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Festive Greetings and 2016 in review

- December 28, 2016 in 2016, adrian, denis, eugene, Events, flora, ingo, OGP Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, salua, shawn

Our warm festive greetings to all friends of Open Knowledge – For the last two years we have been advocating that for open data to make a difference in lives of people it has to be put in use. Open data must be seen as a digital public infrastructure. It must be permanent, linkable and trustful. In the last year we organised and participated in events, tried out new technologies and demonstrated usefulness of open data. Here are some things we did in 2016 to spread this message.   In January, in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, we discussed how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions about health matters. Featured speakers: Round Up Our Slides   In March  Open Government Partnership Mid-term report on the progress with National Action Plan was launched In May we presented Hospital Waiting List project and spoke about importance of preservation of open knowledge for future generations at Knowledge for Health conference  , organised by the Institute of Public Health    In June we held a discussion dedicated to preservation of knowledge created today for generations of the future. 18 Speakers and panelists included:
  • Dr. Rufus Pollock, founder of Open Knowledge International
  • Stanislav Nazarenko, Open Knowledge Ireland core team member and the founder of Nihonto Club, an online community dedicated to appreciation and preservation of Japanese swords and the largest public database of Japanese metalwork artists
  • Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Head of School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin
Photos   In July we were invited to the Isle of Man to share our open data experiences at  #offcamp unconference. We took this opportunity to highlight importance of trust in data. 160730-OffCamp-155 Photos   In September we contributed to the second Irish Open Government Partnership National Action Plan. Our submissions are here   In October we co organised with the Institute of Public Health half-day workshop dedicated to “Open Access: Tackling Health Inequalities”. Best international practices and opportunities which arise from technological advances for making knowledge universally fair, accessible, interoperable and reusable were discussed.   In November our colleague Dr. Ingo Keck delivered a presentation on open data challenges and raised questions about open data sustainability at the event dedicated to the World Usability Day in Berlin.
“Open Data has to be seen in the context of empowering citizens to do informed decisions. Without information, citizen can not decide in an informed way who to vote for, so democracy can not work without open information. But open data is not a cause in itself. It also means that people must be able to understand the data easily, be able to access it without problems and can work with it. Only then people will realise the importance of open data and only then will „opening up“ data be sustainable. Open Data, Usability and Sustainability therefore can not be separated.”

What we are planning to do in 2017? We are going to focus on Healthcare data and planning to run 4 events with support of  DPER’s Open Data Engagement plan and continue to demonstrate….. We have a long to go until Open Data will become a digital public infrastructure: permanent, linked and secure. This infrastructure needs to be designed, built and maintained, which require human and financial resources. Open data must be findable, accessible, interoperable and findable in order to help a real person to make decisions on daily basis. ———– Many thanks to Open Knowledge Ireland colleagues: Flora, Salua, Ingo, Adrian, Shawn, Stan, Eugene and Denis Special Thanks to all supporters and collaborators: TCube, the Science Gallery We wish you happy Christmas and the very best in 2017!

Irish OGP Progress Report Launch: opening remarks by Paul Maassen

- March 14, 2016 in Denis Parfenov, Events, Ireland, IRM, IRM Report, Martin Wallace, midterm, OGP, OGP Ireland, OGPirl, open-government, opengov, Paul Maassen

ogp ireland

9 March 2016

The Printing House at Trinity College Dublin

Good evening ladies and gentleman,

I have been following the Irish journey in OGP since June 2012 when two active citizens came to me with the idea of campaigning for Irish participation in the partnership. With a smart advocacy strategy they managed to get more civil society interested and more to get minister Howlin interested. And the rest is history as they say. With Raj’s excellent report on the formal participation experience of Ireland in OGP to date as it’s history book.

Let me start with two complements. First, a complement for Ireland on not only producing a strong set of commitments, but also making very substantial progress on delivering them. And when I say Ireland I mean those actors in civil society and in government that made this happen. Second, a complement for Raj on his report. It is quite an achievement to capture a countries journey in OGP in general, but the Irish one is perhaps even more complex. I think you managed to capture the positives and the negatives well, naming what needs to be named, doing it elegantly without shying away.

I will try to do the same while framing Ireland’s performance within the partnership and making some suggestions.


OGP now has 69 participating countries, over 100 Action Plans that combined have close to 2500 commitments. The last couple of months 25 reports have been released for public comments. Those reports cover 407 commitments in total. Action plans range from 4 commitments to 15 in general, but we did have cases like Ireland with 30 and Uruguay with 40. So Ireland is on the high end

If we look at ambition, and use starred criteria I can tell you that out of these 407 commitments 27 are starred (meaning measurable, relevant to open government values, potentially transformative and substantially of fully implemented. The stars per country range from 1 to 4 (only Ireland has 4 stars, 4 countries have 2 stars, 4 countries have 3 stars, 2 countries have 1 star).

On issues covered the trends are access to information and public accountability (based on the frequency of their relevance to OGP values.

In the bigger picture Ireland is doing well if you look at the commitments. Across the 30 commitments many are relevant, many are substantially of fully delivered, the plan covers a broad range of issues and not just politically easy ones. On the process side there is more to be done in Ireland – and not just in Ireland.


Trend is that countries are learning and complying better with the official OGP process requirements. We have seen improvements in all countries from first action plan to second. Meeting the requirements doesn’t necessarily mean a national process was of high quality though. As OGP we have realized that we have to revisit the requirements and bring in new elements that look at more qualitative aspects like the depth of the consultation – is civil society consulted or do they co-create with government, is the process open and inclusive or not? We also realized that one important factor for success is what we call the permanent dialogue mechanism a country puts in place. Raj calls it the Implementation Review Group. The name doesn’t matter. What is important is that there is a way to have a continuous dialogue between actors – not just for the development of a plan, but also for implementation and monitoring. The best examples we have are really where civil society and government co-create OGP in a space they manage together.

I actually thought the consultation for the plan in Ireland was pretty good. And I watched it very closely. Yes, there could have been more citizens in the room, yes it could have been taken outside of Dublin, yes, the government could have negotiated with civil society more directly at the political level about priorities. Yes civil society could have been more strategic in bringing the 62 recommendations down to 10 Big Asks. But at least there was a lively debate resulting in 62 asks, there was government funding for the consultation, there was feedback on the proposals made and many made it into the plan and minister Howlin did put his political weight behind OGP and behind the commitments.

A lot has been said about the way civil society works and works together. I don’t think I need to touch on that, except two things. I absolutely realize that for civil society to be actively engaged in something so important and so complex as changing the culture of government asks for resources. And in western countries it is almost inevitable that that funding comes from government. Second, I have seen Irish civil society smartly advocate and work together twice and got what they wanted as a result. First in getting Ireland into OGP, second in rallying together to get the FOI fees abolished. It shows it is possible and when it happens it can pay off.


Coming to a close with a few recommendations for the future of Ireland in OGP. And of course I realize you have just had elections and they have brought a bit of shake-up. And I also realize Raj has recommendations in his report. They all are very solid and important.

First, to open up government and change the culture is not a technical fix. It is much more complex and political. Look at the commitments on lobbying regulation or whistleblower protection. For OGP to stay relevant in Ireland it is imperative to have a political champion in the new government with the will and power to drive this agenda forward. This is an opportunity for civil society to take the initiative.

Second, if commitments are not delivered by June it is great to re-commit – or differently put – still deliver what you promise. This should not be an excuse to commit to new, bold and ambitious things that combat corruption, or promote the uptake of open data, or make public spending more transparent and accountable.

Third, there are a lot of commitments in the plan to do more about participation, whether around all new policies or at local level. Ireland has a lot of good experience and should build on that. Not in the last place to make the next action plan development process even better and more inclusive, really pushing the boundaries on co-creation. And doing it in a way that really adds value to the outcome and for the parties that invest time and energy. Let’s not create participation opportunities just for the sake of it.

Fourth: be a leader in OGP on some of the stuff you are really good at like whistleblowing and lobbying – and learn from others on topics you are struggling on. That is part of why you are in OGP.

And finally: get that permanent dialogue going between government and civil society. It is not that difficult. You have done it on different topics and at different moments. We have dozens of strong examples by now on how to do it – including on selecting the people at the table and shaping the rules of the dialogue.

Let me leave it here. As I said, I have been closely following the Irish path to government reform for the last 4 years and look forward to the next 4!

Paul Maassen, Director for Civil Society Engagement at the Open Government Partnership

More information:






Open Health Data Night @ Science Gallery

- January 5, 2016 in Events, Hospital Waiting List, OGP Ireland, Open Data Ireland

Building on the health data meetups that took place in March 2013 & in May 2013, and Health Data Maker Party, June 2015 we will be hearing about how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions. We’ll also have a panel discussion on open health data to see how we can overcome some of the challenges. Open Data Ireland was set up with the purpose of helping citizens access high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Irish Government. This community meetup is organised by Open Knowledge Ireland and WikiMedia Ireland. It will bring together people who are passionate about sharing, learning, using and progressing Open Data in Ireland. Date: January 20th
Time: Doors open at 18:00. The event will begin at 18:30 and finish at 20:00
Place: Science Gallery, Pearse Street. Register here: The theme for this Meetup is “Trauma” This meetup will be facilitated by Eugene Eichelberger Guest speakers and panelists include:

Irish Open Data Wishlist – Ireland falling behind its Open Data promises and international best practice

- July 22, 2015 in DPER, OGP Ireland, Open Data, Open Data Ireland, open data wish list

This post follows up on a public request made to the government to open up high impact public data sets for the benefit of Ireland’s citizens and economy on April 14th, 2014. The ‘Open Data Wishlist’ of high impact data sets was crowdsourced to be particular to the Irish context by Open Knowledge Ireland by approach to Irish public. The wish list was delivered to Stefan Decker and Deirdre Lee (Insight Centre for Data Analytics) who requested the assessment to be included in their work on the Irish government’s Open data strategy for which they won a tender in 2014. The submission was made by the public on April 14th, 2014. (Link) This blog post is to highlight that, Over a year after the requested ‘Open Data Wishlist’ was delivered not one one of the data sets identified have been  published in an open format and under an open licence! Worse, there is no timeline to do so! This is worrying because Ireland seems to be falling behind other countries such as the UK, the US, Canada, etc. in their efforts to fuel their economy and improve the services provided to their citizens. Equally critically, Ireland seems to be falling behind the promises it has made as part of it’s own ‘Open Data Strategy’! We realise that cultural change takes time, but making already public information, such as hospital waiting lists, available for reuse in machine readable formats should be straightforward (Hospital Waiting List Current Example). If the government of Ireland is serious about empowering evidence-based data-driven decision-making, it needs to start complimenting good intentions with actions. We are calling on Minister Howlin to publish a timeline for publishing these data sets in open format, in line with the promises made, with progress made in other countries and in line with the global G8 Open Data Charter ( Why delays are worrying: In April 2014 via crowdsourcing, the Irish populace produced list of public data sets felt to promise the highest impact and requested that they be published in an ‘open’ format. ‘Open’ generally means that data that is already collected on behalf of the public is published in machine readable format (e.g. not PDF reports) and under a licence stating that it can be freely to used, reused, and redistributed (e.g. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence). Only in this way can service providers and businesses utilise the data in a way that can be of benefit to citizens, businesses and services in Ireland. Once easily accessible to the public these types of data sets have the potential to help build better services to meet the needs of citizens (e.g. data on hospital waiting lists) and to be a catalyst for innovation and economic prosperity. A popular estimate by McKinsey ( on the benefits of adopting open data practices can unlock $3 – $5 trillion of economic value across 7 sectors globally, with up to $1.2 billion unlock-able in ‘Education’ alone. What high-value datasets should be published?
  • Geospatial Data (broken out as many different owners for various datasets. Also included is the examples of what is being requested and/or type of metadata needed to make this useful. Where “name” is listed, both Irish & English if available. All data below to include long/lat coords for single point references or shapefiles for area references)
  • Postcodes
  • Addresses (Full breakdown by building and by structure within e.g. apartments)
  • Boundary data (National, County, City, Suburb, Townland, Census SA, Electoral Division, etc)
  • Road Network (Ref #’s, names, classification, lit/unlit, bridge info e.g. height’s & widths)
  • Topography
  • National Maps
  • Waterways (Navigation, depths, berths, names, source, underground yes/no, rivers, streams, ditches, lakes  etc)
  • Soil data (soil type, acidity, etc)
  • Natural Heritage Area’s (boundary, operator, name)
  • Bogs (type, protected yes/no, operator)
  • Social Facilities (Garda Stations, Courts, Hospitals, Primary Care Centers, GP’s, Dentists, Care Homes etc – name, operator, contact details)
  • Sports Facilities (sport, team, operator)
  • Schools (patron, mixed yes/no, name, level)
  • Voting Stations
  • Government offices/departments (name, contact details, under which dept. etc)
  • Energy (power plants to include renewables, plant type, power lines, line capacity, substations, reference #’s, names)
  • Playgrounds (surface, facilities)
  • Crime data (Crime statistics, safety, location of crimes, accidents)
  • Health data (Prescription data, performance data, source location)
  • Education (List of schools; performance of schools, digital skills)
  • Election data (results, location, party, etc)
  • Energy and Environment (Pollution levels, energy consumption)
  • Finance and contracts (Transaction spend, contracts let, call for tender, future tenders, local budget, national budget (planned and spent))
  • Global Development: Aid, food security, extractives, land
  • Statistics: National Statistics, Census, infrastructure, wealth, skills
  • Government Accountability and Democracy: Government contact points, election results, legislation and statutes, salaries (pay scales), hospitality/gifts
  • Science and Research: Genome data, meteorological data, research and educational activity, experiment results.
What licences should Open Data Ireland use?
  • CC-0 or at most CC-BY version 4
  • Public Domain
  • GNU General Public License (software)

Maker Party: Health Data

- June 5, 2015 in Events, Hospital Waiting List, OGP Ireland, OKFN Ireland, Press Release

Join us on Saturday, 13. June, to prove that health data can be more useful if it’s accessible and available for reuse in open formats! Date: 13. June 2015
Time: 10am – 6pm
Venue: T-Cube Fleetstreet (next to Palace Bar)
Registration: We will be working all together on our Open Hospital Waiting List Project to:
  • increase transparency and accessibility of hospital data (i.e. waiting lists) through data liberation;
  • apply data to Open Street Map (OSM);
  • develop a strategy to make this information and the whole subject known to the wider public.
This April, over 190,000 people were waiting over six months for their first appointment with a hospital specialist in Ireland – of these over 11,000 were waiting more than 2 years. Waiting so long for that first specialist appointment results in poorer health outcomes, more expensive treatment and in some instance unnecessary and premature deaths. The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) publishes its Out­Patient Waiting list and In­patient/Day Case Waiting list reports in PDF format which makes them impossible to access automatically thus limiting their usefulness. Over the past few months Open Knowledge Ireland has scraped the data from these NTPF lists and created a dataset of easily accessible information, available on At our maker party we will drive this process even further with the goal to develop a movement for open health data in Ireland. Register here and get more information! Open Knowledge Ireland (h​ttps://​ is the regional chapter of the global non­profit Open Knowledge network. Open Knowledge Ireland is at the forefront of Ireland’s Open Data community with the aim of developing a self­sustainable, enabling ecosystem for open data to empower citizens and organisations to make better informed, evidence­based decisions. Members of OK Ireland are technology experts and experienced civic activists, with expertise in implementing the best global open data practices and tacit knowledge of unique challenges in Ireland. We are passionate about openness, and using advocacy, technology and training to unlock data to enable people to create, manage and share knowledge.

Open Letter Regarding Open Data in Ireland

- February 17, 2015 in Denis Parfenov, DPER, Events, INKEx, insight, OGP Ireland, Open Data, Open Data Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, William Beausang

(Originally published here in response on invitation to meet with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform dated 12 February 2015)

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Dear William -

Thank you for your email. Let’s look….

What we have

There are numerous publicly funded data research institutions.

“…INSIGHT [DERI, CLARITY, CLIQUE, 4C, TRIL]  represent an investment in excess of 150,000,000 over the past 10 years, hosting more than 300 researchers, and collaborating with more than 150 industry partners….””…. to create a healthier, safer, more productive world by empowering a data-driven society to enable better decisions by individuals, communities, business and governments…” (here)

Taking into consideration a generous investment of public and private money into data excellence in Ireland, we should be leading in the open data world, right?

Where we are?

Lets have a quick look where is Ireland positioned in the world of open data:

There is hardly any improvement since 2013.

According to both surveys, the UK is the world leader in open data. Peculiarly, Ireland has  pledged at United Nations Assembly last year  “to share best practice, knowledge and expertise with its Northern Ireland counterparts and assist each other in relation to Open Data.” (here)

It’s good that Ireland has a CKAN-driven It’s not good that it’s “alfa” since May 2014 and technically speaking hosts no open data.

Talking open data, practicing open washing 

It was great to see Minister Howlin of D/PER launching an open data initiative in London in 2013. It was very disappointing to see the Department of Communications excluding any open alternatives for one of the most valuable dataset: postcodes (Eircode) were excluded from bidding process by error .

“Open Data Ireland: Best Practice Handbook” (July 2014) compiled by Deirdre Lee, Richard Cyganiak, Stefan Decker states “The current Irish PSI license is not considered an Open License, as it places a number of restrictions on re-use and distribution that go beyond the requirements of attribution and share-alike.” Other than your consultant’s change of mind on what is or is not “open data” it is not clear what has changed since then re PSI licensing in the last 6 month. ‘Open washing’, is the term for calling open data what is NOT open data (yet).

Even within your own department, the “Reform Unit” is talking positively about theoretical aspects of open data. When it comes to practice, another unit within your department, is supporting The Irish Nonprofits Project Limited (formerly  INKEx), an organisation which receives public funds to build a privately-held database with an intention to sell it back to the state, relaunched.

Open data and community

I clearly recall the moment when in February 2012, after following ‘open data’ across the world, I came across ‘A Briefing paper’ (here), which was co-authored by D/PER’s current Open Data consultant, Deirdre Lee, with other industry representatives. What struck me then was that, unlike any other open data policy document, the Irish one didn’t contain a single mention of the social benefits of open data for civil society.

Taking this into consideration we (Open Knowledge Ireland) undertook a challenge to progress open data in Ireland by catalyzing interest around it. As you remember, in September 2012, Oireachtas cut the XML feed to, the biggest open government data publisher in Ireland. The open data community started to organise regular ‘Open Data Ireland’ meetups.

The idea of of open data meetups was to generate demand for open data through education and collaboration between data holders and data users (under assumption that passion is a stronger motivator than profit). All our events were organised in the evening time or at weekends, in order to accommodate enthusiasts and increase a pool of people who knows more about open data and participate in it’s co-creation.

Prior to our workshop meetup on November 17th, D/PER’s consultant tweeted “It’d be good to discuss how to facilitate broad engagement in #opendataIRL” here.  However the time and date chosen by the consultant is aimed at accommodating those who “work with data”.

We can assume that that the biggest publisher of open data, John Handelaar, based in Cork and Open Street Maps lead in Ireland Dave Corley, based in Galway, do not belong to the consultant’s target group.

The participants of the November 17  workshop discussed 5 projects, which can be turned into real life Irish examples of open data being put in use and we set up a project log here.

However at the follow up meeting with you in D/PER offices, we were informed that the department has a budget for 2015 only for an appointed “consultant”, Deirdre Lee from Derilinx and Deirdre Lee from INSIGHT.

Evidently, D/PER has generous resources for Irish Nonprofits Project Limited / INKEx also…

Taking into consideration that there is a paid “consultant” in place and the fact that none of independent groups cannot compete in tendering processes with quangos which have hundreds of publicly funded researchers at their disposal, our group will not be organising any public engagements in Ireland as long as there is a publicly sponsored consultant.  This is the only logical course.

To summarise, there is still no appreciating for the role of the civic groups in progressing open data in Ireland. There is contradiction between the government’s public commitments and government’s actions.

Thank you for your invitation to meet, but I don’t see any point to participate in creation of an illusion of openness in Ireland.

Best, Denis  

Open Data Initiative Workshop

- November 9, 2014 in Events, OGP Action Plan, OGP Ireland, Open Data Ireland

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (D/PER) and Open Knowledge Ireland wants to invite you to take part in its Open Data Initiative Workshop on Monday 17th of November at 6pm, at the Guinness Enterprise Center, Taylor’s Lane, Dublin 8. The Active Workshop aims to drive forward the Open Data Strategy, led by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (D/PER). On September 8th, this department held a public meeting on open data in Ireland. During the exchange of ideas generated by all participants in the meeting, it became clear that the demand for open data needs to be catalysed by creating real life examples of open data in Ireland that are useful for the general public and answer real questions. The idea for this workshop is to create 5+ real life examples of Open Data in Ireland being put in use and made helpful. At this event we will
  • Look at the progress Ireland has made regarding open data in availability for re-use in the last year
  • Present the Open Charity Data project, to mark potential projects, to identify obstacles and plan ways around then
  • To develop a working plan for the next 12 month
We are inviting all interested groups for open collaboration on moving this idea forward. Register on  to take part! This event is kindly supported by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (D/PER).

Are you still asking yourself what means “Open Government” and “Open Data” and what has it to do with you?

- October 7, 2014 in OGP, OGP Action Plan, OGP Ireland, Open Data, Open Data Ireland

(originally published on In the last time have appeared all around the web different subjects like “Open Government” and “Open Data”, who are not really directed to a special public or have a special orientation. If you are still wondering what that all means, by reading this blog you could befind some answers to your questions.

This words do not belong to any subjects that you can not understand, instead, they relate a lot to our environment and our basic life.

“Open Government” and “Open Data” means that the information that has been collected, processed and presented by the governments must be open, while at the same time privaty and safety have to be protected.

In generals words “Open” means all data must be published with open licenses so that everyone can use and reuse the information. “Open” also means open formats (.cvs), as well as without discrimination, that means that everyone can get the information without access restrictions and for free.

Why is this so important? There are a lot of reason that we could give you; some of them are: “Open Data” allow us all to make better political decisions, that is because politicians’ programs (investigations, results, etc) are open and accessible to everyone, so that everyone can better follow it. “Open Data” allows to promote innovation because by opening the data companies can build new services according to the new requests and necessities of the population.

And now… where are we? What has all this to do with us? What does it bring us? Think in subjects like for example global warming, energy, geo-information, finance, transport, education system (school, universities, etc.), etc. All this needs to use “Open Data”.

Already now you can find in internet lots of applications using “Open Data”. That means that people have been collecting the information, putting all together, processing and presenting it with the aim that you can see it all in a friendly visualization.

This applications give you information about for example: weather in your city (maybe you should take an umbrella with you before you leave to work); transport, how to get from point A to point B by car, bus, bike or walking. If you are cycling: In which areas in your city you should be more careful because they have a high probability of accidents, etc. In the subject education, “Open Data” allows us to answer different kinds of questions like: Which schools are in your area?, What kind of schools are there? (private, public, just for girls or just for boys, mix, etc.), Are there good schools?, If there are not that good: What could be the reasons? What needs to be improved? In the area of travel, meals and entrainment, these apps allow you to find out which are the best place to go to eat, which places have been having hygiene problems, which are the most visiting cities around the world, etc. About Hospital and clinics, when, for example, you are new in a city it would be important to know for you: Where are they? What is their speciality? If you are having problems for example with your heart, which would be the best option to go and get a treatment? Which are the problems of hospitals and clinics and how can it be improved? Another field where “Open Data” has been in use constantly is for crime and the different statistics that police and government present to the population: Where are the most dangerous/safe places in your city? What could be the reasons? What can the government do, the citizens, etc, to improve it?

What is the future of “Open Data”? As you can see “Open Data” allows to have a bigger panorama to make better decision based on the reality, so as to improve services by extracting all important points by a transparent process. The future of “Open Data” should be directed towards having open up the highest quality information with the aim to integrate all it.

Public meeting on Open Data Ireland on 8th September

- August 25, 2014 in DPER, Events, OGP Action Plan, OGP Ireland, Open Data, Open Data Ireland, public meeting

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) invited you to attend a public briefing session on Open Data at 6pm on Monday 8th September in the Atrium, Department of Justiceand Equality, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Please register for this event here.  

The format of this meeting will be a presentation by Insight NUI Galway on open data and the recently launched Open Data Portal. The floor will then be opened for discussion of priorities for a national Open Data Strategy, to include issues such as priorities for the next steps in the area of open data, including how to ensure a focus on high value datasets, as well as how the publication and reuse of official non-personal information has the potential to create significant economic and social benefits. Click here to read an article on the PER blog on the Potential for Open Data in Ireland.  

Insight’s research comprises a Best Practice Handbook, a Data Audit Report, a Roadmap for Open Data, an Evaluation Framework and an Open Data Publication Handbook. These reports have been published to assist in the development of an Open Data strategy for Ireland and are accessible here.  You may wish to review these in advance of this briefing session. Submissions or comments may be made by email in advance of the event to  We will continue to accept submissions until 19 September.

If you have any questions, please email

(copied from DPER’s email )

OGP Jam Round Up

- June 25, 2014 in Action Plan, DPER, Events, OGP, OGP Action Plan, OGP Ireland, OGP jam, OGPirl, Open Data Ireland, Open Knowledge Ireland, open-government

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 14.51.02   On 8-9 May 2014 over 300 representatives of governments and civil society from over 30 countries took part in the OGP European regional meeting hosted by Minister Howlin of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Dublin Castle. On day one of the conference the Minister presented Ireland’s 1st Draft OGP National Action Plan and between May 8th and June 7th the Minister invited feedback on this Draft (PDF). Open Knowledge Ireland participated in a joint working group with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform between February and April 2014 and continuously helped to refine the Action Plan to help make it more meaningful to all Irish citizens. However, there was a lot of red tape and to date many suggestions have not been adopted. Another shortfall is that there was no public engagement on behalf of the Minister or the relevant Government Unit. So in the spirit of the OGP principles of citizen engagement and participation, Open Knowledge Ireland, with support of the OGP, held an OGP Jam on Saturday, 7th June to generate tools and ideas on how to make the OGP Action Plan meaningful to Irish citizens. Around ten people participated in a collaborative and creative event supported by Microsoft Ireland and Dovetail Technologies. The main benefit of the OGP Jam was that we were able to work with other citizens and use new technologies to explore how we can turn a government document into something that makes sense to the average citizen. What follows is a brief story around what was achieved on the day. The main goal of OGP Jam  was to make Ireland’s first OGP Action Plan more concise and specific in the areas of “Open Data”, “Citizen Participation” and “Trust”. Over the course of the Jam, our volunteers concentrated on three key areas of Ireland’s first OGP Action Plan. The participants concluded that in order to make the Action Plan more actionable, measurable, readable and understandable the Action Plan in its current format needs to be improved by including the following: [NOTE: All suggested dates and partner organisations are to be confirmed with the Irish Government, these are our suggestions]
  • Assigning partner organisations (which may follow up with the government throughout the implementation period). The Irish OGP Action Plan needs to be populated with Partner Organisations that the Government can partner with the government to achieve their goals. Other Action Plans including for example the UK OGP Action Plan have demonstrated that this is a solid methodology for Action Plan implementation:
For example: Establishment of best practice standards for Open Data Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 14.34.09  
  • Make commitments SMART wherever possible. Remember, that’s Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Timebound. Applying SMART classification to tasks is the only way we can interpret if and when a commitment was completed.
    • You cannot easily see this from the 27 pages of the Action Plan. But if you look at it in a structured way and strip down the text into what’s relevant, not many commitments are SMART, yet.
  • Create a roadmap for NAP implementation over the 2014-2016 period
As per OGP guidelines, Action Plans should be written in plain language with minimal use of jargon or technical terms. So the idea was to simplify the document and make it more accessible to a wider audience through clarity, precision and specification.
Imagine going from this: Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 14.39.12

 To this (actual content! – and this is only a very simple prototype!!):

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 14.43.03The community members who attended the OGP Jam created this model and to a large extent  filled it with possible values. In many cases the time-frames, partners, goals, challenges, etc. for each commitment are still unknown. But we have provided this model to the Government Reform Unit looking after the OGP Action Plan as a recommendation on how to make the Action Plan more accessible to everyone. Our work will continue throughout the implementation phase of the Action Plan and you can follow our progress here (
The OGP Jam is storified here and you’ll find photos of the event here.