Open Data Day – a celebration of open data initiatives across the globe championed environment and human rights

Who knew data could champion human rights and environment globally. But it does and that’s the motto that underlines Open Data Day held every year. In the recently concluded Open Data Day 2017 on March 4, cases of open data mapped to communities were presented. The idea of the global event, now in its seventh edition is to encourage adoption of “open data policies in government, business and civil society”. According to their web page, “All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use.”  The underlying objective is to “foster opportunities to learn and help the global open data community grow”.

From tackling environmental themes such as floods, deforestation to air and water pollution and tracking public money flows, the event covers a gamut of issues that affects our day to day life by bringing data to the fore. The global event was open to all – designers, developers, citizens, statisticians and of course the general public.

The event saw countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, Tanzania among others conduct live events such as public safety hackathons, weekend-long contests, and even talks centered on clustering analysis through open data.


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Here’s a bit of trivia on International Open Data Day that came into being in 2010. The international event was first proposed by David Eaves in 2010 followed by a brainstorming session between Edward Ocampo-Gooding, Mary Beth Baker, Daniel Beauchamp, Pedro Markun, and Daniela Silva.

According to a news report, the top 5 countries that championed the use of open data were Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Argentina, Nigeria and Mexico. In fact, Mexico is hailed as leading country when it comes to open governance, regionally and globally. The country’s open data portal comprises of 16,500 datasets curated from 221 public institutions. The open data initiative brings minds from the data science and academic background to analyze crucial issues such as maternal health and improving maternal mortality.

Its focus goes beyond publishing to creating real impact, such as bringing academics and data scientists together to analyze maternal health data for factors that contribute to maternal mortality.

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Richa Bhatia
Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.

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