QA of Open Data Handbook Nepali Version

Nikesh Balami - August 26, 2016 in Data Handbook, Data Nepal, Fundraising, nepal, Open Data, project

Handbook Introduction The Open Data Handbook (first issued in 2010 and regularly updated) is a guide to open data, specifically open government data. It was first issued in 2010 by Open Knowledge International and has been regularly updated since. The handbook has been used by governments and civil society organizations around the world as an introduction and blue-print for open data projects. The Nepali version of this handbook (which is currently seeking funders) will include content from Global Open Data Handbook, including Licensing terms from Open Definition and Open Data Policy guidelines / principles terms from Sunlight Foundation guidelines.   Need of the handbook in Nepal Open data is steadily gaining momentum in Nepal, led by Civil Society and a handful of government agencies. But progress has been slow. One of the reasons for this slow uptake is the confusion because many people do not know about the meaning and benefits of Open data due to the lack of proper guidance and resources.  In recent years, we have witnessed considerable enthusiasm over the opportunities offered by open data. Across many sectors, it is widely believed that we are entering a new era of information openness and transparency. This evolution has the potential to spur economic innovation, social transformation, and fresh forms of political and government accountability. Yet, despite the evident potential of open data and the growing amounts of information being released by governments and corporations, little is actually known about its use and impact in Nepal. The condition of knowledge around open data in Nepal is inadequate because Nepal lacks resources in its native language concerning ideas around open data. A Nepali Version Handbook will work as a perfect resource for government and civil society organizations (CSOs) to expand their understandings of open data and, ultimately, reap its benefits. We are translating and developing this Open Data Handbook in Nepali with the belief that it will help Government policymakers, leaders, and citizens understand open data in their native language. It will also be a useful resource for CSOs to use for their own open data awareness programs, as well as data journalists who rely on data openness to report on local stories.   How could it benefit the Government of Nepal? Nepal’s Government has slowly begun to understand the value of open data and citizen engagement. Praise for this awareness raising can be attributed to the national and international civil society for running a continuously vibrant open data movement in Nepal. We can see how certain government agencies have set an example by supporting open data, such as the Election Commission Nepal, Office of Company Registrar Nepal, Ministry of Finance’s Aid Management Platform, and more. However, our recent crowdsourced research in 10 different local cities of Nepal has shown that Nepal still has room to improve its policy on open data, especially at the local level. For open data initiatives and programs to be successful, they needs to start focusing on local governments rather than the central government. For local governments to adopt Open Data, they need to be clear about the whys, hows, and whats of opening up their data. They need to understand why making data open is not only a means to make them more accountable (or worse, alarmed), but it will also help them become more efficient and effective in their duties. This document will help individuals understand that opening data is only the beginning of participatory governance, and it will demonstrate the importance of well defined and easy-to-adopt mechanisms. To create a successful Open Data mechanism, local officials will need resource in their native tongue as many local peoples are unable to fully comprehend English. An Open Data guide in Nepali will also help the central government to implement Open Data related policy at the local levels.   How could it benefit local journalists? As Journalists in Nepal have been the direct beneficiaries of the Right to Information Act, a legal transparency and accountability mechanism, they are beginning to understand the additional benefits that Open Data can have on their work. Interest in data journalism is increasing in Nepal and we can see lots of examples led by a number of teams, like Datajourno Nepal, FACTS Nepal, and Graph Nepal, who are using open data and visualizations for more in-depth storytelling. Print and online newspapers have also begun to use more open data for evidence-based reporting. Still, open data is a new term for most Nepali Journalists. This is mainly true because open data is interlinked with technology and lacks learning resources in the Nepali Language. Through the Open Data Handbook in Nepali, we aim to minimize this problem by providing the answer to their questions regarding open data  in their native language. Through this handbook, we hope:
  • That journalists can learn the whats and hows of Open Data in Nepali.
  • That they can find new ways in which to innovate in the field of journalism.
  • That fact based reporting will increase.
  • Journalists will use it as a guidebook to teach others about Open Data and advocate for open data within local communities.
  Dissemination of the publication? In the first phase, we will be targeting Government Organizations, Government and Private Libraries and Educational Institutes. As one of the main supporters of the Handbook is the National Information Commission, they will be helping us to disseminate book through their networks.   What kind of impacts will the Handbook have? We envision our impact to be mainly around the four differents themes of open data: improving government, empowering citizens, creating opportunity, and solving public problems. To achieve impact within these different themes, solely having a good supply of data is not enough. We also need to ensure that the demand side is strong by increasing innovation, engagement, and reusability of published data. However, in Nepal, many people and organizations are reluctant to carry out the fully possibility of open data because they have a limited knowledge around the topic and  the concept as a whole. So, this handbook will make it easier for government officials and the citizens of Nepal to learn more about open data in their native language. In doing so, this project will help create a balanced environment between the supply and demand side of data, which in the long run will help promote and institutionalize transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in Nepal. Find out more or contribute to the Open Data Handbook in Nepali here.

The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich (1909)

Adam Green - August 25, 2016 in 4th Earl of Sandwich, gambling, how did the sandwich get its name?, how to make a sandwich, John Montagu, sandwich, sandwich recipes

A wonderfully no-nonsense guide to the culinary art of the sandwich.

The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich (1909)

Adam Green - August 25, 2016 in 4th Earl of Sandwich, gambling, how did the sandwich get its name?, how to make a sandwich, John Montagu, sandwich, sandwich recipes

A wonderfully no-nonsense guide to the culinary art of the sandwich.

The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich (1909)

Adam Green - August 25, 2016 in 4th Earl of Sandwich, gambling, how did the sandwich get its name?, how to make a sandwich, John Montagu, sandwich, sandwich recipes

A wonderfully no-nonsense guide to the culinary art of the sandwich.

OpenTrials launch date + Hack Day

Ben Meghreblian - August 25, 2016 in Events, Hackday, Open Trials, opentrials

Exciting news! OpenTrials, a project in which Open Knowledge is developing an open, online database of information about the world’s clinical research trials, will officially launch its beta on Monday 10th October 2016 at the World Health Summit in Berlin. After months of work behind-the-scenes meeting, planning, and developing, we’re all really excited about demoing OpenTrials to the world and announcing how to access and use the site! The launch will take place at the ‘Fostering Open Science in Global Health’ workshop, with OpenTrials being represented by our Community Manager, Ben Meghreblian. The workshop will be a great opportunity to talk about the role of open data, open science, and generally how being open can bring improvements in medicine and beyond!worldhealthsummit_logo As the workshop’s theme is public health emergencies, we’ll also be demoing Ebola Trials Tracker, another OpenTrials project showing how long it takes for the results of Ebola trials to be made available. If you’ll be attending the conference or the workshop, we’d love to meet you – please do get in touch and let us know.

Hack Day

If that wasn’t enough, we also have a confirmed date and location for the OpenTrials Hack Day – it will take place on Saturday 8th October at the German office of Wikimedia in Berlin. We’re inviting people from a range of backgrounds. So, if you’re developer, data scientist, health technologist, open data advocate, or otherwise interested in health, medicine, and clinical trials, come along and learn more about the data that powers OpenTrials, how it’s structured, and how to use our API to search the OpenTrials database or build applications using the data. On the day our technical lead and a domain expert will be on hand to explain the data and facilitate the day – we’re really looking forward to seeing what clever hacks and mini-projects you’ll create. For those of you who have already asked, we’ll be releasing documentation on the OpenTrials API and database soon, but meanwhile if you’re interested in the event you’ll find more details on the OpenTrials Eventbrite page, or you can register quickly below.
OpenTrials is funded by The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, an internationally known leader on clinical transparency. Contact: opentrials@okfn.org
Twitter: @opentrials

Open Knowledge Switzerland Summer 2016 Update

Oleg Lavrovsky - August 24, 2016 in Chapter updates, Chapters, network, OK Switzerland, Open Data

The first half of 2016 was a very busy one for the Open Knowledge Swiss chapter, Opendata.ch. Just between April to June the chapter had 3 Hackathons, 15 talks, 3 meetups and 10 workshops. In this blog post we highlight some of these activities to update the Open Knowledge Community about our chapter’s work.   Main projects Our directors worked on relaunching the federal Open Government Data portal and its new online handbook. We gathered and published datasets and ran workshops in support of various hackdays – and we migrated and improved our web infrastructure with better support of the open Transport API (handling up to 1.7 Mio requests per day!).   FOJ_1238Main events We held our annual conference in June, ran energy-themed hackdays in April and ran an OpenGLAM hackathon in July. Additionally, we supported two smaller regional hackathons in the spring, and a meetup on occasion of Open Data Day.   Challenges Like other organisations in this space, our main challenge is redefining our manifesto and restructuring our operations to become a smoother running chapter that is more responsive to the needs of our members and community. This restructuring continues to be a challenge that we are learning from – and need to learn more about.   2nd_Swiss_Open_Cultural_Data_Hackathon,_openingSuccesses Our media presence and public identity continues to be stronger than ever. We are involved in a wide range of political and inter-organizational activities in support of diverse areas of openness, and in general we are finding that our collective voice is stronger and our messages better received everywhere we go.   Governance We have had several retreats with the board to discuss changes in the governance and to welcome new directors: Catherine Pugin (ta-swiss.ch, datastory.ch), Martin Grandjean (martingrandjean.ch) and Alexandre Cotting (hevs.ch) We are primarily working on a better overall organizational structure to support our community and working groups: starting and igniting new initiatives will be the next step. Among them will be the launch of business-oriented advocacy group called “Swiss Data Alliance”.   DSC_0437 Looking ahead We will soon announce a national program on food data, which includes hackdays and a funded follow-up/incubation phase for prototypes produced. And we are busy setting up a hackathon at the end of September with international scope and support called Hack for Ageing Well. Follow #H4AW for more info. We are excited about upcoming cross-border events like #H4AW and Jugend Hackt, opening doors to development and research collaborations. Reach out through the Open Knowledge forums and we’ll do our best to connect you into the Swiss community!

Who says what: 9th National Information Day Kathmandu

Nikesh Balami - August 24, 2016 in Events, Information Day, nepal, NIC, Right to Information, RTI Nepal

[22nd August 2016] By felicitating six RTI campaigners Raju Dhakal, Sailendra Jha, Biswadeep Tiwari, Modanath Trital, Govinda Dahal and Prabin Kumar Sharma. National Information Commission (NIC) marked the celebration of 9th National Information Day in Kathmandu. Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was the chief guest of an event. Every year Information Day is celebrated in  Bhadra 3,  marking the introduction of the Right to Information Act on Bhadra 3, 2064. Speaking at a program  organized by National Information Commission (NIC), Prime Minister Dahal said only right information can lead to sustainable development in this present age of information technology. “There is strong inter-relations between democracy and information, the information is the strong foundation of democracy”, he stressed on the need of effective enforcement of the right to information to guide the society towards the path to stability and prosperity, and also to make the people creative. IMG_20160822_142034 At the program, Information and Communications minister Mr. Surendra Kumar Karki stressed for strengthening postal services after establishing information centers at the local level. The necessity of information dissemination up to the local level and also the use of modern technology. He also added the government should have a exact address of all the people so that the government could contact them when needed. Similarly, Chief commissioner of National Information Commission (NIC), Mr. Krishna Hari Baskota briefly share about the development and activities of the commission. He also highlighted the work done by NIC for the betterment of Open Government Data (OGD) in Nepal. Besides this, he requested the prime minister to remove a few written hurdles from the constitution to enable easy access to information. IMG_20160822_134445 Parliamentary Development Committee Chair member, Mr. Rabindra Adhikari said that the government activities would not be transparent unless the political parties of country  incorporate transparency and accountability in their work.  He urged political parties for transparency in economic and other affairs as it was directly linked with reforms of the democracy. Chief secretary, Dr. Somlal Subedi shared that the government was working to reach the Kathmandu-centered information to the local level and creating the environment for easily enjoying 32 fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.   The event was officially ended by Information Commissioner / Spokesperson, Mrs. Yashoda Devi Timsina by thanking all guests and participants for joining the celebration and was followed by Hi-Tea break. Prime Minister also launched the new logo of National Information Commission (NIC) in the event.

Contents of an Ostrich’s Stomach (ca. 1930)

Adam Green - August 23, 2016 in diet, London zoo, ostrich, what do ostriches eat?, zoo

An unusual image captured by Frederick William Bond, photographer at the Zoological Society of London. Contents included a couple of handkerchiefs, a buttoned glove, a length of rope, a plain handkerchief, and a four-inch nail.

Contents of an Ostrich’s Stomach (ca. 1930)

Adam Green - August 23, 2016 in diet, London zoo, ostrich, what do ostriches eat?, zoo

An unusual image captured by Frederick William Bond, photographer at the Zoological Society of London. Contents included a couple of handkerchiefs, a buttoned glove, a length of rope, a plain handkerchief, and a four-inch nail.

Contents of an Ostrich’s Stomach (ca. 1930)

Adam Green - August 23, 2016 in diet, London zoo, ostrich, what do ostriches eat?, zoo

An unusual image captured by Frederick William Bond, photographer at the Zoological Society of London. Contents included a couple of handkerchiefs, a buttoned glove, a length of rope, a plain handkerchief, and a four-inch nail.