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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 to understand how to be open across the whole research cycle,  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?

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)

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, the script is available in and a graphic view at

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.


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


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.


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.  


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).


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.


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.


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.

Open Mapping in Brazil for Open Data Day 2019

- April 2, 2019 in Brazil, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. Code for Curitiba and Open Knowledge Brasil / UG Wikimedia in Brazil received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox to organise events under the Open Mapping theme. This is a joint report by Ricardo Mendes Junior & Celio Costa Filho: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post.

Open Data Day São Paulo

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data that takes place all around the world. In its ninth edition, in 2019, people in various countries organized events using and/or producing open data. This is a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data and to encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business, and civil society. In Brazil, these events occurred in the first half of March. The initiative to conduct one of these events in the city of São Paulo came from two volunteers of the group Wiki Movimento Brasil. The idea of ​​the event came after the Brumadinho dam disaster, which occurred on January 25, 2019, when a tailings dam at an iron ore mine in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil suffered a catastrophic failure. In this context, we perceive the importance of the existence of data from Brazilian dams of tailings properly structured on open platforms and with machine-readable data, such as Wikidata. This became even more visible when, by the end of January of this year, a report from the National Water Agency classified 45 reservoirs of dams as vulnerable, potentially affecting a population of 3.5 million people in risk-damped cities. The purpose of this Open Data Day, therefore, was to perform the scraping of databases whose content is free, and create items on Wikidata rich in structured information about the existing dams in Brazil. The site of the National Information System on Dams Safety, controlled by the National Water Agency was the main source; the site records more than 3,500 dams. Once the data organized in a spreadsheet, the process of “wikidatification” began with the help of the participants of the event. Wikidatifying data is nothing more than modeling structurable data, that is, trying to establish correspondences between the concepts and values ​​presented in the data table and the properties and items of Wikidata. Only after wikidatification is it possible to upload the data to Wikidata. Each participant of the event raised about 500 items of dams. Items created in this event can serve a variety of purposes, such as the illustration of dam maps by associated potential harm level ( and cross-checking of dam safety statistics with other databases (for instance, the ones related in the Brazilian news today:  The event is organized by the members of the Wiki Movimento Brasil and had the support of Creative Commons Brazil.  Map example: Pictures:

Open Data Day Curitiba 2019

The Open Data Day Curitiba 2019 was held at the FIEP Paula Gomes Training Center and had 61 people participating, in 4 working rooms and watching the lectures in the auditorium. The programming of lectures had the collaboration of 11 special guests who spoke 15 minutes each one, in the subjects Access and reuse of scientific data, Open data of public spending in accessible formats, Open Science: Repository of scientific data of Research, Collaborative Mapping, Open Education and open educational technology, Impacts of the Brazilian General Data Protection Act, Information Systems for public transport, Use of methodology City Information Modeling (CIM) for urban planning, Transparency and social control, Roadmap to civic innovation in the public sector and Urbanism and collaborative mappings, civic engagement and urban laboratories. At the opening of the event the director of the Curitiba/Vale do Pinhão Agency, Cris Alessi, spoke about the innovation ecosystem of Curitiba and what actions we can perform as participants in the movement of civic hackers and encouraging public open data. In the working rooms the participants discussed and develop activities related to the themes of the ODD Curitiba 2019.

Open science

In the Open science working room 13 people participated in the activities and the group started discussing the contextualization of the concept of scientific data and some international approaches on the topic, the differentiation between scientific information and research product. The group then identified 3 datasets, analyzing its structures (data, documentation and support of the original publication that contextualizes the information). After this activity the group discussed the 8 Panton Principles that analyze the quality of open data, and discussed the repositories and As a last activity, they discussed the context of scientific data in scientific journals, the types of copyright license for data and the difficulty of obtaining information from the data published on the platform of Brazilian researchers’ curricula.

Tracking flow of public money

In the Tracking flow of public money working room 28 people participated. The initial discussions were about money spent in public events and public policy actions that use public resources and how to find the destination of these resources in the city’s documents (bids, commitments, notices, etc.). After this discussion, the group decided to concentrate on tracking drug expenditures and public transport costs. So, they started the discussion with questions related to these expenses. Subsequently, a map was elaborated with the money trail for these expenses, including the sources of information. This trail will be improved by the group, who pledged to continue working on these ideas. And the conclusion of the group is that citizen engagement is the best remedy and has been summarized in one sentence:
“The Ministry of Health warns: Citizen participation is the best remedy for public health management. “

Open Mapping

In the Open Mapping working room was held the 1st Urban Accessibility Mapathon of Curitiba (Mapathon = Collaborative mapping marathon). The activity consisted of gathering information in the field of about 800 meters of sidewalks, per team, in the neighborhood of the event’s location. With the help of mobile applications, situations related to accessibility problems was collected, with coordinates, photos and videos. The Checklist had 18 items such as irregular pavement, irregular or non-existent accessibility ramp, hole in the lanes. After collection, the raw data were edited using the free QGIS software, generating the final unified maps that were made available to the community via an online map ( Were Raised 39 Problems Of Accessibility In Surroundings.


8 people participated in the ô project working room. The initiative started in 2019 and maintained by the Code for Curitiba aims to be an aggregator of data related to public transportation in the city of Curitiba. In the event, the project leaders, Guilherme and Henrique, presented the project, raised questions and the participants discussed ways to identify the answers. They conducted an exploratory survey of public and private services, extracted data and studied The webservice provided by URBS (Urbanization of Curitiba S/A). They Created a comparative table for identification of lines in different services and coded in PHP + HTML a view of these schedules. At the end, they took the opportunity to development and integration with the project Kartão, developed in Code for Curitiba in 2016, which presents the points of sale and recharge of the public transport card.


The Open Data Day Curitiba in previous years was also carried out by the Code for Curitiba. The ODD of 2019 was greater in public participation and in activities performed. The results obtained in this year include some direct results indicated below. A group formed to discuss and implement a solution to track the public money applied in medicines in Curitiba. The activity of the 1st Urban Accessibility Mapathon of Curitiba resulted in information geolocated that will be delivered to the Ippuc (Institute of research and urban planning of Curitiba) demonstrating how it is possible using technology to involve the population in collaborative urban planning with the mapping of information of the city. The ô project received valuable contributions from the participants and began to count with new collaborators. All projects under development in the Code for Curitiba are conducted by volunteers. The discussions on the Open Research Data initiated in the ODD 2018 have advanced. And finally, the evaluation by the participants considered the event positive to understand the existing challenges to work with open data and that data integration still requires great work. Collaborative mapping participants liked the idea of using georeferenced data for the improvement of the city. All were unanimous in stating that they would like to continue in the activities proposed by the ODD 2019, would like to receive more information and consider these important activities and of great impact to the city and to the understanding of effective citizenship.

More information and photos:



Code for Curitiba is a brigade of Code for Brazil, inspired on Code for America. They use the principles and practices of the digital age to improve how government serves the public, and how the public improves government. To inspire public servants, people from the tech sector, and community organizers to create change by proving government can do better and showing others how. Providing government with access to the resources and digital talent they need so that together we can meaningfully impact some of the world’s toughest societal challenges. Connecting and convening people from inside and outside government, and from all over the world to inspire each other, share successes, learn, build, and shape a new culture of public service for the 21st century. Ricardo Mendes Junior is currently the captain of Code for Curitiba. Graduated in Civil Engineering and PhD in Production Engineering he is currently professor at the Federal University of Paraná working in the Postgraduate Program in Information Management. His topics of interest are: Information Engineering, City Information Modeling (CIM), collaborative production, public participation thru collaborative mapping, crowdsourcing plus artificial intelligence, crowd collaboration and civic entrepreneurship. Celio Costa Filho is a founding member of Open Knowledge Brasil, the Wiki Movimento Brasil user group and the Creative Commons Brasil wiki coordinator.

Citizen repository of open data and exploration of the contracting system in Bolivia

- April 1, 2019 in bolivia, Open Contracting, 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. Fundación Internet ( and Pamela Gonzales, one of our School of Data Fellows from Bolivia 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 Science and Open Contracting  themes respectively. This report was written by Pamela Gonzales and Wilfredo Jordan: their biographies are included at the bottom. Bolivia is past due on issues regarding access to information and data. This is why Open Data Day is an opportunity to talk about data and how to generate public value through certain projects. We celebrated it with two activities.

A public repository of open data

The Fundación Internet Bolivia ( along with 14 volunteers came together to identify and save data sets about social research in Bolivia. In our country, several institutions publish data sets, studies plus information to promote their research. However, with time, some entities cease to exist and with it them the data they collected over the years. The most recent case is the Center for Information and Development of Women (, which until 2015 published data on femicide and gender violence towards women in Bolivia. This organization closed its doors and shut down its website locking us out to the data they collected over 32 years. This is why we decided to create an open data repository that works as a backup, for these lost data sets, and ensures permanent access to databases in a single place. With this in mind, we identified databases and updated their metadata. This was a good occasion to talk about the importance of open data, how they are being used, their principles, characteristics and potential uses. The second part of our workshop was intended to talk about GitLab ( and its potential to become a collaborative open data repository. After a few hours of work, we created our accounts and published some databases with their respective metadata which you can see here: The participants were interested in working on more datasets and learning the ropes to free information, so we decided to meet again every 15 days to improve our work and expand the data community in La Paz. If the interest to catalog more databases continue and there are more interested citizens, we will be ready to take a more significant step, e.g. create a catalog of open data of Bolivia. The community will have to decide. We would like to thank the facilitators for their support: Miriam Jemio, Wilfredo Jordán, Guillermo Movia, activists and open data enthusiasts who took charge of the workshop’s dynamics, and the Internet Bolivia Foundation, for letting us work in their offices and it’s interest on a subject as important as this one.

Exploration to the public contracting system of Bolivia

In order to learn more about public budgets allocated to gender, on Saturday, March 9, 2019, we commemorated with a workshop held at the offices of Bolivia Tech Hub (the most influential collaborator of the technological ecosystem in Bolivia). This event was held in the city of La Paz, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with the participation of 22 people with a technical background. The workshop was led by Pamela Gonzales, a fellow of the School of Data, and began with an explanation of basic concepts of open data, followed by an introduction to open contracting. In the second part, we reviewed the Public Contracting System of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (SICOES) and the procedure to extract data from its website, the types of searches, documents obtained and formats. Although the data and information on employing are public, the problem is that this website is designed for public officials to publish the procedures and not for the users or citizens who want to navigate the website, which hinders accessibility, search and collection of data. A second point is that one of the ways to obtain all the routes of a specific contract is only possible with the Unique Code of State Contracting (CUCE in Spanish), which makes it difficult to search and obtain information, so a standardization of this Transparency platform according to open contracting standards is still a pending issue in Bolivia. In the third part of the event, we started with the data expedition. We searched for contracts related to gender, for this, we put in practice the techniques learned in the first part of the workshop, for example using Open Refine to clean the obtained data. Finally, the participants exchanged their contacts to develop common projects. As a result of this workshop, a survey we conducted for the public showed 70% interest in knowing more about open contracting and learning its standards.  


Pamela Gonzales: I’m a serial entrepreneur at Bolivia Tech Hub, a collaborative space for Technological Projects. I also organized hackathons. My main goal is to manage and develop projects. I enjoy very much building teams who enjoy taking on challenging projects. Wilfredo Jordan: Digital journalist specialized in new media. Open data activist. Blog:  

Open Data Day in Venezuela

- March 29, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Science, venezuela

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. Centro Latinoamericano de Investigaciones Sobre Internet from Venezuela received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) to organise an event under the Open Science theme. This report was written by Jose Luis Mendoza. We organized events in two locations simultaneously, at two of the most important cities in Venezuela (at almost 700 Kms each) Mérida and Caracas. Within the facilities of the main universities, Central University of Venezuela and the University of the Andes. We used audiovisual aid and internet tools to host international speakers and to exchange experiences between cities. With a joint attendance of 52 students, plus authorities of the Universities and speakers from Geneva, London, Santiago de Chile, Caracas and Mérida. The event moved between the melancholy of remembering times of ingenuity and not so distant development, with great advances in open data and access to information, as well as the strong crisis that crosses the country with the challenges that this represents; and on the other hand of new proposals, programs and projected solutions that excited the assistants. Thus, we remember the times of the “bibliobus”, a walking library that the University of the Andes developed to take the reading to all the towns of the Andean mountain range where there are children of scarce resources and that makes it difficult to reach a traditional library, project that unfortunately was suppressed by the central state when removing the vehicle they had donated, also the crisis that crosses the country hindered the maintenance of said vehicle. The local chapter of Internet Society came to explain their career and the resources they make freely available to students and researchers on their website, as well as telecommunications infrastructure development projects for low-income schools. Speaking from Geneva and London, the founders of the Virtual Center of High Studies of High Energy for Venezuela, belonging to the European Organization for Nuclear Research and the Alan Turing Institute, explain how the open data of the Large Hadron Collider made possible one of the discoveries that have revolutionized science in our century, as well as the set of educational activities that in remote mode is directing your organization. The Universidad de  Andes has been recognized worldwide by its online library and the resources available in it to every user, we could not but invite the Director of the library to tell us how they make this possible even in the midst of the crisis in the country, as well as the telematics infrastructure management of the university and finally the Director of the library network of the state of Mérida. It was possible to appreciate the enthusiasm of the attendants for this type of activities, in which they learn in an experiential way the opportunities they can access through open data, both work and study, as well as being able to carry out investigations that are not visibly affected by the structural impoverishment of the universities of the country, enthusiasm that came to demand loudly that activities like these are repeated, and that cover in addition to the open data other areas and aspects of their interest, that is, the application of these data open to certain areas of knowledge.

5 Things We Learned from Hosting an Open Data Day Event

- March 29, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, USA

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. Code for Columbus and Open Data Delaware received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox to organise events under the Open Mapping theme. This is a joint report by Ryan Harrington & Brittany Vance: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post. Open Data Day presents an amazing opportunity for people around the world to celebrate civic technology and the benefits that it can have for our communities. At Code for Columbus and Open Data Delaware we each used the opportunity to build solutions to problems that would make a difference for our local communities. Throughout the process of hosting an Open Data Day event, we walked away with 5 lessons that we could apply more broadly to solving civic technology challenges.

Data cleanup should not be underestimated

On Open Data Day, we found truth in the old computer science joke: “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.” In theory, open data should give us insights. In practice, it is not simply enough for data to be open. Data provided directly from city workers may be in a format that made the most sense to them in the context of their jobs. This data, while useful in that context, may not be in a format that is useful to developers and data scientists who want to implement projects that may be wildly different. A great example of this comes from some of the work that we did in Delaware. One of our long-term projects is focused on making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data more accessible to anyone looking for it. A first step in that process was to issue FOIA requests for all of Delaware’s FOIA logs from as many state agencies and divisions as we could. Our end goal is to determine which datasets people ask for most frequently through FOIA requests and then make them public as part of a data repository. In Delaware, every agency is required to maintain a FOIA log, but there are no regulations regarding how those logs should be maintained. Each agency’s logs are built in a way that makes them most useful to that agency on a day-to-day basis. To say the least, this made it so that no two FOIA logs were alike – some came as Excel files, others came as text, and a few came as PDFs of scanned Excel print outs. Beyond that, each came with differently labeled columns, different data types, and different ways of tracking each request. To make any headway on this project, data cleaning had to be at the forefront of our minds. On Open Data Day, another truth came to fruition – for any data project, at least 80% of the work will be data cleaning and only 20% will be all of the exciting parts.

Engaging community stakeholders improves results

In Columbus, we used the experience to show our civic partners where data cleanup efforts were needed, while being sensitive to staffing limitations. By highlighting possible benefits to the community and our civic partners, and public interest in the work being done for the community, we were able to show that the additional effort would be a worthwhile investment. As a result, we are still moving forward with our Open Data Day projects several weeks later, and our civic partners are helping us find additional data sources, while they discuss data cleanup internally. We have had the most success by honoring the perspectives of everyone, including those at the top. While we are using open data to encourage that our local government is working for everyone, we have made a conscious attempt to be mindful that people in public service genuinely want to do a good job. By highlighting Open Data Day as a platform to showcase local government’s willingness to listen, improve, and serve, we have been able to build relationships with stakeholders who can potentially influence future projects. We were also able to open a public dialog about funding for high-profile projects in the city.

Civic tech communities thrive when they are built from diverse people

A large city with millions of people has at least as many millions of perspectives on its daily life. It is simply not possible to have an in-depth understanding of so many perspectives without consulting the lived experiences of real people. In meetings leading up to Open Data Day in Columbus, we invited cross-sectional participation from multiple economic and social classes. We found that people from financially secure areas of the city were not aware that people in other areas of the city regularly went without food. We also found, conversely, that people from struggling areas were not aware of the genuine desire of those in power to help, and that some programs were not as efficient as possible simply due to lack of exposure to the experiences of struggling communities. Diverse perspectives are not just important when identifying challenges to solve. Just as important is to ensure that participants in your civic tech community have diverse experiences. This can come from a variety of places – life experience, socioeconomic status, or tech background to name a few. This diversity helps to ensure that the solutions that our communities solve are thoughtfully and reflectively built.

Awareness of the possibilities of open data is needed

Open data that is not used is simply another burden for cash-strapped governments to carry. Highlighting the potential usefulness of open data transforms a burden into an asset. In Columbus, we have presented city leaders with scenarios where publicly available data can show insights into areas of higher mortality and lack of access to nutritious food. Education about open data must move beyond city leaders, though. The benefits of open data exponentially increase as citizens understand its value and gain the ability to make use of it. Open Data Day provides a platform to invite citizens to learn and engage with open data projects, while also giving them the opportunity to provide their own perspectives. Improving awareness about open data and civic technology empowers communities to make better decisions for themselves and better advocate for their needs.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon

While this is a problem we cannot solve overnight, we were able to use Open Data Day to continue the conversation as to how issues of access to food, transit, and healthcare play out in the lives of real people. In Columbus, we are highlighting how to use open data and volunteer efforts from the tech community to gain insight into those problems. We will need to continue the conversation over the coming weeks, months, and possibly years, to ensure that the stories of the underrepresented are heard. This same lesson is true in Delaware, as we focus on building solutions to improve transparency in our community. The excitement that comes from sprinting through a day of problem solving, such as what we see on Open Data Day, should be used as a catalyst for the marathon of the rest of the year. Open Data Day serves as an opportunity to bring new momentum to the projects and ideas that civic technology communities aim to solve on a day-to-day basis.


Ryan Harrington is a data science professional focused on making his community a better place. He co-founded and co-organizes Open Data Delaware, where he advocates for government transparency and the use of civic technology. Day-to-day, he works as a lead data scientist for CompassRed Data Labs in Wilmington, DE where he is part of a team that builds predictive models to help businesses and organizations meet their goals. Brittany Vance is a software engineer, mentor, and community organizer. She founded Code for Columbus, a Code for America brigade in Columbus, Ohio. Code for America is an organization that uses the civic technology to improve how government serves the American public. Code for Columbus works toward this goal by leveraging open data and training citizens in its use.  

13th Data Week and Open Data Day 2019

- March 28, 2019 in 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. HackBo / mutabiT 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 Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas and has been reposted from the mutabiT blog.
As usual, we celebrate this year edition of the Open Data Day by overlapping it with the 13th edition of our Data Week (anti)hackathons + workshops, this time oriented towards self publishing and open science. Here I’m sharing some of the experiences and learnings of this editions for the Open Data Day and the Data Week.Is usual for us, at the local Grafoscopio community, to celebrate the Open Data Day (ODD) by overlapping it with our Data Weeks (anti)hackathons + workshops, which help us to escape the solutionist approach of the “one day fashionist hackathon”, that has been widely criticized (see SchockIraniScott).

Here I’m going to talk about how it want in three fronts: planning, execution and the future.


Last year we made our first yearly loosely planning and we put the ODD in the radar to access minigrants provided by the Open Knowledge International Foundation (OKI). We have been doing ODD since the begining without any financial support, except the ones that are already provided by our own pockets and endeavors. But as a community of practice located in a hackerspace in the Global South, those small minigrants can made a huge difference. We created a shared pad and start to fill out the draft of the answers in a collective manner, which means that one of us drafted most of the documents and others made small contributions here and there. Once we knew that our proposal was selected by the OKI, we launch the usual public call in the Data Week web page and shared it on Twitter:  

Invitation to ODD 2019 and the Data Week 13 in Twitter

As usual, an interested participant will send a mail telling us:
  • Name
  • Motivations to partipate
  • Previous experiences in the themes of the Data Week, in this case Open Publication.
  • Computer Operative System.
  • Availability to commit for all 6 meetings in the Data Week.
Selected participants got a confirmation email with the details of the Data Week and Open Data Day. Most of the inscriptions came from members of two government entities: Consejo de Estado and Instituto Von Humbold, which are dealing with law and biodiversity, respectively. It was nice to see such interest from people in those places about the hacker techniques to documentation and open reproducible publishing and I was pretty curious about the upcoming meeting.


This edition of the Open Data Day and the 13th Data Week was focused on the relationship between knowledge and publishing, with a particular emphasis on Open Science. The idea was to make an open booklet about collective writing and publishing and use the Open Science Panama Declaration as a use case for such kind of booklets. The first night (March 6th) we had a pretty good attendance with most of the 11 participants there. The second day, we had lost a third of the participants and for the end of the Data Week (March 16th), only 4 participants completed the event (which is kind of usual in this no-cost community events). We started by shortly introducing ourselves as facilitators and participants and the hackerspace, addressing hopes and expectations about the week. We continue with the introductory video “How the Internet will (one day) transform government” and we try to approach it critically, without taking the solutionist approach on digital technologies for collaboration, but also stating that new ways of building together were available to us and the idea was to explore them jointly along the week. As usual, we made three indexes: one cronological, with the notes of each day in the Data Week 13; a second thematic index, with the contents to gather and to develop in this week; and a final activities index, used to sync and coordinate actions among participants. All of them were powered by Docutopia, our community owned instance of CodiMD, and showcased the approach to proactive documentation using simple tools and techniques that we use and improve on each Data Week (and their minor counterparts, the Data Rodas). Most of the participants were using Markdown and CodiMD on the first session and they became more proactive on such agile documentation techniques along the week. Our thematic pad for the Data Week 13 and Open Data Day 2019 contents.
^ Up | Our thematic pad for the Data Week 13 and Open Data Day 2019 contents. After that we introduce Fossil, and alternative to Git, GitHub, GitLab, which is closer to the concerns about infrastructure in the Global South: sane default work flows, non metadata cyberfeudalism and centralizations, high portability, almost total off-line operation, among others. And we started to port our pads from our community hosted CodiMD instance (we call it Docutopia) to our community hosted Fossil repository, increasing the resilience of our community memories, while keeping agility, autonomy and small footprint on tools. Now we were able to collaborate while being almost totally off-line (which is not uncommon in the Global South), and the community memories were hosted on all the computers of the participants, instead of a single centralized server that was available only on-line. This was a practical bridge between on-line and off-line, centralized and distributed, for our documentation. The time line for the migration of our pads to the Fossil DVCS.
^ Up | The time line for the migration of our pads to the Fossil DVCS. New participants became part of the permanent history of our community creations. Finally we used Pandoc and LaTeX to produce the first versions of the booklet, which self documents its own production process and is an auto-referential example of how we can write and publish text together in documentathon or book sprint like event: Documentathon PDF booklet link.
^ Up | The table of contents for our Documentathon booklet draft, developed during the Data Week 13th and the Open Data Day 2019. That was mostly of our Data Week 13th and the Open Data Day 2019 celebration. As you can see, there is still a lot of work do be done. For example we didn’t touch the Open Science Panama Declaration, because we were focused first on how to make any collective writing reproducible in a more general way, so we were not able to address such specific cases (that would be a task for the future). But this is a pretty good balance for a 30 hours event spread across six days, for a good (anti)hackathon/life balance, with proper sleeping, care and contact with our loved ones. We were able to build on community practices (the 400+ hours of previous Grafoscopio community widely documented events), project them into the future and connect them with international related movements, as those dealing with data, science and publishing openness. In fact, in our approach, documents can be seen as reproducible data (particularly a tree data structure), but that’s something we will explore in future posts.

Aftermath and upcoming future

Talking about the future, I think that this Data Week and Open Data Day left a good balance, but also points of concern to deal with. Here is some final balance points and issues:
  • As always, the event serves to introduce new members to the community and they keep their interest after the event has ended. So we accomplished to bridge community past and future as intended and we will with no rush and no pause, as we said here (sin prisa pero sin pausa), slowly building the community, and its symbolic and material repertoires.
  • I like the way long community practices and learning in part of the the Free Open Source Community are taking form and transforming to wider context and civic concerns: openness, digital infrastructure, grassroots empowerment via technology, documentation and so on. Is good also to see them take the form o a book after so many wikis, chat channels, events, and interactive notebooks. Books can be a good bridge for such wider audiences and an amalgam artifact that connects with the previous mentioned digital artifacts.
  • This time almost all seats were occupied by two institutions and while this went fine, if we are running out of places, and more people is still interested, we would need to limit the amount of participants for institution or external community, so we can keep and improve diversity. Such data should be captured on the inscription form and taken into account for participants selections.
  • We need to make more explicit the “infrastructure transposition” (as Susan L. Star would say) of putting was is behind upfront and vice versa (formats, infrastructure, software, data) in the first session, so new comers don’t feel alienated by techniques and understand them as a way to approach conceptual concerns by switching the focus.
  • On that issue, I would like to improve the way we meet the people where they are already. Most of our participants are long time users of word processors, and while some get the idea easily and start to write with us in no time, some have a hard time getting this Markdown + real time editing process (which are the advantages? why don’t just use GoogleDocs or Office360?), and despite our best efforts to explain the advantages there is still some cultural shock to overcome. I think such advantages will be more visible now that we have our own booklet draft about collective writing. But I would like such booklet to become some kind of “Choose your own adventure” learning experience to bridge better with those who have hard times with all this digital paraphernalia and still want to be part of a collective writing experience. Once we have our first beta draft, I would like to focus on this.
  • There is still a lot of solo endeavors in this community events, particularly in small communities like HackBo and Grafoscopio. I’m putting a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and while I enjoy this, it also can be tiresome. From first drafts and calls, to opening/closing the hackerspace, to write blog post, to be a permanent facilitator, to write software and documentation, to thought about lessons for future workshops. Don’t get me wrong, the Grafoscopio community is great and has been instrumental on all the things that we are doing now. We were able to build on the 400+ hours of previous encounters and meetings because of the community, but some members are intermittent as they attend some times and have other commitments, while I have been in each and every single of those hours. I think that, with time, other members of the community will have a more central role, and will take more voluntary responsibilities, but is difficult to not feel almost burnt out, from time to time. For example, now, while I’m writing this blog post, I just hope to meet the deadline to get the funding back from OKI to keep HackBo going for a little bit more. This reporting front, would be a place were I would like to get some community support soon, for example.
Are you dealing with some of the topics depicted here? Are you part of a community working on collective memory and want to build it in a resilient and agile way? Are you struggling with burn out in a community? Do you care about the relationship between publishing and power and how it connects to open science and research? Do you want to mobilize and make visible other knowledge subjects and voices in grassroots communities via publishing? Are you developing software for open data and/or publishing? In a complex world, we dealt with multifacet dense problems, which means also that small actions can be read in several connected ways. Let me know if you are related with any of those topics and what are your ideas and actions in such fronts. Finally I would like to say thanks to the people behind the institutions, communities and places that make this 13th edition of the Data Week and the Open Data Day 2019 possible: mutabiT for their continuous support since… forever, HackBo for hosting the event over the years, the Grafoscopio community for their critical presence and Open Knowledge International for the minigrants, and their fluent requirements, like this blog post, which communicate and articulate what is happening in the global open data communities.