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Data is a Team Sport: One on One with Friedhelm Weinberg

- July 28, 2017 in Capacity Building, Data Blog, documentation, Event report, Fabriders, human rights, research, software development, Team Sport

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. Friedhelm Weinberg is the Executive Director of Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS), an NGO that supports organisations and individuals to gather, analyse and harness information to promote and protect human rights.  In this conversation we take a look at what it takes to be both a tool developer and a capacity builder, and how the two disciplines can inform and build upon each other.  Some of the main points:
  • The capacity building work needs to come first and inform the tool development.
  • It’s critical that human rights defenders have a clear understanding of what they want to do with the data before they start collecting it.
  • It’s critical for human rights defenders to have their facts straight as this counts the most in international courts of law, and cuts through ‘fake news.’
  • Machine learning has enormous potential in documenting human rights abuses in being able to process large amount of case work.
  • They have been successful in bringing developers in-house by making efforts to get them to better understand how the capacity builders work and also vice-versa.

Specific projects within Huridocs he talked about:

  • Uwazi is an open-source solution for building and sharing document collections
  • The Collaboratory is their knowledge sharing network for practitioners focusing on information management and human rights documentation.

Readings/Resources that are inspiring his work:

View the full online conversation:

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Data is a Team Sport: One on One with Friedhelm Weinberg

- July 28, 2017 in Capacity Building, Data Blog, documentation, Event report, Fabriders, human rights, research, software development, Team Sport

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. Friedhelm Weinberg is the Executive Director of Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS), an NGO that supports organisations and individuals to gather, analyse and harness information to promote and protect human rights.  In this conversation we take a look at what it takes to be both a tool developer and a capacity builder, and how the two disciplines can inform and build upon each other.  Some of the main points:
  • The capacity building work needs to come first and inform the tool development.
  • It’s critical that human rights defenders have a clear understanding of what they want to do with the data before they start collecting it.
  • It’s critical for human rights defenders to have their facts straight as this counts the most in international courts of law, and cuts through ‘fake news.’
  • Machine learning has enormous potential in documenting human rights abuses in being able to process large amount of case work.
  • They have been successful in bringing developers in-house by making efforts to get them to better understand how the capacity builders work and also vice-versa.

Specific projects within Huridocs he talked about:

  • Uwazi is an open-source solution for building and sharing document collections
  • The Collaboratory is their knowledge sharing network for practitioners focusing on information management and human rights documentation.

Readings/Resources that are inspiring his work:

View the full online conversation:

Flattr this!

Open Knowledge Philippines and Mapua students celebrates Open Data Day 2017

- April 10, 2017 in human rights, humanitarian data, Open Data Day

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Human Rights theme. The Open Knowledge local group in the Philippines co-organised International Open Data Day 2017 with the student council of Mapua Institute of Technology, Makati Campus. 

Joseph De Guia (left), Local ambassador of Open Knowledge Philippines with the Mapua SOIT Student Council officers who co-organized the International Open Data Day 2017

The program was attended by invited speakers, special guests, the local tech community as well as student groups on campus. The program was divided into two sessions: the morning session was on open data awareness while the afternoon session was an open data workshop. The event was attended by close to 200 participants.

Event registration

Creating awareness about Open Data in the Philippines

The session was opened with a welcome and opening remark from Mr Joseph De Guia (local group ambassador of Open Knowledge Philippines) on the theme of the celebration: “Solving problems in the society”. Participants were then showed two videos:  open data from Open Knowledge International and the School of Data Summer Camp to introduce them to the people working behind the scenes at Open Knowledge International and their advocacy work in “showing the value of open data for the work of civil society; how effectively use open data; and making government information systems responsive to civil society.”

Dr Lagmay presenting the portal of Project NOAH

The keynote speaker was Dr Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the National Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH) of University of the Philippines. He delivered the message “the use of open data to make disaster resilient Philippines” through the use of Project NOAH. The project has been made available to the public and has encouraged participative and collaborative effort through crowdsourcing and mapping to improve the emergency response during calamities and disasters.

Ms. Stepahine Azarias of Open Data Philippines team – DICT, DOST-iGovPhil during her talk.

The next speaker was Ms Stephanie Azarias, team lead of Open Data Philippines of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Ms Azarias highlighted the harmonisation of government data disclosure through open data and freedom of information (FOI). She presented the open data portal, freedom of information portal and the projects of Integrated Government Philippines Project (iGovPhil).

Ms Gemma Mendoza of Rappler.com during her talk about social activism and using open data in journalism and reporting for social good.

Other speakers were Paul De Paula of Drupal Pilipinas, Ms Gemma Mendoza of Rappler.com. The speakers shared their common interest in open data as well as what they’re doing in this area. Drupal Pilipinas Tech Community volunteers are advocating open source application development for Drupal that can be used in open data portal (such as DKAN). Rappler.com is an online media company who is also doing research and investigative journalism for social good. These speakers brought new ideas on how open data can be explored and used to solve problems in the society.  

Open Data Workshop

Part of the afternoon session was an opportunity for the students to be engaged in an open data workshop. The students were provided with a brief background about the open data sets to be used in the Project NOAH weather and disaster monitoring.

Joseph leading and facilitating the discussion during the “open data workshop.”

They were guided in downloading the datasets from the Open Data portal and using the FOI data portal. They were also encouraged to formulate their research agenda as their capstone topics. This was followed by a “show and tell” which is a short demonstration of their understanding of the program and discussion of the topics.

Learnings!

The speakers were given the opportunity to encourage students to take steps in open data movement and activism. They were also able to inspire the students, faculty members and other attendees of the event to take part in the open data education and use them to solve the problems in the society. The speakers were awarded a certificate of appreciation at the end of the event.

Awarding a token of appreciation to Dr Lagmay

According to a student participant:

The open data day celebration was a great avenue to learn the value of open data and the tools being used to solve problems in the society, such as disaster assessment through crowdsourcing and mapping, developing an open data portal, data journalism and a lot more.

The Open Knowledge Philippines team is happy to have helped organise the open data day celebration and appreciative of the opportunity to show participants the value data can make in information systems and in effect help facilitate and solve problems in the society. We also had the chance to introduce participants to projects that are effectively using open data through the work of civil societies to push for better services from the government. The stickers, program and poster prints were sponsored by Open Knowledge International. The swags were provided by DOST-DICT iGovPhil Project and Open Data team. The snacks and lunch provided by the organiser – Open Knowledge Philippines. The event photos can be viewed on our Facebook community page – https://www.facebook.com/Open-Data-Day-2017 and facebook.com/groups/openknowledgeph, video documentation can be played  here: The International Open Data Day 2017 was organised by Open Knowledge Philippines and with the help of the Mapua Institute of Technology Student Council, Makati campus. The event was sponsored by Open Knowledge International and supported by Project NOAH, University of the Philippines, Open Data Philippines – DICT and DOST, Drupal Pilipinas, and Rappler.com. Like and follow us on Facebook Open Knowledge Philippines and on Twitter @OpenKnowledgePH See you next year for another open data day celebration, and hopefully, we will be much better and present innovative solutions and create impact through open data!

The Right to Education Index: Using open data for research and advocacy to address human rights

- November 1, 2016 in Featured, human rights, open-education

In support of our mission to empower civil society organisations to use open data to improve people’s lives, Open Knowledge International is partnering with a number of projects committed to using open data to address human rights issues. RTEI approached us to develop a platform to facilitate an open public dialogue on the right to education across the world and to provide ongoing technical support for the project. RTEI, a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, is a global accountability initiative that aims to ensure that all people, no matter where they live, can enjoy their right to a quality education. RTEI monitors the satisfaction of the right to education based on international human rights law frameworks. Working with civil society partners, RESULTS Educational Fund supports in-country and international advocacy based on findings from RTEI from 2015 and forthcoming findings in 2016. Advocates, researchers, and all citizens can use RTEI to engage in informed dialogue about the satisfaction of the right to education. rtei-screenshot

We are pleased to announce that www.rtei.org is now live!

RTEI is a global index built out of the international right to education framework to track national progress towards its fulfillment. RTEI uses a comprehensive survey of close-ended questions answered with supporting documentation to substantiate national satisfaction of the right to education. Each question has an explicit basis in one or several international human rights instruments, namely United Nations legally binding international conventions.

RTEI is a tool to increase open public dialogue around the right to education

In 2015, civil society representatives, educational experts, and government officials from Chile, Nigeria, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe partnered with RESULTS Educational Fund in the pilot of RTEI, the results of which can be found in the RTEI pilot report. The report suggested strengths and weaknesses in certain national legal frameworks around the right to education, that educational resources, such as teachers, textbooks, and classrooms, were inadequate, and that countries were struggling to adapt education to the needs of all learners. The differences between national data in the index were explored in more depth in the report and on www.rtei.org. Not only is RTEI a tool to increase open public dialogue around the right to education, it encourages governments to build transparent, public data systems documenting their promotion and expansion of public education for all. In the 2016 calculations, a penalty for missing data has been incorporated to hold governments accountable to public information standards. In this way, RTEI recognizes the risks and possible detriments of closed and unavailable data related to the satisfaction of the right to education. More information about methods and calculations can be found here. rtei-pablo Researchers and advocates interested in education and human rights are now able to access the 2015 data and analysis on rtei.org, developed in partnership with Open Knowledge International. Visitors can explore the resource library, a remarkable collection of documents assembled through RTEI data collection related to national policies and standards outlining the right to education. You can also download the data, including the raw data and 2015 analysis, or explore the data visually by country and theme using Open Knowledge International’s user-friendly design. RESULTS Educational Fund is currently completing the 2016 data collection round of RTEI with civil society partners in 15 countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Nigeria, Palestine, the Philippines, South Korea, Tanzania, the UK, the US, and Zimbabwe. Stay tuned for the 2016 country reports and global report to be published by March 2017. Questions or Comments Please send questions or comments about RTEI to rtei@results.org.

Opinion piece – Why Open Knowledge International should join ICANN

- August 19, 2016 in Community Stories, human rights, Internet, opinions

This is an opinion piece by an Open Knowledge network member. You can also publish your opinion on the blog by sending us an email to blog@okfn.org First, let me quickly tell you what kind of an organisation is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), for I feel that albeit its burgeoning global importance, most people are still not at all familiar with it. In a nutshell, ICANN governs the domain names and addresses of the internet. Today, it does so with a multi-stakeholder model, that involves all the interested parties in deciding over the rules and protocols that are needed to keep the internet free and safe for its users. Such interest groups include the technical community, registries and registrars of internet domains, the civil society, commerce and the governments. If you want to know more about the fascinating history of ICANN, you’re in luck, for just a few days ago, the Washington Post had an excellent glance at the history, in an informative and entertaining form. So, why do I want the Open Knowledge International to join ICANN? I find these reasons to be sufficient:
  1. First and foremost, the timing couldn’t be better. ICANN is right now in the progress of updating and reviewing its internal bylaws, and this process is called Workstream 2, or WS2. The bylaws are used to control the decision-making process within the quasi-private oversight group, that is ICANN. I probably don’t need to elaborate on the speed of massively growing Internet to this audience, but I’ll do it anyway; Apparently, we created more data in 2013-2014, than all the previous years put together, and it seems we’re still very much in the accelerating growth phase of the Internet.
  2. As it is, the access to the data that the governance of the Internet creates is almost non-existent. I think there could be a treasure trove of information to be used for the improvement of the global Internet community, as well for scientific research. ICANN holds the keys to a central point of communications like no other entity in the world. Likewise, the culture of transparency could be massively improved, and that is the name of an actual subgroup within the WS2-process, that was kicked off in the ICANN56 in Helsinki this June. My suggestion is for the OKI to join ICANN’s Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group and contribute in formulating the transparency bylaws with other members of the NCSG.
  3. The size and breadth of OKI make us a valuable member to ICANN. Their triannual conferences take place all over the world, rotating in turns to different continents. This would give a global organisation like ours, the chance to participate live almost every time with minimum expenses. The conferences themselves are free with food and drinks.
  4. The networking possibilities are simply too impressive to ignore. If we can contribute in the work of ICANN, I am sure we can grow our network of member countries and individual participants as well.
  5. As a large organisation (over 500 members) we would get two organisational votes instead of one.
WS 2 Sub-Issues on transparency, which is the area I feel we should focus on:
  1. Increased Transparency at ICANN
  2. Reform of Document Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP)
  3. Board deliberations
  4. Culture of Transparency at ICANN
  5. Discussions with governments and lobbying
  6. Improvements to ICANN’s “whistle-blower” policy
These are the other headings discussed in the WS2, some of them less intuitive than others, but I won’t go into more detail on them now:
  1.   Create a Framework of Interpretation for ICANN’s New Commitment to Respect Human Rights
  2.  Influence of ICANN’s jurisdiction on operational policies and accountability mechanisms
  3.  Staff Accountability
  4.  SO / AC Accountability
  5.  Reform of Ombudsman’s Office
  6.  “Diversity” at ICANN
  7.  Reviewing the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP), 1st step to filing an Independent Review
    – Panel matter
  8.  Guidelines for ICANN Board “standard of conduct.”
    – RE: removal of board members
I am convinced of our mutual benefits with being a contributing member in ICANN and I hope I’ve managed to pass my enthusiasm on to you. Please do not hesitate to ask for elaborations on specifics, and I will promise to, at the very least, look for the answer or point you in the right direction, best to my ability.