Open Aid Data conference and Hackday Berlin

Aug / 23 / 2011 |
 Christian Kreutz

The past year I have written on many occasions about the potential of open data and why it is much needed particular for the development aid sector. So I am happy to announce a Hackday I am organizing as part of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany. The Hackday is linked with the Open Aid Data conference held in Berlin, which is organized by Openaid.de, Boell-Foundation among others. Click here for full further information.

Join the Open Aid Data Hackday!

Help us find innovative solution for aid transparency and make development aid more effective.

Germany is one of the largest donors in development aid worldwide. Every year over 6 billion euros are spend alone by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development  to provide humanitarian relief and tackle poverty around the world. The Open Aid data conference will bring together practitioners from various organizations to discuss and exchange about new solutions and how technology, the Internet and particular open data can make aid more transparent – because not all of the money is spent effectively.

Prior to the conference, we will organize on the 28th of September a Hackday at the Böll-Foundation in Berlin to bring developers together to experiment on technical and data solutions to improve development aid. We are looking for programmers, designers, coders and others who want to learn more about the field of development aid and would like to share their wisdom. In the morning, we will introduce you to the theme and then brainstorm on possible approaches to make aid more transparent. During the rest of the day we want to work through a code sprint on a real solution. Be part of the event!

There are a range of activities around open aid data worldwide, such as the recent conference in Amsterdam or a Barcamp in Kathmandu for aid transparency. By the way, an interesting fact: The Kenyan government has offered an open data portal, while the German government is still debating on such a platform.

Open data and new bottom-up solutions for development aid are a rather new field but with some promising developments. Around data there is an initiative called IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative), which propagates a common standard for data sets for financial and other project related data. So far in development cooperation, only a tiny fraction of financial data is openly available, which is, at the end of the day, the tax payers' money. Watch this excellent movie from Publish What You Fund on why financial aid transparency is needed.

One driver of IATI is Aidinfo.org, a co-organizer of the conference and member of the IATI secretariat, who has done some pioneering work in the area. Check out the AidInfo Labs to see what is possible through such data sets. We are curious to hear your ideas and projects.

Another driver of open aid data is the World Bank, who will also present their work on the conference. The World Bank has not only opened up its data, but also made an app competition, where many great solutions have been developed, to use the data, for example games about development indicators, amazing visualizations and crowdsourcing approaches. The aim is to make development aid more effective. Initiatives, such as Ushahidi in Africa, demonstrate the potential  of new forms of technology. Come join us at our Hackday to network with great people from the community.

You can apply here or contact Christian.Kreutz {at} okfn.org for further questions. The Hackday is organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany.

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