When it comes to open data, nobody should be left behind. While some countries and cities possess the technical capability, relevant skills and social capital to implement open data initiatives quickly and easily, in other parts of the world capacity is constrained, and resources scarce. It is incumbent upon those who are already advanced in the world of open data to support those hoping to take advantage of data’s potential benefits. It is also important to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to capacity building: identifying ‘best fit’ strategies for different countries, contexts and domains.
Thinking about the open data ecosystem in terms of both supply and demand, there are two largely separate audiences to be addressed by capacity building initiatives. On the supply side are governments, who might need support in opening up their own data, incorporating it into their own workflows, and using it internally. On the other, are what could be called “data intermediaries” and users – civil society, and journalists who need the skills to be able to understand how to use the data in their work, and make those results accessible to the public. Only by supporting both sides of the ecosystem can we ensure that open data lives up to its full potential.
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.
The following draft actions were developed through sessions at IODC15. You are invited to share your feedback on these actions using the comments box below. A final roadmap of actions will be published in mid-2015.
Key action: An Open Data Competency Map
In order to support greater co-ordination of capacity building efforts, and to help organisations embed open data skills within their own organisational development, an Open Data Competency Map will be developed by the OGP Open Data Working Group Capacity Building sub-group. It will present a comprehensive (though not exhaustive) map of the different clusters of skills, knoweldge and abilities required to successfully implement open data initiatives.
Additional action: Open Data Resource Catalogue
The Open Data Research Catalogue will provide in depth descriptions on the use, breath, scope, advantages and disadvantages of existing resources for open data implementation and use.
Additional action: Developing formal data science and open data education
We need schools, colleges and Universities to develop and provide high-quality formal courses and networked learning opportunities that focus on both data science skills, and upon open data issues. These can develop open data capacity through a range of different teaching and learning styles, addressing data skills in general, and building domain specific skills. They can enable the accreditation of open data skills.
Support is needed for the exchange of learning between course designers, and to support effective use of Open Educational Resources (OER) as part of course development.
Additional action: Building capacity, sector by sector
From agriculture to extractives, specific sectors face their own open data opportunities and challenges. Developing and adapting learning opportunities to specific sectors provides an opportunity for people to learn general open data skills in the context of applied problem solving around the issues they work on day-to-day.
Action anchors are taking a lead on shaping the conversation in the run up to the conference, and facilitating the conference session. They will be blogging about the key issues to be address, and existing initiatives that respond to the challenges in this area.
- Building capacities for all: Challenges & Opportunities May 30, 2015 - A guest post by Sherwin Ona on Capacity Building action sessions. The need to build capacities was one of the recurring themes in IODC 2015. The discussions on this topic have unpacked a plethora of challenges. Using a developing country perspective, here are some of the issues that can be used to frame capacity building efforts. […]
- Should we continue running open data training? May 28, 2015 - A guest post by Michael Canares based on the paper “Enhancing Citizen Engagement with Open Government Data”. As an educator and an adult learning facilitator for more than a decade, this question has been bugging me since I started working as a researcher on open data. The ODDC research projects highlighted the fact that if […]
- We need an Open Data Competency Map! May 14, 2015 - A guest post from Marcio Vasconcelos, Marcio is Chief of Technology for Social Change at Avina Foundation, Open Data Latin America Initiative coordinator at Avina and civil society representative for Latin America on the OGP Open Data Working Group. In my opinion, the problem statement formulated for International Open Data Conference action area “Capacity Building for All” […]
- Capacity building for all May 13, 2015 - 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. Supply From […]
- Building Open Data Capacity through e-Skills May 12, 2015 - A guest post by Zoran Mitrovic for the Capacity Building Action Track. The effective delivery and beneficial use of open data is inevitably dependent on ICT skills: ‘e-skills’. Yet e-skills – the ability to develop and/or use ICT to adequately participate in an increasingly technology-dominated world – are in a very short supply in developing […]
Proposals for addressing this challenge will be developed over the course of IODC15, and shared here shortly afterwards.