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Frictionless Planet – Save the Date

- January 10, 2022 in Events, News, Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

We believe that an ecosystem of organisations combining tools, techniques and strategies to transform datasets relevant to the climate crisis into applied knowledge and actionable campaigns can get us closer to the Paris agreement goals. Today, scientists, academics and activists are working against the clock to save us from the greatest catastrophe of our times. But they are doing so under-resourced, siloed and disconnected. Sometimes even facing physical threats or achieving very local, isolated impact. We want to reverse that by activating a cross-sectoral sharing process of tools, techniques and technologies to open the data and unleash the power of knowledge to fight against climate change. We already started with the Frictionless Data process – collaborating with researcher groups to better manage ocean research data and openly publish cleaned, integrated energy data – and we want to expand an action-oriented alliance leading to cross regional, cross sectoral, sustainable collaboration. We need to use the best tools and the best minds of our times to fight the problems of our times.  We consider you-your organisation- as leading thinkers-doers-communicators leveraging technology and creativity in a unique way, with the potential to lead to meaningful change and we would love to invite you to an initial brainstorming session as we think of common efforts, a sustainability path and a road of action to work the next three years and beyond.  What will we do together during this brainstorming session? Our overarching goal is to make open climate data more useful. To that end, during this initial session, we will conceptualise ways of cleaning and standardising open climate data, creating more reproducible and efficient methods of consuming and analysing that data, and focus on ways to put this data into the hands of those that can truly drive change.  WHAT TO BRING?
  • An effort-idea that is effective and you feel proud of at the intersection of digital and climate change.
  • A data problem you are struggling with.
  • Your best post-holidays smile.
When? 13:30 GMT – 20 January – Registration open here. 20:30 GMT – 21 January – Registration opening here. Limited slots, 25 attendees per session. 

100+ Conversations to inspire our new Direction

- January 10, 2022 in News, OKI Projects, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation, Our Work

It has been almost two decades since OKF was founded. Back then, the open movement was navigating uncharted waters, with hope and optimism. We created new standards, engaged powerful actors and achieved change in government, science and access to knowledge and education, unleashing the power of openness, collaboration and community in the early digital days. You were a key mind in shaping the movement with your ideas and contributions. Now, the World changed again. Digital power structures are in the hands of a few corporations, controlling not only the richest datasets but also what we see, read and interact with. The climate crisis is aggravated by our digital dependencies. Inequality is rampant and the benefits of the digital transition are once again, unevenly distributed. We transferred racism and prejudices of the past to the technologies of the future, and the permissionless openness we enabled and encouraged led in some cases to new forms of extractivism and exploitation. What is the role of Open Knowledge Foundation to face the new challenges of “open” and the new threats to a “knowledge society and economy”? Which are the most urgent and important areas of action? Who are the partners we need to bring in to gain relevance and traction? Who are the allies we need to get closer to? Priorities? Areas of opportunity? Areas of caution? We are meeting 100+ people to discuss the future of open knowledge, as we write our new strategy, which will be shaped by a diverse set of visions from artists, activists, academics, archivists, thinkers, policymakers, data scientists, educators and community leaders from all over the World, to update and upgrade our path of action and direction to meet the complex challenges of our times. We want these conversations to reflect the diversity in our societies and the very diverse challenges we will need to face. We are therefore gathering suggestions on people we should talk to, from as many allies as possible. Who do you think would make a difference in this conversation? Who should we go and talk to? Please let us know your suggestion via this form. Stay tuned to know more about these conversations and the outcome they will have on our strategy ahead. The collaborative strategy will be validated by our board of directors and network, and it will be launched this year.

Working with UNHCR to better collect, archive and re-use data about some of the world’s most vulnerable people

- January 7, 2022 in ckan, Interviews, News, OKI Projects, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

Since 2018, the team at Open Knowledge Foundation has been working with the Raw Internal Data Library (RIDL) project team at UNHCR to build an internal library of data to support evidence-based decision making by UNHCR and its partners.

What’s this about? 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a global organisation ‘dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people’.

Around the world, at least 82 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Many of these people are refugees and asylum seekers. Over half are internally displaced within the border of their own country. The vast majority of these people are hosted in developing countries. Learn more here.

UNHCR has a presence in 125 countries, with 90%+ of staff based in the field. An important dimension of their work involves collecting and using data – to understand what’s happening, to which people, where it’s happening and what should be done about it. 

In the past, managing this data has been a huge challenge. Data was collected in a decentralised manner. It was then stored, archived, and processed in a decentralised manner. This meant that much of the value of this data was lost. Insights were undiscovered. Opportunities missed. 

In 2019, the UNHCR released its Data Transformation Strategy 2020 – 2025 – with the vision of UNHCR becoming ‘a trusted leader on data and information related to refugees and other affected populations, thereby enabling actions that protect, include and empower’.

The Raw Internal Data Library (RIDL)  supports this strategy by creating a safe, organized place for UNHCR to store its data , with metadata that helps staff find the data they need and enables them to re-use it in multiple types of analysis. 

Since 2018, the team at Open Knowledge Foundation have been working with the RIDL team to build this library using CKAN –  the open source data management system. 

OKF spoke with Mariann Urban at UNHCR Global Data Service about the project to learn more. 

Here is an extract of that interview, which has been edited for length and clarity.


Hi Mariann. Can you start by telling us why data is important for UNHCR

MU/UNHCR: That’s a great question. Pretty much everyone at UNHCR now recognises that good data is the key to achieving meaningful solutions for displaced people. It’s important to enable evidence-based decision making and to deliver our mandate. And also, it helps us raise awareness and demonstrate the impact of our work. Data is at the foundation of what UNHCR does. It’s also important for building strong partnerships with governments and other organisations. When we share this data, anonymised where necessary, it allows our partners to design their programmes better. Data is critical to generate better knowledge and insights. Secondary usage includes indicator baseline analysis, trend analysis, forecasting, modeling etc. Data is really valuable!

What kinds of datasets does UNHCR collect and use?

MU/UNHCR: We have people working in countries all over the world, most of them in the field. Every year UNHCR spends a huge amount of money collecting data. It’s a huge investment. Much of this data collection happens at the field level, organised by our partners in operations. They collect a multitude of operational data each year.

You must have lots of interesting data. Can you give us an example of one important dataset?

MU/UNHCR: One of the most valuable datasets is our registration data. Registering refugees and asylum seekers is the primary responsibility of governments. But if they require help, UNHCR provides support in that area.

In the past, How was data collected, archived and used at UNHCR?

MU/UNHCR: Let me give you an example about how it used to be. In the past, let’s imagine, there was a data collection exercise in Cameroon. Our colleagues finished the exercise, and the data stayed in the partner organisation, or sometimes with the actual person collecting the data. It was stored on hard drives, shared drives, email accounts etc. Then, the next person who wanted to work with the data, or a similar data set probably had no access to this data, to use as a baseline, or for trends analysis.

That sounds like a problem.

MU/UNHCR: Yes! This was the problem statement that led to the idea of the Raw Internal Data Library (RIDL). Of course, we already have corporate data archiving solutions. But we realised we needed something more.

Tell us more about RIDL

MU/UNHCR: The main goal of RIDL is to stop data loss. We know that the organisation cannot capitalise on data if they are lost or forgotten, or not stored in a format that is interoperable, machine-readable, and does not include a minimum set of metadata to ensure appropriate further use.

RIDL is built on CKAN. Why is that?

MU/UNHCR: Our team had some experience with CKAN, which is already used in the humanitarian data community. UNHCR has been an active user of OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform to share aggregate data externally and we closely collaborate with its technical team. After a market research, we realised that CKAN was also a good solution for an internal library – the data is internal, but it needs to be visible to a lot of people inside the organisation. 

What about external partners and the media? Can they access RIDL datasets?

MU/UNHCR: There are some complicated issues around privacy and security. Some of the data we collect is extremely sensitive. We have to be strong custodians of this data to ensure it is used appropriately. Once we analyse the data, we can take the next step and share it externally, of course. Sometimes our data include personal identifiers, it therefore must be cleaned and anonymised to ensure that data subjects are not identifiable. Once we have a dataset that is anonymised – we use our Microdata Library to publish it externally. Thus RIDL is the first step in a long chain of sharing our data with partners, governments, researchers and the media. 

RIDL is a technological solution. But I imagine there is some cultural change required for UNHCR to reach its vision of becoming a data-enabled organisation.

MU/UNHCR: Yes of course, achieving these aspirations is not just about getting the technology right. We also have to make cultural, procedural and governance changes to become a data-enabled organisation. It’s a huge project. It needs a culture shift in UNHCR – because even if it’s internal, it’s a bit of work to convince people to upload. The metadata is always visible for everyone internally, but the actual data itself can be restricted and only visible following a request and evaluation. We want to be a trusted leader, but we also want to use that data to arrive at a better solution for refugees, to enrich our partnerships, and to enable evidence-based decision making – which is what we always aim to do.

Thanks for sharing your insights with us today Mariann. 

MU/UNHCR: No problem. It’s been a pleasure. 


Find out more

Open Knowledge Foundation is working with UNHCR to deliver the Raw Internal Data Library (RIDL). If you work outside of UNHCR, you can access UNHCR’s Microdata Library here. Learn more about CKAN here. 

If your organisation needs a Data Library solution and you want to learn more about our work, email info@okfn.org. We’d love to talk to you !

The new CEO of Open Knowledge Foundation – Renata Ávila visits Greece

- December 9, 2021 in Featured, News

Open Knowledge Foundation Greece is pleased to announce the visit of Mrs Renata Ávila Pinto in Greece, who recently took over her current role as CEO of the International Open Knowledge Foundation. It is a great honor for the Open Knowledge Foundation Greece the visit of Mrs Renata Ávila Pinto as significant issues will be […]

Επίσκεψη της νέας CEO του Διεθνούς Ιδρύματος Ανοικτής Γνώσης – Renata Ávila

- December 9, 2021 in Featured, News, Εκδηλώσεις

Το  Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδας είναι στην ευχάριστη θέση να ανακοινώσει την επίσκεψη της κα. Renata Ávila Pinto στην Ελλάδα, η οποία ανέλαβε πρόσφατα τη θέση της CEO του Διεθνούς Ιδρύματος Ανοικτής Γνώσης – Open Knowledge Foundation. Αποτελεί μεγάλη τιμή για το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδας η επίσκεψη της κα. Renata Ávila Pinto, καθότι  θα συζητηθούν αφενός θέματα αναφορικά με […]

Announcing the winner of the Net Zero Challenge 2021

- April 27, 2021 in Net Zero Challenge, News, Open Data

Net Zero Challenge logo
Three months ago, the team at Open Knowledge Foundation launched a new project – the Net Zero Challenge – a global competition to identify, promote and support innovative, practical and scalable uses of open data that advance climate action.
We received over 80 applications from 40 different countries. Many of them were excellent.
From the applications, we chose a shortlist of five teams to compete in a live pitch contest event. Each team had three minutes to explain their project or concept, and up to seven minutes to take questions from the Panel of Experts and the live audience.
Watch the recording of the live event here.
Today we are pleased to announce the winner of the Net Zero Challenge 2021 is CarbonGeoScales – a framework for standardising open data for GHG emissions at multiple geographical scales. The project is built by a team of volunteers from France – supported by Data for Good and Open Geo Scales. You can check out their Github here.
The winning prize for the Net Zero Challenge is USD$1000 – which, we are told, will be spent on cloud storage.
A few days ago, we caught up with the team from CarbonGeoScales to learn about who they are, what they are doing and how their project uses open data to advance climate action.
Watch our interview with the CarbonGeoScales team here.
We would like to thank all the teams who competed in the Net Zero Challenge 2021 – especially the four other teams who were all shortlisted for the pitch contest. We are grateful to the Panel of Experts to taking the time to judge the contest – especially to Bonnie Lei from Microsoft’s AI for Earth – who joined at the last minute. Thanks also to Open Data Charter and the Open Data & Innovation Team at Transport for New South Wales for their strategic advice during the development of this project.
The Net Zero Challenge has been supported by our partners Microsoft and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Join us for the Net Zero Challenge pitch contest on using open data for climate action

- March 22, 2021 in News

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Please register here to watch the Net Zero Challenge pitch contest.

This is a virtual event taking place on Tuesday 13th April 2021 from 15:00 to 16.00 London time.

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What is the Net Zero Challenge? The Net Zero Challenge is a global competition to answer the following question – How can you advance climate action using open data? Our aim is to identify, promote, support and connect innovative, practical and scalable projects. What is the pitch contest?

During the pitch contest on 13th April, each shortlisted team will have three minutes to pitch their project, in response to the challenge statement: How can you advance climate action using open data?

Questions from our Panel of Experts (and the audience) will then be put to the teams. Pitches will be scored, and the winning team awarded $1,000 USD. Register now via Eventbrite to watch the pitch contest. When did the Net Zero Challenge start and what have we learned?  Since launching the Net Zero Challenge in January 2021, we’ve spoken with dozens of individuals and organisations working on projects that use open data to achieve climate action.   Time and again, we’ve heard how open data will be critical to achieving our climate goals. Whether we are trying to understand climate risks, track climate progress, enable informed climate action, or evaluate climate impact – the production, disclosure, monitoring, and use of data will be essential to achieve net zero.  Next steps The Net Zero Challenge application window closed on 12th March 2021. We received almost 100 applications.  In the next few days, we will be announcing both the shortlist of candidate projects, and the names of judges joining our Panel of Experts. If you have applied to the Net Zero Challenge – and wonder if you have been shortlisted – we will be in touch with you soon. Find out more at netzerochallenge.info.

Το Open Knowledge Justice Programme αμφισβητεί τη χρήση εφαρμογών αλγοριθμικής επιτήρησης

- March 21, 2021 in News, δικαιώματα, επιτήρηση, λογισμικό, Νέα, προσωπικά δεδομένα

Σήμερα είμαστε στην ευχάριστη θέση να μοιραστούμε περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες σχετικά με το νέο στρατηγικό δικαστικό έργο του Open Knowledge Justice Programme: αμφισβητώντας τη(ν) (εσφαλμένη) χρήση λογισμικού απομακρυσμένης επιτήρησης. Τι είναι η απομακρυσμένη επιτήρηση; Το λογισμικό επιτήρησης χρησιμοποιεί μια ποικιλία τεχνικών για να «παρακολουθεί» τους συμμετέχοντες\σπουδαστές, καθώς λαμβάνουν μέρος στις εξετάσεις. Αυτά τα προϊόντα λογισμικού που […]

[공지] 오픈데이터데이 2021

- February 23, 2021 in Featured, News, Open Knowledge, 이벤트

기록하지 않은 사실은 사라지고, 기억은 필요에 따라 다르게 남는다. 코로나-19는 우리에게 어떤 의미로 남을까? 코로나-19에 대한 1년의 기록, 데이터 분석 그리고 데이터 관점의 지속 가능성을 논의한다.
일정: 2021년 3월 6일 14:00 – 17:00 장소: 숙명여대 오픈스퀘어 D (온라인 생방송) 온라인 채널: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoezsjw8NsN8BFsEE7fWyUw 행사 소개페이지: https://opendataday.org/kr/

프로그램 소개 발표 1 : 코로나 19 공공데이터API 활용 가이드 2020년 1월 한국 첫 코로나19 확진자가 발생한 이후 국내에서도 방대한 양의 관련 공공데이터가 생성, 활용되고 있다. 매일 공개되는 일별 확진자 수 또한 이 데이터에서 비롯된 것이다. 하지만 공공데이터를 활용해 기존에 제공되고 있는 정보보다 더 의미 있는 분석을 만들 수는 없는지에 대한 문제는 여전히 남는다. 더불어 사람들의 기억은 휘발되기에, 이 시기 한국 상황은 어떠했는지 중립적인 시각에서 기록을 남기는 것도 중요하다. 본 발표는 국내 코로나19 감염, 확산의 시간에 따른 변화와 집단별 차이를 분석하고자 한다. 코로나19 공공데이터 API를 활용한 것이며, 이를 보여줌으로써 코로나19 공공데이터 활용방안도 소개할 것이다. 웹 상에서 어떤 데이터를 어떻게 얻을 수 있는지 알려주고, 가능한 분석과 시각화의 예를 보일 것이다. 발표 2: 숨겨진 정보를 데이터로! 집단 감염 데이터 분석 본 분석은 코로나 바이러스로 인한 업종별 집단 감염 수를 비교하기 위해 시행되었다. 집단 감염 관련 데이터가 활용가능한 형태로 제공되지 않아 질병관리청에서 제공하는 정례브리핑 자료에서 집단 감염 데이터를 분리하였다. 2020년 1월부터 2021년 2월까지의 집단 감염 사건과 발생 장소, 브리핑 일자 등을 수집하여 태블로 형태로 데이터화하고, 직종에 따른 집단 감염 수를 시각화했다. 그 결과 종교시설 및 단체, 요양병원 및 시설, 지인 및 소모임, 의료기관, 직장 순으로 높게 나타났다. 분석 과정에서 정부의 일관되지 못한 데이터 제공과 정보 재사용이 불가한 자료 제공에 대한 아쉬움이 있었으며 업종 분류를 위한 명확한 기준 제시가 곤란했다는 어려움이 있었다. 또한 향후 데이터의 지속적인 업데이트를 위한 효율적인 방법을 강구해야 한다. 발표 3: Link! 백신으로 보는 국가별 코로나 대응 전략 코로나 19는 범세계적인 문제이며, 데이터를 활용하여 현 상황을 극복하려는 노력 또한 특정 국가만의 노력으로 완수할 수 없다. 하지만 지난 1년, 국내에서만 수차례 이어진 대형 악재 속에서 한국 상황을 정리하기에도 버거워 팬데믹 상황을 넓게 보기란 요원했다. 때문에 코로나 19에 대응하는 해외의 사례는 개연성이나 상관성을 찾기 힘들었고, 미디어에서 전달하는 단편적인 정보들로 접할 수 밖에 없었다.  한국을 넘어 전세계의 코로나 19 확진 현황 및 인구통계학적 데이터를 바탕으로 분석을 시도했다. 다만 분석의 범위가 너무 방대하다고 판단하여 현 상황의 게임체인저가 될 백신을 중심으로 주제를 좁혀보았다. 이를 통해 각국의 백신 확보 전략과 한국의 상황을 비교하고, 나아가 글로벌 환경에서 범세계적 데이터 확보의 중요성을 알아보고자 한다. 발표 4: 코로나 확진자 동선 확인을 위한 데이터 수집과 분석 방법, 우리에게 남겨진 이슈 데이터 경제 시대에서 공공데이터 활용의 중요성은 더욱 부각되고 있다. 특히 코로나19 시대에서 개방된 공공데이터는 일반 시민, 의료 분야 종사자 및 국가 차원에서 의사결정 지원에 많은 기여를 하고 있다. 그렇지만 프라이버시 보호를 위한 개인정보 보호 또한 데이터의 개방 시 필수적으로 점검해야 하는 사항이다. 따라서 코로나19 관련 일부 데이터 중에는 공개 범위, 공개 대상 및 공개 시점 등 또한 제한적이거나 한시적인 경우가 발생하며 그 결과 데이터 분석 및 예측에 이르기까지의 처리 시간이 지연되거나 누락된 데이터로 인한 정보의 완전성이 깨질 수 있다. 그러므로 원시데이터의 생성에서부터 수집, 정제, 가공 및 분석에 이르는 과정이 기계적인 도구로 자동화 될 수 있어야 하며 데이터의 재사용성 및 재활용성을 보장할 수 있어야 한다. 이번 세미나에서는 코로나 19 관련 데이터 중에서 확진자 동선 정보 분석에 필요한 데이터들을 기반으로 데이터 분석 라이프사이클에 따라 처리하면서 발생하는 이슈들을 살펴보고, 나아가서는 이러한 공공데이터가 완전성, 적시성을 갖췄을 때 우리가 생산해 낼 수 있는 서비스들에 대한 예를 보이고자 한다.

Πρόσκληση 25/02 – Αθήνα: HIGGS Online Event “Non-profits & Media Advocating for Good!”

- February 23, 2021 in News, Εκδηλώσεις

Με χαρά σας προσκαλούμε στη διαδικτυακή εκδήλωση ενημέρωσης για το έργο “Non-profits & Media advocating for good!”, το οποίο υλοποιείται στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος Active citizens fund, την Πέμπτη 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2021 και ώρα 16:00 – 17:00. Η εκδήλωση απευθύνεται σε εκπροσώπους  Μη Κερδοσκοπικών Οργανώσεων και Μέσων Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Αθήνα. Στόχος της εκδήλωσης είναι οι […]