Connecting with the open data scene in Future Makers Global: can you help?

Following a suggestion by @Hegazy, we are reaching out to open data scenes in all countries involved in FutureMakers Global. Like everything in FMG, this has two sides: one official (the policy level) and one grassroots (the community level).

In the case of Egypt, a Google search revealed an official open data initiative (English info here, but they looks out of date); and a recent open data hackathon, also official.

Three of the six FMH countries (Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine) participate to the Open Government Partnership, an inter-governmental initiative aimed at creating standards for open government practices. This might be a starting point: OGP countries submit action plans, which will typically include a description of the state of open data in the country. @Inge, @Iriedawta@Noemi: can you have a look?

Then, we also need to connect to the open data communities in those countries. I have plenty of international contacts in the EU (I am part of that scene myself), but not outside. Does anybody have any idea? Do we know any open data geek in Armenia, Belarus (I think @Mikhail_Volchak was doing some open data stuff…), Egypt, Georgia, Morocco and Ukraine?

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Also: opendataforafrica.org

The African Development Bank has a friendly-looking site that collects and displays datasets from all over Africa. Anybody wants to get in touch with them and ask them whether they can point us to leading people (university professors, grassroots groups, government officials) in Egypt and Morocco? http://opendataforafrica.org/about/contact

OKF egypt

adding : open knowledge foundation egypt is already active, we can collaborate and reach out to their network of open data geeks.

OKF Egypt

@Hazem & @Alberto OKF Egypt, is running by Tarek Amr (@gr33ndata) one of Mwazna cofounders. I know him personally and @Hegazy has contacted him. OpenMENA, I’m a contributor involved with translation, I’ll send to Rayna (@MaliciaRouge) about FMG and see if she can join or not.

There is also A2K4D, a research centre in the American University in Cairo, headed by Dr. Nagla Rizk.

Great work everyone!

@Hegazy, please do go ahead and contact A2K4D. If you are unsure on how to do it, get back to me and we will do it together. Same thing for you, @SamarAli, and OpenMENA (do you have a link for that?).

Meanwhile, UNDP has confirmed they are in good partnership terms with Egypt’s official open data initiatives. We shall meet somebody involved in them during next week’s mission.

Really proud of you guys :slight_smile:

Introduction email

I made an introduction email to Rayna, you and Nadia, waiting your replies to Rayna so she understands what Future Makers Global is about?

And how she can contribute to us.

Jumpstart etc

Yes, jumpstart is pretty big in the open data discussion in Georgia. @ericnbarrett will be able to tell us more. But the initiatives mentioned previously by @Khatuna (chemi parlamenti & votes parliament) are interesting to follow. And we should get in touch with people from Transparency International Georgia office. I know @HeatherY’s partner Eugene works there, perhaps he knows people working on the Open Data project?

good project from Ukraine

Dear friends,

in Ukraine there are several initiatives, aiming to create e-goverment, and open data for ease of communication and minimize corruption. One of the good examples is the NGO called SocialBoost (socialboost.com.ua), an NGO that promotes and coordinates open data initiatives. It’s founder, Denis Gursky, an aquiantance of mine, has been recently appointed as the advisor to the Prime Minister for e-goverment open data for the Ukrainian goverment.

Govermental side of the project has beraucracy and political difficulties. But the NGO does a lot of good initiatives and combines active people in this sense in Ukraine and beyond.

Would be happy to get you in touch and provide more information/video on the matter.

Natalie

nataliegryvnyak@gmail.com

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History

@nataliegryvnyak that sounds very interesting. Do you have some extra information regarding the history of SocialBoost?

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Not a problem)

Sure. It’s an NGO that was created by media professional Denis Gursky who aims to connect civil society with governmental institutions through open data. Now they are involved in state projects such as data.goa.ua and ogp.gov.ua, in addition of creation lot’s of public services and interactive maps. Was created in 2011, and mostly are organizing hackatons and creating a platform for open data initiatives.

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:))

@nataliegryvnyakI’m so glad I told you about the engagement opportunity, I feel like you really fit in with your knowledge about interesting projects and with your skills :). Full disclosure: I’ve known Natalie since 2009 and have always been very impressed with her work (and besides that, she’s a great person!). I hope you get the gig, Natalie, would be great working together!

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Contacts in Morocco

I contacted Enactus a hackerspace in Casablanca yesterday, haven’t heard back from them yet, will call tomorrow to see if they are willing to meet up.

I will also contact Open Data for Africa and see if they have any useful contacts.

My priority right now is finding and engaging the right people in Morocco. So far I can not report any success but I am still waiting for some people’s feedback and they are going to spread the word in their circles too, so hopefully we will have someone with @Alberto in Rabat and Casablanca.

Concerning open data geeks in Armenia I only know Kolba Lab but will dig into it next month when i’m in Yerevan. Still looking through OGP reports on Armenia…

French help for public transport - Egypt connection

@Hegazy

The organization is called CODATU

Open last report, search for: “Ali S. HUZAYYIN” - see if he could be hi-level leverage.

open data conference

FYI: georgia’s gov organized an open data conference last week, just saw the press release now…

@trythis I opened the link which seems quite interesting, yet I’m a bit lost. How can Mr. Ali be of help? 

@nataliegryvnyak Jumpstart looks very cool, I will definitely contact sometime soon!

I just attended a meeting at the IDRC (International Development Research Centre, Canada) here in Cairo with Reyna, A2K4D and many more discussing the data revolution. I think we’re on to the start of something here, in Cairo

It was just a general pointer

Which is so say:

What I usually do in such a case, where I find someone who is a potential collaborator are a few different things:

If the contact looks like he would probably be more useful to someone else I usually just pass it on with a minimum of research work done on my side (basically what just happened).

If the other side (you in this case) thinks he is interesting, I encourage them to look if they find anything more that is even more interesting “between me and them”. Basically looking at the network around - and especially between - our three nodes. I have not gotten around to researching his “internet footprints” in more detail though. I assume there won’t be much to find apart from publications and perhaps some research projects he may have been involved in. If we find those it could tell us a lot about his interests (and where his financial sources are). For example he was the lead author on this article two years ago http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0739885912001072 (Analysis of thirty years evolution of urban growth, transport demand and supply, energy consumption, greenhouse and pollutants emissions in Greater Cairo). I think I remember you (and others here) were Cairean cyclists. If you have “transport” and “greenhouse” in one sentence then cycling is “in the air” at minimum. I think I told you I had a (Vienna) city planner contact with and empirical “cycling transport science PhD project” wife. So that may be a pretty good fit. Unfortunately I don’t have here direct contact details yet - but I will try to fix that soon (probably this week). In the meantime one could assume she is in this network: http://www.ecf.com/projects/scientists-for-cycling/ and look if there is a corner of the network that is particularly interesting for Cairo (google scholar is helpful here). E.g. an experiment that went relatively well in principle but they need to collect more data (e.g. including non-Central-European cities). One could then ask if you could piggyback onto the ongoing effort and perhaps re-use their hardware locally to produce more data for them in return for some reasonable financial compensation/a collaborative proposal for funding lead by them further down the road.

Basically the third step would be actively hunting for “the missing puzzle piece” to complete a team that could e.g. write a proposal for funding of a project (or similar), or just wait until the puzzle piece arrives by itself.