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Open Data Day 2015 - What transpired

On Feb 21st 2015 Kampala joined many other cities around the world to celebrate Open data day. A team of up to 79 youthful innovators came together for the Open Data Day 2015 workshop which was held at Outbox to devise means on how to improve usage of available data resource on the various platforms and responsible offices.

View the event pictures on facebook.

The workshop had speakers from the Government, World Bank, CIPESA (askyourgov) and Code4Africa.

Among other speakers, Jeanne Holm from the World Bank talked about the U.S home to Open data, how effective it has been, what innovative tools have been built on top of it and what the learnings are.

Pierre also from the World Bank shared about the open data readiness assessment yet to be done by the World Bank, and also shared interesting examples of open data initiatives in Kenya and Burkina Faso among others.

Dr. Florence from Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) raised an observation siting the absence of data in local languages, and explained how UTAMU is solving this problem.

After presentations with a number of reactions and views from the audience, we had a plenary session discussing experience from some of the players already doing work in open data, highlighting stories of success and failure and revealing current issues and trends within the Uganda open data community.

Lillian from CIPESA presented on how their application AskYourGov is being used to access useful data from the government. AskYourGov.ug has been built to help members of the public get the information they want from Uganda public authorities and covers requests to 76 agencies in Uganda.

Renier from Mountbatten gave a presentation on social upgrade to data.ug, giving challenges faced in accessing and using data in Uganda.

Serah from joined to talk about building demand driven tools using open data. She gave great data tools they have worked on including sourceafrica, Gottovote and Wheremymoneydey. This was in a showcase of data-driven civic tools / services that have won significant traction elsewhere in East Africa, and/or Africa as a whole.

Data expedition sessions

During this session, four various fields/themes were suggested for a clear path. These themes included;

  1. Education
  2. Health
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Energy

Follow this link to learn what transpired with the Barabara team forcusing on Infrastructure.

Learning outcome

At the end of the day, participants had a wide knowledge and benefited in the following ways;

  1. Learnt more about open data and how to use/access it.
  2. Engaging local non-profits and companies in the uses of open data for the product and missions.
  3. Meeting and networking with tons of cool people in Kampala and around the world.
  4. Voicing their opinion and shareing ideas with the people attending.
  5. Find out about apps being created to support open data.
  6. Help out with parts of conceptualization, creation, design, advertisement and testing of apps.

Announcing the Open Data Challenge

The workshop was then crowned with announcment of the Open Data challenge. This was meant to encourage participants to continue working on their ideas or even create new ones on open data for the next two months. Participation was by either building open data apps, liberating sets of data, creating awesome journalistic stories from open data or even visualisations. Winners were to be judged and announced at the Open data initiative launch.

Open data day is a collection of citizens around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analysis using open public data to show support for and encourage adoption of open data policies by the World's local, regional and national governments.

Open Data Day event was organised by Outbox, datadotUG, and Development research and training.



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