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Open Data Day 2019: it’s a wrap!

- May 17, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019

On Saturday 2nd March 2019, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. In this blog, we wrap up the ninth edition of Open Data Day with a summary of all that happened across the globe, as well as a look ahead to the future. This year’s edition saw a total of 325 events registered in the opendataday.org map around the world, with a record total of 26 events in Nepal, and 57 events in Japan! This shows that Open Data Day is well established and a growing community. With so much happening, the online spread of news on Open Data Day was also impressive: the hashtag #OpenDataDay was used extensively to share live updates on events via Twitter. We summarised some of the highlights during the day itself: you can check up on what happened on the different continents here:

Open Data Day survey

To prepare well for next year’s edition, we want to learn more about the people behind these events. We know open data looks different from place to place and the needs to make Open Data Day happen are different as well. That is why we created a brief survey to learn a bit more about this needs and be able to foster and support all of you better – many thanks in advance for your contributions!

Mini-grant scheme

This year, 40 events received funding through the Open Data Day mini-grants scheme funded by the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Mapbox, Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom,  the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) and the Open Contracting Partnership. This year, the focus was on four key areas that we think open data can help solve: Follow public money flows (particularly focusing on Open Contracting), Open Mapping, Open Science and Equal Development. Following on the success of the 2018 edition, we set up a blogging schedule that connected the different events. Mini-grantees were linked to each other based on a similarity in topic, location or type of event. This resulted in a series of Open Data Day blogs that reported on activities from different angles, and also in more contact between the different organisers – something we hope will extend also beyond the actual event itself. Below is the list of all blogs of this edition per topic, for easy future reference:

Follow Public Money Flows

Open Mapping

Open Science

Equal Development

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this Open Data Day a success!

A growing data community in Paraguay

- May 16, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Paraguay

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Girolabs from Paraguay received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership, to organise events under the Open Contracting theme. The Spanish version of this blog is available at the Girolabs blog.  For the sixth year in a row, we organised an Open Data Day event in Paraguay, as part of the Open Gov WeekThis initiative was born 9 years ago and has become a world event with more than 250 events in hundreds of cities. In Asunción, this meetup was lead by Girolabs and Fundación CIRD on 14 March, at Loffice Las Mercedes. The meetup was a chance to bring together people that are passionate and interested in the philosophy: to connect with other people and organisations, hear about projects, experiences and exchange ideas. For the last edition, we had an unconference format, where the participants designed the agenda for the conversations. This year, the goal was to make the number of possible projects more visible. For this reason, we selected nine initiatives (through submissions and invites) to present their work linked to Open Data. We were surprised by the response of the community. Like never before, we had more than 160 people sign up to the event. Despite the rain of previous days in Asunción (similar to London lol), approximately 70 people attended Open Data Day Asunción 2019. The methodology for this edition was to have 9 different sessions: we built three spaces in three different locations, where people could attend based on their interest. Loffice Las Mercedes was an ideal place to do this.

Room 1

CEAMSO  (Center for Environmental and Social Studies for its acronym in Spanish), represented by Raúl Quiñonez, shared about their Observatory of Political Financing (ONAFIP). The Paraguayan Government was also there. Irina Vologdina from the office of Electoral Justice led the conversation about their Open Data Portal. At the same time, Carlos Magnone from Wild-Fi Paraguay shared his experience with Frutos de Asunción (Fruits of Asunción).

Room 2

Afterwards, Juntos por la Educación represented by Maria Fe Dos Santos, Oscar Charotti and Santiago García presented the website of the Citizen Observatory of Education. Roy Ramirez from Fundación CIRD with his initiative A Quienes Elegimos shared an analysis of data of public funds destined to political parties and the spending of the Electoral Justice department on marketing and advertising. In parallel, Fernando Maidana of Info Paraguay shared his portal on places and activities in the country. After an hour with a lot of inspiration, we had a break with mingling and networking. We hosted an open mic where everyone could share and hear about the ideas in the room.

Room 3

In the third and last conversation, Julio Pacielo and Juan Pane of the Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible (CDS) shared some open data on Open Contracting. Katrina Nichuk of Maps Py talked about Open Steet Map and the OSM community in Paraguay. Lastly, Luis Pablo Alonzo of TEDIC presented the Observatorio Anti-Pyrawebs, an initiative that opposes the law to track and store data from IP traffic.

Looking ahead

For one more year Paraguay shares the different works that use open data and shows that the society recognises the importance of people and organisations that can transform these data into valuable information for decision making. For 2020 we want to make this meeting even bigger to have greater impact, carrying proudly the ODD flag, on the Mandi’obyte version. You can see all the even photos here.  

Naturalist Datathon: Bogotá (Datatón Naturalista)

- May 15, 2019 in colombia, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Science

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. The Karisma Foundation from Colombia received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project to organise an event under the Open Science theme. This report was written by Karen Soacha: her biography is included at the bottom of this post.

Open data, naturalists and pizza were part of the Open Data Day celebration in Bogotá

Why and how to improve the quality of open data on biodiversity available in citizen science platforms, were the questions that brought together more than 40 naturalists in the event organized by the Karisma Foundation, the Humboldt Institute and the Biodiversity Information System of Colombia (SiB Colombia) on 2nd of March 2019 as part of the global celebration of Open Data Day. Expert naturalists, amateurs and those interested in citizen science came together to review the open data generated for Bogotá through the City Nature Challenge 2018. The City Nature Challenge is an annual event that invites city-dwellers across the world to hit the streets for two days to capture and catalogue nature which they might be too occupied to notice otherwise.  Using their smartphones, hundreds of people generate thousands of observations of plants, birds, insects and more, which they share through citizen science platforms such as iNaturalist. Generating the data is just the beginning of the process: improving its quality, so that they have the greatest possibility of being used, is the next step. During the Naturalist Datathon we shared guides to facilitate the identification of species, tips to review observations, as well as good practices for users and reviewers to improve the quality of the data. After a morning of collaborative work, the groups shared their learning and engaged in a discussion about the importance of data quality and its potential use in environmental monitoring especially in the context of environmental issues in Bogotá.

1.Introduction and guides for the activity 2. Roles of the participants 4. Organization of work groups 5. Collaborative review of observations 6. Discussion 7. Naturalist Kit for all the participants

The Datatón Naturalista left us with a set of outputs, specific lessons learned and a set of good practices for the participants, the organizers and the community of naturalists and open data. To begin with, this activity contributed to increasing the community of experts who actively participate in the “curation” of observations published in Naturalista Colombia, which is necessary in order to improve the quality of the data. At the end of the datathon, the quality of the data the participants worked on was vastly improved — so much so that the data will be integrated into the SiB Colombia (the official national continental biodiversity portal). As a result of this datathon, more Colombians were encouraged to participate as urban/rural naturalists. Participants also shared good practices for taking photographs and collecting data necessary for observations to be useful for multiple uses, they mentioned the importance of use licenses for facilitating the reuse and  sharing the information (Creative Commons). They also gave recommendations for the 2019 City Nature Challenge (CNC), such as the need for guides in easy-to-consume formats (such as short videos) that ought to be shared in advance of the CNC.  This guide should go beyond basic information on data capturing, and should include good practices, as well as ethical recommendations for the creators, curators, and users of information. One of the challenges that the participants highlighted was the need to recognize and integrate citizen science data as a source of information for the environmental management of the city. For the organizers, the datatón turned out to be an effective means to create conversation, connections and reflections on the how and for what of the open data, at the same time that allowed to strengthen capacities and contribute with open data of quality. Finally, this event showed that more and more citizens are becoming involved in citizen science, actively contributing to our knowledge of biodiversity, and are working collaboratively to further understand their environment and to generate information that is useful for decision-making. Therefore, it is necessary to continue promoting spaces that allow community-building and facilitate networking around open science and citizen science.  For that reason, we in Bogotá are looking forward to the next Open Data Day.   Biography Karen Soacha is interested in the connection between knowledge management, citizen science, governance and nature. She’s been working with environmental organizations for over 10 years, in the management of data and information networks, especially with open data on biodiversity. She is convinced that science is a way to build dialogue within the society. She is also a teacher, an amateur dancer, and an apprentice naturalist.  

Open Data Day: Open Science events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Costa Rica

- May 14, 2019 in congo, Costa Rica, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Science

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. AfricaTech from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation (SCiAC) from Costa Rica received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project and by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA), to organise events under the Open Science theme. This report was written by Stella Agama Mbiyi and Diego Gómez Hoyos.

AfricaTech

We organized in the UCC in Kinshasa on March 2, 2019, the Open Day event 2019. Our event was focused on Open Science in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We had about 50 participants in the event, especially students and some researchers who participated positively in the different sessions and discussions on Open Science in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its implications for sustainable development. 5 Speakers among 4 women presented various concepts related to Open Science to participants. The conference started at 8:00 and ended at 17:30. Several participants made positive comments about the event such as Florent Nday, a Biological student at University of Kinshasa who said: “This is my first time to hear about Open Science, it’s a huge opportunity for us students from developing countries. Because we will have access to a wide range of knowledge easily.” The social science researcher at Kinshasa’s Institute of Social Science, Mr. Jiress Mbumba commented, “It’s time for us Congolese researchers to promote Open Science in the  Democratic Republic of the Congo, we have an interest to share our researches, and findings with everyone to spur the development of science.” The event ended with a dinner offered to all participants.

Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation (SciAc)

The training workshop on Reproducibility in Science as a link between Open Data, Open Science and Open Education, was organized by SCiAC (Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation) in collaboration with the Biology Department of the University of Costa Rica, ProCAT International, Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and CR Wildlife Foundation. The workshop included general presentations on open ecosystems and data management plans during research projects, as well as training in the use of GitHub and R language for data release and data analysis code in a context of Open Science practices. The four speakers in the workshop were Diego Gómez Hoyos and Rocío Seisdedos from SCiAC, Susana Soto from Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and Ariel Mora from the University of Costa Rica. Fifteen people (66% women) from different provinces of Costa Rica (Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Heredia and San José) participated in the activity. In Central America, especially in Costa Rica, considerable advances have been made regarding open data and open government issues. Our workshop has been one of the first efforts to offer researchers tools in order for open science and open education practices. This workshop has been inspired by the project Open Science MOOC and the “Panama Declaration for Open Science”, led by Karisma Foundation and in which SCiAC took part. From this experience we see a great potential and interest of researchers in knowing the tools with which they can share the elements of their research processes. We also recognize that open science practices could have a significant impact on the teaching of scientific practice. Finally, we identify the need to carry out these training activities as a tool that seeks to democratize access to and generation of knowledge in order to face the environmental, social and economic problems faced by our society.

Panoptikum: exploring new ways to categorize a collection of various unusual and unique objects

- May 9, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open GLAM, OpenGLAM

This blog has been reposted from https://blog.datalets.ch/054. For the past two and a half years, the artist Jürg Straumann has been working on a digital retrospective of his life’s work, spanning over four decades of visual art. The latest stage of this project involved creating an interactive way to browse this unique and very personalized database. During our workshop on Open Data Day, March 3 – while Rufus Pollock’s book The Open Revolution was passed around the room, I introduced a gathering of collectors and art experts to Open Knowledge and OpenGLAM. We discussed the question of how new channels and terms like Creative Commons support both the artwork and the artist in a digital economy. And we got lots of great feedback for our project together, which you can read about in this post.

The image above is a style transfer from Der Raub der Deianira durch den Zentauren Nessus by Jürg Straumann (nach Damià Campeny, 2012) to La muse by Pablo Picasso (1935)

Wahnsinnig viel Züg, es isch e wahri Freud! (Swiss German, approx. translation: So much stuff, a true delight!)

Oleg’s story

Over my years as web developer I have worked on several collaborations with artists like Didier Mouron/Don Harper or Roland Zoss/Rene Rios, and on various ‘code+art’ projects like Portrait Domain with the #GLAMhack and demoscene community. I’m drawn to this kind of project both from a personal interest in art and it’s many incarnations, as well as from the fascinating opportunity to get to know the artist and their work. When Jürg approached me with his request, I quickly recognized that this was a person who was engaged at the intersection of traditional and digital media, who explores the possibilites of networked and remixed art, who is meticulous, scientific, excited by the possibilities andcommitted to the archiving and preservation of work in the digital commons. I was very impressed with the ongoing efforts to digitize his life works on a large scale, and jumped in to help bring it to an audience. During this same time, I’ve been working on implementing the Frictionless Data standards in various projects. Since he gave me complete freedom to propose the solution, the first thing I did was to use Data Package Pipelines to implement a converter for the catalogue, which was in Microsoft Excel format as shown in the screenshot below. In this process we identified various data issues, slightly improved the schema, and created a reliable conversion process which connected the dataset to the image collection. The automatic verifications in this process started helping to accelerate the digitization efforts. Screenshot-from-2019-03-03-21-27-50 Together with Rebekka Gerber, an art historian who works at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, we reviewed various systems used for advanced web galleries and museum websites, such as: While they all had their advantages and disadvantages, we remained unsure which one to commit to: budget and time constraints led us to take the “lowest hanging fruit”, and …not use any backend at all. Our solution, inspired by the csvapi project by Open Data Team, is an instant JSON API. Like their csvapi, ours works directly from the CSV files, which are first referenced from the Data Package generated by our pipeline using the Python Data Package library. Based on this API, I wrote a simple frontend using the Twitter Bootstrap framework I’m used to hacking on for short term projects. Screenshot-from-2019-03-03-21-27-07 Et voilà! A powerful search interface in the hands of one of our first beta-testers. When you see it – and I hope pretty soon at least a partial collection will be available online – you’ll notice a ton of options. Three screen-fulls of various filters and settings to delight the art collector, exploring the collection of nearly 7’000 images with carefully nuanced features. IMG_20190302_143410-01 If you’ve been reading this blog, you can imagine that it is a collection that could also delight a Data Scientist. If there is interest, I am happy to separately open source the API generator that was made in this project. And our goal is to get this API out there in the hands of fellow artists and remixers. For now, you can check out the code in app.py. The open source project is available at github.com/loleg/panoptikum, and we are going to continue working on future developments in this repository. The content is not yet available to the public, since we are still working out the copyright conditions and practical questions. Nevertheless, we wish to share some insight into this project with more people through workshops, exhibitions and this blog. More on all that in future posts. In the meantime, I’ll let Jürg share more background on the project in his own words. Subscribe to our GitHub repository to be notified of progress – and stay tuned! IMG_20190302_145954-01-1
Wenn Kunst vergrabe isch und vergässe gaht, isch es es Problem für alli Aghörige, e furchtbari Belastig für d Nachkomme. (When art is buried and is lost, it is a problem for all involved, a terrible weight for the next generation.)

Story

(This is the story of the project written by Jürg and translated with DeepL‘s help. You can read the German original at the bottom of this page.) In a good 40 years of work as a visual artist (in the conventional media of drawing, printmaking and painting), over 6,600 smaller and larger works have accumulated in my collection. In retrospect, these prove to be unusually diverse, but with sporadically recurring elements, somehow connected by a personal “sound”. Very early on I tried to systematize the spontaneous development of sculpture in different directions. This is the basic idea of the project PANOPTIKUM (since 2000), whereby the categorizations of the whole uncontrolled growth are only the basis for further artistic works – which should, ironically, dissolve the whole again. In the middle of 2016, with the help of numerous experts, I began to compile a catalogue of my works, i.e. to scan or photograph my works and then to index them in a differentiated way in an Excel spreadsheet. In 2018, Oleg Lavrovsky agreed to make the collected data accessible as desired, i.e. after entering the search terms, to display the respective images numerically and optically on the screen by means of a filter function. This is a prerequisite for the fact that in the coming years it will be possible to continue working with the image material in a variety of creative ways. Our project takes the form of an application, which can also be reviewed and further developed by other people (Open Source). The copyright and publication rights for all content remain with me, the created app can be freely used as a structure for other projects. In the longer term, general accessibility via the Internet is planned. At the moment, however, all content should only be available to individual interested parties. After the completion of this basic work, whereby the directory is to be supplemented about every six months, the task now is to concretize own artistic projects: digital graphics and an interactive work as well as possibly videos are pending. For this I am dependent on expert support, the search for interested persons continues. Commissioned works as well as forms of egalitarian cooperation are possible. In addition, the image material may also be made available for independent projects of third parties. The starting point and pivotal point of the PANOPTIKUM project is in any case the question of what can be done with a catalogued visual work. A wide variety of sub-projects can be created over an unlimited period of time (artistically, art historically, statistically, literarily, musically, didactically, psychologically, parodistically… depending on the point of view and interests of the participants). The central idea is to make a visual work accessible in an unusual and entertaining way. To capture additional public benefit through revision. Potential goals include:
  • Unusual: the very differentiated formal and content-related recording of one’s own work, which becomes the basis for further creations (self-reflexiveness and reference to the outside world).
  • Entertaining: exploring in a playful way (e.g. searching for the unknown author of this picture pool, memory, domino, competition, etc.) by means of interactive functions, games, VR applications.
  • Artistic work: my own works (approx. 6,600 drawings, paintings and prints), which are presented anonymously and with a good pinch of irony and questioned.
  • Making accessible: multimedia, on various channels: exhibition spaces (also improvised and private), internet, cinema. The target audience is as broad as possible, especially outside the usual art scene.
  • Stimulating: the desire to look, the pleasure of pleasurable immersion (flood of images!). On the other hand, thoughts about identity, freedom, openness.
  • Useful: sustainability material: ecological aspects in production and presentation. Social sustainability: smaller events, e.g. with the sale of the works at very favourable conditions in favour of “Public Eye” (instead of a rubble dump at the end of life!). Thus discussion about artist’s estates, archiving, economic aspects (art trade). Any visual material for teaching (art history, art mediation)?
Next steps: Work on the overall concept, on a “story” with scriptwriters, event managers, advertisers, etc. One idea we call the Kunstfund would ask: who is the author? Take the role of art historians, amateurs, gallery owners, art critics and collectors, and speculate; picture disputes, questions of taste; search for meaning; models for political systems – all slightly spunky and ironic. Parallel to this, experimenting with concrete formal implementations:
  • How can my very sensually influenced, conventionally designed images be staged and brought into a visually attractive contrast with the digitally generated elements. For example, by means of split screens, transparencies, animated lettering, infographics, combinations with photo and video material from the “outside world”, whereby my collage books could serve as a bridge.
  • Function which continuously (anonymously if desired) records all activities and creations of the users – for example, in the design of virtual exhibition spaces with my pictures.
Visit Jürg’s website for glimpses into his work and contact options.

Open Data Day: Experience in Costa Rica & Elections, Public Contracts and Open Science: the mix at #ODD19 Guatemala

- April 11, 2019 in Open Contracting, Open Data Day, open data day 2019

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. ACCESA from Costa Rica and Sofia Montenegroone of our School of Data Fellows from Guatemala, received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) and by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership, to organise events under the Open Contracting theme. This report was written by María Fernanda Avendaño Mora and Daniel Villatoro.

Experience in Costa Rica and activities of ACCESA

What we did In Costa Rica, on March 2th we celebrate the Open Data Day with a full agenda with several talks, workshops, and conversations.  The activity was carried out at the Center for Research and Training in Public Administration of the University of Costa Rica from 9:00 a.m. at 4:00 pm. More than 100 people signed up and participated throughout the day, and an approximate 46% of the attendees were women. One of the activities was the presentation of the Open Data Guide on Public Procurement and the case of Costa Rica. From data presented, we learned that not all public institutions use the integrated public procurement system and that the data of this system is not in open data. We also learned about Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS)  and about all the possibilities of use data to make better decisions if the data of the purchasing system were in open data format. Another activity was the presentation of Results for Costa Rica of the Transparent Public Procurement Rating (TPPR) and the development of a workshop to define the route map for Costa Rica achieve the standards in open contracting in short and middle term. Lessons learned from experience
  • In Open Data and Transparency in Public Procurement, Costa Rica has a big gap between what the law said and the real implementation of the law in practice.
  • One aspect that makes it difficult to take action on open data and efficient and transparent Public Procurement management is the absence of a single governing body and clearly established in the law with good muscle to lead governance on the issue of Public Purchases.
  • We have to stop seeing the public purchase as a purely administrative procedure to begin to see public procurement as a policy for the public good where the State uses its considerable financial muscle to achieve social and development objectives.
  • An action that is viable to open the data is the development of an API with public procurement data so that anyone can get the information they need and build the solutions that the private sector and civil society consider appropriate. ll that is needed is political will and technical diligence.
  • There is an opportunity to exploit the public procurement system, in order to collect useful data according to public policy priorities. For example, if you want to strengthen the enterprises led by women, then in the public procurement system you should ask questions about that topic to collect data.

Each assistant was able to take a copy of the Open Data Guide on Public Procurement

We support the organization of the event by collaborating with the snack for the attendees

 

Elections, Public Contracts and Open Science: the mix at #ODD19 Guatemala

In Guatemala, the OpenDataDay event worked around three main themes. Each with different dynamics and spaces for learning. Data and elections Taking advantage that elections are taking place this year, innovative electoral projects that use technology and data were presented. Each project collects and shares data in an open format that allows citizens to cast an informed vote. Here is a detail of the projects presented:
  • For Whom I Vote?it’s a virtual platform where users fill a questionnaire that measures their preference with parties participating in the electoral process. This allows each user to identify firstly their own ideological position, but also how closely they are with each political party. Moreover, the platform collects data such as demographic variables and location of users participating in the test. These data will be accessible for analysts to identify potential research proposals.
  • 3de3 (or 3for3) is a replica of a mexican project that demands transparency from political candidates, inviting them to share three important documents: their tax return, a statement of interest (to avoid possible conflict of interest) and their patrimonial declaration.
  • La Papeleta (The ballot) by Guatecambia is a directory that converts the legal documents of candidates registration by the electoral office (scanned PDFs) to transcribed and machine-readable data.
Tracking public moneyflows At the School of Data fellowship we have worked in a research project that maps out the process of public contracting as part of our work related to OpenContracting values. A visualization and the web platform was presented as a preview and a validation process to understand the needs from data users, their interest for Open Data about contracts and the best ways to explain and engage people into transparency efforts. Sofia Montenegro, current School of Data fellow presented her research and some of the key findings of the process. Open Science Led by Kevin Martinez-Folgar, a researcher in epidemiology who gave us a quick introduction to the framework around making scientific findings open, a tipsheet on how to conduct research that way, and a list of online resources to learn and apply to do so. We browsed around OSF.io to understand how to be open across the whole research cycle, ArXiv.org  to know a distribution server for articles and an electronic archive to learn and Zenodo to publish and share the results. We also reviewed some projects in github and learned about identification in the digital world through the Digital Object Identifier System. Last but not least, we reviewed the contents available from the OpenScienceMOOC and reflected around the lack of knowledge available for Spanish speaking audiences. The activity  was organized by School of Data and its local fellowship, with the help from trainers and the projects that presented their work.  We celebrated as a community, a space to shared experiences, best practices and exchange ideas for future collaborations. You can learn more about the work done by our spanish speaking School of Data community at our blog.

ODD19 Mexico City: communities sharing DataLove & Data to fight violence against women

- April 9, 2019 in mexico, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. This is a joint report produced by Técnicas Rudas and SocialTIC from Mexico, who received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) to organise events under the Open Mapping and Tracking Public Money themes.

Open Data Day is the annual festival where communities and people interested in the use of data come together to share “data love”, learn, release data, share projects, and create solutions through open data. In Mexico City, this 2019 is the sixth consecutive year that we celebrate the ODD19. This time we had a whole data festival with activities to choose from: workshops, data expeditions, projects, public buildings rally, data city challenges. Close to 120 people from civil society,  local government and  communities interested in open data participated.

How did we celebrate the data party?

Workshops
The workshops of this edition covered intro and advanced levels on the use and handling of data. The topics were: data analysis with Kibana, data extraction of FOIA requests, analogous visualization of data on public building, fundamentals of dataviz, the use of data for geolocation, public policy and essential statistics. We also had a discussion on the dark gaps of artificial intelligence.
You can find the content of some workshops here: Data expeditions
With objectives ranging from exploring data on mobility, security, budget, town planning and gender, to public contracts; the data expeditions are designed for diverse groups to share skills, hypotheses and conclusions based on data. Federal Public Building Rally
This is the fourth consecutive year in which Transparencia Presupuestaria organizes the rally to verify how the goverment spent the money on public infrastructure. With participants from 30 states, Estado de México, Puebla and Oaxaca were the states with the largest number of participants. Public Building Rally in Mexico City
This year the public building rally was also done at city level. An exercise to know and verify the use of the city budget (drainage, public lighting, soccer fields). In this edition, almost 600 million Mexican pesos involved in public building were verified. Projects
In the space to learn about projects, we got acquainted with initiatives related to transparency, accountability, public contracts, data about violence against women, and justice.
Some of the projects based on data:
  1. A walkability audit with a feminist perspective to evaluate and propose improvements in infrastructure and urban design of the city (@Futura_org)
  2. Justicia Transparente, an audit exercise that analyzes data on insecurity and distrust in the authorities linked to criminal procedure (@IMCO)
A summary, some pics and tweets, and related projects are available here: (Spanish) https://socialtic.org/blog/asi-celebramos-la-fiesta-de-los-datos-abiertos-odd19-en-ciudad-de-mexico/

Data against violence

by Técnicas Rudas and GeoChicas
In Mexico, one can’t help but to be inspired by the powerful women’s movement there is here. However, violence against women is still rampant in our society. While there is a general perception that violence is greater, there is also a widespread concern among feminist activists that as with many human rights issues in Mexico, available data is insufficient to reflect the true scale and characteristics of violence against women. This is certainly the case with feminicide. Mexico is one of a handful of countries in Latin American that have incorporated Feminicide into their legislation as a hate crime, first in local legislation in 1993, and later (until 2007) into federal law. In Mexico the government has opened data about feminicide at the municipal level from 2015 to the present, and the data is updated every two months. Nevertheless, the information is used only by data specialists.In order to help society to take advantage of the government’s database on feminicide, Técnicas Rudas and Geochicas organized a workshop during Open Data Day, in which independent feminists and collectives came together to take a critical look at existing data visualization initiatives on feminicide – both from government and civil society -with a focus on cartography. We made a script using R to read the feminicide data from official crime statistics, generate a database of feminicide in csv format, and produce a geographical file saved as geojson. Workshop participants included independent activists and academics, and members of  five different collectives, as well as  one international
organization. The results of the workshop can be viewed at https://geamatica.me, the script is available in https://gitlab.com/anamhoo/feminicidio and a graphic view at https://umap.openstreetmap.co/en/map/feminicidio_mexico_2029#7/20.339/-98.240.

Open Data Awareness Event at Kyambogo University, Uganda

- April 5, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping, uganda

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. The event reported on in this post took place on 9 March, and was organized by Samson Ngumenawe at Kyambogo University in Uganda under the Association of Student Surveyors Kyambogo (ASSK), an association that unites all lands students in Kyambogo. It unlocked the potential of open data to students, most especially finalists that are undertaking their research projects. The open data awareness event featured different topics including crowdsourcing data using OpenStreetMap, introduction to open geospatial tools like Quantum GIS and Java OpenStreetMap Editor, open data querying tools like overpass-turbo, OpenStreetMap downloader, quick OSM, and HOT export tool. The event was dominated by students from the department of lands and architectural studies with the biggest number of students from the surveying and land economics classes. The unforgettable event was cheered on how it created an opportunity for students to access open data for research projects. Ms. Robinah Nakiwa a fourth-year student of Land Economics running a research project on “The role of land use plans in the development control for buildings in upcoming towns” was stranded with how to acquire the number of buildings in her study area until she became aware of the availability of open geospatial data on OpenStreetMap. Her study area was however not fully mapped and this called upon the intervention of MapUganda to help in mapping all the buildings in Bombo Town Council on OpenStreetMap where the researcher was able to query them using overpass-turbo and performed a count that she later used to generate her sampling frame. This was done in a short while and it saved resources that would have been used in the process of data collection. “A lot of thanks go to everyone that has ever contributed to OpenStreetMap, the local OSM contributors the organizer of the Open Data event at Kyambogo University. Keep the community growing.” Ms. Edith Among a fourth-year student of land surveying and land information systems was also able to query highway data from OpenStreetMap and went ahead to do her final year project on finding the optimum route for solid waste collection trucks in Njeru Division of Jinja Municipality. The challenging part of the event was lack of financial support. This created hindrances in providing necessities like internet bundles, event materials like stickers and banners, refreshments and communication. I believe that the next event will be bigger and it will create a great impact.

Open Data Day: Strengthening Citizen Participation & Women in Power

- April 4, 2019 in argentina, equal development, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, peru

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. This is a joint report produced by NaimLab (Peru) and Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH) from Argentina, who received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, to organise events under the Open Mapping and Equal Development themes respectively. It has been written by Clara Cubas and María Fabiola Cantú: their biographies are included at the bottom.

Open Data Day: Comunidata 2019: Open Data to Strengthen Citizen Participation

Chiclayo, Perú On Friday, March 22, 2019, the Open Data Day was held in the city of Chiclayo in northern Peru, the event was intended to strengthen citizen participation through open data, called Comunidata. The main purpose of this meeting was to provide a first approach to the concepts of open data, access to information and transparency of public data and its importance to improve social problems in the city. This first edition was organized by the members of: Iguana Org, a collective dedicated to creating spaces where participation is strengthened, and citizen networking is built, and the members of Social Innovation Laboratory: NaimLab, who consolidated a structure composed of three parts: virtual exhibitions, discussion forums and a open dialogue space. The total capacity was of 25 participants of all ages, who shared 4 virtual exhibitions, 1 discussion forum and 3 topics in an open dialogue space that allowed integration with the public.

Program

The goal of the first part was to provide different views about Open Data, from its main concepts, such as the conceptual basis of access to information, to successful cases of Open Government. These exhibitions, although having been online, strengthened a network of collaboration between participating specialists and local organizations, and initiated proposals and ideas to apply what they learned in local projects. The participants were: the leader of Open Data Peru, Antonio Cucho Gamboa, who told us the first steps of the ODD organization in our country and also gave us a technical scope of how to use the information obtained to solve local problems; Jimena Sánchez Velarde (Digital Government Advisor) who presented a series of examples of municipalities working with Open Data. She emphasized the need to articulate the political will, and the voice of citizens with the aim for transparency and participation becoming reality in Peru. Finally, thanks to Miguel Morachimo, leader of Hiperderecho, an association that promotes the respect of rights and freedoms in digital environments. He contributed from his perspective an explanation of the Peruvian Law of access to information and public transparency, emphasizing that access to information is every citizen’s right. The second part was composed of a speech by Alan Saavedra, leader of the technological laboratory ITnovate Peru, representatives of the Codescill (The Civil Society Coordinator of La Libertad) and David Chaupis, biologist and social entrepreneur, who works with themes of Open Data Science. The event was relevant in that it showed different edges of how it was possible to approach Open Data. From innovation and entrepreneurship, in the case of Alan Saavedra, developer of InfoCity, an application that maps information on the web to inform the community about the status and report of basic services; to the intersection of arts and science. Thanks to David Chaupis, who spoke about scientific research with free licenses for the community and insured to companies, which allows generating sustainability in the model of bio-entrepreneurship. He also emphasized the relevance of models of collaboration among the four pillars of the community: science, technology, arts and entrepreneurship. Finally, the participation of the members of the CODESCILL, Coordinadora de la Sociedad Civil de La Libertad, region near Chiclayo, gave us ideas on the matter to initiate a process of citizen articulation that is currently used to promote the Open Government of La Libertad. The experience of Leopoldo León and Paula Santos, whom have been involved in social activism for years, gave the #Comunidata an intergenerational vision, and also a firm invitation to actively engage in upcoming activities. The final part of the event was an integration of the audience with the experts, previously mentioned. Guests were able to ask questions to the members of the panel who gave their knowledgeable answers which concluded a great evening. In conclusion, COMUNIDATA has been an opportunity to gather citizens interest in learning to work with Open Data, with civil society organizations and entities working on projects from the local level, regional level to the national level. This networking will be materialized in our future meetings, for example, in mappings of civil society organizations and their projects, in the legal strengthening of initiatives that work with accessing information, and in the development of the first “Experimental Laboratory Festival”, Festilab, in Chiclayo, which will be related to the use of Open Data. This event could not have been possible without the amazing support from the co-leader of Naimlab: Keyla Sandoval, and the leader of Iguana Org: Karen Diaz. Both are special contributors to this project with whom we will continue to work to strengthen citizen’s participation with the use of Open Data.

Open Data Day: Women in Power

Argentina

Open data mapping. How many women hold public positions in the province of Mendoza?

On Friday, March 1, as part of the international open data day, the Open Data Day event was held: Women in Power. The meeting took place in the postgraduate room of the Agustín Maza University and brought together about 20 people. For several decades, women around the world have been demanding their right to hold public office and participate in politics. Under this impulse, the analysis was proposed in the Province of Mendoza of the level of participation of women in public positions, identifying the positions and places they occupy in the Legislature, the Executive Power and in Justice. The activity was carried out through the massive search of information through the different official digital portals. It gathered journalists, researchers, public officials, civil society organizations, specialists in the use and exploitation of open data, as well as professionals and students from other areas such as health and law. The conclusions of the mapping were:
  1. In most of the official digital portals the data is outdated, and those portals that reflect updated public information do not have the appropriate formats for processing and reuse.
  2. In the Executive Power it was possible to elucidate that there is a cap close to 35% of female quota in some sectors. Women represent the majority in areas related to health, education and culture, but their participation is very low in the areas of economy, security and infrastructure. Also, the highest positions are mostly occupied by men. An example that can be illustrating is that, in the health area, only 4 women direct the 24 hospitals that exist in the Province.
  3. In the case of the Judiciary, the scarce representation of women in higher positions is reflected in the fact that the seven members of the Supreme Court, the highest court of justice, are men. In the other levels of the Judiciary there is a greater presence of women. 60.87% of employees and state officials are women.
  4. Finally, regarding the Legislative Power, the female quota is close to 35%. In the Senate, of 38 posts only 13 are occupied by women representing 34.21% of the body. In addition, of 16 unicameral commissions, only 5 (31.25%) are chaired by women. Following the study, the Chamber of Deputies has 20 women in its 48 positions, that is, 41.67% and the commissions are 4 out of 11, 36.36%.
After the analysis of the data, a debate began under the following: Is there gender equality in the distribution of positions in the Province of Mendoza? The discussion was enriched by the different views and contributions of all the participants. It was concluded that equality in access to public office should not correspond to an arithmetical equality in terms of the number of positions held, but that women have the real possibility of occupying spaces of decision-making power. Faced with this perspective, governments must make concerted efforts to promote the participation of women in the institutional life of the State and accommodate the voice of women themselves to generate solutions to overcome current barriers. The UN explains that the International Women’s Day “is a good time to reflect on the progress made, ask for more changes and celebrate the courage and determination of ordinary women who have played a key role in the history of their lives. countries and communities.”

Convert the ideal of equality into tangible reality

This March 8, we must celebrate, but also raise awareness. We have come a long way to reach this point, but there is still much to be done. For this reason from CLADH we want to celebrate this International Women’s Day not only by echoing messages in favor of equality, justice and development but also by working on concrete projects so that this desire for equality is transformed into a tangible reality. Simple changes are needed, but of a great magnitude. Our rulers and all civil society must understand that equality and respect are the only way to the future.

Organization

The organization in charge was the Fundación Nuestra Mendoza, Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH) and the School of Journalism of the Juan Agustín Maza University.  

Biographies

Clara Cubas is the Co-Leader of Naimlab: Social Innovation Lab. She is a strategic IT professional with expertise in Processes Improvement and strong interests in Social Innovation, Open data and Creative Commons.   María Fabiola Cantú is the Executive Director of Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH). She is a lawyer who studied at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Law School (Mendoza-Argentina), where she had an outstanding academic performance. She was recognized by the Argentine Federation of Women as the best graduate of her career. Diploma in International Defense of Human Rights (Escuela de Prácticas Jurídicas de la Universidad de Zaragoza – CLADH). Diploma in Women Human Rights (Universidad Austral – with collaboration of OEA). Selected in 2015 to conduct an academic exchange at the Faculty of Law of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico), where she studied International Systems for the Protection of Human Rights, International Law and Indigenous Law. During her stay in Mexico she collaborated with the Penitentiary Center No. 5 of San Cristóbal de las Casas in the integration of the indigenous population with the rest of the prison population.

She served as Director of the Freedom of Expression and Transparency Area of ​​Centro Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos (CLADH). She is currently the Coordinator of the International Journal of Human Rights, a scientific publication of the same organization. Shee has experience in international litigation of human rights cases and in human rights activism on issues of access to public information and citizen participation.    

Open Data Day 2019: a joint report by Open Knowledge Colombia and Datasketch

- April 3, 2019 in colombia, gender, Open Contracting, Open Data Day, open data day 2019

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. This is a joint report produced by Open Knowledge Colombia and Datasketch, who received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership and the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) to organise an event under the Equal development and Tracking Public Money themes.  It has been written by Verónica Toro (Datasketch) and Luis M. Vilches-Blázquez (Open Knowledge Colombia).

Context

In Bogota (Colombia), we developed an event, called IgualData, focused on demonstrating and raising awareness on salary differences among genders in Colombia where different actors were involved. IgualData was performed in conjunction with the public (governmental) sector and civil society. Thus, this event was organized by the National Planning Department, National Secretary for Transparency, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Colombia Buys Efficient, Datasketch, Open Contracting Partnership, Open Knowledge Colombia, Global Integrity, and the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. More than 60 people were participating in our event with different roles (citizens, academia, social actors, governmental bodies, etc.), which had active discussions and interactions on the importance of open data in promoting gender equality and how these one help discovering the gender pay gap in the Colombian context.

Challenges

The IgualData event was based on three main topics: i) gender pay gap, ii) anti-corruption and public policy with a gender approach, and iii) women participation in public purchases. These topics were useful for opening a debate on the rights and inequalities of women in the Colombian society through Open Data. Additionally, we added some open questions related to open data and gender issues, such as: How can we use open data as a tool to promote gender equality? What can be done to ensure that women, gays, lesbians, trans, bisexuals, and queers have power and benefit from the state budget? How to achieve a gender approach in the creation of public policies related to access to information?
This scenario allowed us sought to answer these questions since there are little or no reports on the budget and follow-up with the gender approach of open data, it can not be tracked or analyzed, the public budget has promoted gender equality in Colombia. Therefore, the main challenge IgualData aimed to have a global vision about the status of open data on gender issues and to discover the existing gender pay gap in Colombia through open contracts data associated with governmental bodies.

Methodology

Open Knowledge Colombia and Datasketch in conjunction with National Planning Department, National Secretary for Transparency, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Colombia Buys Efficient, Open Contracting Partnership, Global Integrity, and Jorge Tadeo Lozano University prepared a complete agenda for our event (IgualData). Thus, the day began with an expert panel that included women from civil society, private sector, and academia. The objective was to discuss how the governmental bodies produce the data and how they have a bias and discrimination from the forms and surveys. The allegations of manipulation of data suffered by some of these bodies and the importance of institutional strengthening with a gender and intersectional approach were put on the table since not all women are equal, nor all homosexual, bisexual or transgender people. On the other hand, we had different interventions and exhibitions from various actors associated with the public, private and societal sectors. They showed some data analysis related to official and open data from governmental bodies. Moreover, we created three working groups focused on three main topics of IgualData, where participants discussed challenges, shortcomings, and opportunities:
  • Gender pay gap. This group discussed the niches affected by the lack of data with a gender focus. Besides, they reviewed the difference between the hours’ amount worked by men and women and the availability of data.
  • Anti-corruption and public policy with a gender approach. This table discussed the current status of the General System of Anti-corruption in Colombia and dealt also with the necessity to include a gender approach and strength the available data.
  • Participation of women in public purchase. This working group put on the table the points on the data state, where highlighted the fact that the majority of data are in pdf format, which makes more difficult the massive analysis.
Finally, we presented a mosaic that was honored in tribute to Rosie the Riveter. This work was built with data on the wage gap and violence against women, figures from reports such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Labor Organization, also, included photographs of feminist, scientific, academic women and writers.

Conclusions and Lessons Learnt

We obtained different conclusions and lessons learned in the context of IgualData. Next, we list some of the main ones: With respect to (open) data and interoperability status:
  • Currently, there is no gender distinction in the National public contracting platform, called SECOP.
  • Most information related to gender issues is available in PDF format.
  • Interoperability between platforms is needed (e.g.: SECOP and SIGEP to extract data such as gender, training, experience, geographical distribution, marital status, among others).
Regarding monitoring of gender issues:
  • It is important to monitor and measure how the resources of national investment projects are executed in the context of gender issues.
  • It is necessary to set a connection between gender pay gap information and training and experience factors.
  • It is necessary to include spaces to select gender issues in the SECOP platform and characteristics of companies in order to evaluate the participation of women in govermental public contracts.