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Highly inspiring Open Data Day activities across the Asia-Pacific

- March 9, 2015 in Bangladesh, community, Featured, india, indonesia, nepal, Open Data Day, Tajikistan

kathmandu1 Following the global Open Data Day 2015 event, which tooks place on February 21 with hundreds of events across the globe, we will do a blog series to highlight some of all the great activities that took place. In this first post (of four in total) we start by looking at some of the great events that took place across the Asia and Pacific. Three more accounts will bring similar accounts from the Americas, Africa and Europe in the days to come.

Indonesia

indonesiaIn the Philippines, Open Knowledge Philippines and the School of Data local grouping celebrated the International Open Data Day 2015 with back to back events on February 20-21, 2015. The extensive event featured talks by Joel Garcia of Microsoft Philippines, Paul De Paula of Drupal Pilipinas, Dr. Sherwin Ona of De La Salle University and Michael Canares of Web Foundation Open Data Labs, Jakarta – alongside community leaders such as Happy Feraren of BantayPH (who is also one of the 2014 School of Data Fellows) and Open Knowledge Ambassador Joseph De Guia. The keynote speaker was Ivory Ong, Outreach Lead of Open Data Philippines, who rightly said that “we need citizens who are ready to use the data, and we need the government and citizens to work together to make the open data initiative successful.” Talks were followed by an open data hackathon and a data jam. The hackathon used data sets taken from the government open data portal; General Appropriation Act (GAA) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The students were tasked to develop a web or mobile app that would encourage participation of citizens in the grass root participatory budgeting program of national government. The winning team was able to develop a web application containing a dashboard of the Philippine National Budget and a “Do-It-Yourself” budget allocation.

Nepal

nepal2Another large event took place in Kathmandu, where Open Knowledge Nepal had teamed up with an impressive coalition of partners including open communities such as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal Community, Mozilla Nepal, Wikimedians of Nepal,CSIT Association of Nepal, Acme Open Source Community (AOSC) and Open Source Ascol Circle (OSAC). The event had several streams of activities including among other a Spending Data Party, CKAN Localization session, a Data Scrapathon, a MakerFest, a Wikipedia Editathon and a community discussion. Each session had teams of facilitators and over 60 people tooks part in the day.

Bangladesh

bangladeshIn Dhaka an event was held by Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN) and Open Knowledge Bangladesh. The event featured a series of distinguished speakers including Jabed Morshed Chowdhury, Joint Secretary of BDOSN and Bangla administrator of Google Developer Group, Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasive, Ambassador Open Knowledge Bangladesh, Abu Sayed, president of Mukto Ashor, Bayzid Bhuiyan Juwel, General Secretary of Mukto Ashor, Nusrat Jahan, Executive Officer of Janata Bank Limited and Promi Nahid, BdOSN coordinator – who all discussed various topics and issues of open data including what open data is, how it works, where Bangladesh fits in and more. Moreover those interested in working with open data were introduced to various tools of Open Knowledge.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan An community initiative in Tajikistan took place in partnership with the magazine ICT4D under the banner of “A day of open data in Tajikistan”. The event was held at the Centre for Information Technology and Communications in the Office of Education in Dushanbe, and brought together designers, developers, statisticians and others who had ideas for the use of open data, or desires to find interesting projects to contribute to as well as learn how to visualize and analyze data. With participants both experienced and brand new to the topic, the event aimed to ensure that every citizen had the opportunity to learn and help the global community of open data to develop. Among the activities were basic introductions to open data and discussions about how the local government could contribute to the creation of open data. There were also discussions about the involvement of local non-profit organizations and companies in the use of open data for products and missions, as well as trainings and other hands-on activities to participants actively involved.

India

indiaOpen Knowledge India, with support from the National Council of Education Bengal and the Open Knowledge micro grants, organised the India Open Data Summit on February, 28. It was the first ever Data Summit of this kind held in India and was attended by Open Data enthusiasts from all over India. Talks and workshops were held throughout the day, revolving around Open Science, Open Education, Open Data and Open GLAM in general, but also zooming in on concrete projects, for instance:
  • The Open Education Project, run by Open Knowledge India, which aims to complement the government’s efforts to bring the light of education to everyone. The project seeks to build a platform that would offer the Power of Choice to the children in matters of educational content, and on the matter of open data platforms, [CKAN](/) was also discussed.
  • Opening up research data of all kinds was another point that was discussed. India has recently passed legislature ensuring that all government funded research results will be in the open.
  • Open governance not only at the national level, but even at the level of local governments, was something that was discussed with seriousness. Everyone agreed that in order to reduce corruption, open governance is the way to go. Encouraging the common man to participate in the process of open governance is another key point that was stressed upon. India is the largest democracy in the world and this democracy is very complex too.Greater use of the power of the crowd in matters of governance can help the democracy a long way by uprooting corruption from the very core.
Overall, the India Open Data Summit, 2015 was a grand success in bringing likeminded individuals together and in giving them a shared platform, where they can join hands to empower themselves. The first major Open Data Summit in India ended with the promise of keeping the ball rolling. Hopefully, in near future we will see many more such events all over India. Watch this space for more Open Data Day reports during the week!

Findings of the investigation of garment factories of Bangladesh

- October 29, 2013 in Bangladesh, community, Data Expeditions, Data Stories, Data Wrangling, Garment, Geo Coding, School of Data, schoolofdata

BANGLADESH-BUILDING/

Credit: Weronika (Flickr) – Some rights reserved.

 

Connecting the Dots: Mapping the Bangladesh Garment Industry

This post was written in collaboration with Matt Fullerton.

During the weekend of October 18th-October 20th, a group of volunteers, data-wranglers, geo-coders, and activists teamed up with the International Labor Rights Forum and P2PU for a Data Expedition to investigate the Garment Factories. We set out to connect the dots between Bangladeshi garment producers and the clothes that you purchase from the shelves of the world’s largest retailers.

Open Knowledge Foundation Egypt and Open Knowledge Foundation Brasil ran onsite Data Expeditions on garment factories and coordinated with the global investigation. In previous endeavors, School of Data had examined the deadly history of incidents in garment factories in Bangladesh and the location of popular retailers’ clothing production facilities. This time around, we worked draw the connections between the retailers that sell our clothes, the factories that make it, the safety agreements they’ve signed, the safety of those buildings, and the workers who occupy them day and night. Sources of Bangladeshi Garment Data

The Importance of the Garment Industry In Bangladesh

Bangladesh, as many people are aware, is a major provider of garment manufacturing services and the industry is vital to Bangladesh’s economy, accounting for over 75% of the country’s exports and 17% of the country’s GDP. As in many developing countries, conditions can be harsh with long hours and unsafe working conditions. This project seeks to provide a resource which can then be used to drive accountability for these conditions and improve the lives and livelihood of average garment worker.

What’s Being Done

Many organisations and agreements already seek to promote the garment industry in Bangladesh and to ensure worker health and safety (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Safety Accord, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), Fair Wear Foundation, The Solidarity Center). Collectively, these groups provide a range of data on Bangladeshi Garment factories: where they are located, safety incidents, and what retailers the factories supply. Our goal focused on connecting suppliers to sellers within the datasets, and geographically plotting the results on an interactive map. Ultimately, we seek to create a usable tool that is filterable on several criteria, specifically on membership to the various organisations and safety agreements which exist, the factory incident history, and the retailers that are being supplied by these factories. Styling of point radii would allow a quick overview of e.g. the number of workers and pop-up information could include additional data from the certification and auditing data including addresses, contact information, website addresses, incidents, and many more.

We made significant progress at the Data Expedition of October 20-21 as we:

Keep Moving Forward

We however do not want to stop here. Rather, we see this as simply the beginning of a longer international collaborative project to make it possible for you to find out who created your clothing and under what conditions. Get involved in the continued investigation of the garment factories by: flattr this!