You are browsing the archive for network.

Open Data Index in Brazil launched! by FGV and Open Knowledge Brazil

Open Knowledge Brazil - May 25, 2017 in network, Open Data, Open Data Index

Open Knowledge Brazil and Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) – a higher education institution in Brazil worked together to develop the Brazilian edition of the Open Data Index, which is being used by governments as a tool to enhance public management, and bring it even closer to Brazil’s reality. 

About the Open Data Index

The Brazilian edition of the Open Data Index has been used as a tool to set priorities regarding transparency and open data policies, as well as a pressure mechanism used by civil society to encourage governments to enhance their performance, releasing sets of essential data. The indicator is based on data availability and accessibility across 13 key categories, including government spending, election results, public acquisitions, pollution levels, water quality data, land ownership, and climate data, among others. Submissions are peer reviewed and verified by a local team of data experts and reviewers. Points are assigned based on the conclusions reached through this process.

OK Brazil and FGV Partnership 

Through a series of events held in partnership with Open Knowledge Brazil (OKBR) and FGV’s Department of Public Policy Analysis (DAPP) launched the Brazilian edition of the Open Data Index (ODI) – a civil society initiative designed to assess the state of open government data worldwide. Three assessments were established for Brazil through a joint effort between the two institutions:
  1. Open Data Index (ODI) for Brazil, at the national level, 
  2. ODI Sao Paulo at the municipal level and
  3. ODI Rio de Janeiro, also at the municipal level
The last two are part of a pioneering initiative, since these are the first regional ODIs in Brazil, in addition to the nationwide assessment. 
This partnership with OKBr and the development of the Open Data Index complement DAPP’s life-long efforts in the areas of political and budget transparency, featuring widely recognised tools such as the Budget Mosaic and Transparent Chamber. We believe that public debate can only be qualified through data transparency, social engagement and dialogue within network society –  Marco Aurelio Ruediger, director of DAPP

The two institutions are working to develop the indicator used by governments across 122 countries as a tool to enhance public management and bring it even closer to Brazil’s reality. The goal is for data disclosure to promote institutional development by encouraging transparency within the government’s foundations, achieved both through constant scrutiny by civil society and improvements implemented by administrators regarding the quality and access to information.
Among the practical results of this new effort for society is the possibility of using results to develop and monitor public policies regarding transparency and open data – Ariel Kogan, CEO of OKBR

Open Data Index for Brazil 

The Open Data Index for Brazil, launched on April 27 in Brasilia, revealed that the country is in 8th place in the world ranking, tied with the United States and Latvia, and it occupies the leadership among its neighbours in Latin America. In total, 15 dimensions related to themes such as public spending, environment and legislation were analysed. However, the overall score of 64% indicates that there is still a lot of room for improvement. Only six — or 40% — dimensions of the index received the total score, that is, they were considered totally open: Public Budget, Electoral Results, National Maps, Socioeconomic Statistics, Laws in Force and Legislative Activity. However, no public databases were found for three dimensions surveyed: Locations, Water Quality and Land Ownership.

Open Data Index for Cities – São Paulo

The ODI São Paulo, launched two days earlier, had a similar result. In the overall assessment, the municipality had a positive result in the index, with 75% of the total score. Within the index analysis dimensions, 7 of the 18 evaluated databases obtained a maximum score: this means that 38% of the databases for the city were considered fully open. On the other hand, the Land Ownership dimension was evaluated with 0%, due to the unavailability of data; and another four had a score lower than 50% (Business Register, Water Quality and Weather Forecast).

Open Data Index for Cities – Rio de Janeiro

The ODI Rio de Janeiro [report in Portuguese], released on May 4, showed a slightly different performance. The city of Rio de Janeiro had a high overall score, reaching 80%. The study indicates, however, that only five dimensions (Election Results, City Maps, Administrative Limits, Criminal Statistics and Public Schools) had the individual score of 100%, with only 27% of the databases being considered fully open. The incompleteness of the dataset appears six times, i.e. there is no availability of certain information which is considered essential. The issue of access restriction appears only in the Business Register dimension. The Land Ownership dimension is also considered critical, since there is no data available for carrying out the ODI assessment. In summary, it is believed that the information can be useful for an open data policy at the municipal and federal level, to provide the paths for the replication of good practices and the correction of points of attention. The benefits of an open data policy are innumerable and include the extension of management efficiency, the creation of an instrument for collecting results from public administration, promoting accountability and social control, engaging civil society with public management and improving the public image, with the potential of becoming an international reference

Open Data Day events, MyData Japan 2017 and other OK Japan updates

Open Knowledge Japan - May 18, 2017 in network, OK Japan

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Japan team.

International Open Data Day

We had a lot of localities joining the International Open Data Day (IODD) – the international website for the IODD shows 42 localities in Japan, but our listing shows 65. OK Japan members helped promote the event via pre-event, social media, and the Japanese website. We saw a lot of discussions, hackathons, and some mapping parties, among others. Many ‘Code For’s’ were involved in hosting the event.

Open Knowledge Japan Award at VLED

Annually, OK Japan joins a group of other organisations celebrating major and noteworthy achievements in open data in Japan, by issuing unsolicited awards to whoever we think deserves the annual award. We are happy to share that this year OK Japan awarded the digitisation project of classic Japanese materials by the National Institute of Japanese Literature and Center for Open Data in the Humanities. Their dataset includes some cooking books from Edo Period, and some recipes are modified and put into modern Japanese language and released in the Edo period recipe section of largest recipe sharing site in Japan, Cookpad.
This year’s awardees (in Japanese) include the legislators who worked on the basic law for government and private sector data use promotion, which now provide legal ground for open data (see below), which is the best award; health-related open data by Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare; and one-stop search on meeting minutes and transcripts of prefectural and major city legislatures by Bitlet and Yasuo Oda, and so many more.

Basic law to promote data use, including open data

The Japanese Parliament passed a law on data use in early December 2016. Under the law, the Japanese government creates a new high-level committee to promote data usage. National and prefectural governments are required under this law to develop their plans to disseminate easily usable data online. Municipal governments and private sector businesses are also expected to make efforts to help the cause. The goal is to gain economic benefits.

MyData Japan 2017

Inspired by the event hosted by OK Finland, MyData 2016, some attendees and others interested in the proper and active use of personal data have decided to hold MyData Japan 2017. The OK Japan Chapter will serve as the host and organiser of this whole-day event, which takes place on 19 May 2017 in Tokyo. Contact Tomoaki Watanabe [tomoaki.watanabe@gmail.com], the coordinator of Open Knowledge Japan for more information regarding their events and activities. 

Hospital Waiting List – Open Knowledge Ireland Workshop #1

Open Knowledge Ireland - May 17, 2017 in network, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Ireland team. This post was first published on 12th April 2017 by Flora Fleischer on OK Ireland’s website: https://openknowledge.ie/hwl1/ On the sunny Saturday of March 25th, Open Knowledge Ireland held a workshop powered by citizens which focused on discovering how Open Data can help the ever present Hospital Waiting List problem. With the workshop, we created a space to build engagement around open data and hospital waiting lists and offered participants a practical way to get involved. The workshop was possible because, in December 2016, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) published Hospital Waiting List Data on data.gov.ie as machine readable data for the first time. Hospital Waiting List data can now be found here, here, and here. Hospital Waiting List Workshop #1 focused on identifying & discovering the patient journey, the data that is available, an operating model for use case creation using open data and a long list of potential use cases that for prioritisation at Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. The workshop benefited from having experienced professionals from a range of new and disruptive fields of industries and expertise. On the day OK Ireland facilitated Data Analysts, Customer Experience SMEs, Technology Solution Consultants, Digital Natives, Students, and Coders. We also provided Open Data insights from Ireland and abroad and framed the topic for the day – ways of using open data to address the growing Hospital Waiting Lists in Ireland. Here is an account of Piush Vaish – a participant at the 1st Hospital Waiting List workshop citizen about how the day went. The post first appeared on his LinkedIn page.

Ways to Improve Hospital Waiting List Using Open Data

Ireland has one of the worst hospital’s waiting lists as a developed country. We all have or know someone who has experienced the uncertainty of the length of time to wait before seeing a specialist. We constantly wonder about our health while we wait, affecting not only our physical but mental health as well. For instance, I had to wait overnight to be seen by a specialist at Beaumont hospital. Therefore, when an opportunity came to tackle the problem of hospital waiting list using data, I had to do something. That chance came through a workshop/hackathon organised by Open Knowledge Ireland on 25th March 2017. It was the first in a series of hospital waiting list focused workshops held at Guinness Enterprise Center. Open Knowledge Ireland is a part of Open Knowledge International with the goal of opening all essential public interest information. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all forms to create insights that drive change and benefit the public at large. When I arrived at the venue there was a short session where we got to know the other participants over a cup of tea and biscuits. The group of participants came from a different background with various different skill sets and industry experience. Some of them were UX designers, web/ application developers, statisticians, past participants and data scientists. However, we all had one reason to be at the workshop.
The motivation was to tackle a very real social problem as a group of experts and for our citizens by using public data about hospital waiting lists to make that information easily accessible for everybody.

Afterwards, we took up an office in a special set-up meeting room to learn about the work of Open Knowledge Ireland, what open data is and the reasons why we should be interested in the hospital waiting list data. Open Knowledge Ireland explained their mission, vision, and values. The hospital waiting list datasets are produced by the NTPF. Since July 2012, the NTPF is responsible for the publication of outpatient and inpatient waiting lists. However, they originally published this data in pdf format which is not considered an ‘open’ data format. It limits the usability of the data. Hence, Open Knowledge Ireland has worked over the last two years to create examples of how the Out-Patient Waiting List and Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List can be published in easily accessible format. They also worked together with the NTPF and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to get this data published in machine readable format. In December 2016 hospital waiting list data was for the first time made available in machine readable format on data.gov.ie. This now enables anyone to download the datasets and do any sort of analysis on it. The format of the workshop was unconference or open space conference. It was my first time attending such a conference. We were given a problem statement but we were free to tackle it in any way the group thought to be most useful to understand the problem more. The agenda was driven by the participants and their expertise in technology, digital, User Experience design, Digital, Analytics and backgrounds from various industries. There were no narrow topics pre-determined, no keynote speakers invited and no panel had been arranged – so the workshop was very interactive and very driven by the participants themselves. The topics to be discussed were refined through the participation of the attendees to problem statements that could be tackled and looked at in one day. If a session among a group did not inspire an attendee or was not contributing, then he/she were free to get up and find a different group. This enabled everyone to leverage and play on their strength, do research and contribute to understanding the problem statement based on their own experience. We convened at the individual breakout sessions to discuss the progress of each working group and share learning’s between the working groups. In my opinion, this process helped to apply ideas and empowered participants to share their ability. This offered an opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of creative ideas. My first work group was working on mapping the journey for the patient right from getting a symptom till diagnosed by the specialist. The aim was to document the end to end experience of the patient through their perspective, understand how patients are interacting with their general practitioner or hospital, find pain points, identify areas for improvement and improve the experience moving forward.

mapping a patient’s journey: from getting a symptom to being diagnosed by a specialist

The visualisation inspired us to seek value-driven decisions based on a patient’s experience model of performance. There was another group who mapped a patient’s journey from A&E, how this journey is currently tracked and how the data is collated by one specific hospital. This was to understand the pain points that hospitals may come across when gathering and providing the data. Later, we swapped our findings to create a complete picture of the patient’s journey. I then swapped from the journey mapping group to another group that was working on data validation. It was essential for the long-term success of the project that the data is open, correct and useful. We ensured that the data gathered by NTPF was using data/statistical standards. While I was engaging with different groups, the other participants were engaged in data analysis, creating an API and researching the problem in other countries. The figure below shows an early view of the type of insights that can be generated using the hospital waiting list data that is available on data.gov.ie today. We also had a short video presentation by Bob Harper from Detail Data who created the Hospital Waiting List Dashboards that are available for Northern Ireland. He explained how he is using the data provided by NHS on his website to present information in a way that is more easily accessible to and understandable by the public in Northern Ireland. At the end of the day, we all presented our findings to the group and decided what we’ll focus on during the next workshop. Some of the points we aim to discuss in the next workshop are:
  • Understand existing Hospital Wait Time data publicly available in the Republic of Ireland
  •  Understand and highlight data gaps
  • Recommend additional data points required to build tools useful to citizens (suggest via data.gov.ie)
  •  Identify quick-win use cases and begin prototyping
  • Identify more complex use cases and next steps
If you are inspired by what we have achieved and interested to continue the journey to empower the public please register your interest by attending the next workshop: Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. Contact: flora.fleischer@openknowledge.ie

Hospital Waiting List – Open Knowledge Ireland Workshop #1

Open Knowledge Ireland - May 17, 2017 in network, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Ireland team. This post was first published on 12th April 2017 by Flora Fleischer on OK Ireland’s website: https://openknowledge.ie/hwl1/ On the sunny Saturday of March 25th, Open Knowledge Ireland held a workshop powered by citizens which focused on discovering how Open Data can help the ever present Hospital Waiting List problem. With the workshop, we created a space to build engagement around open data and hospital waiting lists and offered participants a practical way to get involved. The workshop was possible because, in December 2016, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) published Hospital Waiting List Data on data.gov.ie as machine readable data for the first time. Hospital Waiting List data can now be found here, here, and here. Hospital Waiting List Workshop #1 focused on identifying & discovering the patient journey, the data that is available, an operating model for use case creation using open data and a long list of potential use cases that for prioritisation at Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. The workshop benefited from having experienced professionals from a range of new and disruptive fields of industries and expertise. On the day OK Ireland facilitated Data Analysts, Customer Experience SMEs, Technology Solution Consultants, Digital Natives, Students, and Coders. We also provided Open Data insights from Ireland and abroad and framed the topic for the day – ways of using open data to address the growing Hospital Waiting Lists in Ireland. Here is an account of Piush Vaish – a participant at the 1st Hospital Waiting List workshop citizen about how the day went. The post first appeared on his LinkedIn page.

Ways to Improve Hospital Waiting List Using Open Data

Ireland has one of the worst hospital’s waiting lists as a developed country. We all have or know someone who has experienced the uncertainty of the length of time to wait before seeing a specialist. We constantly wonder about our health while we wait, affecting not only our physical but mental health as well. For instance, I had to wait overnight to be seen by a specialist at Beaumont hospital. Therefore, when an opportunity came to tackle the problem of hospital waiting list using data, I had to do something. That chance came through a workshop/hackathon organised by Open Knowledge Ireland on 25th March 2017. It was the first in a series of hospital waiting list focused workshops held at Guinness Enterprise Center. Open Knowledge Ireland is a part of Open Knowledge International with the goal of opening all essential public interest information. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all forms to create insights that drive change and benefit the public at large. When I arrived at the venue there was a short session where we got to know the other participants over a cup of tea and biscuits. The group of participants came from a different background with various different skill sets and industry experience. Some of them were UX designers, web/ application developers, statisticians, past participants and data scientists. However, we all had one reason to be at the workshop.
The motivation was to tackle a very real social problem as a group of experts and for our citizens by using public data about hospital waiting lists to make that information easily accessible for everybody.

Afterwards, we took up an office in a special set-up meeting room to learn about the work of Open Knowledge Ireland, what open data is and the reasons why we should be interested in the hospital waiting list data. Open Knowledge Ireland explained their mission, vision, and values. The hospital waiting list datasets are produced by the NTPF. Since July 2012, the NTPF is responsible for the publication of outpatient and inpatient waiting lists. However, they originally published this data in pdf format which is not considered an ‘open’ data format. It limits the usability of the data. Hence, Open Knowledge Ireland has worked over the last two years to create examples of how the Out-Patient Waiting List and Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List can be published in easily accessible format. They also worked together with the NTPF and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to get this data published in machine readable format. In December 2016 hospital waiting list data was for the first time made available in machine readable format on data.gov.ie. This now enables anyone to download the datasets and do any sort of analysis on it. The format of the workshop was unconference or open space conference. It was my first time attending such a conference. We were given a problem statement but we were free to tackle it in any way the group thought to be most useful to understand the problem more. The agenda was driven by the participants and their expertise in technology, digital, User Experience design, Digital, Analytics and backgrounds from various industries. There were no narrow topics pre-determined, no keynote speakers invited and no panel had been arranged – so the workshop was very interactive and very driven by the participants themselves. The topics to be discussed were refined through the participation of the attendees to problem statements that could be tackled and looked at in one day. If a session among a group did not inspire an attendee or was not contributing, then he/she were free to get up and find a different group. This enabled everyone to leverage and play on their strength, do research and contribute to understanding the problem statement based on their own experience. We convened at the individual breakout sessions to discuss the progress of each working group and share learning’s between the working groups. In my opinion, this process helped to apply ideas and empowered participants to share their ability. This offered an opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of creative ideas. My first work group was working on mapping the journey for the patient right from getting a symptom till diagnosed by the specialist. The aim was to document the end to end experience of the patient through their perspective, understand how patients are interacting with their general practitioner or hospital, find pain points, identify areas for improvement and improve the experience moving forward.

mapping a patient’s journey: from getting a symptom to being diagnosed by a specialist

The visualisation inspired us to seek value-driven decisions based on a patient’s experience model of performance. There was another group who mapped a patient’s journey from A&E, how this journey is currently tracked and how the data is collated by one specific hospital. This was to understand the pain points that hospitals may come across when gathering and providing the data. Later, we swapped our findings to create a complete picture of the patient’s journey. I then swapped from the journey mapping group to another group that was working on data validation. It was essential for the long-term success of the project that the data is open, correct and useful. We ensured that the data gathered by NTPF was using data/statistical standards. While I was engaging with different groups, the other participants were engaged in data analysis, creating an API and researching the problem in other countries. The figure below shows an early view of the type of insights that can be generated using the hospital waiting list data that is available on data.gov.ie today. We also had a short video presentation by Bob Harper from Detail Data who created the Hospital Waiting List Dashboards that are available for Northern Ireland. He explained how he is using the data provided by NHS on his website to present information in a way that is more easily accessible to and understandable by the public in Northern Ireland. At the end of the day, we all presented our findings to the group and decided what we’ll focus on during the next workshop. Some of the points we aim to discuss in the next workshop are:
  • Understand existing Hospital Wait Time data publicly available in the Republic of Ireland
  •  Understand and highlight data gaps
  • Recommend additional data points required to build tools useful to citizens (suggest via data.gov.ie)
  •  Identify quick-win use cases and begin prototyping
  • Identify more complex use cases and next steps
If you are inspired by what we have achieved and interested to continue the journey to empower the public please register your interest by attending the next workshop: Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. Contact: flora.fleischer@openknowledge.ie

OK Sweden collaborates with the Internet Foundation (.SE)…and other updates

Serdar Temiz - May 16, 2017 in network, OK Sweden

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across theOpen Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Sweden Team.  We have a new collaboration with the Internet Foundation (.SE) in Sweden, which is an independent organisation which promotes a positive development of the internet for the benefit of the public in Sweden. Open Knowledge Sweden, KTH Mentorspace and other organisations will collaborate under the umbrella of Open Knowledge and Innovation Lab (OKINLAB), and as an initial support, we will be using .SE’s Co-Office in Stockholm We are hosting a researcher, Xiaowei Chen who received funding from Alexander Humboldt Foundation in Germany to study and compare the Swedish Freedom of Information (FOI) to Germany’s “Informationsfreiheitsgesetz” (Freedom of Information). He is also receiving support from Open Knowledge Foundation Germany for his research. Read more about the Xiaowei’s project here. Open Knowledge Sweden’s chairman, Serdar Tamiz was invited to be a researcher panel discussant on Open Science and Open Access organised by Swedish National Library and Karlstad University. Jakob Harnesk, Library Director of Karlstad University moderated the discussions where Nadja Neumann, Fil.dr, Karlstads University and Erika Sandlund, Docent, Karlstads University were other discussants. Erika Sandlund could not attend in person due to illness so she sent over her notes/answers via email.

Open Access Meeting- Researcher Panel

In addition to other local researchers and librarians, there were two international guests:
  1. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Executive Director & Director of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association, New York, USA. She is also the co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons and presented new ways of publishing
  2. Vincent Bonnet, Director vid the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA), Haag, Holland. Vincent presented how libraries and librarians are changing.
It may appear awfully early, but Asmen Gul, project manager of OKAwards has already started work towards OKAwards 2017 which will be held close to the end of 2017. Asmen is already working with professional Event Manager Erika Szentmartoni for OKAwards 2017. More updates to follow soon.  As mentioned in our previous update, we are part of the pan-EU CLARITY Project. Together with other 6 partners, we presented our findings to the EU Committee in Brussels as a first-year review. Project partners received very constructive feedback to improve their output and progress for the second half of the project. Project partners will have another meeting on 10th of May in London to coordinate the second half of the project.

Fredrik Sjöberg, Executive Director of OK Sweden

In our previous update, we shared a not so secret with you about OK Sweden having its first Executive Director, Fredrik Sjöberg. He works at the digital agency Creuna and is into everything that’s open and digital. He also likes to find digital opportunities that help create a better and more open society and has created communicative solutions using open source for over 10 years. He is an avid advocate of open data and wants more people to see the benefits of sharing. Frederik has already introduced new structures and strategies for the OK Sweden and after the initial planning period, you will hear more from our new Executive Director. Also, we are about having a new election for the board and the chairmanship position. The Meeting is scheduled to be on 13th of May. Board members who have fulfilled membership obligations will have the right to elect the new board. Follow Open Knowledge Sweden twitter page [@OKFSE ] for more updates.  

Civic Lab Brussels launched!

Dries van Ransbeeck - May 15, 2017 in network, OK Belgium

Open Knowledge Belgium in collaboration with Wikimedia Belgium has launched Civic Lab Brussels – a biweekly action-oriented gathering of open enthusiasts with different backgrounds and skills who work together on civic projects. This post was first published on Open Knowledge Belgium’s website: https://www.openknowledge.be/2017/05/05/launch-of-civic-lab-brussels/

How did we come up with this idea?

It all started during a fruitful discussion with Open Knowledge Germany at Open Belgium earlier in March. While talking about the 26 OK Labs in Germany, more specifically being intrigued by the air quality project of OK Lab Stuttgart, we got to ask ourselves: why wouldn’t we launch something similar in Brussels/Belgium? In about the same period of time, some new open initiatives popped up from within our community and several volunteers repeatedly expressed their interest in contributing to Open Knowledge’s mission of building a world in which knowledge creates power for the many, not the few. Eventually, after a wonderful visit to BeCentral – the new digital hub above Brussels’ central station – all pieces of the puzzle got merged into the idea of a Civic Lab: bringing volunteers and open projects every 2 weeks together in an open space.

Much more than putting open projects in the picture

The goal of Civic Labs Brussels is two-fold:
  1. on the one hand, offering volunteers opportunities to contribute to civic projects they care about.
  2. On the other hand, providing initiative-takers of open project with help and advice from fellow citizens.
Open in the case of our Civic Lab means, corresponding to the Open Definition, yet slightly shorter so that anyone can freely contribute to and benefit from the project. No strings attached. During our Civic Lab meetups, we didn’t only put open initiatives in the picture and hang out with other civic innovators. We also want to get things done and create impact. Therefore, our meetups always take place under the same format of short introductory presentations (30 min) — to both new and ongoing projects — followed by action (2 hours), whereby all attendees are totally free to contribute to the project of their choice and can come up with new projects — just let the organising team know in advance.

Kickoff Civic Hack Night

At our kickoff meetup, we were pleased to welcome 33 open believers — which corresponds to a show-up rate of 92% (!)— and had 4 projects presented: Thanks to the diversity among attendees, our kickoff meetup turned out to be a big success. This is also where the potential lies for Civic labs: bringing researchers, hackers, civil servants, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives in the same room and inviting them to collaboratively work on open projects.

Civic Labs Brussels Kickoff

What to expect from our next Civic Lab meetups?

During our next open gathering there will be presentations about both running projects —e.g. air quality, OpenStreetMap and open food data — as well new projects in Civic Lab Brussels as, for instance, from Wikimedia Belgium and Dewey. Next, to those project-specific presentations, we’d like to invite researchers and students to come and tell us about their findings from their work related to anything open and international visitors to meet our local community and share their stories. Last but not least, we’re happy to announce that Chris and Umut, both interns at Open Knowledge Belgium, will also present the onboarding process they developed for W4P – open source crowdsourcing platform – during the Civic Lab meetup on 23 May.

BeCentral: location of Civic Labs Brussels

How to get involved: Noteworthy: Civic Lab Brussels has its own Wiki page – https://be.wikimedia.org/wiki/Civic_Lab_Brussels

Open Knowledge Austria host Data Pioneers Create Camp

Christopher Kittel - May 12, 2017 in network, OK Austria

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across theOpen Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Austria team.  On February 2nd we held the first Data Pioneers Create Camp in Vienna. The goal of the Data Pioneers Program is to support businesses initiating Open Innovation processes. It was a successful first run of the Create Camp which involved 50 participants with diverse backgrounds from design, communication, programming or entrepreneurship, and resulted in seven projects demonstrating the use of Open Data, and many lessons learned and insights gained. 

Participants of the Data Pioneers Create Camp

Below are the summaries of the seven projects with their corresponding team members: 
  • OpenDataAT Assistant
Austria now has an Open Data Assistant. The chat bot access all Austrian Open Data Portals to search for data by keywords. Currently, it is reachable via Facebook and is developed further by a team made up of Svitlana Vakulenko, Sebastian Neumaier, Timea Turdean, Tomas Knap and Brigitte Lutz. Read more about the OpenDataAT Assistant here [in German]. 
  • Sentinel Wetland Monitoring
Until now it wasn’t possible to continually monitor the wetlands around Vienna – which mostly are under protection – as well to observe the fact that the Lobau (a floodplain) is partly drying out. Andreas Trawöger is using ZAMG Sentinel satellite data, to change this situation. Read more about the Sentinel Wetland Monitoring here [in German].
  • Bodyparts (Johanniter data)
Data from the Johanniter (a first responder organisation) was used by the team made up of Bernd Haberl, Manu Schmidt, Max Limbeck and Susanne Formanek and visualised around factors like age, sex, and others. This helps, for example, to show which body parts are impacted the most during a fall.
  • Alternative mobility options
This idea was formed around the Ubigo datasets (on-demand mobility, carsharing, ridesharing, p2p-carsharing timetables, dynamic ride sharing) aims to strengthen alternative mobility options in rural areas. The team members for this project are Tobias Haider and Maria Angerer was supported by others during the day in further formulating the concept.

Data Pioneers Create Camp participants working on their projects.

  • Windmills as display
The wind turbine data of the Verbund (an energy provider) gave the impulse for this artistic idea. Stefanie Wuschitz developed the art project of using wind power stations as a display for any kind of information. She continues to work on the project together with Clara Landler.
  • netCDF challenge
Julia Diessl, Dominika Heller and Franz Rinnerthaler dedicated themselves to a fundamental problem: climate change. They worked on ZAMG data (Global Radiation Climate Index) which are not available in a common format – which poses challenges for re-use.
  • Bottl for Klamottl (ZAMG data)
This project around ZAMG weather data provided some exhilaration at the evening presentations. The team of Patrick Wolowitz, Kerstin Zimmermann, Alexander Ostleitner and Jasmin Berghammer developed a chat bot-prototype, with which one could (based on Amazon’s Alexa Skills) have enjoyable conversations around fashion consultancy.

Participants of the Data Pioneers Create Camp work on their projects

In February we held a meetup at the Vienna Impact Hub, where the seven project teams pitched their ideas and discussed further developments with the community. In March and April, we continued the format of monthly Data Drinks, which have an increasing number of newcomers and regulars (around 20-30). For us, this shows that a regular, open and low-barrier format is an important pillar of building up a community and keeping it going. Check out the Data Pioneers pilot site: www.datapioneers.at  

A summary of the last 8 months at Open Knowledge Brazil

Open Knowledge Brazil - May 11, 2017 in network, OK Brazil

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Brazil (OKBR) team.   This post was written by Ariel Kogan, CEO of Open Knowledge Brazil and first appeared on OKBR
website: https://br.okfn.org/2017/04/03/um-resumo-aconteceu-ultimos-oito-meses/
Open Knowledge Brazil (OKBR) seeks to build a more open, transparent, fair and collaborative society. At the same time, we seek to build an organisational model that develops a dialogue and is coherent with that mission and challenges of the 21st century. And this is the direction we are going. Eight months ago, with this purpose, I accepted the challenge to become the organisation’s CEO. In collaboration with advisors and the OKBR community, we established partnerships, participated in projects and developed others. It has been a very productive period! And, for this reason, we would like to share an overview. Firstly, we have put together an essential document: the planning for the organisation until 2018. The priority initiatives will be:
  1. Our participation in the national and sub-national process in #OGP (Open Government Partnership);
  2. Open expenses project. More than 180 leaders from different regions of Brazil are playing a game to open their cities budget data. We have also developed the first Open Budget course in partnership with ITS Rio.
  3. In partnership with FGV-DAPP, we are building the Brazilian Open Data Index at a federal and local level (Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo). We are going to post the results in April 2017;
  4. We are designing and building a lean and intelligent structure, which manages to give the necessary support to projects and community.

Learning

With the support of Fundación Avina, we travelled to Estonia to learn about two of the main current cases of digital government. We shared this experience in the following articles: “Estonia: a digital democracy” and “The country that votes through the internet“.

Partnerships 

We are building new strategic partnerships for the OKBR mission. We have already agreed with the Social Observatory, Brazil Transparency and we are about to do the same with the Planning Ministry and the Ministry of Transparency of Brazilian Federal Government, Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Alagoas State Government and São Paulo City Hall. We became partners, advisors and we are helping in the planning and fundraising for Operação Serenata de Amor project, one of the most interesting initiatives that are taking place nowadays in Brazil. It mixes artificial intelligence, open data, fights against corruption and engages an excellent team of young people who are passionate about what they do. We have also built (in collaboration) and posted a Manifest for the Brazilian Digital Identification. This is a very important initiative that seeks to protect and preserve the citizens’ personal data in order to create a more digital society. Furthermore, in partnership with Fluxo and AppCivico, we are building a microfinance tool for independent journalism. Soon, we are going to share more news about this project through the OKBR social networks.

Actions 

In December 2016, we launched the webinar series “OKBR Webinar Series: open knowledge & information worldwide” with open knowledge and open government specialists. The first of them took place on December 6th, with entrepreneur Bart van Leewen, about “Linked data and emergencies prevention”. In January, the webinar participant was Paola Villarreal, Fellow do Berkman Klein Center, programmer/data scientist, about Justice Data; in February, Fernanda Campagnucci, journalist and public policies analyst, spoke about “Open data and local governments: how to assist people’s data demands.” Next webinar will take place on May 5th at 1 pm, with Rufus Pullock, an economist and founder of Open Knowledge International. It will be about “Civil society’s role to open data and knowledge.”

8 stereotypes about migrants that we broke with data at #ddjcamp

Anastasia Valeeva - May 10, 2017 in network

They often say data journalism is a more objective kind of journalism. Is it really? We wanted to try it out and use data to combat prejudices that exist about migration. For this, we organised #ddjcamp: a data journalism training + hackathon where 60 journalists, developers and designers gathered from 11 countries. Everybody pitched a story or an angle they would like to focus on when reporting on migration, and this is how the teams were formed. We built the training schedule to provide the necessary skills and resources for participants to conduct a data-driven story about migration. During the camp, the stories evolved in parallel with the skill-building process: from finding the data to communicating it in a journalism piece. The balance between training sessions and hands-on work on projects ensured that the newly acquired knowledge was applied to practice straight away and could be replicated in the future. We also agreed with national European media houses that they would send a young journalist from their newsroom to the training and in return, will publish the story of his/her team. Let us tell you what came out of it.

Stereotype one: ‘Refugees flee in search of a better life’

Reality: The team that worked on this stereotype compared the data on IDP (internally displaced people) and refugees (those who flee the country) with the data on armed conflicts and terrorist attacks in the cities to find a correlation. In their investigation, they draw attention to the unreported case of Yemen, where the escalation of the conflict has created horrible conditions for the civilian population, but it is nearly impossible to flee the country. Read, why this is so in the story published by Texty, Ukraine (EN).

A visualisation sketch for the Texty article by trainer Gianna Gruen

Stereotype two: Just build the borders properly and the refugee crisis will stop

Reality: This team came to the conclusion that despair and war push people to leave their countries of origin. Thus, increasing the security and decreasing the rescue teams only means that more people will die on their way to Europe. Read the story published in Spiegel Online, Germany (EN).

Stereotype three: Refugees are scary

Reality: In Latvia, people are not afraid of migrants from the former Soviet Union. Those outnumber the migrants from the Middle East and Africa. In fact, people are just afraid of the unknown. To read more about this, check out the story published in Delfi, Latvia (LV).

Stereotype four: There are too many refugees for our country

Reality: Refugees who come to Montenegro, actually do not stay there and do not apply for the asylum. Read the full story published in Vijesti, Montenegro (ME).

Stereotype five: Refugees commit more crimes

Reality: Not only do they not commit more crimes, but there is a huge spike in crimes against refugees (established thanks to Die Zeit data)! Read the full story published by Dennik N, Slovakia (SK).

Participants of #ddjcamp visiting data newsroom at Die Zeit with Sascha Venohr

Stereotype six: Migrants are stealing our jobs

Reality: In Italy, it is easier for migrants to get a low-skilled job than a high-skilled job, regardless of the level of their education. This means migrants are taking the jobs that locals do not want. Read the story published in L’Espresso, Italy (IT).

Stereotype seven: Migrants are ‘kebab technicians

Reality: In Denmark, migrants take more and more high-skilled positions thanks to their integration into the education system. Read why in the story published by Mandag Morgen, Denmark (DK).

Stereotype eight: Migrants enjoy nice life and social benefits

Reality: In Armenia, 90% of those who ask for asylum, get rejected. This is more than in neighbouring Azerbaijan and Georgia. Read why in the story published by HETQ, Armenia (EN).

Participants present their projects to each other halfway through the training

Our takeaways for you:

We shared the detailed schedule and training materials and a blog on our website. If you are working in media: bring innovation into your newsroom through hackathons and training. Engage in building the external community. This way, you can harness the power of talented people from different backgrounds and may find future employees. If you are a journalist: get inspired by data as we did. There are plenty resources online to work on your skills, but the best thing is to find a team and engage in a real life project. We wanted #ddjcamp to be this safe space where people can try things out and work together. If you are an NGO: support projects like #ddjcamp – they enhance cross-disciplinary work and create synergies. We would be interested in scaling up the model of #ddjcamp. If you have ideas, please contact us via anastasiya.valeeva(at)gmail.com.   #ddjcamp was a data journalism training that took place in Berlin from 12 to 20 November 2016. The project was organized by European Youth Press – a network of young media makers and run by Nika Aleksejeva and Anastasia Valeeva. The core funding was Erasmus+ grant provided by the German National Agency “Jugend in Aktion”.

OK Greece releases Key Performance Indicators Application… and other 2017 updates

Open Knowledge Greece - May 5, 2017 in Chapters, Greece, network, OK Greece

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Greece team Open Knowledge Greece (OK Greece) consists of a dynamic team of community members who are not only interested in open data, linked data technologies and coding; but are committed to applying scientific results to everyday community activities. This post documents the Chapter’s activities for the 1st quarter of the current year; specifically the period between January to April 2017. Quarter 1 has been a very creative and productive period for OK Greece with many of the Chapter’s activities achieving great results.  One of our main successful achievements has been the release of the KPIs application. Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a type of performance measurement, a set of quantifiable measures used to gauge an organisation’s or company’s performance over time. These metrics can be used to determine an organisation’s progress in achieving its strategic and operational goals and also to compare an organisation’s finances and performance against other organisations of the same scope. Regarding Public Administration Organizations, such as Local City Councils, Municipalities, or other higher-level authorities; KPIs can provide useful information about an organisation’s performance. KPIs are also a compressed form of information. This is because a huge volume of fiscal data can be summarised in a standardised way, offering a quick overview and better understanding and study over an authority’s effectiveness and performance, as it is reflected by the published fiscal data. It should be noted that KPIs has been developed within the framework of EU Project Openbudgets.eu.

Other events and activities

OK Greece partnered with the Library and Information Center of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to organise a day’s conference, titled Opening our Data Today: Open Governance, Transparency, Participation, as part of the March 2017 International Open Data Day celebrations (ODD 2017). Members of the academic community and professionals supported the openness of research data, stressing that open data can promote science and improve the control of research results. They also noted that the openness of government data contributes to democracy and transparency. On its side, OK Greece emphasised on the need for opening, even more, datasets, other than just working with the available open data. Moreover, OK Greece members presented the OpenBudgets.eu EU Horizon 2020 Project, speaking about the crucial role of linked data in the field of Financial Management and Control of Public Agencies. We also collaborated with the Library and Information Center of the Aristotle University for the “Creating and Verifying Links of Authority Records of the National Library of Greece at Wikidata” workshop. The workshop gave participants the opportunity to be informed about the recent developments in the Semantic Web and in particular about the role of Libraries as a focal point in the development of the Data Web. OK Greece presented its efforts within the Wikidata project and Alignment applications, while participants validated a great number of links, included in the National Library of Greece’s LOD Authority Records at Wikidata. Another important activity of OK Greece was its participation in the“Fake News” in Social Media as Reality Shapers event held by the European Parliament on 8th March. More specifically, OK Greece members and Head of School of Data Greece, Professor of Media Technologies Andreas Veglis travelled to Brussels to speak about the rising trend of “Fake News” in the media and especially on the web.  Mr Veglis gave a speech before MEPs, journalists and professionals, mapping the field of “mocking news”, proposing solutions and emphasising the importance of open data in the fact-checking process.

From left, Andreas Veglis, Head of School of Data Greece /Head at the School of Journalism & Mass Media Communications, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Lidia Ucher, Journalist, Spain; Clara Jiménez, Journalist, Spain; Stelios Kouloglou, Moderator, MEP; Paul Horner, Internet satirical, United States and Michel Christophe, Independent Educator in Critical Thinking, Media Education, France

Veglis gave a speech before MEPs, journalists and professionals, mapping the field of “mocking news”, proposing solutions and emphasising the importance of open data in the fact-checking process. Moreover, OK Greece attended the 9th International Week Dedicated to Maths, held last March by the Hellenic Mathematical Society. We presented on the following: “Analysis of Fiscal Data and Indicators with the implementation of Statistical Learning Algorithms on Semantic Budget Data of OpenBudgets.eu for Municipality” and “Semantic Representation and Implementation of Statistical Learning Algorithms on the Greek NSRF Fiscal Data”.

Kleanthis Koupidis(OK GR COO) and Evangelos Chondrokostas(OK GR Data Scientist) [first and second from right] talk about semantic and data mining techniques to identify possible red flags in NSRF fiscal data.

Both presentations described the Semantic technologies that were used to improve the quality of fiscal data of Greek Municipalities and National Strategic Reference Framework of Greece and the data mining techniques that were implemented to extract useful information from these data. Finally, we collaborated with the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia & Thrace  (esiemth) and the Media Informatics Lab of the School of Journalism & Mass Media Communication (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) in April to organize a two-day Data Journalism Hackathon, entitled “Hackathon Data Journalism: Red Flags in NSRF Programs”, addressing journalists and journalism students. In this framework, OK Greece launched its new Red Flags online application. The Red Flags application uses data from anapyxi.gov.gr, the official website of the Greek Ministry of Development and Competitiveness, which provides detailed information on the implementation process of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) projects, analysing all data available for potential “red flags”. Journalists, who participated in the hackathon, worked in paired groups, investigating possible “red flags” in different NSRF projects. They had the opportunity to conduct a journalistic investigation for some ten days before they present their outcomes on the second day of the hackathon.

Forthcoming

  • Collaboration with Open Knowledge International on Frictionless Data project. We will be  developing a set of tools, standards, and best practices built in open source programming language.
  • Session in Re:publica, regarding Open Data, transparency and technical tools to better understand the world we live in.
The forthcoming months are expected to be fruitful in events and collaborations as well. Τhe GitHub Open Knowledge Greece is strongly active, and other initiatives are commencing with the aim of attracting new members into the open knowledge community. In addition, the chapter endeavours to attain funding from additional research and innovation projects, as there are not fixed incomes and most activities are currently performed on a voluntary basis. Finally, OK Greece has launched a new promotional activity, sending a weekly newsletter to its subscribers, so that all people interested in our vision and activities can join our mailing list.  To read more about Open Knowledge Greece visit their website. Learn more about the Open Knowledge Network by visiting the Open Knowledge International website.