Open Knowledge Ireland Mon, 26 May 2014 18:35:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 114359117 Interested in piloting public feedback on government policy? Mon, 26 May 2014 18:35:23 +0000 Participate in a small 1st trial to help us show government what it could look like:


2 weeks left to provide views and comments on the 1st Irish OGP Action Plan!

Open Knowledge Ireland are piloting a more transparent and open way of providing feedback and input to the OGP Action Plan that was recently published in PDF format. (Link via press release).


If you would like to participate in the pilot and help raise awareness of how online tools maybe used for public feedback loops please respond to with your name for further instructions. Sooner the better, as always:-)
More Background
The problem with the currently suggested way of citizen input (by email to does not give citizens insights into what suggestions were made. Subsequently citizens are left unable to evaluate the Action Plan versus what citizens want/need.Read: We won’t be able to hold the government accountable to follow-up on their promise of ‘participation & co-creation’ or in other words you can participate but there is no need for the government to take into account anything that is being said.
Open Government Partnership – Minister Publishes Ireland’s Draft National Action Plan Thu, 08 May 2014 17:00:12 +0000 Draft OGP National Action Plan 06-05-14 – Tell us What you Think in the Comment section below. by Open Knowledge Ireland

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Time Schedule Dublin Civil Society Day Thu, 01 May 2014 00:15:11 +0000 agenda

Open Data Ireland community’s wishlist for Insight/NUIG Report on Government’s Open Data Strategy Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:00:18 +0000 [OGP NAP Open Data section – w/ community comments]

From: All: Feedback on best practice standard from Open Data IRL Community as requested by Stephan Decker and Deirdre Lee (Insight/NUIG) during hangout on 7 April 2014

What is Open Data?

[OKF] “A piece of content or data is open if you are free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.” (OKF) Generally, this means that the data should be released in a format that is free of royalties and other IP restrictions.

[ODI] Open data is information that is available for anyone to use, for any purpose, at no cost. Open data has to have a license that says it is open data. Without a licence, the data can’t be reused. The licence might also say:

  • that people who use the data must credit whoever is publishing it (this is called attribution)
  • that people who mix the data with other data have to also release the results as open data under open licenses.

Why should Open Data be free?

  • Open data does not mean that a government or other entity releases all of its data to the public. It would be unconscionable for the government to give out all of your private, personal data to anyone who asks for it. Rather, open data means that whatever data is released is done so in a specific way to allow the public to access it without having to pay fees or be unfairly restricted in its use. (OS)
  • (G8 -6) Freely available government data can be used in innovative ways to create useful tools and products that help people navigate modern life more easily. Used in this way, open data are a catalyst for innovation in the private sector, supporting the creation of new markets, businesses, and jobs. Beyond government, these benefits can multiply as more businesses adopt open data practices modelled by government and share their own data with the public.
  • (G8 -7) [The G8 agrees] that open data are an untapped resource with huge potential to encourage the building of stronger, more interconnected societies that better meet the needs of our citizens and allow innovation and prosperity to flourish.

1. What high-value datasets should be published?

  • Geospatial Data (broken out as many different owners for various datasets. Also included is the examples of what is being requested and/or type of metadata needed to make this useful. Where “name” is listed, both Irish & English if available. All data below to include long/lat coords for single point references or shapefiles for area references)
  • Postcodes
  • Addresses (Full breakdown by building and by structure within e.g. apartments)
  • Boundary data (National, County, City, Suburb, Townland, Census SA, Electoral Division, etc)
  • Road Network (Ref #’s, names, classification, lit/unlit, bridge info e.g. height’s & widths)
  • Topography
  • National Maps
  • Waterways (Navigation, depths, berths, names, source, underground yes/no, rivers, streams, ditches, lakes  etc)
  • Soil data (soil type, acidity, etc)
  • Natural Heritage Area’s (boundary, operator, name)
  • Bogs (type, protected yes/no, operator)
  • Social Facilities (Garda Stations, Courts, Hospitals, Primary Care Centers, GP’s, Dentists, Care Homes etc – name, operator, contact details)
  • Sports Facilities (sport, team, operator)
  • Schools (patron, mixed yes/no, name, level)
  • Voting Stations
  • Government offices/departments (name, contact details, under which dept. etc)
  • Energy (power plants to include renewables, plant type, power lines, line capacity, substations, reference #’s, names)
  • Playgrounds (surface, facilities)
  • Crime data (Crime statistics, safety, location of crimes, accidents)
  • Health data (Prescription data, performance data, source location)
  • Education (List of schools; performance of schools, digital skills)
  • Election data (results, location, party, etc)
  • Energy and Environment (Pollution levels, energy consumption)
  • Finance and contracts (Transaction spend, contracts let, call for tender, future tenders, local budget, national budget (planned and spent))
  • Global Development: Aid, food security, extractives, land
  • Statistics: National Statistics, Census, infrastructure, wealth, skills
  • Government Accountability and Democracy: Government contact points, election results, legislation and statutes, salaries (pay scales), hospitality/gifts
  • Science and Research: Genome data, meteorological data, research and educational activity, experiment results

2. What licences should Open Data Ireland use?

  • CC-0 or at most CC-BY version 4
  • Public Domain
  • GNU General Public License (software)

3. How to engage data users?

  • Create a feedback portal for each dataset so that errors & omissions can be fed back to improve the data for all users
  • Ensure that there is a mechanism whereby new datasets can be requested. Ensuring requests are not denied/ignored by government agencies may be a function of The Open Data Governance Board, or the Steering and Implementation Group, as the commitment to open data must be monitored and enforced.
  • Hackathons
  • Open Educational Resources

4. How to encourage data reuse (civic/economic)?

  • Set a seed-fund for data driven start ups and civic initiatives.
  • Run competitions to see what innovative ways data can be used.
  • Develop Application Programming Interfaces (API) to data repositories and publish user documentation to promote easy retrieval.
  • Partner with Universities and EU research initiatives to identify data repositories which can be linked.

5. How to evaluate impact?

  • Case studies to be performed on most frequently consumed datasets

6. What benchmarking system for Open Data should be used?

  • ODI Certification

7. Metadata standards?

  • DDI, or ISO19115, or the minimal Dublin Core standard.

8. other?

  • We need a general policy which states that ‘Open is the default for information. All information that is open can be accessed free of charge. Exceptions from openness must give plausible reasons and must be weighed against their costs and their effects on the rights to information.’
Last Meeting of the Joint OGP Working Group between 5 civil society group members and the D/PER Team Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:49:20 +0000 First things first:

  • Last Meeting of the Joint OGP Working Group between 5 civil society group members and the DPER Team. We were never in favour of these closed group meetings as the only way to communicate on drafting the OGP Action Plan. We raised wider consultation, online channels and more open channels of communication at every opportunity but those were dismissed. This is something we would like to see the Government do better on next time round.

Anyway, we attended all these meetings including the last one and here are the talking points we addressed with the comments and answers received by the Team in the Government Reform Unit.

Details about timeline for OGP Action Plan.

Open Data Section of OGP Action Plan (alternative version shared with DPER prior this meeting):

  • To achieve some successes early on our proposal is:

    • 1 day workshop led by DPER project manager with commitment owners – put in place a 6 month project plan to pilot OGP commitments

    • benefit is that you can start with a pilot phase straight after publishing the action plan & can work towards having an agile project plan

    • pilot the portal, pull in Insight, pilot open data training and pilot the change agenda. OKF can help deliver these parts and can help prepare such a project plan. The leanings from this pilot will be great inputs for the overall plan

    • amend commitment 1.5 in the open data piece to put in place a ‘project board’ with a DPER project manager rather than waiting until the capacities have been built for for an Implementation Group or a Governance Board

    • This pilot project board can then be reformed to include the strategy boards in time.

[This idea was largely dismissed] DPER’s reason: DPER is in consultation with Insight and awaiting there report. It’s a good idea, but they are in consultation with Insight and awaiting report from them (x 5 times). But they’ll take ‘something’ out of it into account….

Other points:

  • Communication between now and publishing draft & final? Who do we contact in case a question comes up or a timeline needs to be confirmed?

A: “Via email”, but they claim that they “don’t know” what is going to happen next. (It was mentioned that Claire is available till the end of May)

  • Will there be 4 weeks of public consultations – terms of this public consultation? May 7th – June 7th? how can people provide feedback? Recommending to publish all feedback from a possible consultation next to the final action plan so that people have the opportunity to understand the impact of their contribution?

A: They “don’t know” yet. They’ll let us know soon….

  • Comments on the final draft rec’d Tuesday: we will ask DPER to take into account the comments in the document as well as the alternative suggestions for introductions for when they draft their final version.

A: They don’t have time and capacity to deal with them.

  • Will they share the final version that will go to government for approval?

A: Most probably not… There is very little time left… etc, etc..

  • OGP Action Plan format: We believe that anything aspirational or not confirmed should be deleted. At this time the plan is way too long and commitments should be made up of bullet points & in plain language including the following items:

    • 2-3 lines description of the commitment

    • Supporting Civil Society Organisations

    • Impact and Vision – 1 paragraph

    • Context – 1 paragraph

    • Timescales for milestones

    • Means – who will drive the commitment and who will challenge

    • Feedback Loop – who will be asked for feedback on progress and how will feedback & progress update be published

    • Grand Challenges – which grand challenges are addressed

I’ve read out all the above points about NAP format loud and clear; and I constantly reiterated that we were supposed to learn from the best practice (and was told “Denis will not give DPER golden medal for this consultation”)

In general, DPER:

  • Deeply offended by ‘uncivilized’ comments online

  • It’s our first plan… There was not enough time, resources etc. etc.

  • Yes, we could’ve learned from experiences of others, but it’s our 1st plan, (why should we…)

  • Why we are constantly referring to the UK? We should do it in our own way…

  • We don’t know “how good NAP is gonna be at the end”; “may be you will be happy”

Ingo’s introduction was dismissed. Anne’s intro was found favorable. We (CSF) should submit our proposed introduction till next Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

What’s going to happen next? They claim not to know….

Stay focused.

Open Letter Addressed to Minister Brendan Howlin asking to commit to dropping FOI/AIE fees as part of Ireland’s 1st OGP Action Plan Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:02:22 +0000 Signatories at the bottom

Why Now:

The Minister is talking about the Freedom of Information Bill but not about fees. The OGP Action Plan provides a new opportunity but it is being dismissed.


The Opportunity
This Open Letter highlights the opportunity that the Government has as part of the OGP Action Plan and its commitment to the Open Government Partnership to change course in the FOI legislation that is currently being debated. We are asking the minister to drop all fees at all stages of FOI and AIE requests and to include this as a commitment in the forthcoming 1st Irish OGP Action Plan. 


The Open Letter was formulated and signed by the Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland in conjunction with a host of Irish & International FOI subject matter experts, national and international organisations specializing in freedom of information and government transparency and a host of individuals and group members that see the need to finally #abolishFOIfees in Ireland.

You can still sign if you feel strongly about FOI and AIE fees. Please sign in the comments section and we pull your signatures into the list periodically in the run up to the May Regional OGP Conference that takes place in Dublin Castle (register)


The Need
The need for the open letter arises from the fact that this proposed commitment has been struck from the current draft OGP Action Plan by the department irrespective of the recommendations from the public meetings and the group of civil society actors that has been reviewing the evolving draft over the past 2 months.


Relevance: Irish Citizens consider free of charge freedom of information requests a basic human right and an OGP priority
Citizens who participated in 3 public meetings in Wood Quay during the consultation on Ireland’s participation in the Open Government Partnership between July and September 2013 highlighted “abolishing fees for all stages of FOI and Access to Environmental Information (AIE) requests” as an OGP priority’. A vote was put forward at the last public meeting on Sept. 5th and it was carried unanimously.

Contact: Denis Parfenov (+353863850044 / or Flora Fleischer (+353851587423 /


[Updated with Signatures 17-4-2014] Open Letter Asking Minister Howlin to Re-Assess Possibility to Drop FOI… by Open Knowledge Ireland



Groups and Organisations


  1. Access Info Europe, Helen Darbishire

  2. An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, Andrew Jackson

  3. ARTICLE 19, Global Campaign for Free Expression and Information

  4. Active Citizen and Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland, Denis Parfenov

  5. Active Citizen, Martin Wallace

  6. Campaign for Freedom of Information, Maurice Frankel

  7. CiviQ, Vanessa Liston

  8. Claiming our Future, Anna Visser

  9. Crosscare Migrant Project, Joe O’Brien

  10. Centre for Law and Democracy, Toby Mendel

  11. Friends of the Irish Environment, Tony Lowes

  12. German OGP Working group (, Christian Heise

  13. Global Integrity, Alan Hudson

  14. Green Party / Comhaontas Glas, Eamon Ryan

  15. IrelandOffline (, Eamonn Wallace – Chairman

  16. IRLOGI, Richard Cantwell – Vice President

  17. Obong Denis Udo-Inyang Foundation, Nigeria, Emem Udo-Inyang

  18. Open Knowledge Foundation, Rufus Pollock

  19. Open Knowledge Foundation Belgium, Pieter-Jan Pauwels

  20. Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V., Christian Heise

  21. Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland, Flora Fleischer

  22. Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland, Salua Nassabay

  23., Patrice McDermott

  24. Oxfam Ireland, Jim Clarken

  25. Request Initiative, Lucas Amin

  26. Second Republic, Jonathan Victory

  27. Second Republic, Oliver Moran

  28. TASC, Nat O’Connor

  29. TASC and Transparency International Ireland, Nuala Haughey

  30. The Climate Gathering, Ryan Meade

  31. The Environmental Pillar

  32. Transparency International Ireland, John Devitt

In personal capacity


  1. Peter Bofin

  2. Rodney Breen

  3. David Brennan, CEO Dublin City Business Association

  4. Sharon Briggs PBP

  5. Sergy Cernega.CEO-NGO Justice for All

  6. Anne Colgan

  7. Bernadette Connolly, Cork Environmental Forum

  8. Dave Corley – Openstreetmap Ireland Member

  9. Gerard Cunningham, freelance journalist, chairman Dublin Freelance NUJ branch

  10. Shawn Day – Lecturer

  11. Clare Daly – TD

  12. D Dennison, Salmon & Sea Trout Recreational Anglers of Ireland, WLR

  13. Michael Ewing, The Environmental Pillar

  14. Kevin Flanagan

  15. Trish Forde-Brennan,Community Activist and Environmentalist Limerick

  16. Ken Foxe, Journalist

  17. Constantin Gurdgiev – Economist

  18. John Handelaar — and

  19. Mick Herrity- The Woodland League

  20. Dwight E. Hines, IndyMedia

  21. Cory-Ann Joseph

  22. Stephen Kavanagh – Unemployed

  23. Ingo Keck – Physicist

  24. Fred Logue

  25. Angela Long – Lecturer and Researcher

  26. Lyn Mather – The Woodland League

  27. Stephen Murphy, Retired Member of the Permanent Defence Force

  28. Daragh O Brien, Data Governance Consultant

  29. Mindy O’Brien, Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE)

  30. Donal O’Brolchain

  31. Diarmuid O’Flynn, Ballyhea Says No

  32. Richard O’Halloran – Self Employed

  33. Tomás Ó Maonaile

  34. Thomas Pringle TD

  35. Pauline Sargent – Community Activist Drimnagh (

  36. Gavin Sheridan – Journalist

  37. Tommy Simpson

  38. Edward Stevenson

  39. Andrew St Ledger -The Woodland League

  40. Aine Ryall, Cork

  41. Conor Ryan, Journalist

  42. Liz Wallace



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Weekly Round-Up 31/3/2014 Mon, 31 Mar 2014 23:12:17 +0000 What happened in the OKF Ireland world last week you ask? Where do we fit in the Irish open data, transparency, accountability and citizen participation debate? – You have come to the right place to find out.

We are trialing a new form of weekly updates where we aim to keep you posted and highlight what we found interesting, impressive, disappointing, exciting, and so on. All of these will usually be related to projects that we are currently working on. – Commenting encouraged.

Exciting …!

Denis on our team is working tiredly to organise the Civil Society Day as a fringe event to the official European Regional OGP Conference that takes place 8-9th May. More info coming in the next weeks, but it looks to be a great networking evening with topical & focussed 15 min talks.

Interesting …

William Beaussang the Head of the Government Reform Unit and part of our weekly joint working group meetings with DPER has written a piece on Ireland’s OGP journey. Here is the link to the blog post on the OGP website where you can actually comment. They won’t let you comment on their own press release.


Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have told us they do not have time to research best practices around introducing programming and coding as compulsory in our schools. First of all – thanks for letting us know that there is no time to research citizen requirements! Second of all, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY – what the heck?! There’s a tech revolution going on and Ireland doesn’t want to take the chance to jump on the band wagon now? The UK are doing it from September this year. Estonia is teaching its 7- year olds for years!!

Appointments – always free to attend if interested

1/4/2014 – Weekly meeting with the OGP civil society group. 3/4/2014 – weekly meeting of the joint working group to draft Ireland’s 1st OGP Action Plan. 5/4/2014 – Meeting with OGP Conference planning group. Don’t worry – we’ll have all of those covered if you don’t fancy 3 meetings a week. We keep reminding people to utilize ‘The Online’ – but the change is slow or non-existent. 5/4/2014& 9/4/2014Meetings with Dept.s of Environment and Justice.


OGP Action Plan

[27/3/2014] We had our 7th meeting with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to discuss the latest draft of the OGP Action Plan which the civil society group had consolidated the Tuesday beforehand. Still very much work in progress but DPER has agreed to continue their work and flesh out the commitments under consideration of the comments made by citizens which you can see in the draft. All DPER Action Points from the meeting of the joint working group.

DPER Minutes 31-3-2014

[25/3/2014] We also met with other OGP ninjas at our weekly civil society meeting. Our notes.


What’s on our Reading List

Flora: Working on an open letter to Minister Howlin asking to drop FOI fees – so it’s been all about FOI last week. Says it all – The letter sent to Minister Howlin by Access Info Europe & the Center of Law and Democracy last year after reading this and this

Denis:  14-Year-Old Proves U.S. Can Save $370 Million by Changing Fonts. He also read How to ensure #opendata policies are being implemented w/ the public interest in mind? Enter the Open Data Ombudsman 

Salua: There is only one problem… to old (2010) …but really interesting! Salua also talks about the Civil Society Day we told you about earlier on her own blog – little bit more info than what we have given you above!

Weekly Twitter Snapshot


OGP Action Plan: Meetings with Departments of Justice and Environment Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:15:09 +0000 As we are continuing our work to collaborate on drafting Ireland’s 1st OGP Action Plan in a Joint Working Group the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform D/PER has helped us to set up 2 meetings with members of civil society and officials from the Department of Justice and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.


4th April 2014, 2.30pm, Custom House – Meeting with Department of Environment on Aarhus and citizen participation

9th April 2014, 11am, 94 St. Stephen’s Green – Meeting with Department of Justice on UNCAC and official secrets

Click to Attend


The group of citizens and civil society organisation involved in collaborating on Ireland’s OGP Action Plan have asked for these meetings to discuss further the opportunities for more citizen participation, transparency and accountability in and of government. As these will be the overarching themes for the conversation. But all interested citizens, organizations or business are welcome to attend. If interested you MUST indicate your attendance by adding your name to via the link above. If you are interested but cannot attend in person you can also add your questions to the same document.


Click Here if you would like to review the current draft of the 1st Irish OGP Action Plan. Please note this is a work very much in progress and the document is open for commentary. We will raise commentary to the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform and ask that it be considered when preparing the Action Plan.


OGP_OKFirl Logo





International Open Data Day Ireland – RoundUp (#ODD14) Wed, 26 Feb 2014 01:33:37 +0000 In Ireland Open Data Day was celebrated on February 22nd 2014 in Dublin with work on 4 open data and civic projects. Around 70 people – data wranglers, coders, activists, civil society representatives and interested citizens – volunteered their time and participated actively in the different projects.

The event took place from 10am – 7pm so we got a lot of work done even with great food for lunch and dinner in between!

Here are members of the Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland (OKF Ireland) giving you the lowdown of what happened at Open Data Day Dublin:

What is Open Data Day?

International Open Data Day is a community initiative to make and spread open data. 150 events world wide where participants gather online or in person to make things with and around open data. Open Data day in Ireland has been organised by and for the Irish community and anyone was invited to get involved. 70 participants in total took part in Saturday’s event and their time and expertise proved invaluable as we were able to progress greatly with their help and were able to build teams aro

und specific projects.

What did you work on?

Volunteers worked on a couple of pre-defined projects but also had a chance to work on new projects pitched on the day. The beauty of those events is that you are putting anyone with an idea or a particular problem together into a room with someone or a group of people who can help you and others solve this problem with the expertise and technology we have available today.  You’re essentially able to build teams around projects and co-create solutions.

So there were 4 main strands of projects that volunteers took part in on Saturday:

  1. A book sprint to create a open license and free of charge textbook for programming in Irish schools
  2. A public policy project where people could get involved in shaping Ireland’s 1st OGP Action Plan (Ireland committed sign up to the Open Government Partnership in 2013)
  3. A data audit and analysis project with the goal to visualize for the masses what open data can do for us
  4. The creation of a set of civic apps.
Did you make any progress? What are your achievements and what are the outcomes of this type of event?

Yeah, sure – we are actually quite impressed with the progress we made in the respective teams. It really shows what you can make happen when you bring people together. Sure we may not always have a finished product at the end of the day but the most important thing is to bring people together, start collaborating and establish a team over the course of the day. The web allows many of the involved and interested to continue work remotely.

So we really want to give you an insight into what we – citizens and subject matter experts – were able to do as part of each of the projects on Saturday. So here it goes:

Booksprint: Textbook in ‘Programming’ for Irish Schools

20140222_122928The book sprint brought together a group of people, including a number of teachers to contribute to an open license textbook on programming for inclusion as a junior cycle optional short course as announced by Minister Ruairi Quinn last year. As an open source book it will be a free of charge teaching resource to all kids and schools in Ireland. Being free of charge parents, students, and anyone else can also benefit and get started with coding following a structured curriculum at their own time. Saturday’s book sprint sparked intense collaboration with participants becoming readers, writers, editors and publishers for a day and they have formed a team that will continue to finish the book working remotely. So far the team have added content to 4 chapters of the final textbook which are laid out to contain all resources a textbook normally needs to be accepted into schools: curriculum, teacher guide and lesson materials. Once all content has been collated the open source software Booktype will help the team to upload the chapters and produce the textbook. We made a lot of headway on Saturday and appreciate that teachers lent their expertise to create something valuable that will be available and will address the growing need to teach our kids computer programming and digital literacy. Elon Musk – business magnate, investor and inventor – founder of SpaceX and Paypal and CEO of Tesla Motors attended Web Summit 2013 in Dublin last year and reiterated that in order to compete, Ireland needs to make sure to build and retain innovative talent on it’s shores. Let’s do just that.

Public Policy Project:  Ireland’s 1st OGP Action Plan

 This requires a good bit of background on this topic first: In 2013 Ireland committed to signing up as a full member to the Open Government Partnership. By participating in the OGP governments are asked to commit to an open data strategy, share information about their activities openly, increase the level of participation citizens can have in decision-making, and to use new technologies in an effort to make public data more openly available as a means of transparency and accountability. To become a full member and demonstrate commitment Ireland will need to co-create an OGP Action Plan with civil society and attempt to deliver on the commitments it outlines within a 2 year time-frame. Members of OKF Ireland have originally pushed the government commit to sign up to the OGP, have been part of the public consultations in 2013 and are now participating in a joint working group with representatives from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that is set to co-create this action plan. The Draft Plan is to be presented at the  European Open Government Partnership (OGP) conference held on May 8th & 9th at Dublin Castle. We believe that civil society and citizens now have an opportunity to shape that action plan and so we build it out as a project for citizens to participate on Saturday.

And so here is the progress we made on Saturday, and we really have to thank the interested citizens that just came in on the day, lent their expertise and are now part of a project team for making it work so well!

  1. We established a Project Team sourced from volunteers that attended this project group. So now we can continue work remotely with a couple of doughnut and coffee meet-ups in between – this is great stuff!
  2. We developed a framework for analysis of the evolving draft national action plan. The framework is based on learning from other best in class OGP Action Plans both in terms of what needs to happen to really open up data and government and how it can be achieved. The framework will allow us to assess the current Irish draft and inform the joint working group, the representatives of the Government Reform unit and the wider civil society on how the Irish plan compares to what is recommended by the OGP and what is working internationally.
  3. And we created a template – compared a set of best practice OGP Action Plans and developed a template that can be used to formulate commitments for the Irish Action Plan. Template will make sure that commitments are concrete, measurable, achievable and include important milestones. Will help us understand what success looks like.

And lastly we hooked up with our friends from Open Data Science Ireland (ODSI) to continue work on a pretty awesome open data audit project for Ireland.

Irish Open Data Sources – Audit and Analysis

One of the goals of OKF Ireland is to create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.

At Saturday’s event we partnered up with members of Open Data Science Ireland a20140222_122920nd continued work on a data audit that was started by members of Open Data Ireland and Open Knowledge Foundation Ireland last year. This is now the most extensive list of open data sources related to Ireland with 29 APIs, 16 catalogs, and roughly 160 data sets. We were able to collect and add more information about the data sets to increase understanding of what data is available, what the quality of that data is and most importantly which type of public data is missing. Members of the ODSI have also been able to identify a number of good example data sets that can be used for a project with OKF Ireland to analyse and showcase to citizen what type of information can be extracted from the data is available and how it can help them make better informed decisions in their day to day lives.

Finally there were teams who attended the last Code for all Ireland meet-up in January and they joined and recruited volunteers for the development of some awesome civic apps.

Civic Apps Projects

There were some really good ideas out there and teams continued work on realizing those ideas vigorously! It’s great to see these apps develop over time and people putting in the effort to really make something out of an idea. One of the Apps maps the locations of defibrillators across the country and also map locations and contact details of those trained to use the equipment – if someone had a heart attack anywhere near you – would you know where to find the nearest defibrillator? We think this has a lot of potential and the great thing is that the team is going to crowd source the locations of the defibrillators with a competition where people send in selfies next to a defibrillator. A second App would list current queuing times at local public service customer service locations (eg motor tax office, passport office etc and therefore facilitate an informed choice for customers seeking to use these services. E.g. if the App says there’s an hour wait at your local motor tax office either wait till later of go elsewhere for a coffee! Finally there was a pitch to transforms successful decision making software used by Dublin City Council last into an app that can be used by anyone and help make majority decisions in an instant. All great projects and we’re happy to have teamed up with Code for all Ireland.

So that’s it – that’s what we did Saturday! It sounds a lot and it was a lot – we are really impressed with what was achieved!! Big thanks to everyone for doubling down for that one day of the year.

So you teamed up with other groups to make this event happen? How do you organize an event like that?

Yes, the event was co-organised by a number of civic minded volunteer, professional and civil society groups in Dublin highlighting that collaboration can lead to great events that bring communities together. Open Knowledge Foundation worked together with Open Data Ireland, Code for All Ireland, Open Data Science Ireland and Code for Dublin to build out the different project break-out sessions. The event was also kindly hosted and sponsored by Facebook Headquarters and Microsoft in Dublin – a huge thank you to them for making it happen.

You are happy with the outcomes of the event?

Yes, very. It was great to see everyone come together for that one day and collaborate, create and make something happen that is valuable to our society as a whole. It’s like people appreciate giving something back and we really appreciate that they take the time and put work into those type of civic projects that can help make a difference to our fellow citizens.

Anything that would have made the event even better?

Well, one of the things that we would like to see is an understanding on behalf of our government of this type of volunteer culture, hackathons, data days, civic working groups and interested citizens and how it can contribute in a meaningful way to improving services for citizens and to help address real issues that citizens care about. We would like to see a much closer relationship between the government and those groups to foster a sustainable model of citizen participation. We see this as something the government can explore as their next steps and so it would be nice to see representatives at some of our events in the future. This would enable us to talk through how government and citizens can improve services and requirements for open data together, learning from each other. But we are working on that, and we’ll keep inviting them!

Ok, please do! Last question – who makes up the OKF Ireland team – in case we want to get involved in any of the projects you’ve been working on?

Sure, no problem. Anyone who considers themselves an interested citizen we are interested to talk to and hear their opinion on what we are doing in the public eye. We particularly want to learn what our ordinary citizens think but also appreciate any insights or contributions from businesses, interest groups, subject matter experts, other organisations because we know citizen participation is limited and so we’d like to harness those views and use at the forums that we participate in. So our team is: Denis ParfenovFlora FleischerEugene Eichelberger, Salua NassabayIngo Keck. All our contact details are on our Local OKFN Group Profile. Please feel free to contact anyone on any of the project mentioned. We are all open and share all our information!

Thanks again and great Open Data Day 2014!

Media Coverage:

Newstalk – Innovators to write Irish schools’ first coding and programming textbook today  – A coding textbook for Irish secondary schools could be written in one day



Open Data Day 2014 Storified



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22/2/2014 – International Open Data Day Sat, 22 Feb 2014 21:42:51 +0000 Sign-Up: 22/2/2014 – International Open Data Day

What will it look like you ask? – Some pictures from an Open Data Hackathon we held last September. This Feb. 22nd Open Knowledge Foundation are organizing a book sprint to create an open source and free to use textbook for schools that will help kids get coding and computing. A skill we all know they’ll need now and to build the future. Anyone can take part, we need lots of good souls who want to collaborate and contribute to this awesome project!

In collaboration with @codeforall_ire who have kindly organised the venue and will be making sure food & drinks encourage you to stay for the day! They will also continue work on their app projects if you want to jump on one of their teams.

We are also teaming up with Open Data Science Ireland (@ODSIrl) in order to hack on open data sets and create meaningful stories from data that can highlight the benefit of open data to the mainstream public, average Joe and public service. We are looking for both people who have problems and questions and people who can make sense of data to answer exactly those. Sign-up or contact either OKFirl or @ODSIrl