[open-development] barcamp & development data discovery session

Joe Pringle jpringle at forumone.com
Fri Aug 14 19:16:49 UTC 2009

  Re: [open-development] barcamp & development data discovery session

Hi Karin-

Great question actually.  I was mainly referring to what you described below
as #4.  I realize some on this list are more focused on aid project and
financial data (#3), outcome indicators (#1), or other topics.  But the
problem I've been grappling with is how do we make all the "knowledge"
produced by donor funded projects and related activities more findable on
the web. In other words, all the reports, guidance documents, tools,
trainings, blog posts, discussions, etc. around different topics.

We're imagining a standards-based approach where all this stuff would be
tagged (ideally by some agreed-upon taxonomies), and made available via XML
feeds and APIs.  The use case is that this would then enable third parties
to much more easily aggregate content across projects and organizations to
create more holistic collections of valuable stuff on certain topics or on
certain countries. In addition, Google and other search engines will
undoubtedly improve the way they exploit tagging over time.

I was trying to understand the latest thinking about how exactly we might
arrive at such agreed-upon taxonomies for development knowledge, and then
how exactly these could be used to help groups create the standard feeds and
APIs. I did not plan to be able to present a solution to this question, but
more was looking for ideas from others, and wanted to discuss ways of moving
it forward.

So, being relatively new to the group, if this is a little bit off-topic I
am more than happy to reframe this.  If this is on topic, Alex Coleman wrote
me back and said he'd be willing to set up the WebEx for next Thursday 8/19
at 9 AM EST, thinking that might be doable for folks in the UK and Europe.


*From:* open-development-bounces at lists.okfn.org [mailto:
open-development-bounces at lists.okfn.org] *On Behalf Of *Karin Christiansen
*Sent:* Friday, August 14, 2009 1:05 PM
*To:* Simon Parish; open-development at lists.okfn.org; Samuel Moon
*Subject:* Re: [open-development] barcamp & development data discovery

Hi All,

This is going to sound like a facetious question, but I really don’t mean it
as one so bear with me.  But what do people mean by development data?  (data
how developed people are, on who is doing what for development, how do do
it, etc)

I think there are different uses perhaps going on in the conversation, and
it might be useful to spell out what those might be.  Each of those will
have different, if overlapping, sets of user cases etc.  T

his is just off the top of my head, but a couple of distinctions that strike
me might be:

   1. data from or about low income countries/LDCs situations/outcomes e.g.
   national census or Human Dev Index, health surveys data from LDCs but also
   measurement of LDC performance across things like governance indicators
   (World Bank CPIA, Polity IV etc), conflict stats, etc.  this is clearly a
   very broad group
   2. data about development activities of developing countries themselves
   (which is really their budgets, but also performance of their budgets/public
   expenditure such as tracking surveys etc).  Presumable we aren’t
   particularly interested in the distinction between developmental and
   non-developmental activities in this context (even if it could be usefully
   made) and the defence and security activities of a recipient are just as
   3. data about what other people are doing in LDCS (which is probably
   largely aid, but there are some private flows etc.  International Aid
   Transparency Initiative is looking at then first part at least, but aiming
   to structure the data in a way that it can be related to 2.)
   4. sectoral or specialist information (e.g. HIV, education etc) that
   pertains only to LDCs (aka not US HIV treatment systems) which I think was
   more what Joe was talking about perhaps?


On 14/08/2009 17:37, "Simon Parish" <simon at devinit.org> wrote:

Hi folks,

I have recently had a few discussions about possibly holding an open
development (data) barcamp in the UK in autumn – building on success of open
dev camp  in Washington DC last month (http://opendev.ning.com/)

We could also include a development data discovery session to identify more
available development datasets for the ckan registry.

What do people think? It would be useful to get a sense of levels of
interest, potential dates (early Oct/Nov?), possible venues etc.

*Simon Parrish* | aidinfo @ Development Initiatives | * email:
simon at devinit.org <mailto:simonp at devinit.org <simonp at devinit.org>> | : Web:
http://www.aidinfo.org <http://www.aidinfo.org/> | : Web:
http://www.devinit.org <http://www.devinit.org/> | : Web:
http://www.commit4africa.org <http://www.commit4africa.org/> | ( UK mobile: +44
(0) 7794 147 644| ( Skype: simon.parrish73
*Independent research on aid, development policy, NGOs and government

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