Volunteer Open Data & Communities Campaign Officer Opportunity

Are you passionate about using open data for social good and helping community activists to use it to improve their capacity? Perhaps you have an interest in data journalism or you’d like to gain experience of looking at open data or civic tech in a different light.

For years open data has been seen in an academic light, from its branding, image, and most importantly, its language. This has had a huge impact on civil society and voluntary sector not only using open data but seeking it out because they feel it is not relevant to them, we feel that is not right and with post-covid-19 challenges to come, open data can be a powerful tool for NGOs when it comes to funding, reporting and mapping social trends.

Photo: New Union volunteers in pre Coronvirus times

Communication is the most important factor of success, and you do not need to be a professor to realise that if a person does not understand something, it certainly won’t captivate them. If we were talking about quantum physics, it can get a little tricky to explain it, but open data is not quantum physics, is it?

As our dependence on digital services increases, open data can be used as a powerful aid to improve the capacity of our third sector organisations, from the tiny neighbourhood volunteering group to the larger aid-giving organisations. We feel it is time to recognise this and tailor outreach or at least sample local organisations to learn their training needs.

Over the last 3 years, we have been looking to change this, with workshops around the U.K. bringing together government officers and third sector workers to learn about open data together including designing a German toolkit with one of Europe’s biggest think tanks Die Bertelsmann Stiftung that will be rolled out across the country post-pandemic.

During lockdown, we ran a series of virtual policy hackathons with policymakers from around the world to create better open data policy in regards to NGO takeup in their country. When digital policy is written, it is almost certainly never digitalisation departments undertaking outreach activities, in this case, it is citizen engagement staff, meaning there will be none tech-minded community development departments leading on activities so it is more important than ever to ensure the policy is clear and understandable to avoid confusion or distortion of the original narrative.

This work was facilitated with a range of partners from The Government of Romania, Government of Scotland, Government of the Slovak Republic, Government of Colombia. Government of Palestine, Government of Kenya, Government of Ontario, and The Government of Sao Paulo.

We are looking for a passionate person to be part of this work and that is why we are looking for a creative individual who is passionate about tech for good and is interested in learning how we can use open data to improve the capacity of neighbourhood level third sector organisations across Europe.

Photo: A New Union volunteer interviewing former UK Government Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Margot James, on accessible tech

On this altruism project, you’ll help us to spread the word about the report by accessing our social media accounts, writing blogs, and creating a series of vlogs interviewing industry leaders, and giving you the freedom to bring your own ideas to the table.

Your duties:

⦿ To read the report and raw data from all of the international workshops to get accustomed to the project and the content you will be creating
⦿ Using the report to come up with content such as written articles and interview questions for vlogs with open data change-makers
⦿ Take part or having the opportunity to organise your own open data and communities virtual events
⦿ Posting related content on social media using Tweetdeck, if you feel comfortable

You’ll receive:

⦿ A weekly one to one meet up
⦿ A volunteer plan with weekly objectives so you will always have guidance but you will have the freedom to deviate with support
⦿ The opportunity to create networks with international leaders and you will of course be credit for all content you create
⦿ The opportunity to work on an international policy driver project
⦿ A written recommendation and certification at the end of your placement