Data Academy 2014

Involving data training, tools, networks and the public for fairer Balkan public life

The project

Data Academy project draws from the recent developments in the field of the open government, taking into account the needs of civil society. The aim is to model international best-practices as we work on the responsible use of data, develop open data standards, build and leverage data driven tools/services. Together with NGOs from the community, we will map holes in currently available government data, learn how to manage data from data specialists and work with local programmers to build new data tools and deliver a set of regionally relevant best practices and code-sets which may, with some tweaking, be employed in any country across the Balkans. The project is supported by the US Embassy in Sarajevo. The project starts in August 2014 and will last till May 2015.

Trainings in BiH, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia

As a part of the project, in March-April 2015 in each of the project countries a 3-days training will take place. In the form of workshops activist will get a chance to work on a problem that can be solved with using public data. Each country will chose their own topic and together with trainers from the region will work on solving the problem using appropriate methods of working with data.

Each group will get also basic information about working with data for civic projects. Every group will be also invited to take part in POINT conference data-thon (a 2 days working with data event), where together with skilled programmers, the activists will develop the projects from the workshop.

POINT conference will take place in third week of May 2015 in Sarajevo.

The training will last for 3 days and it will consist of introduction to data advocacy for activists and learning specific techniques for making work with data efficient. The training will be based on the concept of  lifecycle of a data project and will be adjusted to the needs of participant regarding exploration of the selected aspect of the lifecycle. Participants of the project will work on a specific project which will lead to create a data project appropriate in each of 4 countries and that project will be later on developed until the POINT conference data-thon. The project can be a data-storytelling case, exploring a particular set of data and finding advocacy arguments or similar.

Each workshop will be facilitated by trainers from the region, skilled and experienced in working with data for advocacy. The training will be hands-on and interactive, with working on the actual data from each of the countries.

The network

The project is conducted by ACTION SEE network (Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in South-East Europe) composed by UG Zasto Ne from BiH, CRTA from Serbia, Metamorphosis Foundation from Macedonia and Center for Democratic Transition from Montenegro in partnership with Techsoup Europe. Among other regional projects we have collaborated on the truth-o-meter project, annual POINT conferences and most recently with TechSoup Europe’s program.

You can learn more about the project by contacting Darko Brkan (President of UG Zašto ne) at [email protected] or Anna Kuliberda (project coordinator) at [email protected].