In a few weeks the Open Data for Development Camp (ODDC) 2012 events will take place in Nairobi and Amsterdam. They are bound to be great events, which will take the usage of Open Data to the next level.

In 2011 we organised the first Open Data for Development Camp in Amsterdam, bringing together a diverse crowd of policy-makers, development aid workers, researchers, journalists, ICT-staff and software developers in order to learn about the possibilities of Open Data for Development, share experiences and networks. Here you can read more about the 2011 event.

Following that event, the NaiLab ICT Incubation Centre in Nairobi called out to the organisations present in Amsterdam: You have the data, we need that data. Give us the data!

They suggested having the next event in Nairobi and offered to help with the organization. So this year we will take them up on that offer, in addition to holding a 2012 event in Amsterdam.

On Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th June, we’ll be at the iLab at Strathmore University in Nairobi, to connect on-the-ground initiatives on open data and citizen engagement in development initiatives.

On Friday the 29th June, we’ll come together in Amsterdam with lots of Dutch organisations, to take stock of what is happening, and to engage in making the data available that African organisations and companies are asking for in Nairobi.

OpenData for Development Camp in Nairobi

The ODDC in Nairobi is part of The Kenya Open Data Pre-Incubator Program, a six-month experiment to help accelerate the availability for the public to make sense of data and to galvanize engagement around critical public issues.

The event in Nairobi will be a 2-day conference about open data and open international development. These terms might sound vague, so here’s a brief explanation:

Open data is a term that is used to describe data that is freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

Open international development takes into account open data, but also open cooperation. It’s the idea that organisations that work in the field of international development should work together to make tools and create efficiency.

In March 2011 the Obama Administration launched the Open Government Data initiative, which fits into our Open Data Development philosophy.  One of the countries acting upon it was Kenya and in July 2011, with a lot of support from the World Bank, it launched The Kenya Open Data Portal. There was a clear message: for the people to hold us accountable.

Nearly a year after its launch, it seems like a good time to look at next steps.  How does it influence people? So with this event we’ll take it a step further and explore how indeed the Open Government Data of Kenya, the Open Data of the World Bank and the IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative) files impact the tech community in Kenya and, behind them, the active citizens.

The ODDC in Nairobi is organised by ICT Board Kenya, Kenya Open Data Initiative, Open for Change, World Bank, NaiLab, iLAB, Akvo, 1%CLUB, Hivos, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Development Gateway.

The event will offer a combination of keynote speakers, workshops, best practices, speed geeking, hack space, networking, exchange of knowledge and needs, sharing data sets, co-creation, open data visualisations, and inspiration.

Open Data for Development Camp in Amsterdam

The ODDC in Amsterdam will focus on explaining open data and open development to interested organisations and NGOs. It will elaborate on what IATI is, what is happening all over the world in the field of open data and ways in which opening up data can impact an organisation. There will be a connection to the Nairobi event via Skype interviews and presentations.

The ODDC in Amsterdam is organised by Open for Change, Partos, Akvo, 1%CLUB, IICD, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

It will take place in the AmLab in Amsterdam and will be a combination of keynote speakers, workshops, best practices, networking, exchange of knowledge and needs, open data visualisations, and inspiration.

More details about the events can be found at Open for Change. And for more information you can sent an e-mail to ODDC@openforchange.info.

Josje Spierings is a project assistant for Akvo.