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Open Data goes local in Nepal: Findings of Nepal Open Data Index 2015

- January 7, 2016 in Local Open Data Index, OKF Nepal, Open Data Index

The Local Open Data Index Nepal 2015 is a crowdsourced survey that examines the availability of Open Data at city level. The survey was conducted for the first time in Nepal by Open Knowledge Nepal. See our previous post that announced the local index here.

Background

For the decentralization of power from central authority to district, village and municipality levels, Nepal government use Local Self Governance Regulation, 2056 (1999). where Village Development Committee (VDC) and District Development Committees (DDC) both act as planners and program implementing bodies of the government. Where municipalities are also doing the same kinds of tasks but at smaller scale, it has created difficulties in understanding layers of governing units. This overlapping of powers and roles has also been found in the government data space; average citizens still don’t know which local governance units are responsible for the data they need. This highlights the importance of a survey around open data and publishing. Global surveys such as the Global Open Data Index and Open Data Barometer taught us that availability of open data and participatory governance in Nepal is not reaching full potential in terms of everything from citizen readiness, to data release and data infrastructure in Nepal. Using World Wide Web Foundation terminology, in Nepal we are operating in a “capacity constrained” environment. Furthermore, in Nepal citizen participation and using open data often makes more sense and is more powerful at local level as it is local governments that handle all national and international project for citizens and generates data from it. However, open data is still a new concept in Nepal and the central government has only just started releasing data, with data even less available at the local level.

Why do we need a Local Open Data Index in Nepal?

The Local Open Data Index is intended to help to put the discrepancies of local level on the map (literally!). Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets managed.” Mapping the gaps will aid strategic planning and help create a framework for action and citizen engagement at all levels. For local governments to adopt openness, they need to understand the what, why and how of opening up their data. Government need to learn why making data open is not only a means to make them accountable (or worse – alarmed), but also a tool to help them become more efficient and effective in their work. Governments need to understand that opening data is only the beginning of participatory governance, and for them to participate they need well defined and easy-to-adopt mechanisms. The Local Open Data Index for Nepal will help in assessing the baseline of availability and nature of open data in Nepali cities. This will help to identify gaps, and plan strategic actions to make maximum impact. Nepal local Index visualisation

Summary

A survey was done in 10 major cities of Nepal by open data enthusiasts and volunteers inside and outside of Open Knowledge Nepal. The cities chosen were Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Butwal, Chitwan, Dolakha, Dhading, Hetauda, Kavre, Lalitpur, and Pokhara. The datasets that we survey were Annual Budget, Procurement Contracts, Crime Statistics, Business Permits, Traffic Accident, and Air Quality. Unsurprisingly, the largest municipality and the capital of Nepal – Kathmandu – ranked highest, followed by Pokhara and Chitwan. Different datasets were available in all 10 cities in digital format on the government websites. All available datasets are free to access. However, none of the datasets were machine readable, nor were any datasets licensed with any of the standard open data licences. Datasets regarding annual budgets and procurement contracts are easily available digitally, although not open in standard sense of the term. Datasets for air quality are virtually nonexistent. It is not clear whether data is available in categories such as Traffic Accidents or Business Permits. The central government of Nepal has been slowly adopting open data as a policy, and has shown commitment through projects such as the Aid Management Platform, Election Data, and interactive visualization available in National Planning Commission website. The enthusiasm is growing, but, has not yet spread to local governing authorities.

Key Findings

  1. None of the data sets are completely open. All of them lack machine readability and standard licensing.
  2. Annual budget data is publicly available in almost all cities surveyed. Air quality data is not available in any city. Other datasets fall somewhere in between.
  3. The enthusiasm and progress shown by central government in terms of open data projects has yet to catch on at the local level.
Read more about it in the official white paper.

Document Freedom Day in Kathmandu, Nepal

- April 9, 2015 in community, Document Freedom Day, OKF Nepal

On 2015’s Document Freedom Day, Open Knowledge Nepal organized a seminar on Open Standards at CLASS Nepal at Maitighar, Kathmandu. We intended to pitch openness to a new audience in Nepal and help them learn documentation skills. As we could not hope to teach documentation and spreadsheets in less than a day, we utilized the cohort to teach them small bits of information and skills that they could take home and gather information about their current knowledge and pertinent needs so as to help ourselves plan future events and trainings. The targeted audience were office bearers and representatives of labor unions in many private and government organizations in Nepal. We also invited some students of Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT). Few of the students are core members of Open Knowledge Nepal team and have also represented us in Open Data Day 2015, Kathmandu. We invited the students to let them know about the audience they will have to work with, in days to come. It was a lazy March afternoon in Kathmandu and participants were slowly turning in from around 2 pm. Organizers and the students had already begun with chitchats on open, tech, football and other stuffs while waiting for enough participants to begin the event formally. Participants kept coming in ones and twos until the hall was up to its limit (35+) and we started formally just after 3:00 PM (NST). The event was started by Mr. Durga of CLASS Nepal by welcoming all participants and introducing CLASS Nepal to the participants. He then invited Mr. Lekhnath Pokhrel, representative of UNI-Global Union in the event. He requested all participants to take full advantage of seminar and announced they will be organizing useful events in coming future too. Nikesh Balami, our active member and Open Government lead followed with his presentation on “Open Knowledge, Open Data, Open Standards, and Open Formats.” He started by gathering information about participants’ organizational backgrounds. This lightened the settings as everybody opened up to each other. NIkesh introduced Open Knowledge Nepal and our activities to the hall (see the slides). dfd_nepal1 Kshitiz Khanal, Open Access lead at Open Knowledge Nepal went next. This session was intended to be an open discussion and skill dissemination on documentation and spreadsheet basics. We started by asking everybody to share their experience, set of skills and the skills they would like to learn in the event. dfd_nepal2 We were in for a surprise. While we had prepared to teach them pivot tables, our audience were interested to learn more basic skills. Most of our audience were familiar with documentation packages like Microsoft Word, some were using spreadsheets in work, and most of them had to use slides to present their work. We paired our students with our target audience so that one can teach other. Based on the requests, we decided to teach basic spreadsheet actions like sorting and filtering data, performing basic mathematical operations. dfd_nepal3 We also explained basic presentation philosophy like use pictures in place of words whenever possible, using as less words as possible, and when we do – making them big, rehearsing before presenting. These sound like obvious but these are not commonplace yet because these were not taught anywhere as a part of curriculum to our audience. This was well received. We also had a strange request – how to attach a sound recording in email. We decided to teach how to use google drive. We demonstrated how google drive can be used to store documents and the links can be used to send any type of files by email. There were few female participants as well. This was a good turnout when compared to most of our and other tech / open events in Kathmandu with nil female participation. One of our female participant said that while she wants to learn more skills, she doesn’t have time to learn at home while taking care of her children, and at office she mostly has her hands full with work.
Most of the work in many offices is documentation, and this day and age makes strong documentation skills almost mandatory. While having freedom in the sense of document freedom entails having access to proper tools, it also necessitates having the proper set of skills to use the tools. We learned lessons in the status and interest of people like our audience and the level of skill that we need to begin with while preparing modules for other similar events. See the photo stream here and find further detailed account here on the Open Knowledge Nepal blog.

Open Access Week in Nepal

- October 25, 2014 in OKF Nepal, Open Access, Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. Open Access Week was celebrated for the first time in Nepal for the opening 2 days: October 20, 21. The event, which was led by newly founded Open Access Nepal, and supported by EIFL and R2RC, featured a series of workshops, presentation, and peer to peer discussions and training by country leaders in Open Access, Open Knowledge, and Open Data including a 3 hour workshop on Open Science and Collaborative Research by Open Knowledge Nepal on the second day. Open Access Nepal is a student led initiative that mostly includes students of MBBS. Most of the audience of Open Access Week celebrations here, hence, included med students, but engineering students, management students, librarians, professionals, and academics were also well represented. Participants discussed open access developments in Nepal and their roles in promoting and advancing open access. EIFL and Right to Research Coalition provided financial support for the Open Access Week in Nepal. EIFL Open Access Program Manager Iryna Kuchma attended the conference as speaker and facilitator of workshops. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.37.26 Open Knowledge Nepal hosted an interactive session on Open Science and Collaborative Research on the second day of two. The session we led by Kshitiz Khanal, Team Leader of Open Access / Open Science for Open Knowledge Nepal with support from Iryna Kuchma and Nikesh Balami, Team Leader of Open Government Data. About 8-10 Open Access experts of the country were present inside the hall to assist participants. The session began a half an hour before lunch where participants were first asked to brainstorm till lunch was over about what they think Open Science and Collaborative Research is, and the challenges relevant to Open Access that they have faced / might face in their Research endeavors. The participants were seated in round tables in groups of 7-8 persons, making a total of 5 groups. After lunch, one team member from each group took turns in the front to present the summary of their brain-storming in colored chart papers. Participants came up with near exact definitions and reflected the troubles researchers in the country have been facing regarding Open Access. As we can expect of industrious students, some groups impressed the session hosts and experts with interesting graphical illustrations. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.39.09 Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.39.39 Iryna followed the presentations by her presentation where she introduced the concept, principles, and examples related to Open Science. Kshitiz followed Iryna with his presentation on Collaborative Research. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.40.14 Session on Collaborative Research featured industry – academia collaborations facilitated by government. Collaborative Research needs more attention in Nepal as World Bank’s data of Nepal shows that total R&D investment is only equivalent to 0.3% of total GDP. Lambert Toolkit, created by the Intellectual Property Office of the UK, was also discussed. The toolkit provides agreement samples for industry – university collaborations, multi–party consortiums and few decision guides for such collaborations. The session also introduced version control and discussed simple web based tools for Collaborative Research like Google Docs, Etherpads, Dropbox, Evernote, Skype etc. On the same day, Open Nepal also hosted a workshop about open data, and a session on Open Access Button was hosted by the organizers. Sessions in the previous day included sessions that enlightened the audience about Introduction to Open Access, Open Access Repositories, and growing Open Access initiatives all over the world. This event dedicated to Open Access in Nepal was well received in the Open Communities of Nepal which has mostly concerned themselves with Open Data, Open Knowledge, and Open Source Software. A new set of audience became aware of the philosophy of Open. This author believes the event was a success story. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.41.08

City Spending Party around the world

- July 26, 2013 in Events, Featured, OKF Japan, OKF Nepal, Open Spending, Sprint / Hackday

nepal-spending-party Last weekend more than a hundred budget nerds and engaged citizens gathered at 20 spending data parties to open up city spending and budgets. From Lagos to Kathmandu groups dived into budget data across the OpenSpending community as part of this first global City Spending Data Party from July 19 to July 21. The spending parties helped bring the number of cities on OpenSpending to 119. Here is our wrap up from the City Spending Data Party across the OpenSpending community.

Kathmandu

In Kathmandu, Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal organised a two day spending party for civic coders, journalists and students focusing on Kathmandu Metropolitan. Coders opened up the city budget from PDF-documents, while tackling tough language issues as documents were not published in nepali unicode. The team detected significant year to year rises in Infrastructure and Development spending as well as in the salaries of employees. On the last day for than 20 participants and journalists attended the presentation of the work. Read the full report from the Spending Party in Kathmandu here.

Lagos

In Lagos the amazing visualisation team at BudgIT hosted a spending party to compare several years of expenditure and revenue data from the city. The team used the spending time to code a tool that will help other groups to build more visualisations using data stored in OpenSpending. openlagos

Tel Aviv and San Fransisco

As part of the City Spending Party, Hasadna organised hackathons between Tel Aviv and the Jewish community of San Francisco. In Israel 120 participants worked in six teams on open data projects. One of the teams worked on the Open Muni budget, which is a new app for municipal budgets developed by Hasadna. In San Francisco 60 people worked on two projects, one of which was the Open Muni project around budgetary data imports and translations. The Hasadna team worked also with Marc Joffe and David Zbikowski on Californian city data from the Public Sector Credit project.

Toronto

Toronto-spending-hackathon In Toronto Gabe Sawhney organised a hackathon focusing on the budget of the city as well as lobbyist registry data. The team parsed the 2012 city budget from a messy bunch of Excel files, and uploaded it to OpenSpending producing a treemap and as well as a visualization with d3.js (see dataviz above). Read the report from Toronto here.

Tokyo

The OpenSpending community of the Open Knowledge Foundation Local Group Japan is rapidly growing and threw a full scale one and a half day spending party at Yahoo Japan. There were 50 participants from across the country, including elected officials from three local prefectures around Tokyo. At the party 15 cities started loading data into OpenSpending and 8 cities completed their own Where Does My Money Go? site, which enables citizens to see where their taxes are spent locally. Koganei city created a spending site that invites citizens to comment on the budget, a model which was pioneered earlier this year by OpenBudgetOakland, another member of the OpenSpending community. The spending party also began taking on some of the more challenging issues. Japanese cities do not have coherent budget classifications the community will therefore begin to explore how budgets across cities can be compared. Coders at the spending party also made several contributions to the OpenSpending codebase and contributors from Open Knowledge Japan have taken on the important task of making the OpenSpending Satellite site more user friendly by adding several new features. The spending party was covered by the national broadcaster NHK and by the participants in their own Storify.

Is your city missing?

Besides the events featured above, the City Spending Party also included numerous projects from members taking their city budgets into their own hands with the help from the OpenSpending community. From Minsk to Brazil community members worked on city budgets, and one week after the spending party dots are still being added to the world map of cities. You can find the full list of participating groups here. Is your city spending party missing from our wrap up? We still want to hear your spending party report! Or if you want to organise your own spending party, then get in touch.

Global Community Stories #4: Morocco, Bangladesh, Spain and South Korea

- July 4, 2013 in Featured, OKF Bangladesh, OKF France, OKF Morocco, OKF Nepal, OKF South Korea, OKF Spain, OKFN Local

It’s once again time for a round-up of some of the major activities happening in our rapidly expanding Local Group Network across the world. This time we’ll among other be highlighting some of our newest groups and bring stories from Africa, Asia and Europe. Enjoy! In Morocco, which is home to one of our newest Local Groups, the group coordinator Abderahman Zohry was invited on national television to discuss the Moroccan e-gov project with among other the Minister of Trade, Industry, and New Technologies, Abdelkader Amara. During the program they among other discussed open data, the CKAN data handling platform developed by Open Knowledge Foundation as well as the Moroccan Open Data Portal, and as a result the Local Group was subsequently invited to work with the government to help improve the platform.

Lots of media attention in Bangladesh…

In Bangladesh, where the OKF recently became established with an Ambassador, Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasive, the launch received major attention across media. C News Voice, Comjagat and Priyo were among the many outlets covering the news.

Nationwide data journalism and open data conference in Spain…

The Spanish Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation has been organizing the first Conference of Data Journalism and Open Data in Spain, titled “When data tell stories”. The event took place simultaneously in Barcelona (CCCB + School of Communication Blaquerna) and Madrid (MediaLab Prado). The event includes a Barcamp with data journalism projects that locals can learn from – as well as a Hackathon, which will take place in Madrid and Sevilla. There will be prizes for the best Data Journalism projects arising from this two-day challenge. Additionally there will be practical workshops taught by experts who will teach participants how to use major tools for working with data.

Huge interest in open data in South Korea…

From South Korea we are receiving reports of huge interest in open data and open government data these days. The new president Park Geun-hye recently confirmed that her government will open up data in various ways, including through open data portals, services, projects and more. As a means to support these developments, the South Korean Local Group have been hard at work during the Spring showing examples and practices, as well as introducing several Open Knowledge Foundation projects. Highlights include massive activity during Open Data Day back in February, a 12-hour hackathon in April (as well as another one in June), localizing Open Spending in Korean and, perhaps most notably, the launch of South Korea Data Hub, which is an open data platform running on the open source CKAN data handling system developed by Open Knowledge Foundation. The site is operated by the South Korean OKF Local Group community, but is also getting connected to other government portals such as the open data portal for the city of Seoul. This portal will soon be upgraded to CKAN version 2.0. Additionally, the OKF Local Group also developed Seoul Linked Data Service, on the city of Seoul’s exemplary open data portal. The group will be sharing all data, documentation, and source codes, etc. (and they even run a a mirror site). Stay tuned for updates.

And in shorter news…

The Panton Principles have now, among other languages, been translated into Indonesian and Nepali. In Japan, the Local Group recently joined the Global Spending Data Party (alongside OKF Local Group Nepal) and will be hosting one of the coming events. In France, the Local Group Chapter organized an event with Etalab called “France Open Data taskforce”, that encouraged participants to re-design the data.gouv.fr portal. Over 15 designers and 15 open data users participated to imagine and design their ideal open data portal. Results to be presented online soon. Great to see so many inspiring activities taking place in open knowledge and open data all over the world. We’ll be back shortly with more stories from the Open Knowledge Foundation community.

Global Community Stories #3

- May 13, 2013 in Featured, OKF Australia, OKF Austria, OKF Belgium, OKF Brazil, OKF Greece, OKF Nepal, OKF Spain, OKF Switzerland, OKFN Local

   

Open Data Maker Vienna - April 2013

For your delectation, we bring you the third installment of Global Community Stories – a round up of the fantastic projects and activities of our Local Groups across the world, including a Wikipedia Editathon for girls in Nepal, a multitude of events in Belgium, Big Data Week across Spain, a Swiss Government pilot project, a multicultural open data event in Edinburgh, and a tiny town in Austria taking the lead in releasing data sets – the race is on!

Following the incredibly kind donation of OpenBelgium.be to our Open Knowledge community by Wunderkraut, OKF Belgium is preparing to take on maintenance of the site and grow the community that they began. They’ve been busy developing other collaborations too; a meet up with Random Hacks of Kindness is coming up June 1-2, as well as developing appsforgeo.be. Their impressive upcoming events include a fully booked master class on Open Culture data, a presentation at the Flemish government to civil servants, as well as Apps for Flanders on June 14, and a General Assembly in June too. They’ve been keeping an eye on the public sphere too, and are organising a debate on new business models to allow financial sustainability through art following a lawsuit by the Belgian copyright organisation Sabam against ISP for not wanting to cooperate on copyright tax on internet subscriptions.

In Austria, the OKF community is supporting the fight for a freedom of information act…

 Together with other civil society initiatives, the Austrian Chapter of OKFN is supporting this movement by organising a series of workshops for all stakeholders on the upcoming freedom of information law, reaching out to civil servants, citizens and politicans. They’ll be providing an opportunity for every stakeholder group to discuss and define their point of view, empowering change-makers across the sphere to broaden their influence, and they’ll be looking to develop the debate around freedom of information in a similar way to which the topic of open data was discussed some years ago.

 One little village in Austria deserves a special mention – Engerwitzdorf, a town of only 8000 inhabitants, has released 116 data sets – more than the entire federal government of Austria! They’ve been honoured for their work by being nominated for the Document Freedom Award by the Free Software Foundation Europe – congratulations! OKF Austria will joining in the celebrations through organising Engerwitzdorf’s first OKF MeetUp.

In Switzerland, government data is being made more accessible…

In Switzerland, the OKF Swiss Chapter has been developing a pilot project called Open Government Data at the Confederation – or, OGD@ Federation for short. Through the project, a group of government agencies will be attempting to bundle their data together via an open source platform, and they’ll be presenting this on May 22. We’ll keep you updated with how it goes, and for readers in Switzerland, you can register here.

OKF Spain has been expanding rapidly…

..having reached 149 members on their mailing list and recently having organised a successful Big Data Week in Madrid and Barcelona! It doesn’t sound like they’re sitting on their laurels though, as they have another three day event coming up in Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla and Valladolid about data journalism which will include a hackathon, a barcamp and several workshops. They have an impressive line up of speakers too, including James Ball from the Guardian, Manuel Aristarán from the Knight Foundation, and OKF Central’s own Michael Bauer, so if you can, swing by!

They also undertook the invaluable task of translating into Spanish Laura’s blog post, “Open Knowledge: much more than Open Data” – which has now become “Conocimiento Abierto: Mucho más que Open Data.” This is a wonderful way of getting our message out to a whole new audience – thanks!

Laura’s post was also a hit with our OKF Greece Chapter, who kindly translated it into Greek. Translations of posts on the okfn.org into any language at all are very much welcome; if you do any translations, please do let us know so we can publicise it too, and we very much appreciate your efforts!

OKF Greece have also been busy organising an #OpenHealth event, and also took part in a Wikimedia workshop together with the Greek Wikipedia community. They recently completed the incredibly useful task of translating the Open Spending handbook into Greek, and you can now find the OKF Greece group on Facebook, too!

In Scotland, Germans and Brits came together…

Last week, the University of Edinburgh hosted the wonderfully multicultural event of German-British Open Data event. Scholarship holders from the Foundation of German Business came together for the weekend of talks, under the title “Open Data — Better Society?” and you can find a great round up of the talks and conclusions on the OKF Scotland blog.

OKF Nepal have been focusing on getting girls into ICT…

OKF Nepal recently teamed up with Wikipedia Nepal to organise a Wikipedia Editathon, which took place on the International Day of Girls in ICT. A truly great initiative, addressing a key issue facing the tech movement. OKFN Nepal’s Prakash Neupane also took to the stage to explain about the Open Knowledge Foundation’s mission, and from the photos it looks like all involved had a wonderful time. We look forward to hearing from the next event!

Congratulations all, for some incredible activities from across the globe!

(and keep an eye out for some exciting upcoming events- OKF Brazil are organising an event on Open Science at the beginning of June, and OKF Australia are organising a Beautiful Data GovHack at the end of May !)

Global Community Stories #2: Brazil, Spain, Czech Republic, Nepal, Iceland and Belgium

- April 10, 2013 in Featured, OKF Belgium, OKF Brazil, OKF China, OKF Czech Republic, OKF France, OKF Greece, OKF Iceland, OKF Nepal, OKF Spain, OKFN Local

We continue our new monthly digest showcasing initiatives from our local communities across the globe, this time proudly featuring Brazil, Spain, Czech Republic, Nepal, Iceland and Belgium.

The Open Knowledge Foundation’s many (30+!) Local Group communities stand behind a myriad of different activities every month. As you may also have read in our first edition of the Global Community Stories, this is our monthly wrap-up of some of the most interesting actions and initiatives happening around the world among our colleagues.

In Brazil, volunteers gather around food facts and Data Journalism Handbook translations…

In Brazil, the OKFN Brasil community has been engaging the the Open Government Partnership activities, reporting on civil society participation and urging the government for more open participation. The community has also begun to get involved in the Open Food Facts project, which attracted a bit of press attention. An initiative led by Ação Educativa has also started a working group to analyse open data around Brazilian education, with support from the local OKFN group. Ale Abdo, from OKFN Brasil advisory board, has published a guide on how to publish your thesis in LaTeX or ODT with an open license, and an effort to map the timings of lights at pedestrian crossings has begun. On the blog, Natália Mazote voiced interesting reflections on the participation of women in coding, and Thiago Rondon, also from the advisory board, discussed the importance of open hardware. Finally, an association of investigative journalists in Brazil, Abraji, has gathered volunteers to translate the Data Journalism Handbook to Portuguese!

In Spain, conferences and hackathons take shape…

In Spain the local OKFN Local Group are organizing the First Conference of Data Journalism and Open Data in Spain, titled: “When data tell stories”, from 24 to 26 May 2013. The event will take place simultaneously in Barcelona (CCCB + School of Communication Blaquerna) and Madrid (MediaLab Prado). Furthermore, they are planning a weekend Hackathon in the near future, which will hopefully take place in Madrid, Seville and Valladolid. There will be prizes for the best Data Journalism projects arising from this challenge within 48 hours – we’ll keep you updated as things develop.

In Belgium, apps are made and competitions are spreading…

In collaboration with the City of Ghent, iMinds, Ghent Web Valley and Ghent living lab, OKFN Belgium organized Apps for Ghent for the third time as part of an effort for citizens of the city of Ghent to show that Open Government Data can make the life of citizens easier, better or more fun. This edition welcomed 15 teams that worked on concepts from a smarter government service, to participation and sustainable energy. The local jury awarded Sumocoders with the first prize for “how busy is it now”, a tool that analyses different data sources to estimate which squares are too crowded. Congrats! It is worth noting that Apps for Ghent is not the only Apps for X event initiated by OKFN Belgium. Soon there will be Apps for VDAB, Apps for Flanders, Apps for Geo, Apps for Culture and many more. A full list can be found in their calendar.

In Nepal, the newly founded group hosted first event and collaborated with fellow organizations…

The newly incubated OKFN Local Group in Nepal held its first public event on Document Freedom Day, coorganized with OSAC, Central Department of Library Science & Informatics and FOSS Nepal. They also collaborated with Wikimedia Nepal to create WikiWistar, a wiki outreach program. Finally, they translated the Panton Principles (soon to be published) and they were invited to present Open Tourism at a conference organized by ANNFSU P.U. Valley Bagmati Zome Coordination Committee.

In the Czech Republic, data enthusiasts and data journalists gathered…

The fifth meetup of Czech open data enthusiasts was held in Brno on 22 March. More than 40 people from various backgrounds gathered to share their ideas and discuss their work. On 25 March, Otakar Motejl Fund together with National Technical Library organised a hands-on data driven journalism workshop. It turned into a very pleasant and inspiring event and the participants (journalists, students, watchdog activists) learned quite a bit about structuring, cleaning a visualizing data. Check out the photos from the meetup.

In Iceland, CKAN was translated and a new government data license developed…

Another one of the brand new Local Groups, Iceland, has been busy completing the translation of CKAN 2.0. The Finnish ambassador Finnur Magnusson is also heading a workgroup within the Ministry of Finance to launch the instance as a part of www.Island.is  (hopefully next week). Additionally, the Iceland group have the first version of an approved open data gov license based on the UK one. This is the first government open data license in Iceland (details in Icelandic). The workgroup has followed the Open Data Handbook to the T with great success: 3 months from start to finish for open spending data in a CKAN instance with an open gov license.

And in other shorter news…

The Netherlands had a Linked Open Data meetup in Amsterdam, where also Sander van der Waal and Christian Villum from OKF Central took part with a presentation. Austria succesfully organized the ambitious bi-continental Urban Data Challenge that bridged Geneva, Zürich and San Francisco in an event that seeked to harvest the innovative and creative power of communities around the world to explore urban data sets through visualization – and did so with huge success (we’ll report more in a separate blog post). They also got a mention in Wired magazineOKFN Greece co-organized opnHealth this week, an event that hosted the live streaming of selected presentations from TEDxNijmengen, while also presenting a forum for new ideas and applications in the Greek health sector. OKFN Local Group France organized the “Opération Libre” event (Open Operation) on 6 and 7 April in the small village of Brocas – aiming at using open source technologies, open data, crowdsourcing to tackle the issues of rural areas (we’ll follow up on that, stay tuned). In France they also launched the Open Transition Energie project; a website and a datahub group to share, explore and visualize open data and other open resources related to the debate on energy transition in France.

On the translation front it was not only Brazil that shone, as mentioned earlier. OKFN Local Group China are very close to finishing translating Open Data Handbook into Chinese and thanks to OKFN Greece both OpenSpending and the Data Journalism Handbook was translated into Greek. Well done guys!