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Teaching students to tell stories with budget data in Guatemala: Open Data Day 2020 report

- June 15, 2020 in Guatemala, Open Data Day, Open Data Day 2020

On Saturday 7th March 2020, the tenth Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme This blogpost is a report from Ojoconmipisto in Guatemala who received funding from Hivos to teach students and journalists how to investigate and tell stories from public budget and contracting data. This blogpost is published in Spanish. Ojoconmipisto participó el pasado 7 de marzo en la celebración mundial del Open Data Day. Organizó un taller dirigido a estudiantes de periodismo y periodistas en ejercicio, donde se habló de datos abiertos, compras públicas, fiscalización herramientas, acceso a la información y periodismo. Esta es la primera que el medio guatemalteco organiza la actividad, en las cuatro ediciones anteriores asistió como participante.  El 5 de marzo publicó la actividad en el mapa de eventos de Opendataday.org, que registró 305. Ojoconmipisto fue uno de los 19 participantes de la categoría “seguimiento de fondos públicos”. La convocatoria, en donde anunciaba que tenía espacio para 25 personas, la hizo en sus redes sociales (Facebook y Twitter). Al menos 168 personas consultaron el formulario en línea.  El encuentro se realizó en Hakuna Matata 2, un salón ubicado en la zona 13 de la ciudad de Guatemala. Asistieron 21 personas de un total de 27 que se registraron, entre ellos estudiantes de las Universidades del Istmo, Regional y Galileo, catedráticos universitarios y periodistas interesados en datos abiertos.  La actividad de 14:30 a 18:30 horas consistió de cuatro charlas, tres relacionadas con datos y una con la Ley de Acceso a la Información que para Ojoconmipisto es una herramienta de trabajo.  La primera a cargo de Daniel Ambeliz –autor de un estudio sobre los precios de antirretrovirales–, se centró en recursos digitales como Power BI, un programa que permite analizar bases de datos para crear visualizaciones y entender de manera sencilla. Junto a los participantes realizó un ejercicio práctico para identificar posibles enfoques y datos llamativos para una investigación.  En la segunda sesión la dirigió Silvio Gramajo, especialista en temas de transparencia, quien abordó sobre la importancia de la Ley de Acceso a Información, la rendición de cuentas y el uso de los datos abiertos para construir ciudadanía. Esta se transmitió a través de Facebook Live que registró 343 reproducciones y un alcance de 1,673 personas.  La tercera estuvo a cargo de Isaias Morales, reportero de Ojoconmipisto. El presentó una guía para fiscalizar la obra pública a partir del periodismo. Este documento es parte del proyecto “Obras bajo la lupa”, realizado con Open Contracting e Hivos, y monitorea 40 construcciones municipales. La guía explica procesos y cómo encontrar historias a partir el uso del portal de Guatecompras. Este es el sistema que registra todas las compras y contrataciones que se hacen con fondos públicos.  Para cerrar la jornada, Francelia Solano, reportera de Nómada, impartió la charla “un dato, una historia”. Compartió su experiencia de usar los datos para investigar a los alcaldes del país.  Al finalizar la actividad los estudiantes se acercaron a los dos reporteros de Ojoconmipisto para distintas consultas y solicitar orientación para realizar reportajes investigativos que requiere su universidad. Al menos cuatro de ellos quedaron en contacto con el equipo.  La actividad se tuiteó desde la cuenta de Ojoconmipisto con los hashtags #OpenDataDay y #ODD2020. Publicamos 26 tuits con la interacción de los asistentes.

Data scouting on public procurement in Guatemala: Open Data Day 2020 report

- April 17, 2020 in Guatemala, Open Data Day, Open Data Day 2020

On Saturday 7th March 2020, the tenth Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme. This blogpost is a report by Diálogos in Guatemala who received funding from Hivos to examine the volume of public procurement undertaken by the main ministries of the Government of Guatemala. Diálogos celebrates Open Data Day 2020 in Guatemala The study of public procurement has become more relevant in the anti-corruption agenda of many governments, mainly due to the high capital that comes from these resources. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), public contracts represented 15% of global GDP in 2015. In OECD countries, it is estimated that the figure is around 29% of public spending while for developing countries it can be up to 50%. However, in the different phases of the public procurement process, there are bad practices that lead to mismanagement of public resources. These weaknesses become evident in systems with ambiguous legislation, little available information, the absence of open data and bureaucratic processes with wide discretion. The Guatemalan State procurement system has several of these characteristics. A study presented by CIEN indicates the lack of unity in the application of the regulations, as well as the conflicts in the interpretation of these (Bonilla and Quezada, 2016). In addition to the lack of clarity in the regulations, the current public procurement system is not integrated. This has led to a gap between the planning and awarding processes for public goods and services. Analysis carried out by Diálogos on the public contracts of the General Direction of the National Civil Police (DGPNC) shows the importance of studying the contracting processes within government agencies. From the data, it is verified that the problem does not lie in compliance with regulations, but in the dynamics that allow some suppliers to take advantage of the contracting system. Likewise, the study evidenced the lack of data in the different contracting phases to elaborate the different indicators of red flags. One of the great challenges facing the hiring study in Guatemala is the limited information available in open data formats. In this sense, it is necessary for the study of public contracting to promote the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for Guatemala, and with this guarantee access to data in open format. From this starting point, the possible routes to promote transversality in the public procurement system can be started directly or indirectly. Diálogos celebrated 10th Open Data Day 2020 in Guatemala with a data scouting on public procurement data. The event was held in the Escuela de Gobierno with more than 25 students of its Public Management Master Programme. The first part of the activity started with a discussion of where Guatemala fits and how can we move forward towards the application of OCDS. Discussion focused on the importance of preventing corruption in public procurement and better allocation of public goods through the Open Contracting Partnership Building on the discussion, participants downloaded the dataset for all contracts awarded on 2019. All participants were assigned to groups and examine different buying entities. They explore amount and values of contracts, types of modalities, contest and award dates, among many other variables. Findings revealed the use of uncompetitive modalities, contracts awarded during some months, and bidders that received more contracts. During presentations, participants were able to press more questions and understand how to identify key lines of research to understand the use of public funds. Thanks to the OCDS initiative, it has been possible to promote an open data agenda in public procurement at the international level. However, there are important challenges in each individual country regarding the level of detail, the availability of information at each stage and the quality of the data itself. Therefore, Diálogos will continue promoting dialogue in the search for innovative solutions that contribute to solving this challenge.

Apply Now! School of Data’s 2018 Fellowship Programme

- April 16, 2018 in announcement, bolivia, fellowship, ghana, Guatemala, indonesia, kenya, Malawi, philippines, tanzania

School of Data is inviting journalists, data scientists, civil society advocates and anyone interested in advancing data literacy to apply for its 2018 Fellowship Programme, which will run from May 2018 to January 2019. 8 positions are open, 1 in each of the following countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, The Philippines. The application deadline is set on Sunday, May 6th of 2018. If you would like to sponsor a fellowship, please get in touch with School of Data at Apply for the Fellowship Programme

The Fellowship

Fellowships are nine-month placements with School of Data for data-literacy practitioners or enthusiasts. During this time, Fellows work alongside School of Data to build an individual programme that will make use of both the collective experience of School of Data’s network to help Fellows gain new skills, and the knowledge that Fellows bring along with them, be it about a topic, a community or specific data literacy challenges. Similarly to previous years, our aim with the Fellowship programme is to increase awareness of data literacy and build communities who together, can use data literacy skills to make the change they want to see in the world. The 2018 Fellowship will continue the work in the thematic approach pioneered by the 2016 class. As a result, we will be prioritising candidates who:
  • possess experience in, and enthusiasm for, a specific area of data literacy training

  • can demonstrate links with an organisation practising in this defined area and/or links with an established network operating in the field
We are looking for engaged individuals who already have in-depth knowledge of a given sector or specific skillsets that can be applied to this year’s focus topics.. This will help Fellows get off to a running start and achieve the most during their time with School of Data: nine months fly by! Read More about the Fellowship Programme

The areas of focus in 2018

We have partnered with Hivos and NRGI to work on the following themes: Procurement and data in the extractives industry (oil, mining, gas). These amazing partner organisations will provide Fellows with guidance, mentorship and expertise in their respective domains.

2018 Fellowship Positions

Bolivia The Fellowship in Bolivia will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: Experience with and interest in community building, experience with the implementation of civic projects with a data or technical component, storytelling skills, and experience with promoting data or technical stories to a wide audience, basic understanding of the public procurement process Guatemala The Fellowship in Guatemala will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: Experience in the planning, coordination and implementation of projects with civil society organisations, the ability to advise and train organisations on working with data and delivering technical projects, basic understanding of the public procurement process Ghana The Fellowship in Ghana with be focused on extractives Data through the Media Development Programme at NRGI. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: an interest in supporting or working within the civil society sector, experience working with financial (or related) data for analysis experience as a trainer and/or community builder, interest and/or experience in the extractives sector, demonstrated skills as a data storyteller or journalist Malawi The Fellowship in Malawi will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: experience with delivering technical and data-driven projects, experience with facilitating training activities, experience with data collection projects, basic understanding of the public procurement process **Indonesia ** The Fellowship in Indonesia will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: experience with delivering technical and data-driven projects, experience with facilitating training activities, experience with working with government systems or data. Candidates with the following optional interests and experience will be appreciated: experience with explaining complex topics to varied audiences, experience with user design methodologies, experience with community development The Philippines The Fellowship in The Philippines will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: experience with user-centric research and design methodologies, experience with community-building activities, experience with data storytelling. Candidates with the following optional interests and experience will be appreciated: graphic design skills, experience with delivering trainings Kenya The Fellowship in Kenya will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: experience with delivering data-driven projects, experience with user research and data storytelling, experience with explaining complex topics to varied audiences. Candidates with the following optional interests and experience will be appreciated: interest in or experience with supporting civic projects and civil society organisations, experience with facilitating training activities. Tanzania The Fellowship in Tanzania will be focused on public procurement data through the Open Contracting Programme. For this position, School of Data is looking for someone with: experience with delivering data-driven projects, experience with facilitating training activities, experience with explaining complex topics to varied audiences. Candidates with the following optional interests and experience will be appreciated: experience working with journalists or as a journalist, interest in or experience with supporting civic projects and civil society organisations, experience with writing pedagogical content 9 months to make an impact The two programmes will run from May to Jan uary 2019, and entail up to 10 days a month of time. While Fellows will be focused on ironing their skills as data trainers and build a community around them, Experts will focus on supporting and training a civil society organisation or newsroom with a specific project. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend of $1,000 USD a month to cover for their work. In May, both Experts and Fellows will come together during an in-person Fellowship Induction Workshop to meet their peers, build and share their skills, and learn about the School of Data way of training people on data skills. What are you waiting for? Read more about School of Data’s Fellowship or Apply now Key Information: Fellowship
  • Available positions: up to 8 fellows, 1 in each of the following countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, The Philippines

  • Application deadline: May 6th, 2018, midnight GMT+0
  • Duration: From May 14th, 2018 to January 31st, 2019
  • Level of activity: 10 days per month
  • Stipend: $1000 USD per month
Key links About diversity and inclusivity School of Data is committed to being inclusive in its recruitment practices. Inclusiveness means excluding no one because of race, age, religion, cultural appearance, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender. We proactively seek to recruit individuals who differ from one another in these characteristics, in the belief that diversity enriches all that we do. Flattr this!

Celebrating Open Data Day with communities from Mexico to Guatemala

- April 3, 2018 in Guatemala, mexico, Open Data Day, open data day 2018

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The events in this blog were supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Follow the Money theme.  SocialTIC organized Open Data Day (ODD) events in two neighbouring countries: Mexico and Guatemala. Even though they are next to each other, the development of their communities and data practices vary in scale, approaches and challenges. Both countries had a wide mix of community: from civic hackers, to designers, journalists, social scientists and developers they all shared their interest for data as a public good. In Mexico, the event was dedicated to different activities: from a FollowTheMoney Rally to Anticorruption data expeditions. The workshops focused on learning about the Open Contracting Standard, how to deal with API’s from different civic projects, some cool Data meets Art space and a lighting talks about new projects. In Guatemala, the community gathered in a three track event. The first was a data expedition wrangled in databases in a wide range of topics: community violence, homicides in the whole country, the historic list of people elected and contracts from Odebrecht corruption scandal. The second was an experimental visualization track that went to the streets to create interactive visualizations with the people that walked by the area. The third Tips & Tricks track was filled with people eager to work on solving problems that you deal with when you are in charge of opening up public interest data.

Local communities

In these two events we got to know the people behind really cool projects and see how our local communities have changed. In Mexico we became aware that the strong environment that works in these topics is really diverse. The challenges in these setting involve working as a articulated movement in the middle of really specialized data practices and specific communities in dialogue.   In Guatemala the event was bigger than previous years and the crowd was more diverse in approaches and backgrounds. Some of the community leaders that began working in these topics noted that now the conversation about data use for public good has advanced a lot and that the effects on public and private sectors are evident. Still, their community (and country) is a lot smaller that Mexico’s, so that makes for a really close relationship between the participants.

Data meetups

Both events had a similar data meetup background that keeps the community alive and the conversation about new projects and challenges ongoing. In Mexico, events like SocialTIC’s #DatosYMezcales is a monthly event that gathers a lot of people interested in seeing the work from others.  In Guatemala, the spin-off is called #DatosYTragos. It started two years ago in the same way that a lot of countries have joined to the meetup trend: sharing drinks and hanging in a cool venue to talk about how people are solving social problems using data.

Lessons learned

One of the main lesson learned in Mexico was the importance of articulating all the work that is being done for specific causes. In September, Mexico suffered an earthquake and a lot of the civic tech community helped using technology to locate missing individuals, coordinate support and delivery of tools, food and volunteers to damaged areas, fact-checking rumors and missing information about the event and coordinating a team of engineers to evaluate the damages in houses and buildings.  It is in these moments of crisis in which the work that the data community has done gets a time to give back to the society and join efforts with authorities and neighbors. For the Guatemalan team this year was also a success because of the rise of data projects that are more sustainable and that engage more broadly in time and in reach. Instead of just publishing, the rise of follow-up projects has led to a more extense impact and a constant use of data. Both countries have had to learn to co-create and join forces with the authorities in charge of leading the Country’s supply of information. In Mexico, the ODD had a Data Expedition organized along the Government agency of Budget Transparency in which teams used the Open Contracting platform from the government and some data form their anticorruption guides to create charts, analysis and other products. In Guatemala the agency in charge of creating the Open Data Portal presented the prototype of these tool and made a call for the participants to give feedback and reuse the data that they’re going to open in the upcoming months. The work done by SocialTIC in Mexico as well as supporting a lot of local communities around Latin America like Guatemala, has proven to be a key factor in the coordinated efforts for these regions to be capable of opening up data and to have a community of civic organizations and individuals that reuse and create along these projects. The continuation of key elements like the School Of Data program, the Data and drinks branch of meetups and the workshops and coaching opportunities are a key part of sustaining this momentum.

Open Data Day 2018 in Mexico

Data Journalism for Beginners in Guatemala

- September 6, 2016 in Data Journalism, Event report, fellowship, Guatemala

image alt text School of Data’s first data journalism workshop in Guatemala was a total success. We invited 14 journalists, video journalists and graphic designers in Guatemala to attend a four hour workshop at “Casa de Cervantes”, to learn the basic tools of data journalism. Journalists from the most important newspapers and magazines of the country attended: Soy502, elPeriódico, Prensa Libre, Contrapoder and Nómada. In this first event, which will be followed by other regular workshops, the journalists were able to explore the data pipeline and work with a crime dataset to obtain news stories. The workshop was given by Ximena Villagrán, assisted by Daniel Villatoro. The objective of the workshop was that after four hours, participants would be able to understand the basics of what data journalism is, when to use it and how to use it. The workshop started with an exercise that involved only paper (not computers) to represent the data pipeline:
  • Collect individual information

  • Gather information
  • Organize the information in a database
  • Clean, normalize and standardize the data
  • Contextualize the data
  • Create an hypothesis
  • Obtains conclusions by interviewing the database
After this exercise, participants were given a pdf document about crime in Guatemala. We first showed them how to convert this document from PDF to Excel, before manually converting the resulting table to a database. Once the database building step was done, we started creating hypotheses and analyzing the data with Excel filters. image alt text The PDF given to the participants image alt text The data once converted into a database We arranged with the group to follow up this workshop with several others, once a month, in order to learn more about data journalism, and to explore in depth the whole data pipeline.
Infobox
Event name: Easy recipes to take away (to the newsroom)
Event type: workshop
Event theme: Data Journalism
Description: an event focusing on training journalists in data journalism pipeline
Speakers: Ximena Villagrán, Daniel Villotoro
Partners: None
Location: Guatemala, Guatemala
Date: July 2, 2016
Audience: journalists
Number of attendees 14
Gender split: 28% male 72% female
Duration: 4 hours
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Data Journalism for Beginners in Guatemala

- September 6, 2016 in Data Journalism, Event report, fellowship, Guatemala

image alt text School of Data’s first data journalism workshop in Guatemala was a total success. We invited 14 journalists, video journalists and graphic designers in Guatemala to attend a four hour workshop at “Casa de Cervantes”, to learn the basic tools of data journalism. Journalists from the most important newspapers and magazines of the country attended: Soy502, elPeriódico, Prensa Libre, Contrapoder and Nómada. In this first event, which will be followed by other regular workshops, the journalists were able to explore the data pipeline and work with a crime dataset to obtain news stories. The workshop was given by Ximena Villagrán, assisted by Daniel Villatoro. The objective of the workshop was that after four hours, participants would be able to understand the basics of what data journalism is, when to use it and how to use it. The workshop started with an exercise that involved only paper (not computers) to represent the data pipeline:
  • Collect individual information

  • Gather information
  • Organize the information in a database
  • Clean, normalize and standardize the data
  • Contextualize the data
  • Create an hypothesis
  • Obtains conclusions by interviewing the database
After this exercise, participants were given a pdf document about crime in Guatemala. We first showed them how to convert this document from PDF to Excel, before manually converting the resulting table to a database. Once the database building step was done, we started creating hypotheses and analyzing the data with Excel filters. image alt text The PDF given to the participants image alt text The data once converted into a database We arranged with the group to follow up this workshop with several others, once a month, in order to learn more about data journalism, and to explore in depth the whole data pipeline.
Infobox
Event name: Easy recipes to take away (to the newsroom)
Event type: workshop
Event theme: Data Journalism
Description: an event focusing on training journalists in data journalism pipeline
Speakers: Ximena Villagrán, Daniel Villotoro
Partners: None
Location: Guatemala, Guatemala
Date: July 2, 2016
Audience: journalists
Number of attendees 14
Gender split: 28% male 72% female
Duration: 4 hours
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Data Journalism for Beginners in Guatemala

- September 6, 2016 in Data Journalism, Event report, fellowship, Guatemala

image alt text

School of Data’s first data journalism workshop in Guatemala was a total success. We invited 14 journalists, video journalists and graphic designers in Guatemala to attend a four hour workshop at “Casa de Cervantes”, to learn the basic tools of data journalism. Journalists from the most important newspapers and magazines of the country attended: Soy502, elPeriódico, Prensa Libre, Contrapoder and Nómada.

In this first event, which will be followed by other regular workshops, the journalists were able to explore the data pipeline and work with a crime dataset to obtain news stories. The workshop was given by Ximena Villagrán, assisted by Daniel Villatoro.

The objective of the workshop was that after four hours, participants would be able to understand the basics of what data journalism is, when to use it and how to use it.

The workshop started with an exercise that involved only paper (not computers) to represent the data pipeline:

  • Collect individual information

  • Gather information

  • Organize the information in a database

  • Clean, normalize and standardize the data

  • Contextualize the data

  • Create an hypothesis

  • Obtains conclusions by interviewing the database

After this exercise, participants were given a pdf document about crime in Guatemala. We first showed them how to convert this document from PDF to Excel, before manually converting the resulting table to a database. Once the database building step was done, we started creating hypotheses and analyzing the data with Excel filters.

image alt text

The PDF given to the participants

image alt text

The data once converted into a database

We arranged with the group to follow up this workshop with several others, once a month, in order to learn more about data journalism, and to explore in depth the whole data pipeline.


Infobox
Event name: Easy recipes to take away (to the newsroom)
Event type: workshop
Event theme: Data Journalism
Description: an event focusing on training journalists in data journalism pipeline
Speakers: Ximena Villagrán, Daniel Villotoro
Partners: None
Location: Guatemala, Guatemala
Date: July 2, 2016
Audience: journalists
Number of attendees 14
Gender split: 28% male 72% female
Duration: 4 hours

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