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2019 Open Data Day celebrations in Kenya

- March 27, 2019 in equal development, kenya, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. EldoHub and OpenStreetMap Kenya received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox and the the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, to organise events under the Open Mapping and Equal Development themes respectively. This is a joint report produced by Magdaline Chepkemoi and Laura Mugeha: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post. To celebrate the 2019 Open Data Day, EldoHub and OpenStreetMap Kenya organized events in Eldoret and Nairobi respectively. EldoHub, a technology innovation hub located in Uasin Gishu County, in the western region of Kenya, organized a whole day event whose main goal was to equip the youth with knowledge on how they can leverage on open data / open government, to find opportunities for meaningful employment (inclusive jobs for disadvantaged African youth) and how they can help our local government to be more open for inclusive youth participation. The 2019 open data day, celebrations in Eldoret raised our voice and triggered conversations for action on youth inclusive participation and sustainable approaches towards unemployment through digital jobs and open governments.

Participants following keenly the discussions on Open Governments ODD 2019

The meeting was attended by over 40 youth between the ages of 18 to 25 years old. A powerful list of speakers and expertise were invited to facilitate and give talks on business and entrepreneurship, open data/ open governments and digital work.  The speakers comprised of technologist, local government, business experts and data experts.

Group Discussions during ODD 2019, Eldoret Kenya

The day was officially opened by Mr. Shah a renowned business leader in the region, who gave a talk on business and entrepreneurship. He shared his personal story and experience in the entrepreneurship journey. The over 40 participants were inspired by his quote, “Nobody is born with a good idea”.  He insisted that ideas only become good when we tirelessly work on them and build them to have value for the purpose they are serving. The second session was facilitated by Uasin Gishu County, ICT and e-governments Director Mrs. Elizabeth Birgen. She led a discussion on how young people can leverage new technologies to help their governments be more transparent and listen to citizens’ needs and feedback. The attendees engaged her with questions regarding transparency and opportunities for the youth. She also highlighted that Uasin Gishu County Government is on course with ensuring youth have resourceful centres where they can nurture their skills and talents. Lastly, Chepkemoi Magdaline, the organizer facilitated training on Digital jobs and how youth in the western region can leverage on open data to access opportunities. After the training, the participants were placed into groups with volunteer mentors facilitating the formed groups.  Zuzzana who is a project coordinator at St Bakhita House of hope, a vocational training centre for women and girls mentored the youth. Dan Mudega from iHub, Nairobi Kenya also touched on the work they do at iHub, promising full support of the youth in regards to ICT and open governments.

Women and girls were encouraged to participate during ODD 2019, Eldoret, Kenya

Organized by OpenStreetMap Kenya, the event in Nairobi had a focus on the open mapping track to discuss everything about open spatial data and crowdsourced mapping. OpenStreetMap Kenya is a local community of individuals interested in OpenStreetMap and open mapping generally including organizations and YouthMappers chapters in Kenya. The event entailed several activities that were aimed at encouraging the participants to not only contribute to the OpenStreetMap project but to also use the data in the development of solutions to our day to day challenges being faced locally. The 35 participants included students, data scientists and software developers all interested in open mapping.

Attendees during Open Data Day in Nairobi

We first had an open discussion on what we understood by open data, open spatial data and open mapping. While our individual definitions varied, what was common was that open data is free and legally available implying that anyone can use, reuse and redistribute it with no charges. To support this, our speakers from Map Kibera Trust and IFRC shared about the state of open data in Kenya and how the two organizations are using open data in their work. Zack Wambua, the Lead mapper and cartographer at Map Kibera Trust shared about their work using OpenStreetMap in Kenya including the Open schools Kenya project aimed at putting all schools on the map including all the schools’ details and participatory budgeting project funded by the World Bank. He also shared about the challenges of using open data and how the organization has handled the same challenges before. Through their work, they also get to contribute back towards open data by sharing their work and results openly. Elijah Karanja also informed us about the use of open data in humanitarian contexts by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Kenya and Africa in general.

Zack Wambua, Map Kibera Trust shares about how the organization uses open data

Sharon Omoja, a trainer for OpenStreetMap Kenya then gave an introduction to OpenStreetMap sharing its history, what it is, who the OSM community includes and why & how one can contribute to the project.

Sharon Omoja, a trainer for OSM Kenya shares about OpenStreetMap

We then had a hands-on training session led by James Magige on how to contribute on OpenStreetMap and access this data. Afterwards, we had a short mapathon while answering questions that the attendees might have.

James Magige, a trainer at OSM Kenya shares about contributing to OSM and how to access the data

Lastly, our hosts from the University of Nairobi shared about why open data is important and encouraged its use to make data-driven decisions and drive innovation in the country.

Dr. Wambua and Dr. Mukhovi from the Department of geography at the University of Nairobi encouraging attendees to keep using and contributing towards open data initiatives

 

   

Biographies

Magdaline Chepkemoi is a computer scientist who is passionate about using technology and open data to transform African youth. She leads EldoHub, a technology and innovation hub, which empowers and supports young people to identify problems in their communities and apply different technologies to solve those problems. She has over 6 years of professional experience in software development, networking, ICT4D and education. Chepkemoi holds a master’s degree in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation from Strathmore University. Chepkemoi also cofounded Techstarlets Kenya to empower and support women and girls in rural Kenya in STEM. She is also a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow for young African leaders, an initiative by the US Department of state. She was featured in 2018 among 20 faces of science in Kenya by Next Einstein Forum, during the Africa Science Week. Laura Mugeha is a freelance GIS analyst and developer in Kenya who is passionate about the achievement of sustainable development locally and other third world countries that are often left behind. Being passionate about open data and FOSS, she is one of the co-ordinators of OpenStreetMap Kenya and one of the 2019 YouthMappers Leadership Fellows. She is interested in working in the humanitarian space to drive social impact in various communities locally.

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!

Open Data Day 2017 in Kisumu, Kenya – Can we tell stories about our local environment with no open data?

- March 13, 2017 in kenya, 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 post was originally published on the LakeHub website: http://villagecode.org/blog/2017/03/08/odd17/

On Saturdays the 4th of March we gathered at the hub for Open Data Day, 2017. It’s the third time we are hosting this important workshop, the previous times being in 2014 and 2015. Open Data day events are a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society.

The initial plan for Open Data Day Kisumu was to host a datathon on the climatic implications on jobs and the economy around the city. Ailing levels of Lake Victoria’s water levels, visualise how Lake Victoria has been receding, fish species of Lake Victoria. We wanted to know whether fishes are dying or getting extinct for instance. Visualising the destruction of the Mau Forest would have been another great eye-opener – Global Forest Watch provides several data sets on forest coverage, use, loss, and indigenous peoples. However, due to time-constraints much of this data was not accessible. Bringing us to the realisation of how much Open Data is much needed – but very much so, leadership on initiatives to popularise open data required.

This year Open Data Day Kisumu was a bit different from the past. Unlike previous events where data experts presented informative visuals to the participants and little contribution from the participants, this time our participants, consisting primarily of teenage developers, benefited from a walk through of how Open Data could be useful in their work.

These young group of people, who were mainly girls from a local school, built mobile apps to solve some challenges in the city. One such solution was: a group of girls in the primary school mapped spots known as ‘black spots’ which can cause road carnage. At the workshop, the girls got to learn about how to access publicly available data from the government website on the number of traffic accidents that occur each month. The data, however, did not turn out to be very useful in the form in which it was presented, and therefore strategies on how to clean the data were learned.

Primary school girls present an app they are building. Young learners should be made aware of the benefits of Open Data.

Some other interesting solutions the girls are working on and could greatly benefit from open data include a game that educates the public on safe sex and the dangers of HIV/AIDs and non-adherence to medication. Another solution, dubbed “Kiraia”, is a children’s app that encourages them to take part in governance. The group of girls working on this solution want to make it possible for children to participate in day-to-day activities regarding civic action and government. The team was mentored on which data they could find useful for their work, and how possibly they could leverage existing data to create Open Data for the masses.

Data Scientist Dominic Mutai from PATH, Kisumu leading the session

Even though we had to divert from our original plan, we are still confident that moving forward one of our primary goals as a community interested in Open learning would be to use data to highlight effects of climate change, deforestation on Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater body in the world. Water levels in the lake have been dropping drastically over the years. As a community, we want to build visualisations that tell a story about the lake.