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Thank you for Joining the Frictionless Data Hackathon

- October 21, 2021 in Frictionless Data, Open Knowledge

Last week over 20 people from around the world joined the Frictionless Data team for the world’s first Frictionless Data Hackathon. Find out what happened, and make sure you sign up for the next one.
Watch video here What’s this about? The team at Open Knowledge Foundation have lots of experience running and attending Hackathons. We know how powerful they can be to create new functioning software and useful innovations in a short space of time. This is why the team at Frictionless Data were so excited to launch the first Frictionless Data Hackathon on 7 – 8th October 2021. Over 20 people from around the world signed up for the event. During two full days, the participants worked on four projects, all with very different outcomes. For example:
  • Covid Tracker was aimed at testing Livemark – the latest Frictionless tool – with real live data to provide an example of all its functionalities. Check out the project Github repository to learn more.
  • the Frictionless Tutorial project created new tutorials using the Python Frictionless Framework (see tutorial here)
  • Frictionless Community Insight focused on building a new Livemark website to tell the story of the Frictionless Community – who we are, where we are from, what we do and what we care about (see draft website here)
  • DPCKAN was a project proposed by a team working on the data portal of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil to develop a tool that would allow publishing and updating datasets described with Frictionless Standards in a CKAN instance. Check out the Github Repository here.
The prize for the best project, voted by the participants, went to the DPCKAN team. Well done André, Andrés, Carolina, Daniel, Francisco and Gabriel!
    ”I feel pretty happy after this frictionless hackathon experience. We’ve grown in 2 days more than it could have been possible in one month. The knowledge and experience exchange was remarkable”, said the winning team.
Find out more
You can learn more about the Frictionless Data Hackathon here and watch the project presentations here. Learn more about Frictionless Data on our website Ask us a question, or join the Frictionless Data community here.

Open Data Day 2022 Update: Focus on the Ocean

- October 18, 2021 in Open Data Day, Open Knowledge

Today we are pleased to announce a new Open Data Day partnership with Friends of Ocean Action that aims to support UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – to ‘conserve and sustainably use our ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’. What’s this about? Open Data Day is an annual, global celebration of open data. Each year, 300+ groups from around the world create local events to:
  • show the benefits of open data in their local community; and
  • encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.
All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use. For several years we have worked with our partners to deliver hundreds of $300 mini-grants to help people organise Open Data Day events in their communities. These mini-grants have been distributed under four vertical themes:
  • Data for Equal Development
  • Environmental Data
  • Open Mapping; and
  • Tracking Public Funds.
See last year’s events here. Today, we are pleased to announce a fifth vertical theme for the Open Data Day 2022.
  • Ocean Data for a Thriving Planet
Who is involved ? Open Data Day is a community event. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Last year 327 events were registered on the Open Data Day website, with 56 groups from 36 countries receiving financial support to run their event. The Ocean Data for a Thriving Planet mini-grant scheme is supported by our partner Friends of Ocean Action – which is convened by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute. Friends of Ocean Action is a coalition of over 70 ocean leaders who are fast-tracking solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean. Their work falls into five impact pillars – one of which is Creating a Digital Ocean. Learn more here. The Ocean Data for a Thriving Planet mini-grant scheme has received funding from Schmidt Ocean Initiative. We are extremely grateful for their support. What’s next? Over the coming months we will share more information with you about this new initiative. In the meantime, why not check out the list of ocean data resources available on the Open Data Day website, and start planning your ocean themed Open Data Day event! – –
Photo of ocean by Kellie Churchman from Pexels

Help us make Open Data Day more impactful – strategic thinker needed.

- October 1, 2021 in Open Knowledge

Open Data Day is a community event where everyone is invited to contribute. Each year over 300 groups organise activities around the world to show the benefits of open data and to encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. As the stewards of Open Data Day, Open Knowledge Foundation is committed to ensuring that Open Data Day has the support it needs to thrive in a rapidly changing world. This is why we recently asked you about your experience of Open Data Day. We wanted to learn what worked and what could be improved. You gave us lots of fantastic ideas – which we published here. This is also why we decided to publish our ‘Open Data Day 2021 Report’. This report describes (from our perspective) our stewardship of Open Data Day – what we did, who we worked with, and what happened. Please do download a copy of this report and share it with your contacts.
    In the next stage of our stewardship plan, Open Knowledge Foundation plans hire an expert to help us engage with the whole Open Data Day community, to provide insights into the long-term impacts of Open Data Day, and to help us identify new ways to achieve them.

    The world is changing rapidly, and like any organisation, we need to make plans to ensure our work remains relevant into the future and that the work of the Open Data Day community continues to achieve impact. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity – please email
Learn more about Open Data Day here, and join the discussion here.

Make a difference! Our invitation to join the Advisory Council of The Justice Programme

- September 28, 2021 in Open Knowledge

What’s this about? = = = = =
Do you have professional expertise in emerging data driven technologies such as artificial intelligence and their relationship with the law – especially the legal systems of the UK, Republic of Ireland and the EU? Are you up to date with the debates around surveillance technologies and their potential negative impacts on human rights? Do you understand innovation in big data and machine learning, and the opportunities these technologies present? Are you also working to ensure these technologies can be deployed in a way that ensures that everyone benefits? Would you like to use these skills to influence the future of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision making in the UK, and around the world?
= = = = = If this is you – we invite you to be part of the Advisory Council of The Justice Programme. Email to find out more. Also – if you know someone who would be a great fit for the role – please either share this with them, or email us their details and we will get in touch with them directly.

Learn about automated decision making in the UK housing benefits system

- August 30, 2021 in Open Knowledge

– Are you a lawyer, campaigner or activist working in the UK housing benefits system?
– Do you want to learn how automated decision systems are currently used in the housing benefits system in the UK ?
– Do you want to learn about legal strategies for challenging the (mis)use of these technologies?
= = = = = = = Join the The Justice Programme team for an online 90 minute interactive workshop on Thursday September 23rd 2021 between 12.00 – 13.30 BST (London time). Tickets for the event cost £110 (inc VAT) and can be purchased online here. = = = = = = = Tickets are limited to 20 people – to ensure that everyone who attends can maximise their learning experience. If you are unwaged and can’t afford a ticket, please email The Justice Programme is offering two places at a 75% discount (£27.50 each). All proceeds from this event are reinvested in the work of The Justice Programme, as we work to ensure Public Impact Algorithms do no harm. = = = = = = = What will I learn ? In this Interactive Workshop on housing benefit and automation we will: – explore how AI and algorithms are presently being used and likely to be used in UK and elsewhere
– review a summary of how algorithms work
– discuss the potential harms involved at the individual and societal levels
– summarise legal strategies, resources and best practices
– participate in a group exercise on a realistic case study You will also get access to a guide summarising the key points of the workshop and documenting the answers to your questions. This workshop is brought to you by Meg Foulkes, Director of The Justice Programme and Cedric Lombion, our Data & Innovation Lead. Read more about The Justice Programme team here. About The Justice Programme The Justice Programme is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which works to ensure that Public Impact Algorithms do no harm. Find out more about The Justice Programme here, and learn more about Public Impact Algorithms here

Open Science in action ! Making it easier for science researchers to share their data

- August 16, 2021 in Frictionless Data

Frictionless Data and Dryad join forces to make it easier for scientists to upload their research data to the Dryad repository. What’s this about? What happens to scientific data after it is created ? Is it shared with other researchers? Or is it hidden away on a private hard drive? This question is at the heart of the Open Science movement – which aims to make research more accessible and usable by everyone – so that advances in scientific understanding happen faster.
A great way to share research data is to upload it to a repository, but simply uploading data is not enough. Sometimes uploaded data is not high quality. The data may have errors in it, or bits missing. Another problem is metadata – is there enough descriptive information that other researchers can also use it? By collaborating with Dryad, the Frictionless team aimed to fix these problems – making it easier for science researchers to share their data, and drive scientific innovation faster ! Find out more about this collaboration by visiting the Frictionless Blog or contact the Frictionless team here. What is Dryad? Dryad is a community-led data repository that allows researchers to submit data from any field of science. The data has to be curated to ensure the quality of the data, and to make sure it has comprehensive metadata to allow reuse by other researchers. Visit the Dryad website here. What did we achieve? The outcome of this collaboration is a revamped upload page for the Dryad application.
Researchers uploading tabular data (CSV, XLS, XLSX) under 25MB will have the files automatically validated using the Frictionless tool. These checks are based on the built-in validation of Frictionless Framework (read the validation guide here), and include checking for data errors such as blank cells, missing headers, or incorrectly formatted data. The Frictionless report will help guide researchers on which issues should be resolved, allowing researchers to edit and re-upload files before submitting their dataset for curation and publication. = = = = = = = = If there’s a problem, Yo, we’ll solve it !
    Do you want to better apply open scientific methods to your research programme? Are you interested in learning how Frictionless Data can make it easier for your team to share data with people around the world?
Get in touch with the Frictionless Data Team here Also, check out other organisations that have incorporated Frictionless data into their systems to improve their data productivity. = = = = = = = This work was funded by the Sloan Foundation as part of the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project.

The registration for the first EU Open Data Days is open!

- August 9, 2021 in Open Knowledge

Here at Open Knowledge Foundation, we are really pleased to see that registration is now open for participants for the first EU Open Data Days. The programme lasts three days from 23rd to 25th November 2021, and is split in two main parts.
    – EU DataViz, a conference on open data and data visualisation for public administrations, from 23rd to 24th November 2021; and
    – EU Datathon, the annual EU open data competition, on 25th November 2021.
It’s free and open for everyone to attend, and is designed for a broad audience – including experts, open data enthusiasts and the public. = = = = = = = Registration can be done here. = = = = = = = Since EU Open Data Days launched in March 2021, Open Knowledge Foundation is proud to be an official partner of EU Open Data Days. We hope to see you there !

Register your Interest: Open Knowledge Justice Programme Community Meetups

- August 3, 2021 in Open Knowledge

What’s this about? The Open Knowledge Justice Programme is kicking off a series of free, monthly community meetups to talk about Public Impact Algorithms. Register here. Who is this for?
    Do you want to learn more about Public Impact Algorithms? Would you like to know how to spot one, and how they might affect the clients you represent? Do you work in government, academia, policy-making or civil society – and are interested in learning how to deploy a Public Impact Algorithm fairly?
Tell me more Whether you’re a new to tech or a seasoned pro, join us once a month to share your experiences, listen to our guest speakers and ask our data expert questions on this fast changing issue. = = = = =
When? Lunch time every second Thursday of the month
How? Register your interest here
= = = = =
More info:

Welcome Livemark – the New Frictionless Data Tool

- July 21, 2021 in Open Knowledge

We are very excited to announce that a new tool has been added to the Frictionless Data toolkit: Livemark. What is Frictionless? Frictionless Data is a set of specifications for data and metadata interoperability, accompanied by a collection of software libraries that implement these specifications, and a range of best practices for data management. The project is funded by the Sloan Foundation and Open Data Institute. Learn more about Frictionless data here. What is Livemark? Livemark is a great tool that allows you to publish data articles very easily, giving you the possibility to see your data live on a working website in a blink of an eye. How does it work? Livemark is a Python library generating a static page that extends Markdown with interactive charts, tables, scripts, and much much more. You can use the Frictionless framework as a “frictionless” variable to work with your tabular data in Livemark. Livemark offers a series of useful features, like automatically generating a table of contents and providing a scroll-to-top button when you scroll down your document. You can also customise the layout of your newly created webpage. How can you get started? Livemark is very easy to use. We invite you watch this great demo by developer Evgeny Karev: You can also have a look at the documentation on GitHub What do you think? If you create a site using Livemark, please let us know! Frictionless Data is an open source project, therefore we encourage you to give us feedback. Let us know your thoughts, suggestions, or issues by joining us in our community chat on Discord (opens new window) or by opening an issue in the GitHub repo.

Open Data Day 2021 – read the Report

- July 20, 2021 in Open Knowledge

= = = = = = = We are really pleased to share with you our Report on Open Data Day 2021. = = = = = = = We wrote this report for the Open Data Day 2021 funding partners – Microsoft, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mapbox, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Latin American Open Data Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership and Datopian. But we also decided to publish it here so that everyone interested in Open Data Day can learn more about the Open Data Day mini-grant scheme – and the impact of joining Open Data Day 2022 as a funding partner. = = = = = = = Highlights from the report include:
  • a list of the 36 countries that received mini-grants in 2021
  • a breakdown of the 56 mini-grants by World Bank region. It’s notable that most of the Open Data Day 2021 mini-grants were distributed to Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America & the Caribbean. No mini-grants were sent to North America or the Middle East & North Africa. If you would like to help us reach these two regions in Open Data Day 2022 – please do email us at
  • a chart showing 82% of mini-grants went to Lower, Lower Middle or Upper Middle income countries (by World Bank lending group). We think this is probably about the right kind of distribution.
  • eleven case studies demonstrating the impact of the Open Data Day mini-grant programme.

= = = = = = = To find out more, you can download the report here Please do email us at if you would like a high resolution copy. = = = = = = = If you would like to learn more about Open Data Day, please visit, join the Open Data Day forum or visit the Open Knowledge Foundation blog, where we regularly post articles about Open Data Day.