What About ‘Creating’ Open Data?
I spent a good part of my afternoon yesterday following the proceedings at the Connected Kenya Summit which is aims to establish a platform for collaboration, capacity building and priority sharing between government and the IT sector with a view of linking and hastening implementation of government IT projects to world class standards.
One of the sessions, “Knowledge Diffusion & Open Data” focused heavily on the Kenya Open Data Initiative – its challenges and opportunities. The panel for this session was made up of the following people:
- Cam Cadwell, National Account Manager, Socrata
- Dr Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication
- Dr Katherine Getao, ICT Secretary, Directorate of eGovernment
- Marisella Ouma, CEO, Copyright Board
- Chris Finch, World Bank
- Paul Kukubo – CEO, Kenya ICT Board
Almost every one of these guys called out techies to make use of the open data portal by creating apps etc.
Techies reacted naturally: update the data.
Simple argument: Techies thrive in an environment that’s constantly moving fast with new technologies, new knowledge and new skills. So data that’s dated 2009 is very unappealing to this group.
That’s the boring stuff. Here’s the exciting part.
Rather than focus our efforts on asking the Government & other open data stakeholders like the World Bank to update their datasets, why don’t we participate in the open data movement by ‘creating’ open data? Here’s an example: setting up sensors on a public road to monitor and gather traffic data.
Chris Finch from the World Bank spoke about personal data and its value towards improving people’s lives if strategically mined to do so.
Why not build an open data portal and apps that aggregate citizen generated data?
The major value add here is that the data is real time and in that sense timely. This is critical because data made available as quickly as necessary preserves the value of the data – a core principle according to the Open Government Data Principles.
This also addresses the frustration of ‘old’ data on the existing data platforms.
Build on this?