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Updates from Open Knowledge Portugal

ricardookpt - June 29, 2017 in network, OK Portugal

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring updates from local groups across the Open Knowledge Network and was submitted by Open Knowledge Portugal team. Here is a run-down of our recent activities:

Open Data Day 2017

In March, we joined the international community and organised a local Open Data Day. Unlike the previous two years, we decided to forgo an application to the generous OKI mini-grant scheme since we felt that none of the areas of focus would fit our current practice, and we didn’t want to squander the initiative by shoehorning a subject that we hadn’t developed so far. Instead, we invited speakers from OpenStreetMap Portugal, Wikimedia and the Lisbon City Hall Open Data Initiative to allow us to touch many facets of open culture. The event was divided into two parts: a Mapping Party and a Discussion & Quiz session. The Mapping Party was aimed at OpenStreetMap newbies (most of us!) who wanted to learn how to contribute to the OSM community mapping initiative. The afternoon session was focused on the nitty-gritty of open data, featuring talks from guest such as  Jorge Gustavo Rocha, Jorge Gustavo Rocha [representative from the Lisbon City Council] and André Barbosa [editor and administrator of Wikipedia] and a conversation between speakers and audience. The day ended on a lighter note with a Quiz dedicated to open culture subjects. The event was in our view a great success, having served its main purpose of strengthening the national network around open knowledge and open data and cementing OKI-PT’s role in that field. You can read a machine-translated write-up of the details of the event here; for some reason, the photos are missing from the translated version so you can read the original post here for those fluent in Portuguese.

Other Updates…

As showcased in the Open Data Day post, we also had some interesting developments on our projects; our data-package related project Datacentral was adopted by the folks at Open Knowledge Switzerland for their Open Food initiative. We also launched DadosAbertos.pt, a central location to provide Portuguese-language information about what exactly is open data — a resource that we had been lacking for years. We have also been maintaining Central de Dados, our independent data portal built on Datacentral and the data package standard developed by Open Knowledge Labs, and have been assessing ways to move to a more community-centered management for this resource. We’ve been keeping up as well with our monthly Date With Data meetups, which are dedicated to the collective development of civic tech tools, apps and sites around Portuguese public information and open data. We have also started a new monthly initiative, OKcafé (where the OK naturally stands for Open Knowledge ;-) ) which we intend to build into a meetup which, unlike the Date With Data meetups, is less focused on hands-on development and more about higher-level discussion and exchange between people interested in open data, and who might want to get closer to OKI. We’re hoping to get the interest of people who can help us develop efforts on the side of advocacy and local/national policy related to open data, which is a field that we haven’t had the manpower to develop properly over the recent years. Finally, we took part in a debate, representing Open Knowledge Portugal, about the potential and perils of data mining and machine learning in an initiative promoted by the local Google Developers & Users Group in Porto. Follow OK Portugal’s Twitter page for more information about the team and their projects. For anything specific concerning the team, contact the group leads Ricardo Lafuente and Marta Pinto.

Updates from Open Knowledge Portugal

ricardookpt - June 29, 2017 in network, OK Portugal

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring updates from local groups across the Open Knowledge Network and was submitted by Open Knowledge Portugal team. Here is a run-down of our recent activities:

Open Data Day 2017

In March, we joined the international community and organised a local Open Data Day. Unlike the previous two years, we decided to forgo an application to the generous OKI mini-grant scheme since we felt that none of the areas of focus would fit our current practice, and we didn’t want to squander the initiative by shoehorning a subject that we hadn’t developed so far. Instead, we invited speakers from OpenStreetMap Portugal, Wikimedia and the Lisbon City Hall Open Data Initiative to allow us to touch many facets of open culture. The event was divided into two parts: a Mapping Party and a Discussion & Quiz session. The Mapping Party was aimed at OpenStreetMap newbies (most of us!) who wanted to learn how to contribute to the OSM community mapping initiative. The afternoon session was focused on the nitty-gritty of open data, featuring talks from guest such as  Jorge Gustavo Rocha, Jorge Gustavo Rocha [representative from the Lisbon City Council] and André Barbosa [editor and administrator of Wikipedia] and a conversation between speakers and audience. The day ended on a lighter note with a Quiz dedicated to open culture subjects. The event was in our view a great success, having served its main purpose of strengthening the national network around open knowledge and open data and cementing OKI-PT’s role in that field. You can read a machine-translated write-up of the details of the event here; for some reason, the photos are missing from the translated version so you can read the original post here for those fluent in Portuguese.

Other Updates…

As showcased in the Open Data Day post, we also had some interesting developments on our projects; our data-package related project Datacentral was adopted by the folks at Open Knowledge Switzerland for their Open Food initiative. We also launched DadosAbertos.pt, a central location to provide Portuguese-language information about what exactly is open data — a resource that we had been lacking for years. We have also been maintaining Central de Dados, our independent data portal built on Datacentral and the data package standard developed by Open Knowledge Labs, and have been assessing ways to move to a more community-centered management for this resource. We’ve been keeping up as well with our monthly Date With Data meetups, which are dedicated to the collective development of civic tech tools, apps and sites around Portuguese public information and open data. We have also started a new monthly initiative, OKcafé (where the OK naturally stands for Open Knowledge ;-) ) which we intend to build into a meetup which, unlike the Date With Data meetups, is less focused on hands-on development and more about higher-level discussion and exchange between people interested in open data, and who might want to get closer to OKI. We’re hoping to get the interest of people who can help us develop efforts on the side of advocacy and local/national policy related to open data, which is a field that we haven’t had the manpower to develop properly over the recent years. Finally, we took part in a debate, representing Open Knowledge Portugal, about the potential and perils of data mining and machine learning in an initiative promoted by the local Google Developers & Users Group in Porto. Follow OK Portugal’s Twitter page for more information about the team and their projects. For anything specific concerning the team, contact the group leads Ricardo Lafuente and Marta Pinto.

Hong Kong joins the Global Mosquito Alert fight using Open Data

Open Data Hong Kong - June 14, 2017 in network, OK Hong Kong

Open Science is a key part of the open data ecosystem. Citizen Science is one of the beneficial side-effects of these open and collaborative ways of doing research. Crowdsourcing amateur scientists to carry out science, harnessing untapped resources to tackle problems in new and innovative ways. Open Data Hong Kong (ODHK) members have been involved in a number of such projects. Examples include BauhiniaGenome, Human Genome Hackathons, and last year ZikaHack. This final project has been recognised internationally, with members of the team getting an invite to the UN Environment meeting in Geneva which took place in April.

ODHK team members and other attendees at the UN Environment meeting in Geneva

From this meeting, new “Global Mosquito Alert” alliance of citizen-science organisations and UN Environment is being launched, in an effort to escalate the global fight against mosquito-borne diseases, responsible for killing close to 2.7 million people annually. Off the back of this, the team in Hong Kong is also launching a network of its own: CitizenScience.Asia – bringing together Citizen Science projects and practitioners in Hong Kong and across Asia. The goal of the community is to promote the concept of citizen science and to facilitate dialogues between researchers, citizens and communicators across different projects in the region. Hong Kong has been a perfect testbed for these citizen-driven efforts against mosquito-borne diseases, with some of the highest smartphone usage and coverage in the world, and with increasing incidence of dengue. With the last year seeing the local transmission of dengue in the mid-levels and recent imported cases of Zika. Less than 2% of the territory is covered by FEHD mosquito screening programs, making harnessing citizen power a particularly attractive weapon against the disease.

School children test out the Mosquito Alert app in Hong Kong. Source and thanks to the Chinese Foundation Secondary School.

Coming out of our Zika-hackathon a Cantonese version of the Mosquito Alert app was developed and promoted, getting us interviewed on the TVB Pearl Report. Working with schools, the Chinese Foundation Secondary School has done an amazing job testing the app with their students, presenting their efforts at the HK SciFest 2017 at the Hong Kong Science Museum. The new global initiative, launched under the name ‘Global Mosquito Alert’, brings together thousands of volunteers from around the world to track and control mosquito-borne viruses, including Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue, malaria and the West Nile virus. All diseases that threaten Hong Kong as mosquito species that can carry many of them are being increasingly detected. It is the first global platform dedicated to citizen science techniques to tackle the monitoring of mosquito populations.

Screenshot of Mosquito Alert, an app that enables citizens to report the sighting of mosquitoes and their breeding sites

Agreement to launch the initiative was reached at a two-day workshop that took place in Geneva last month, organized by UN Environment, the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP), and the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), as well as our developing citizen science community in Hong Kong, who were the only Asian representatives. Director of Science at UN Environment, Jacqueline McGlade, said:
the Global Mosquito Alert will offer for the first time a shared platform to leverage citizen science for the global surveillance and control of disease-carrying mosquitoes. It is a unique infrastructure that is open for all to use and may be augmented with modular components and implemented on a range of scales to meet local and global research and management needs.

She also added:
The programme will offer the benefit of the millions spent in developing existing mosquito monitoring projects to local citizen science groups around the world.  Opportunities to keep these citizen-led initiatives at the cutting edge of science will now depend on securing major funding to support the ongoing programme development and its promotion to millions of people worldwide.
The consortium includes Mosquito Alert, Spain and Hong Kong; MosquitoWEB, Portugal; Zanzamapp in Italy; Muggenradar in the Netherlands; the Globe Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper, USA/International and the Invasive Mosquito Project also in the USA. The information displayed on Environment Live will allow managers to mitigate risk and reduce health threats while opening up an opportunity for concerned citizens to contribute their mosquito observations and possible solutions.  Citizen data will augment information already available from Government public health sources. Of which in Hong Kong, there is very little. The new consortium has agreed to share current approaches to monitor the spread of key mosquito species and their breeding sites and to measure the nuisance value of the citizen mosquito experience to support health risk management. The post was written by S.C. Edmunds and it was first published on Open Data Hong Kong’s website. Follow Global Mosquito Alert from the ECSA website, and CitizenScience.Asia from its Facebook page. Participating projects from in this new network include DIYbio Hong Kong and their Hong Kong Barcode project, the crowdfunded BauhiniaGenome project, and the continuing efforts of Mosquito Alert in Hong Kong.

Open Knowledge Belgium is preparing for open Summer of Code 2017

Dries van Ransbeeck - June 2, 2017 in network, OK Belgium

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 Belgium team. This post was first published on Open Knowledge Belgium’s website In the last few months, the open community in Belgium has had the chance to gather multiple times. Open Knowledge Belgium organised a couple of events and activities which aimed to bring its passionate community together and facilitate the launch of new projects. Furthermore, as summertime is coming, we currently organising the seventh edition of its yearly open Summer of Code. Let’s go chronologically through what’s going on at Open Knowledge Belgium.

Open Belgium 2017

As the tradition goes, the first Monday after International Open Data Day, Open Knowledge Belgium organises its Open Belgium conference on open knowledge and open data in Belgium.

Open Belgium was made possible by an incredible group of volunteers

This year’s community-driven gathering of open enthusiasts took place in Brussels for the first time and was a big success. More than 250 people with different backgrounds showed up to talk about the current state of and next steps towards more open knowledge and open data in Belgium.

All presentations, notes and visuals of Open Belgium are available on here: http://2017.openbelgium.be/presentations.

Launch of Civic Lab Brussels

It all started during a fruitful discussion with Open Knowledge Germany at Open Belgium. 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 together every 2 weeks in an open space.

The goal of Civic Labs Brussels is two-fold: on the one hand, offering volunteers opportunities to contribute to civic projects they care about. On the other hand, providing initiative-takers of open projects with help and advice from fellow citizens.

Open in the case of our Civic Lab means, corresponding to the Open Definition, yet slightly shorter, that anyone can freely contribute to and benefit from the project. No strings attached.

Civic Lab meetups are not only to put open initiatives in the picture and hang out with other civic innovators. They’re also about getting things done and creating impact. Therefore, those gatherings 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.

Open Summer of Code 2017

Last but not least, Open Knowledge Belgium is preparing for the seventh edition of its annual open Summer of Code. From 3rd until 27th July, 36 programming, design and communications students will be working under the guidance of experienced coaches on 10 different open innovation projects with real-life impact.

If you want to stay updated about open Summer of Code and all other activities, please follow Open Knowledge Belgium on Twitter or subscribe to its newsletter.

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