Open Data Day celebrated at Strathmore University

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  • 1 month ago
  • Posted: March 6, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Government and other stakeholders in the ICT sector today converged at Strathmore University to join the world in celebrating the International Open Data Day. The event running under the theme; ‘Towards sustainable open data access in Kenya’ seeks to address some of the challenges facing Kenya in terms of access to credible and reliable data for use in research and policy formulation.

With the growth of mobile technology and rise in internet penetration, more Kenyans have access to information online. The biggest challenge however, when it comes to data is that; plenty of good data exists – but there is limited accessibility and uptake for decision making and policy advocacy. Additionally, data is mostly not well packaged and contextualised for ease of use by a broad range of stakeholders which poses a challenge.

During his opening remarks, Dr.John Olukuru – Head of Data Science and Analytics @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University mentioned “Data driven decision making and data culture is very important when we talk about open data in Kenya. What initiatives are we as Kenyans undertaking to ensure both?”.

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 guarantees Kenya access to information and it is therefore important that the public is sensitized more on open data sources available and the importance of accessing such information to enable them (citizens) play their watchdog role more effectively.

 “One of the most effective ways to make sure we generate an effective loop is to make sure we safeguard the enforcement entities around data privacy.” Linet Juma, Project Officer at Local Development Research Institute.

This year’s open data event in Kenya was organised by a consortium of partners that include; Development Initiative, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, Africa Practice, Code for Africa, Map Kibera and the Local Development Research Institute. The half day event saw stakeholders discuss the challenges in the sector and opportunities available as well as showcase different open data platforms available in the market.

Speaking during the panel session Catherine Gicheru, Head of Code for Africa said “Open data should not only be the responsibility of the government but also the entity should make it easier for citizens to access information. There is need for collaboration”.

This year’s open data event in Kenya was organised by a consortium of partners that include; Development Initiative, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, Africa Practice, Code for Africa, Map Kibera and the Local Development Research Institute. The half day event saw stakeholders discuss the challenges in the sector and opportunities available as well as showcase different open data platforms available in the market.

Open Data Day is an international annual event for data enthusiasts to connect and build solutions to complex social issues together with the community by using open data. 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Open Data Day. Over the last decade, Open Data Day has evolved from a small group of people in a few cities across the world trying to persuade their governments about the value of open data, to a community of practitioners and activists that are putting data to use for their communities globally.

See also: East Africa Open Data Conference

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Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Analytics Ltd
Film Director, Tech and Business Blogger, Chess Player, and Photographer. God is Science.
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