten.

Post-Docs formen die Wissenschaft in einem hyper-kompetitiven Umfeld. In einem offenen Brief wird die Rolle von jungen Wissenschaftler*innen angesprochen. Zu diskutieren sind Leistungsmetriken, Fördersysteme, weiterführende Trainingsmaßnahmen und die Struktur der akademischen Angestelltenschaft.

Die Europäischen Forschungsbibliotheken wollen Open Science fördern. In diesem Statement wird vor allem die Weiterentwicklung im Forschungsdatenbereich in den Vordergrund gestellt.

Der durch Open Science erzeugte Nutzen benötigt zusätzliche Ressourcen. Wieviel genau, hat Emilio Bruna einmal beispielhaft aufgeschlüsselt, und kommt auf einen Wert von 36 Stunden und 690$ für sein letztes Paper.

Die Vorteile von Open Science zeigen sich auch in den Randgebieten der Wissenschaft. Eine Studie zu Telepathie zeigt den Nutzen von Dokumentation und Fokus auf Reproduzierbarkeit, wenn es um Schaffung von neuem Wissen geht.

Der enge Zusammenhang zwischen Qualität des Ergebnisses und der Daten gilt nicht nur in der Wissenschaft. Die Weltbank hat zusammengefasst, welche Kriterien im Bereich von Open Government Data ausschlaggebend sind. Bei der Umsetzung hilft vielleicht die Methodologie des COMSODE-Projekts.

Zur Weiterentwicklung von Altmetrics werden vor allem klare Definitionen benötigt. Das ist ein Ergebnis der im August von NISO durchgeführte Umfrage zu Altmetrics.

Wie weit soll Open Science gehen? Über diese und ähnliche Fragen wurde beim Open Science Panel in Wien teils sehr kontrovers diskutiert. Für alle, die die Veranstaltung verpasst haben, gibt es das Video noch einmal in voller Länge zum Nachsehen.

Ein Blick nach Vorne

Medikamente erforschen ohne Patentschutz. Crowdfunding ist eine Möglichkeit, die regelmäßig in die Diskussion gebracht wird. Ein weiterer Anlauf dazu findet gerade im Bereich der Krebs-Medikamente statt. Spannend wird dann auch die Reaktion der Geldgeber*innen, wenn die Forschung nicht das gewünschte Ziel erreicht.

Das Förderprogramm zu Open Access Publizieren der DFG wird bis 2020 verlängert.

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