Insights into Open Data Camp in Amsterdam

Web Foundation Workshop at ODC14
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The Open Data Camp had many exciting sessions and workshops packed in two very hectic days at Debalie, Amsterdam earlier this month. Speakers lineup was impressive which included organizations like Web Foundation, Open Corporates, Google.org, Oxfam, UNICEF making the sessions engrossing and thought provoking.

Numerous exciting sessions were scheduled that showcased good work done in open data projects including Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer and Web Index Project. which is measuring the use and adoption of IT in respect of Open Data by governments around the world. This year alone, over 80 countries were considered for the Web Index Project. During Day 2, Web Foundation team led by Aman Grewal and Carlos Iglesias discussed the data collected and issues pertaining to it.

The ODC14 gave us a chance to not only interact with thought leaders in the OpenData field but also provided us a rare opportunity to share our own experiences including successes and failures. It was interesting to see how Google.org has been collecting and using data to help during disasters in Haiti.

I personally enjoyed the hands-on workshop by Tim Davies on “Capacity Building Game” where each group was given a task to put together a project within a hypothetical budget (based on points) from a given slide of activities (rated with points) and to not only execute it but make it sustainable. The exercise raised as many questions as it helped to answer including why a certain approach is preferred even when it is not sustainable but expected by the donor.

ODC14 Amsterdam

There was also a hands-on workshop with embedded systems like Arduino boards, Littlebits and Raspberry Pi based open systems that one can use to collect data. In fact, one of the speakers from Waag even showcased their open source sensor kits for data sensors for environment data for Asia and Africa.

I personally think, such data camps must have a higher level of government decision makers attending and interacting with leading scholars in Open Data field. Only then, can we see a change happen at government level as currently, majority of the governments around the world not only lack knowledge but incentive as well to support such initiatives.

The following is a recording of one of the sessions in which I was on the panel and also presented. I spoke about challenges and opportunities of Open Data within the government and NGO structures in developing economies.

#6. ODC14: Corporations in Development + The Reality of Open Data in Developing Countries from De Balie on Vimeo.

More details about OpenDataCamp can be found here.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.
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