4th IODC

Blog IODC 2016
Madrid. October 6-7, 2016


Capacity building for all

May 13, 2015 by IODC0

A guest post from the Capacity Building action leads, inviting input into a survey of capacity building need.

Since the wake of open data, capacity building has been at the core of the challenges that must be met so as to reap the value and benefits that reusable information can bring for all.


From one side, governments have long discussed the supply side of capacity building: the ability of governments to publish high value, quality data, in the technical and legal formats that enable its use, reuse and redistribution. This requires the right infrastructure and technical capacities in public servants to clean, transform, and publish data. From the use of tools like Open Refine, to the development of APIs and open data catalogues, it is the IT skills, the ones mostly lacking in government agencies.


From the other side, the open data community has started to discuss the demand side of capacity building: the ability of all user sectors -including governments- to use the open data to create value. This requires the necessary technical knowledge to use abilities such as statistical analysis, coding or developing dynamic visualizations to make sense out of what otherwise, would seem senseless numbers in a spreadsheet or JSON.

Beyond tech capacities

But there is more. From setting adequate, open and participatory public policies and building high political support, to getting hold of funds to implement open data projects; or from building successful communication strategies to inserting open data as a key enabler of the international agenda in the G20 or the Sustainable Development Goals, there is more to capacity building than the common technical issues we all face in the Open Data community.

Capacity building at the IODC

It is because of this set of complex, interconnecting challenges that when it comes to Open Data, nobody should be left behind.

By supporting global and local programs for data literacy, capacity building, and public service training, civil society organizations, governments (national and sub-national), the private sector, media and citizens can help to ensure that open data can have a positive impact on the lives of all people, regardless of where they live.

With the upcoming International Open Data International Conference (IODC) around the corner, we invite you to participate in the efforts to build the first comprehensive manual of activities, events and resources, that are being used around the world to solve these challenges.

As a first step, we invite you to participate in a short survey that will help us identify resources being used around the world. This will help us get the necessary feedback and ideas to enrich the discussions at the IODC, and shape the capacity building efforts around open data for the coming years.

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