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Season Greetings from OK Ireland and 2016 in review

- January 5, 2017 in community, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Community series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Ireland and edited by Flora Fleischer and Siobhan Denham.
Our warm season greetings to all friends of Open Knowledge
As we approach the final days of this year, we would like to say thank you to everyone who supported or attended an Open Knowledge event and helped to build on the ideas and actions for a more open government and an Irish open data agenda that has the citizen at its forefront. 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Open Knowledge Ireland – It was a year in which we dared to ask for Irish hospital waiting lists to be published as open, accessible data and we have achieved this right before everyone went on their well-deserved Christmas holidays (Link). We have been advocating that for open data to be useful and to make a difference in the lives of people it has to be put in use. In order for businesses, civic groups or individuals to invest their time, talents and money into making open data useful, it must be seen as a digital public infrastructure and it must be permanent, linkable and trustful. The Open Knowledge volunteer team organized and participated in events tried out new technologies and demonstrated the usefulness of open data.  
Here are some of the things we did and advocated for in 2016:
In JANUARY, in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, we facilitated an open platform and debate on how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions about health matters. We presented how IPFS can be potentially used for long-term data preservation. Round Up by Caroline Carswell of Sound Advice Our Slides We held an explanatory workshop on the web of the future, also known as IPFS
☑︎ In Dublin on Thurs, 21st?
☑︎ Want 2 know how #IPFS works?
☑︎ Join workshop w/@juanbenet & @ingo_keck: https://t.co/qWT3LMav8I#opensource

— Open Knowledge IRL (@OKFirl) January 19, 2016

In FEBRUARY we shared our open data experiences [slides] and vision [slides] for long-term knowledge preservation with a delegation from NTT, Japan, which was visiting Dublin. In MARCH  the Open Government Partnership Mid-term report on the progress of the Irish National OGP Action Plan was launched. In MAY we presented the Hospital Waiting List project and spoke about the importance of the preservation of open knowledge for future generations at the Knowledge for Health conference, organized by the Institute of Public Health In JUNE we held an event dedicated to the preservation of an ever increasing amount of knowledge created by humankind today for generations of the future. Speakers and panelists included:
  • Dr. Rufus Pollock, founder of Open Knowledge International
  • Stanislav Nazarenko, Open Knowledge Ireland core team member and the founder of Nihonto Club, an online community dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of Japanese swords and the largest public database of Japanese metalwork artists
  • Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Head of School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin
Photos   In JULY we were kindly invited by Graeme Jones to the Isle of Man to share our open data experiences at the  #offcamp unconference. We took this opportunity to highlight the importance of trust in data. 160730-OffCamp-155 Photos  
In AUGUST we helped to map the Kingdom of Lesotho at an event dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the open street map which was kindly hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho in Dublin.
  In SEPTEMBER and continuing to December we contributed to the second Irish Open Government Partnership National Action Plan ensuring that plans are shared with a wider audience. Alongside a host of other organizations, individuals and companies we made several submissions to the drafting of the OGP Action Plan and in 2017 we are looking to help establish a set of guidelines for citizen participation in order to build an appropriate accountability mechanism for its implementation. Our submissions are here.   In OCTOBER we co-organised a half-day workshop together with the Institute of Public Health dedicated to “Open Access: Tackling Health Inequalities”. The outcomes of the workshop showed that the technological advances of today are giving rise to a growing catalogue of international best practices and opportunities for making knowledge universally fair, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

In NOVEMBER our colleague Dr. Ingo Keck delivered a presentation on the challenges the open data agenda faces today. At an event in Berlin dedicated to World Usability Day, he raised important questions about the sustainability of open data beyond today and tomorrow.
 
Open Data has to be seen in the context of empowering citizens to make informed decisions. Without information, a citizen can not decide in an informed way who to vote for, so democracy can not work without open information. But open data is not a cause in itself. It also means that people must be able to understand the data easily, be able to access it without problems and be able to work with it. Only then will people realise the importance of open data and only then will „opening up“ data be sustainable. Open Data, Usability and Sustainability therefore can not be separated.” – Dr Ingo Keck

What are we planning to do in 2017?
In 2017 the Open Knowledge Ireland team are going to focus their energy on Healthcare data and making it relevant and useful to the Irish people. Our team will concentrate on planning and run 4 events aiming at working closely together with  DPER’s Open Data Engagement plan, the NTPF, and the HSE and continue to demonstrate how open data can save real-world problems. We have a long way to go until Open Data will become a critical public infrastructure in Ireland and beyond: permanent, linked and secure. Open data must be accessible, interoperable and findable in order to help a real person to make decisions on the daily basis.  It is clear to us that such an infrastructure needs to be designed, built and maintained, which requires human and financial resources.
So in 2017 we want to do a whole lot more and we would love if you might contribute a small gift to help us do that. Your support will help every element of our work in the new year and support Open Knowledge Ireland as a hub for individuals, organizations and their ideas that form a major driving force of the open data and open government agenda in Ireland. And we look forward to seeing you at Open Knowledge events and initiatives many times in the New Year.
With thanks to our Open Knowledge Ireland colleagues: Flora, Salua, Ingo, Adrian, Shawn, Stan, Eugene, and Denis. And many thanks to our everyone who collaborated with us in 2016, especially Open Street Map Ireland, WikiMedia Ireland, the Institute of Public Health, TCube, and the Science Gallery.
We hope you all had a great Christmas time and we wish you the very best in 2017!

Best wishes, Open Knowledge Ireland

Festive Greetings and 2016 in review

- December 28, 2016 in 2016, adrian, denis, eugene, Events, flora, ingo, OGP Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, salua, shawn

Our warm festive greetings to all friends of Open Knowledge – For the last two years we have been advocating that for open data to make a difference in lives of people it has to be put in use. Open data must be seen as a digital public infrastructure. It must be permanent, linkable and trustful. In the last year we organised and participated in events, tried out new technologies and demonstrated usefulness of open data. Here are some things we did in 2016 to spread this message.   In January, in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, we discussed how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions about health matters. Featured speakers: Round Up Our Slides   In March  Open Government Partnership Mid-term report on the progress with National Action Plan was launched In May we presented Hospital Waiting List project and spoke about importance of preservation of open knowledge for future generations at Knowledge for Health conference  , organised by the Institute of Public Health    In June we held a discussion dedicated to preservation of knowledge created today for generations of the future. 18 Speakers and panelists included:
  • Dr. Rufus Pollock, founder of Open Knowledge International
  • Stanislav Nazarenko, Open Knowledge Ireland core team member and the founder of Nihonto Club, an online community dedicated to appreciation and preservation of Japanese swords and the largest public database of Japanese metalwork artists
  • Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Head of School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin
Photos   In July we were invited to the Isle of Man to share our open data experiences at  #offcamp unconference. We took this opportunity to highlight importance of trust in data. 160730-OffCamp-155 Photos   In September we contributed to the second Irish Open Government Partnership National Action Plan. Our submissions are here   In October we co organised with the Institute of Public Health half-day workshop dedicated to “Open Access: Tackling Health Inequalities”. Best international practices and opportunities which arise from technological advances for making knowledge universally fair, accessible, interoperable and reusable were discussed.   In November our colleague Dr. Ingo Keck delivered a presentation on open data challenges and raised questions about open data sustainability at the event dedicated to the World Usability Day in Berlin.
“Open Data has to be seen in the context of empowering citizens to do informed decisions. Without information, citizen can not decide in an informed way who to vote for, so democracy can not work without open information. But open data is not a cause in itself. It also means that people must be able to understand the data easily, be able to access it without problems and can work with it. Only then people will realise the importance of open data and only then will „opening up“ data be sustainable. Open Data, Usability and Sustainability therefore can not be separated.”

What we are planning to do in 2017? We are going to focus on Healthcare data and planning to run 4 events with support of  DPER’s Open Data Engagement plan and continue to demonstrate….. We have a long to go until Open Data will become a digital public infrastructure: permanent, linked and secure. This infrastructure needs to be designed, built and maintained, which require human and financial resources. Open data must be findable, accessible, interoperable and findable in order to help a real person to make decisions on daily basis. ———– Many thanks to Open Knowledge Ireland colleagues: Flora, Salua, Ingo, Adrian, Shawn, Stan, Eugene and Denis Special Thanks to all supporters and collaborators: TCube, the Science Gallery We wish you happy Christmas and the very best in 2017!

Open Knowledge Ireland Summer 2016 Update

- September 14, 2016 in Chpaters updates, Ireland, network

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring chapter updates from across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Ireland. What is OK Ireland and what do we do?   Open Knowledge Ireland is a team of 9 volunteers who envision an information age where everyone, not just a few,  has access to and the ability to use the massive amounts of information and data generated by entities such as our government or public service.   We believe everyone should have access to this information and data to be able to make better decisions, receive better services and ensure money is spent in the right places. Our goal is to make taxpayer-supported information openly available, so that it can be used and re-used without the public having to pay for it, again.   In so doing we want to ensure that vital research can happen. We want people to be able to leverage information to hold powerful institutions to account, whether in health care, the charity sector, or through Freedom of Information requests in the public service.   Past events:   In June we organised and ran an event dedicated to Knowledge Preservation in the 21st century: https://ti.to/open-knowledge-ireland/knowledge-preservation/ . The event was attended by 20 enthusiasts. Kalpana Shankar, Stan Nazarenko and Rufus Pollock shared their visions of how knowledge and information can and should be preserved today and what the current challenges are. (Photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/139932355@N08/sets/72157669330777481)   In August we were delighted to help our friends and colleagues from Open Street Maps to map the Kingdom of Lesotho. To see a list of our past events click here.   Current projects:   A notable highlight from the last few months has been our work on hospital waiting list data. For a more extensive look at the activities we have initiated, see here.   In May we presented the findings from our Hospital Waiting List Project at the all-Ireland conference ‘Knowledge For Health’ organised by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), which operates on both sides of the island of Ireland. The reason we took on this project is that people with illnesses requiring them to visit a hospital (bad enough in itself!) are currently waiting up to 18 months and more to be seen by specialist doctors and consultants. No one in Europe should have to wait so long for a consultation on what may prove to be a severe or life-threatening illness.   As a way of reducing waiting times to see specialist doctors in hospitals we would like waiting times to be publicly (= ‘openly’) available so that the public, journalists, and social media can hold service providers accountable where waiting times are unusually high. This would also allow experts to use the data and complete sophisticated problem analysis that could work to improve waiting lists. 27093030674_3d64d12f5b_z While advocating for open data, we realise that for the data to be useful and to help answer real questions, users need to be sure that the data is authentic and that it will be accessible tomorrow or ten years from now.  We believe that the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) has great potential to facilitate the preservation of the authenticity and accessibility of public data. IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files where each file is given a unique fingerprint called a cryptographic hash. IPFS  provides historical versioning (like git) and makes it simple to set up resilient networks for mirroring of data.   At the conference, we demonstrated that the hospital waiting list data could and should be permanently and publicly available via the IPFS. See here for the examples of hospital waiting list data we presented. (https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmT66oHDwzb8dU5vnZt3Ez5aStcWCjbqjNE2pA25ShTjmM/)   What are we working on next:?   Plans for the future:
  • Hospital Waiting List: OK Ireland continues to work with the Irish government on making Hospital Waiting List data open, to linking it with Wikimedia Data, and applying it on the Open Street Maps. As all of us can and might become ill, we believe that making health data accessible and comprehensive to everyone is the best way to demonstrate the potential value of open data.
  We aim to get existing data on waiting times released into Data.gov.ie – to do so it is likely that a tender will have to be announced to get this work under way. We are therefore looking to draft what this work might look like and what a project plan & costs would look like.  
  • Developing a sustainable fundraising strategy: We are struggling, as are many non-profits, to secure funds. Are there proven methods & tools that the Open Knowledge International Network could share to support us in developing a strategic plan for fundraising? For example, how could we leverage prominent personalities on the global level locally? Where should a strategic fundraising plan focus? And how do we go about sustaining a constant output of fundraising applications?
27705489665_04a9d5b0f1_z   And our upcoming events:  
  • During Open Access Week (October 24–30, 2016) Open Knowledge Ireland and the Institute of Public Health (IPH)  are co-organising an event which is dedicated to Open Data, Open Access, and Social Justice. The event will take place on Tuesday, 25 October at Pearse Street Library. More information to follow.
  If you want to contact us:   If you found the above interesting and/or want to learn more about anything we talked about here, please feel free to email, tweet, or facebook us.   Twitter Facebook Email   To read more about Open Knowledge Ireland, visit their website.
Learn more about the Open Knowledge Network by visiting the Open Knowledge International website.

Open Knowledge Ireland Summer 2016 Update

- September 14, 2016 in Chpaters updates, Ireland, network

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring chapter updates from across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Ireland. What is OK Ireland and what do we do?   Open Knowledge Ireland is a team of 9 volunteers who envision an information age where everyone, not just a few,  has access to and the ability to use the massive amounts of information and data generated by entities such as our government or public service.   We believe everyone should have access to this information and data to be able to make better decisions, receive better services and ensure money is spent in the right places. Our goal is to make taxpayer-supported information openly available, so that it can be used and re-used without the public having to pay for it, again.   In so doing we want to ensure that vital research can happen. We want people to be able to leverage information to hold powerful institutions to account, whether in health care, the charity sector, or through Freedom of Information requests in the public service.   Past events:   In June we organised and ran an event dedicated to Knowledge Preservation in the 21st century: https://ti.to/open-knowledge-ireland/knowledge-preservation/ . The event was attended by 20 enthusiasts. Kalpana Shankar, Stan Nazarenko and Rufus Pollock shared their visions of how knowledge and information can and should be preserved today and what the current challenges are. (Photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/139932355@N08/sets/72157669330777481)   In August we were delighted to help our friends and colleagues from Open Street Maps to map the Kingdom of Lesotho. To see a list of our past events click here.   Current projects:   A notable highlight from the last few months has been our work on hospital waiting list data. For a more extensive look at the activities we have initiated, see here.   In May we presented the findings from our Hospital Waiting List Project at the all-Ireland conference ‘Knowledge For Health’ organised by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), which operates on both sides of the island of Ireland. The reason we took on this project is that people with illnesses requiring them to visit a hospital (bad enough in itself!) are currently waiting up to 18 months and more to be seen by specialist doctors and consultants. No one in Europe should have to wait so long for a consultation on what may prove to be a severe or life-threatening illness.   As a way of reducing waiting times to see specialist doctors in hospitals we would like waiting times to be publicly (= ‘openly’) available so that the public, journalists, and social media can hold service providers accountable where waiting times are unusually high. This would also allow experts to use the data and complete sophisticated problem analysis that could work to improve waiting lists. 27093030674_3d64d12f5b_z While advocating for open data, we realise that for the data to be useful and to help answer real questions, users need to be sure that the data is authentic and that it will be accessible tomorrow or ten years from now.  We believe that the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) has great potential to facilitate the preservation of the authenticity and accessibility of public data. IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files where each file is given a unique fingerprint called a cryptographic hash. IPFS  provides historical versioning (like git) and makes it simple to set up resilient networks for mirroring of data.   At the conference, we demonstrated that the hospital waiting list data could and should be permanently and publicly available via the IPFS. See here for the examples of hospital waiting list data we presented. (https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmT66oHDwzb8dU5vnZt3Ez5aStcWCjbqjNE2pA25ShTjmM/)   What are we working on next:?   Plans for the future:
  • Hospital Waiting List: OK Ireland continues to work with the Irish government on making Hospital Waiting List data open, to linking it with Wikimedia Data, and applying it on the Open Street Maps. As all of us can and might become ill, we believe that making health data accessible and comprehensive to everyone is the best way to demonstrate the potential value of open data.
  We aim to get existing data on waiting times released into Data.gov.ie – to do so it is likely that a tender will have to be announced to get this work under way. We are therefore looking to draft what this work might look like and what a project plan & costs would look like.  
  • Developing a sustainable fundraising strategy: We are struggling, as are many non-profits, to secure funds. Are there proven methods & tools that the Open Knowledge International Network could share to support us in developing a strategic plan for fundraising? For example, how could we leverage prominent personalities on the global level locally? Where should a strategic fundraising plan focus? And how do we go about sustaining a constant output of fundraising applications?
27705489665_04a9d5b0f1_z   And our upcoming events:  
  • During Open Access Week (October 24–30, 2016) Open Knowledge Ireland and the Institute of Public Health (IPH)  are co-organising an event which is dedicated to Open Data, Open Access, and Social Justice. The event will take place on Tuesday, 25 October at Pearse Street Library. More information to follow.
  If you want to contact us:   If you found the above interesting and/or want to learn more about anything we talked about here, please feel free to email, tweet, or facebook us.   Twitter Facebook Email   To read more about Open Knowledge Ireland, visit their website.
Learn more about the Open Knowledge Network by visiting the Open Knowledge International website.

Irish OGP Progress Report Launch: opening remarks by Paul Maassen

- March 14, 2016 in Denis Parfenov, Events, Ireland, IRM, IRM Report, Martin Wallace, midterm, OGP, OGP Ireland, OGPirl, open-government, opengov, Paul Maassen

ogp ireland

9 March 2016

The Printing House at Trinity College Dublin

Good evening ladies and gentleman,

I have been following the Irish journey in OGP since June 2012 when two active citizens came to me with the idea of campaigning for Irish participation in the partnership. With a smart advocacy strategy they managed to get more civil society interested and more to get minister Howlin interested. And the rest is history as they say. With Raj’s excellent report on the formal participation experience of Ireland in OGP to date as it’s history book.

Let me start with two complements. First, a complement for Ireland on not only producing a strong set of commitments, but also making very substantial progress on delivering them. And when I say Ireland I mean those actors in civil society and in government that made this happen. Second, a complement for Raj on his report. It is quite an achievement to capture a countries journey in OGP in general, but the Irish one is perhaps even more complex. I think you managed to capture the positives and the negatives well, naming what needs to be named, doing it elegantly without shying away.

I will try to do the same while framing Ireland’s performance within the partnership and making some suggestions.

FRAME

OGP now has 69 participating countries, over 100 Action Plans that combined have close to 2500 commitments. The last couple of months 25 reports have been released for public comments. Those reports cover 407 commitments in total. Action plans range from 4 commitments to 15 in general, but we did have cases like Ireland with 30 and Uruguay with 40. So Ireland is on the high end

If we look at ambition, and use starred criteria I can tell you that out of these 407 commitments 27 are starred (meaning measurable, relevant to open government values, potentially transformative and substantially of fully implemented. The stars per country range from 1 to 4 (only Ireland has 4 stars, 4 countries have 2 stars, 4 countries have 3 stars, 2 countries have 1 star).

On issues covered the trends are access to information and public accountability (based on the frequency of their relevance to OGP values.

In the bigger picture Ireland is doing well if you look at the commitments. Across the 30 commitments many are relevant, many are substantially of fully delivered, the plan covers a broad range of issues and not just politically easy ones. On the process side there is more to be done in Ireland – and not just in Ireland.

CONSULTATION

Trend is that countries are learning and complying better with the official OGP process requirements. We have seen improvements in all countries from first action plan to second. Meeting the requirements doesn’t necessarily mean a national process was of high quality though. As OGP we have realized that we have to revisit the requirements and bring in new elements that look at more qualitative aspects like the depth of the consultation – is civil society consulted or do they co-create with government, is the process open and inclusive or not? We also realized that one important factor for success is what we call the permanent dialogue mechanism a country puts in place. Raj calls it the Implementation Review Group. The name doesn’t matter. What is important is that there is a way to have a continuous dialogue between actors – not just for the development of a plan, but also for implementation and monitoring. The best examples we have are really where civil society and government co-create OGP in a space they manage together.

I actually thought the consultation for the plan in Ireland was pretty good. And I watched it very closely. Yes, there could have been more citizens in the room, yes it could have been taken outside of Dublin, yes, the government could have negotiated with civil society more directly at the political level about priorities. Yes civil society could have been more strategic in bringing the 62 recommendations down to 10 Big Asks. But at least there was a lively debate resulting in 62 asks, there was government funding for the consultation, there was feedback on the proposals made and many made it into the plan and minister Howlin did put his political weight behind OGP and behind the commitments.

A lot has been said about the way civil society works and works together. I don’t think I need to touch on that, except two things. I absolutely realize that for civil society to be actively engaged in something so important and so complex as changing the culture of government asks for resources. And in western countries it is almost inevitable that that funding comes from government. Second, I have seen Irish civil society smartly advocate and work together twice and got what they wanted as a result. First in getting Ireland into OGP, second in rallying together to get the FOI fees abolished. It shows it is possible and when it happens it can pay off.

RECOMMENDATION

Coming to a close with a few recommendations for the future of Ireland in OGP. And of course I realize you have just had elections and they have brought a bit of shake-up. And I also realize Raj has recommendations in his report. They all are very solid and important.

First, to open up government and change the culture is not a technical fix. It is much more complex and political. Look at the commitments on lobbying regulation or whistleblower protection. For OGP to stay relevant in Ireland it is imperative to have a political champion in the new government with the will and power to drive this agenda forward. This is an opportunity for civil society to take the initiative.

Second, if commitments are not delivered by June it is great to re-commit – or differently put – still deliver what you promise. This should not be an excuse to commit to new, bold and ambitious things that combat corruption, or promote the uptake of open data, or make public spending more transparent and accountable.

Third, there are a lot of commitments in the plan to do more about participation, whether around all new policies or at local level. Ireland has a lot of good experience and should build on that. Not in the last place to make the next action plan development process even better and more inclusive, really pushing the boundaries on co-creation. And doing it in a way that really adds value to the outcome and for the parties that invest time and energy. Let’s not create participation opportunities just for the sake of it.

Fourth: be a leader in OGP on some of the stuff you are really good at like whistleblowing and lobbying – and learn from others on topics you are struggling on. That is part of why you are in OGP.

And finally: get that permanent dialogue going between government and civil society. It is not that difficult. You have done it on different topics and at different moments. We have dozens of strong examples by now on how to do it – including on selecting the people at the table and shaping the rules of the dialogue.

Let me leave it here. As I said, I have been closely following the Irish path to government reform for the last 4 years and look forward to the next 4!

Paul Maassen, Director for Civil Society Engagement at the Open Government Partnership

More information:

Background:

 

 

 

 

Festive Greetings From Open Knowledge Ireland

- December 31, 2015 in 2016, christmas, Events, Hospital Waiting List, new year, OKFN Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland

We, Open Knowledge Ireland, would like to send all our supporters a big “Thank you” for your help in the last year. By participating in our events, speaking up in support for openness and transparency, and even by donating time, effort or money to us, you helped to make a difference. 2015 has brought some important new developments to Ireland. After years of lobbying, even going up as high as the EU, Ireland government finally started changing the  public sector information re-use licenses to open ones [http://www.per.gov.ie/en/minister-howlin-signs-regulations-to-enhance-the-rights-of-citizens-and-businesses-to-re-use-public-sector-information/].
News and Events
Featured Events 
Open Health Data Nigth @Science gallery
Important Dates
Wednesday, 20th January
While up until some months ago, commercial re-use of public data was widely prohibited, now everyone can create exciting new stuff based on the data that we all helped to pay for with our taxes, making Ireland’s public data real Open Data. We will of course continue our efforts to guide and counsel the public authorities on this topic, helping (and sometimes pushing them) forward to open up more data that is of importance for Ireland’s citizens. [http://openknowledge.ie/irish-open-data-wishlist-ireland-falling-behind-its-open-data-promises-and-international-best-practice/]Speaking of Open Data, we must admit that we have not been successful enough with our fight re-establish trust in Ireland’s charity sector by opening up Ireland’s charity data in 2015. While we still believe that it is the wrong way to spend millions of euros in a private company to digitize and re-sell charity budget data [http://openknowledge.ie/open-data-ireland-charity-transparency/], instead of simply creating an open and easy to use data base for a small percentage of these costs [http://openknowledge.ie/opening-up-charities/], we accept that the Irish media may not seem this topic important enough to pick it up.We will continue with our efforts to open up more Irish Health Data [http://openknowledge.ie/projects/open-hospital-waiting-list/]. We were able to join forces with Wikimedia Ireland to bring to you a special Open Health Data evening in the science gallery this January 20th. Please join us for discussions there:

OPEN HEALTH DATA NIGHT @ SCIENCE GALLERY

JANUARY 20th (18:30-20:00), doors open at 18:00 REGISTER ON https://ti.to/open-knowledge-ireland/OPEN-HEALTH-DATA-NIGHT-at-SCIENCE-GALLERY

Support us!

Please help us continue our work in 2016! We accept all kind of help, giving us your time and participation in our events, hosting space for events or virtual space for our web pages. We also accept bitcoins and various kinds of money, so supporting our fight for openness and transparency is just a click away: http://openknowledge.ie/donate/ That leaves us just one more thing to wish for:

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year 2016!

Making Data Relevant: Irish Health Data

- June 26, 2015 in #OpenDataIRL, Brian Costello, Caroline Lewis, Dan Alexandru Bujoreanu, Daniel "Chino" Carranza, Dave Corley, Denis Parfenov, Eoin MacCuirc, Eugene Eichelberger, Events, Flora Fleischer, Hospital Waiting List, Ingo Keck, Maker Party, Margaret Furr, Martin Kelly, Open Knowledge Ireland, Pamela Duncan, Richard Geoghegan, Robert Harte, Roslyn Fuller, Ruta Danyte, Salua Nassabay, Shawn Day, Steve White

Call for Action

Data collected on behalf of the people of Ireland and paid for by taxes should be available for use, reuse and redistribution as a right and under Service Level Agreement (SLA) in 21st century non-proprietary, machine-readable formats. PDF is not open data. Publishing reports in PDF format makes them inaccessible for processing and in effect renders the data unusable. Open Knowledge Ireland and OpenStreetMaps Ireland  call on Brendan Howlin, Minister of Department for Public Expenditure and Reform, Leo Varadkar, Health Minister and Richard Corbridge, Chief Information Officer for the Health Service Executive in Ireland, to support the efforts of the Open Data Community to increase the usefulness of publicly available Health Sector Data, by ensuring its publication in an open data format.  

Maker Party Round-Up

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 10.23.35 On Saturday, 13 June 2015, a diverse collection of twenty publicly-minded enthusiasts joined to explore and demonstrate the benefits of public data made open and used. The day began with opening remarks by Denis Parfenov:
We want the government to make data collected on behalf of citizens and at taxpayers expense available for use, re-use and distribution in useful 21st century non-proprietary, machine-readable formats; so it can be converted into actionable information to help society to answer real questions.

A lively and frank discussion led by Brian Costello and Eoin McCuirc from the Central Statistics Office followed – primarily detailing concrete ways to make data requests easy, fast and open. There was agreement among the wider group that making requests ‘public’ will help to make requests traceable and transparent and serve the public interest. Participants then broke into 3 focussed working groups:
  1. The OpenStreetMaps (OSM) group followed detailed instructions (link) by the OSM Community Organiser in Ireland Dave Corley and in a determined effort tidied up geospatial data for the 41 hospitals listed in the NTPF acute care dataset.
  • The intention was to use a publicly accessible, open format platform to provide a geospatial foundation for the Hospital Data Working group – but also make the same data available for anyone who cared to make use of it;
  • The result is a clean and accurate list of hospital lat/long coordinates generated by Dave Corley and available (link).
  1. The Data Wrangling group manipulated the available CSV data (which has been manually scraped on a monthly basis) on hospital waiting lists accessible to everyone:
  • The objective of this group was to transform inaccessible hospital data, published in PDF reports by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF http://www.ntpf.ie/home/inpatient.htm / http://www.ntpf.ie/home/outpatient.htm), into machine readable data formats (link to data / link to project page)
  • This is a requirement to be able to use the data to provide quality analysis into how long patients are waiting for hospital appointments for May 2015 (link to data);
  • Participants self-organised themselves into an ongoing ‘Hospital Data Working Group’ to work on strategies of making hospital data accessible to everyone via an interactive data publishing platform;
  • This group identified that a major obstacle to persons identifying the hospital at which they may get the fastest specialists appointments or where they would wait the longest is the authorities is not making this data available to the public in machine readable formats.
  1. The Social Media group discussed ways of making the activities & benefits of open data known to the wider public. Their primary recommendations are:
  • Open health data (or any sector-specific data) is potentially of interest for everyone in Ireland, but people tend to think about it only when they are personally affected;
  • A media campaign would need to create general attention first, eventually leading to seeking of more detailed information by individuals with specific interest;
  • Information needs to be provided in small, relevant and instantly recognisable pieces for it to lead to more in-depth information requests.

Inspiration from Uruguay

At the end of the productive day we established a virtual bridge with Daniel “Chino” Carranza (@danielcarranza / @DataUY) in Uruguay. Daniel shared http://datauy.org/’s inspirational story of co-creating a data driven Health Care Dashboard (http://atuservicio.uy/) which helps people of Uruguay to make an informed choice of health care provider base on data, not marketing. The Ministry of Health of Uruguay published data in Excel spreadsheets over the past 4 years. However, the number of downloads was a meagre 500 cases. By making this same data accessible in an easily comprehensible and actionable format via http://atuservicio.uy/ increased data exposure by over 7,000%! Taking the time to help the public understand the context of the data makes it active data.
With the information was published through the dashboard, the government of Uruguay started a quality of healthcare discussion, and for the first time based on data, not on opinion and marketing.   For more information: Health Data Maker Party on Storify: link Photos on Flickr: link Opening remarks: link Daniel “Chino” Carranza’s slide-deck (link); video (link); full (rough) transcript of the call (link) Hospital Waiting List project page (link) Acknowledgements: Many thanks to everyone who participated in this workshop in person and virtually: Margaret Furr, Richard Geoghegan, Martin Kelly, Ruta Danyte, Robert Harte, Pamela Duncan, Salua Nassabay, Roslyn Fuller, Flora Fleischer, Dave Corley, Shawn Day, Daniel “Chino” Carranza, Dan Alexandru Bujoreanu, Eugene Eichelberger, Caroline Lewis, Ingo Keck, Brian Costello, Eoin MacCuirc, Steve White  and Denis Parfenov Special thanks to newly openned TechMeetup.space for hosting the event and to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (http://www.per.gov.ie/) for sponsoring the venue and providing tasty sandwiches and healthy refreshments.  

Hospital Waiting Lists: Making National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) Data Available in 21st Century format

- May 11, 2015 in Adrian Corcoran, Denis Parfenov, hospital, Hospital Waiting List, NTPF, Open Data, Open Data Ireland, Press Release

Open Knowledge Ireland Calls for Hospital Waiting List “Open Data”

- April 27, 2015 in Adrian Corcoran, Denis Parfenov, healthcare, hospital, Leo, Leo Vradkar, NTPF, Open Data Ireland, Press Release, Vradkar, waiting list

*** Improve long term planning and increase effectiveness of governance.***

Monday, April 27th 2015: Open Knowledge Ireland today called on Health Minister, Leo Vradkar, to support the efforts of the Open Knowledge Community to increase the usefulness of publicly available Health Sector Data, by ensuring its publication in an open data format. The National Treatment Purchase Fund currently publishes its Out-Patient Waiting list and In-patient/Day Case Waiting list reports in PDF format which makes them impossible to access automatically thus limiting their usefulness. Over the past few months Open Knowledge Ireland has scraped the data from these NTPF lists and created a dataset of easily accessible information. The datasets are available here and clearly show that the longest waiting lists are in the areas of Otolaryngology, Orthopaedics, Opthamology and General Surgery. Open Knowledge Ireland believes that if the NTPF begins publishing datasets in an accessible way, then this can act as a catalyst to encourage other agencies to make their publicly available data open.  Adrian Corcoran (Open Knowledge Ireland), commented: ‘We would like to replicate the NTPF pilot by building a network of “projects” which each tackle a specific area of publically available healthcare data and then ensure that these islands of data can be crosslinked for increased transparency.’ This requires a twined approach:
  1. Track 1 – Publish publicly available Health data in an open data format (Health Minister, Leo Vradkar)
  2. Track 2 – Develop prototypes to help visualise this information, with a particular emphasis on linking across datasets (Open Knowledge, Volunteers)
Open Knowledge Ireland’s Denis Parfenov, commented: ‘In May, the government will relaunch the data portal data.gov.ie which is the ideal opportunity to include hospital waiting lists in Ireland’s open data. We’re calling on Minister Vradkar to introduce open data of hospital lists as a matter of urgency, which in itself may not directly reduce waiting lists, but it will increase transparency which can lead to prioritisation of funding to improve access to health; this is surely one of the most basic but important needs of all citizens.Ends For further information: Denis Parfenov, Ambassador of Open Knowledge for Ireland, 086 385 0044 Adrian Corcoran, Project Director, Open Knowledge Ireland, 087 680 3873 Rachel Power, Public Relations Executive, 087 933 1154 Project URL: http://openknowledge.ie/projects/open-hospital-waiting-list/ Note for Editor: Open Knowledge Ireland (https://openknowledge.ie/) is part of the global Open Knowledge non-profit network. OK are people passionate about openness, and using advocacy, technology and training to unlock data to enable people to create, manage and share knowledge. The Open Knowledge (https://okfn.org/) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 and dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all their forms – including government data, publicly funded research and public domain cultural content.

Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences

- March 18, 2015 in DPER, Ireland, licence, OGP Action Plan, OKFN Ireland, Open Data Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, PSI, Public Consultation

Date: 18 March 2015 at 11:00
Subject: Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences
To: opendata@per.gov.ie
Cc: “open-data-ireland@googlegroups.com” <open-data-ireland@googlegroups.com>

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Sir / Madam,

Please find attached the submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the public consultation on open data licences.

Open Knowledge Ireland is very pleased at the Government’s decision to invite views on an open data policy for Ireland and the decision to review the Public Sector Information (PSI) licence.

Open Knowledge Ireland (OK Ireland) is a regional chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The OK Ireland is at the forefront of Ireland’s Open Data community with the aim of developing a self-sustainable, enabling ecosystem for open data to empower citizens and organisations to make better informed, evidence-based decisions.

OK Ireland promotes open data culture through regular weekly, monthly and quarterly community engagements. Our events have been attended by thought leaders and notable civic activists.  Between October 2012 and January 2015, OK Ireland has successfully organised 15 community meetups, 5 hackathons, one Open Data training day and one OGP Civil Society day, with a total of over 1000 participants.We facilitate development of practical engagement with open data repositories. We organize training events, in which participants develop practical skills.

OK Ireland is supported by a number of organizations which make world-class technology resources available for fostering innovative projects. For example, CKAN, the world’s leading open-source data portal platform, was developed by the non-profit Open Knowledge Foundation and is today overseen and managed by the CKAN Association. CKAN is currently used by governments and organizations worldwide to power both official and community data portals, including the Irish Government Data Portal http://data.gov.ie/.

Members of OK Ireland are technology experts and experienced civic activists, with expertise in implementing the best global open data practices and tacit knowledge of unique challenges in Ireland. In September 2013, facilitated by a community engagement day, volunteers audited and catalogued datasets originally published by Irish government agencies. This exercise became a foundation for our input into the Global Open Data Census. At the same event, an Irish instance of CKAN, the worlds most advanced data repository, was deployed. For your convenience, the submission to the Public Consultation on Open Data Licences is also available online here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWL9U2_-lpEUsaV1wy6qt0iarU2_qmmvT17MFI7e_M0/edit?usp=sharing

Best regards,

Denis Our submission document: Submission by Open Knowledge Ireland to the public consultation on open data licences.pdf