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Belgium in the Open Data Barometer: Half way through

- April 22, 2016 in barometer, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News, ranking

Yesterday the World Wide Web Foundation has released the third edition of the Open Data Barometer. A collaborative research that covers 92 countries and ranks them by three key parameters: readiness (how prepared are governments regarding open data initiatives), implementation (are governments putting their commitments into practice) and impact (is open government data being used in ways that result in practical benefits). Let’s take a closer look on how Belgium did this year. ODB_Belgium So is The Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Belgium’s score is 52,62 out of 100 points which makes us half way through the open data barometer. Since the present edition is the third one, it allows us to search for trends in the country’s performance. For instance, whereas 2014 was sort of a breakthrough for many countries, with Belgium jumping from 34,8 points to 47,29, this year it is only 5,33 points higher. It is sharing the 22nd position with Iceland (as one year ago). This is still the growth, although a detailed look at the data gives some food for thought. Up is Down and Down is Up Throughout all the three years that this research is being carried out, Belgium has been doing steadily good in terms of readiness – 72, 86 an 80 points out of 100 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, our state it is performing better than average among its neighbors by such parameters as ‘Government Action’, ‘Citizens and Civil Rights’ and ‘Entrepreneurs and Business’. At the same time, the scores for both ‘readiness’ and ‘implementations’ have slightly declined from 2014, which leaves the ‘impact’ the sole parameter on which Belgium has actually progressed (from 30 to 48). This is actually good news, since the impact was the Belgium’s weakest point – and still is. ‘Political Impact’ is the parameter by which Belgium is performing much weaker than the average in the region of Europe and Central Asia. It received ‘0’ for the question ‘To what extent has open data had a noticeable impact on increasing government efficiency and effectiveness?’ ODB_top_10 The Neighborhood You might get jealous towards France – and for a reason. This country can provide you not only cheese and wine, but sheer amount of open data, too, making it number 3 right next to the USA in the world ranking. Netherlands, on the contrary, lost one position in the ranking, descending to number 7. However, if you take the top 10, you will find only 5 European countries there. This might increase even more: the new generation of open data adopters is going to challenge traditional stalwarts such as USA and UK. ‘The need to robust the data to drive democracy and development’  which is clear – is one of the key findings of the ODB. First World Problems Now, you might call it the first world problem, but being in the first quarter of the list can be not that great. What can Belgium do not to be stuck in the ranking, slowly backsliding as long as the other countries are catching up? The unique bilingual setting of Belgium and the subsequent division and subdivision if its authorities are among the main reasons that explain its low impact performance. Whereas in the developing countries, the whole issue of governments opening their data is revolutionary, developed countries seem to suffer from inconsistencies between the readiness of society for the open data and its impact. This only proves the other key funding of the survey: open data community needs to translate open data policy into real implementation. If we lose the moment, ‘open data could fade into a ghost town of abandoned pilots, outdated data portals, and unused apps’. The release of the data per se is only the beginning of the story, not its end. You need individuals, communities and companies who can use and reuse the open data for good, which does not exclude their businesses, by the way. You need general public awareness of the open data, the same way it is being informed about the importance of having fresh water and clean air. Open data has to stop being a geek and nerdy term – it has to come to every house and make the difference on how you see the world. This is what they call impact.    

Belgium in the Open Data Barometer: Half way through

- April 22, 2016 in barometer, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News, ranking

Yesterday the World Wide Web Foundation has released the third edition of the Open Data Barometer. A collaborative research that covers 92 countries and ranks them by three key parameters: readiness (how prepared are governments regarding open data initiatives?), implementation (are governments putting their commitments into practice?) and impact (is open government data being used in ways that result in practical benefits?). Let’s take a closer look at how Belgium did this year. ODB_Belgium So is the glass half full or half empty? Belgium’s score is 52,62 out of 100 points which puts us half way through the open data barometer. Since the current edition is the third one, it allows us to search for trends in the country’s performance. For instance, 2014 was sort of a breakthrough year for many countries, with Belgium jumping from 34,8 points to 47,29, whereas this year it is only 5,33 points higher. Belgium is sharing the 22nd position with Iceland (same as last year). This is still growth, although a detailed look at the data gives some food for thought. Up is down and down is up Throughout all three years that this research is being carried out, Belgium has been performing steadily in terms of readiness – 72, 86 and 80 points out of 100 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, our state is performing better than average among its neighbors by parameters such as ‘Government Action’, ‘Citizens and Civil Rights’ and ‘Entrepreneurs and Business’. At the same time, the scores for both ‘Readiness’ and ‘Implementations’ have slightly declined from 2014, which leaves ‘Impact’ as the sole parameter on which Belgium has actually progressed (from 30 to 48). This is actually good news, since impact was Belgium’s weakest point – and still is. ‘Political Impact’ is the parameter by which Belgium is performing much weaker than the average in the region of Europe and Central Asia. It received ‘0’ for the question ‘To what extent has open data had a noticeable impact on increasing government efficiency and effectiveness?’ ODB_top_10 The neighborhood You might get jealous of France – and for a good reason. This country can provide you, not only cheese and wine, but a sheer amount of open data too, making it number 3 right next to the USA in the world ranking. Netherlands, on the contrary, lost one position in the ranking, descending to number 7. However, if you look at the top 10, you will find only 5 European countries up there. This might change even more: the new generation of open data adopters is going to challenge traditional stalwarts such as USA and UK. ‘The need to robust the data to drive democracy and development’  which is clear – is one of the key findings of the ODB. First world problems Now, you might call it a first world problem, but only being in the first quarter of the list can be not that great. What can Belgium do to not be stuck in the ranking, slowly backsliding while the other countries are catching up? The unique bilingual setting of Belgium and the subsequent division and subdivision of its authorities are among the main reasons that explain its low impact performance. Whereas in the developing countries, the whole issue of governments opening their data is revolutionary, developed countries seem to suffer from inconsistencies between the readiness of society for open data and its impact. This only proves the other key funding of the survey: the open data community needs to translate open data policy into real implementation. If we lose the moment, ‘open data could fade into a ghost town of abandoned pilots, outdated data portals and unused apps’. The release of data per se is only the beginning of the story, not its end. You need individuals, communities and companies who can use and reuse the open data for good, which does not exclude their businesses by the way. You need general public awareness of open data, the same way it is being informed about the importance of having fresh water and clean air. Open data has to stop being a geeky and nerdy term – it has to come to every house and make the difference on how you see the world. This is what they call impact.    

Belgium in the Open Data Barometer: Half way through

- April 22, 2016 in barometer, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News, ranking

Yesterday the World Wide Web Foundation has released the third edition of the Open Data Barometer. A collaborative research that covers 92 countries and ranks them by three key parameters: readiness (how prepared are governments regarding open data initiatives?), implementation (are governments putting their commitments into practice?) and impact (is open government data being used in ways that result in practical benefits?). Let’s take a closer look at how Belgium did this year. ODB_Belgium So is the glass half full or half empty? Belgium’s score is 52,62 out of 100 points which puts us half way through the open data barometer. Since the current edition is the third one, it allows us to search for trends in the country’s performance. For instance, 2014 was sort of a breakthrough year for many countries, with Belgium jumping from 34,8 points to 47,29, whereas this year it is only 5,33 points higher. Belgium is sharing the 22nd position with Iceland (same as last year). This is still growth, although a detailed look at the data gives some food for thought. Up is down and down is up Throughout all three years that this research is being carried out, Belgium has been performing steadily in terms of readiness – 72, 86 and 80 points out of 100 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, our state is performing better than average among its neighbors by parameters such as ‘Government Action’, ‘Citizens and Civil Rights’ and ‘Entrepreneurs and Business’. At the same time, the scores for both ‘Readiness’ and ‘Implementations’ have slightly declined from 2014, which leaves ‘Impact’ as the sole parameter on which Belgium has actually progressed (from 30 to 48). This is actually good news, since impact was Belgium’s weakest point – and still is. ‘Political Impact’ is the parameter by which Belgium is performing much weaker than the average in the region of Europe and Central Asia. It received ‘0’ for the question ‘To what extent has open data had a noticeable impact on increasing government efficiency and effectiveness?’ ODB_top_10 The neighborhood You might get jealous of France – and for a good reason. This country can provide you, not only cheese and wine, but a sheer amount of open data too, making it number 3 right next to the USA in the world ranking. Netherlands, on the contrary, lost one position in the ranking, descending to number 7. However, if you look at the top 10, you will find only 5 European countries up there. This might change even more: the new generation of open data adopters is going to challenge traditional stalwarts such as USA and UK. ‘The need to robust the data to drive democracy and development’  which is clear – is one of the key findings of the ODB. First world problems Now, you might call it a first world problem, but only being in the first quarter of the list can be not that great. What can Belgium do to not be stuck in the ranking, slowly backsliding while the other countries are catching up? The unique bilingual setting of Belgium and the subsequent division and subdivision of its authorities are among the main reasons that explain its low impact performance. Whereas in the developing countries, the whole issue of governments opening their data is revolutionary, developed countries seem to suffer from inconsistencies between the readiness of society for open data and its impact. This only proves the other key funding of the survey: the open data community needs to translate open data policy into real implementation. If we lose the moment, ‘open data could fade into a ghost town of abandoned pilots, outdated data portals and unused apps’. The release of data per se is only the beginning of the story, not its end. You need individuals, communities and companies who can use and reuse the open data for good, which does not exclude their businesses by the way. You need general public awareness of open data, the same way it is being informed about the importance of having fresh water and clean air. Open data has to stop being a geeky and nerdy term – it has to come to every house and make the difference on how you see the world. This is what they call impact.    

Belgium in the Open Data Barometer: Half way through

- April 22, 2016 in barometer, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News, ranking

Yesterday the World Wide Web Foundation has released the third edition of the Open Data Barometer. A collaborative research that covers 92 countries and ranks them by three key parameters: readiness (how prepared are governments regarding open data initiatives?), implementation (are governments putting their commitments into practice?) and impact (is open government data being used in ways that result in practical benefits?). Let’s take a closer look at how Belgium did this year. ODB_Belgium So is the glass half full or half empty? Belgium’s score is 52,62 out of 100 points which puts us half way through the open data barometer. Since the current edition is the third one, it allows us to search for trends in the country’s performance. For instance, 2014 was sort of a breakthrough year for many countries, with Belgium jumping from 34,8 points to 47,29, whereas this year it is only 5,33 points higher. Belgium is sharing the 22nd position with Iceland (same as last year). This is still growth, although a detailed look at the data gives some food for thought. Up is down and down is up Throughout all three years that this research is being carried out, Belgium has been performing steadily in terms of readiness – 72, 86 and 80 points out of 100 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, our state is performing better than average among its neighbors by parameters such as ‘Government Action’, ‘Citizens and Civil Rights’ and ‘Entrepreneurs and Business’. At the same time, the scores for both ‘Readiness’ and ‘Implementations’ have slightly declined from 2014, which leaves ‘Impact’ as the sole parameter on which Belgium has actually progressed (from 30 to 48). This is actually good news, since impact was Belgium’s weakest point – and still is. ‘Political Impact’ is the parameter by which Belgium is performing much weaker than the average in the region of Europe and Central Asia. It received ‘0’ for the question ‘To what extent has open data had a noticeable impact on increasing government efficiency and effectiveness?’ ODB_top_10 The neighborhood You might get jealous of France – and for a good reason. This country can provide you, not only cheese and wine, but a sheer amount of open data too, making it number 3 right next to the USA in the world ranking. Netherlands, on the contrary, lost one position in the ranking, descending to number 7. However, if you look at the top 10, you will find only 5 European countries up there. This might change even more: the new generation of open data adopters is going to challenge traditional stalwarts such as USA and UK. ‘The need to robust the data to drive democracy and development’  which is clear – is one of the key findings of the ODB. First world problems Now, you might call it a first world problem, but only being in the first quarter of the list can be not that great. What can Belgium do to not be stuck in the ranking, slowly backsliding while the other countries are catching up? The unique bilingual setting of Belgium and the subsequent division and subdivision of its authorities are among the main reasons that explain its low impact performance. Whereas in the developing countries, the whole issue of governments opening their data is revolutionary, developed countries seem to suffer from inconsistencies between the readiness of society for open data and its impact. This only proves the other key funding of the survey: the open data community needs to translate open data policy into real implementation. If we lose the moment, ‘open data could fade into a ghost town of abandoned pilots, outdated data portals and unused apps’. The release of data per se is only the beginning of the story, not its end. You need individuals, communities and companies who can use and reuse the open data for good, which does not exclude their businesses by the way. You need general public awareness of open data, the same way it is being informed about the importance of having fresh water and clean air. Open data has to stop being a geeky and nerdy term – it has to come to every house and make the difference on how you see the world. This is what they call impact.    

Belgian federal Open Data policy, a summary.

- November 26, 2015 in digital Belgium, federal government, Open Data News, open data policy

In July, we told you about the earnest plans of the federal government regarding Open Data. Today, we’re happy to share the federal Open Data policy. Here’s a short summary. Below the summary, we’ve linked to the original policies.
  • We’re talking about data that governments collected during their activities, that has no privacy or intellectual property rights. They will be released in an machine-readable format and can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • The federal government also focuses on creating a community, consisting out of companies and citizens.
  • All governmental data will act in accord to the the comply or explain principle.
  • By 2020, all data will be available proactively, without any need for registration for companies or citizens who want to use the data. In the meantime, data demanded by citizens and companies will be prioritized.
  • All data will be licensed under CC0. If not, the comply or explain principle is applied.
  • To ensure the authenticity of the data, all data must originate from the federal sources. Every civil service will be responsible of publication and management of their data and meta-data. Meta-data ought to follow the European standard for data portals (DCAT-AP).
Do you want to read the original federal Open Data policy? There’s a Dutch version and a French one. We’ve been told an English version is on its way. We’ll be happy to share it here when it’s ready!

Belgian federal Open Data policy, a summary.

- November 26, 2015 in digital Belgium, federal government, Open Data News, open data policy

In July, we told you about the earnest plans of the federal government regarding Open Data. Today, we’re happy to share the federal Open Data policy. Here’s a short summary. Below the summary, we’ve linked to the original policies.
  • We’re talking about data that governments collected during their activities, that has no privacy or intellectual property rights. They will be released in an machine-readable format and can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • The federal government also focuses on creating a community, consisting out of companies and citizens.
  • All governmental data will act in accord to the the comply or explain principle.
  • By 2020, all data will be available proactively, without any need for registration for companies or citizens who want to use the data. In the meantime, data demanded by citizens and companies will be prioritized.
  • All data will be licensed under CC0. If not, the comply or explain principle is applied.
  • To ensure the authenticity of the data, all data must originate from the federal sources. Every civil service will be responsible of publication and management of their data and meta-data. Meta-data ought to follow the European standard for data portals (DCAT-AP).
Do you want to read the original federal Open Data policy? There’s a Dutch version and a French one. We’ve been told an English version is on its way. We’ll be happy to share it here when it’s ready!

Belgian federal Open Data policy, a summary.

- November 26, 2015 in digital Belgium, federal government, Open Data News, open data policy

In July, we told you about the earnest plans of the federal government regarding Open Data. Today, we’re happy to share the federal Open Data policy. Here’s a short summary. Below the summary, we’ve linked to the original policies.
  • We’re talking about data that governments collected during their activities, that has no privacy or intellectual property rights. They will be released in an machine-readable format and can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • The federal government also focuses on creating a community, consisting out of companies and citizens.
  • All governmental data will act in accord to the the comply or explain principle.
  • By 2020, all data will be available proactively, without any need for registration for companies or citizens who want to use the data. In the meantime, data demanded by citizens and companies will be prioritized.
  • All data will be licensed under CC0. If not, the comply or explain principle is applied.
  • To ensure the authenticity of the data, all data must originate from the federal sources. Every civil service will be responsible of publication and management of their data and meta-data. Meta-data ought to follow the European standard for data portals (DCAT-AP).
Do you want to read the original federal Open Data policy? There’s a Dutch version and a French one. We’ve been told an English version is on its way. We’ll be happy to share it here when it’s ready!

Datawijs, bridge between young people and open data

- October 27, 2015 in Datawijs, Featured, klynt, online platform, Open Data, Open Data News, projects, Video

Screenshot intro Datawijs Open data is gaining more importance these days. Yet, a lot of young people don’t know what open data is, or how they can benefit from it. That’s where Datawijs comes in. It’s an interactive video series, that introduces teenagers and young adults to the concept of open data. The Belgian platform works with Klynt, which allows the young people to view the videos in the order they want to. Thanks to the non-linear structure, users can learn on their own pace, about what interests them at whatever time they have. Datawijs is developed in a way that every teen and young adult can learn about and experiment with open data, corresponding to their own needs. It has three types of information layers. First of all, there are the animated clips, which tells more about the open data subjects in an introductory way. Secondly, there’s the expert interviews, where experienced persons give more in-depth information on the subject. The third kind of videos are more interactive and encourages users to experiment with open data themselves. Whether it’s taking a quiz on open data or completing a data-search, young people can take their first steps in the open data matter. Datawijs even provides users with coding sites and open data portals, so that they can easily take it to the next level. Datawijs is developed by us, Open Knowledge Belgium, with support of Mediaraven. They chose to focus on teenagers and young adults, age 15-25. Of course, the online platform isn’t exclusively available for that age group, as anyone is free to use it. But why exactly does Datawijs target young people? The digital natives of today are the data literates of tomorrow. On top of that, it’s also an age group that starts to invest their own development and self-actualisation. Today, it can be quite hard for young people to find easy-to-consume information about open data online. Most info on that topic is too technical, static, fragmented or not in their maternal language. To them, open data may look like intangible, too theoretical and seemingly unimportant topic. Yet, non-technical and creative young people can be a great advantage. They can point out problems, select data based on their needs and give creative input on how to transform all this into an application. In order to facilitate this even more, the Datawijs series is in Dutch. This way, the Flemish youth is approached in their maternal language, making sure the language barrier is removed. Addressing teenagers and young adults in a visual, interactive and non-linear manner, is a good way to make open data easy approachable. The clips are designed to engage young people to take their first steps in open data. Not only will they benefit from it, by having the opportunity to create what they need, but also governments most certainly gain advantage by this. Their open data is used in useful applications and visualisations. In the long run, the now well-informed teens and young adults may even ask to open up the data they need. That’s why we consider it a must to transform digital natives into open data literates. The natives themselves and society benefit from it. By making the open data topic lightweight and easy to consume through an interactive video series, more young people might try to cross the open data bridge. It’s important open data becomes truly open to young people, as this will lead towards more and better use of it. Today, Datawijs is only available in Dutch. Luckily, the series is open source. We hope more versions of Datawijs will pop up in the near future, in order to reach out to digital natives everywhere.

Datawijs, bridge between young people and open data

- October 27, 2015 in Datawijs, Featured, klynt, online platform, Open Data, Open Data News, projects, Video

Screenshot intro Datawijs Open data is gaining more importance these days. Yet, a lot of young people don’t know what open data is, or how they can benefit from it. That’s where Datawijs comes in. It’s an interactive video series, that introduces teenagers and young adults to the concept of open data. The Belgian platform works with Klynt, which allows the young people to view the videos in the order they want to. Thanks to the non-linear structure, users can learn on their own pace, about what interests them at whatever time they have. Datawijs is developed in a way that every teen and young adult can learn about and experiment with open data, corresponding to their own needs. It has three types of information layers. First of all, there are the animated clips, which tells more about the open data subjects in an introductory way. Secondly, there’s the expert interviews, where experienced persons give more in-depth information on the subject. The third kind of videos are more interactive and encourages users to experiment with open data themselves. Whether it’s taking a quiz on open data or completing a data-search, young people can take their first steps in the open data matter. Datawijs even provides users with coding sites and open data portals, so that they can easily take it to the next level. Datawijs is developed by us, Open Knowledge Belgium, with support of Mediaraven. They chose to focus on teenagers and young adults, age 15-25. Of course, the online platform isn’t exclusively available for that age group, as anyone is free to use it. But why exactly does Datawijs target young people? The digital natives of today are the data literates of tomorrow. On top of that, it’s also an age group that starts to invest their own development and self-actualisation. Today, it can be quite hard for young people to find easy-to-consume information about open data online. Most info on that topic is too technical, static, fragmented or not in their maternal language. To them, open data may look like intangible, too theoretical and seemingly unimportant topic. Yet, non-technical and creative young people can be a great advantage. They can point out problems, select data based on their needs and give creative input on how to transform all this into an application. In order to facilitate this even more, the Datawijs series is in Dutch. This way, the Flemish youth is approached in their maternal language, making sure the language barrier is removed. Addressing teenagers and young adults in a visual, interactive and non-linear manner, is a good way to make open data easy approachable. The clips are designed to engage young people to take their first steps in open data. Not only will they benefit from it, by having the opportunity to create what they need, but also governments most certainly gain advantage by this. Their open data is used in useful applications and visualisations. In the long run, the now well-informed teens and young adults may even ask to open up the data they need. That’s why we consider it a must to transform digital natives into open data literates. The natives themselves and society benefit from it. By making the open data topic lightweight and easy to consume through an interactive video series, more young people might try to cross the open data bridge. It’s important open data becomes truly open to young people, as this will lead towards more and better use of it. Today, Datawijs is only available in Dutch. Luckily, the series is open source. We hope more versions of Datawijs will pop up in the near future, in order to reach out to digital natives everywhere.

Datawijs, bridge between young people and open data

- October 27, 2015 in Datawijs, Featured, klynt, online platform, Open Data, Open Data News, projects, Video

Screenshot intro Datawijs Open data is gaining more importance these days. Yet, a lot of young people don’t know what open data is, or how they can benefit from it. That’s where Datawijs comes in. It’s an interactive video series, that introduces teenagers and young adults to the concept of open data. The Belgian platform works with Klynt, which allows the young people to view the videos in the order they want to. Thanks to the non-linear structure, users can learn on their own pace, about what interests them at whatever time they have.
Datawijs is developed in a way that every teen and young adult can learn about and experiment with open data, corresponding to their own needs. It has three types of information layers. First of all, there are the animated clips, which tells more about the open data subjects in an introductory way. Secondly, there’s the expert interviews, where experienced persons give more in-depth information on the subject. The third kind of videos are more interactive and encourages users to experiment with open data themselves. Whether it’s taking a quiz on open data or completing a data-search, young people can take their first steps in the open data matter. Datawijs even provides users with coding sites and open data portals, so that they can easily take it to the next level. Datawijs is developed by us, Open Knowledge Belgium, with support of Mediaraven. They chose to focus on teenagers and young adults, age 15-25. Of course, the online platform isn’t exclusively available for that age group, as anyone is free to use it. But why exactly does Datawijs target young people? The digital natives of today are the data literates of tomorrow. On top of that, it’s also an age group that starts to invest their own development and self-actualisation. Today, it can be quite hard for young people to find easy-to-consume information about open data online. Most info on that topic is too technical, static, fragmented or not in their maternal language. To them, open data may look like intangible, too theoretical and seemingly unimportant topic. Yet, non-technical and creative young people can be a great advantage. They can point out problems, select data based on their needs and give creative input on how to transform all this into an application. In order to facilitate this even more, the Datawijs series is in Dutch. This way, the Flemish youth is approached in their maternal language, making sure the language barrier is removed. Addressing teenagers and young adults in a visual, interactive and non-linear manner, is a good way to make open data easy approachable. The clips are designed to engage young people to take their first steps in open data. Not only will they benefit from it, by having the opportunity to create what they need, but also governments most certainly gain advantage by this. Their open data is used in useful applications and visualisations. In the long run, the now well-informed teens and young adults may even ask to open up the data they need. That’s why we consider it a must to transform digital natives into open data literates. The natives themselves and society benefit from it. By making the open data topic lightweight and easy to consume through an interactive video series, more young people might try to cross the open data bridge. It’s important open data becomes truly open to young people, as this will lead towards more and better use of it. Today, Datawijs is only available in Dutch. Luckily, the series is open source. We hope more versions of Datawijs will pop up in the near future, in order to reach out to digital natives everywhere.