Leveraging open data as an asset for inclusive and sustainable development - Event Report

Friday 5 March 2021
14:00 (EAT)
Online, Kenya (Europe, Middle East & Africa)
254 Youth Policy Cafe

On Saturday 6th March 2021, the eleventh Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising hundreds of events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme.

This event received an Open Knowledge Foundation mini-grant thanks to support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

How did your event celebrate open data?

The 254YPC organised a webinar on Zoom-themed “Open Data as an Asset for Inclusive and Sustainable Development” on the 5th of March to commemorate the 2021 Open Data Day celebrated on the 6th of March 2021.

The webinar brought together 50 participants on Zoom platform and over 100 views on YouTube. The webinar featured youthful speakers who actively rely on open data sources for their typical work. The panelist was drawn from both the public and private sector institutions including; The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, Standard Group PLC, Dalberg Consulting Group, and the National Youth Council.

The theme of the discussion included progress made in enhancing data availability and access for use in sustainable policy development; opportunities for open data in advancing the national and international development agenda; experience of non-state actors in leveraging existing data sources; challenges in utilizing existing data and research in youth advocacy; and possible mitigation measures to enhance uptake of data and research. The webinar created awareness of the opportunities to use open data for local content development in Kenya.

The webinar featured practical open data mining sessions that sensitised the participants of the different national and international websites that host open data day. This was demonstrated through a PowerPoint presentation and live data mining on KNBS and the World Bank open data sites.

As part of our campaign to commemorate Open Data Day we also published an article in today’s issue of Standard Media Group LLC on Data as an Asset for Water Management

The Webinar ended with call for action on four thematic areas which include:

Lessons learned from your event

Currently, there’s limited conversation between the producers of the data, and those in demand of the data – private and development sector, thus the open data collection is not always informed by market needs. Going forward, the consumer (general public, private sector, and development sector) data needs ought to inform decisions on what open data is collected.

There is need to incentivise the private sector to stimulate private sector models for data collection to ensure that the open data is timely and substantive. Leveraging the private sector would enable the adoption of innovations in data management such as data science and data engineering. Moreover, it’s essential to have the open data packaged in easily consumable formats by the diverse stakeholders.

Given that journalists convey open data and its social-economic implications to the general public, data journalism becomes an integral component in the capacity building of journalists. Thus the need for data journalism to sensitize the journalist on local open data sources. This could be done through government and private sector partnerships. Additionally, non-profit organisations such as 254 Youth Policy Café could take a role in sensitising local journalists on data sources in Kenya.

Why do you love Open Data Day?

Commemorating Open Data Day gave 254 Youth Policy Café team an opportunity to capacity build youths in Kenya on mining open data to use it for research that informs policy recommendations.

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