At the best of times open data can be a confusing subject, from it’s academic language to it’s highly corporate image. But, one of the small positive impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has highlighted the importance of good data and imperatively, ensuring that it is presented in a way that everybody can understand to ensure people understand public safety issues.
During the latter stages of 2020, we designed and facilitated a series of virtual policy hackathons with Governments from around the world looking at how we can improve government open data outreach open data policy in regards NGO outreach - evidently, a lot of the deadbate was around the Covid-19 pandemic.
Off the back of this feedback we thought it was a good opportunity to develop a piece of work to a sample of people from government and third sector backgrounds to see what they think. So, we used the observations from that work and created a new workshop, teaming up with Open Data Kosovo who are based in their capital city Pristina and Metamorphosis Foundation in North Macedonia.
It was 3 events that took place over 2 weeks in November 2020, funded by The United States Embassy in Kosovo and United States Agency for International Development, respectively.
“Open Data outreach to NGOs is immensely important during this period of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While conducting open data outreach extends the possibility of data-driven approaches and informed decision-making, it also enables a more sustainable, innovative, and transparent ecosystem.” - Paulina Behluli, Open Data Kosovo (read her full blog on the workshop, here).
“The participants found very helpful the recommendations that Nathan provided about how we can communicate our open data agenda to community groups and how we can bring them on board going forward. In this regard it was said that open data shouldn’t be a closed club just for those who are in the know, it should be open to all. From what was discussed it was concluded that it is really important to know your market and to tailor how you explain open data.” - Marija Nikoloska Arsovska, The Metamorphosis Foundation (read her full blog on the workshop, here).
With the Open Data vs Covid-19 workshop we had the opportunity to shine a light on some of the issues on trust in data and their thoughts on humanising data which participants can carry forward and potentially implement some of that learning to influence future policy driver projects in Kosovo and North Macedonia.
This was a fascinating project and you can access the project report at the bottom of the page - if you would like to run a similar project, we uploaded a generic version of the logo to Pixabay, feel free to download that, here.