Data Love from MENA: Activities for Open Data Day 2016 #ODD16

This year’s Open Data Day is on 5 March. To celebrate and continue using open data, we have joined forces with celebrated people from the region. And here are the ideas we are up to -- join us and share the #datalove at #odd16! The 5-minute Data Pitch The Access…
Data-driven innovation in the MENA region: official logo. Image from the IDRC, used with permission.

Data-Driven Innovation in MENA: The Way Forward

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) office in Cairo is organising an exciting set of activities focused on data-driven innovation and digital entrepreneurship later in this month. Taking place between 18 and 23 February 2016 and hosted by Cairo University, the event is a part of the IDRC’s important project…
Open Data's Impact resource by the GovLab. Image from the GovLab

19 Studies on Open Data’s Impact Worldwide

Freshly released case studies seek to provide a more nuanced understanding of the processes and factors behind the use and impact of open data worldwide. Learn more and explore them at Open Data's Impact. Global commitments to and enthusiasm for open data are undoubtful. No matter which event you attend,…

Why Open Knowledge’s Global Open Data Index 2015 Is a Failure

The Open Knowledge’s Global Open Data Index 2015 has just been released; it covers 122 countries, which is 25 new ones from 2014. "Researchers and professionals interested in Open Data can still use the 2015 Index, but with caution. The only correct statement that I found is that “This year’s Index…
Open Data and Wikidata. Image in the public domain (CC0)

A Quick Overview of Open Data in MENA

Bruce Haupt, data-for-innovation consultant based in Oman, decided to explore the state of Open Data in the MENA region. Bruce will also provide further insights on Oman and the Gulf region for Open MENA. Ahlan! 1. Does open data exist in the Middle East? Most assuredly it does. A quick…

A Data Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa countries trail in involvement with the data revolution. A recent workshop organised in Cairo  addressed how we can change that. [embed]https://twitter.com/OpenMENA/status/607535762544951296[/embed] In early June, Open MENA went to Cairo. The IDRC (International Development Research Centre) partners with the Access to Knowledge for Development program (A2K4D) at the American…
CAPMAS website

CAPMAS, Open!

This post is the first in a series on challenges for opening up data in Egypt by budding economist and data enthusiast Mohamed Hegazy. [caption id="attachment_738" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Screenshot of the new CAPMAS website, launched in May 2015.[/caption] Mention CAPMAS to most people and they won't have a clue what…
3D Budget Pie Chart by StockMonkeys.com (www.stockmonkeys.com) on Flickr, CC-by 2.0

Opening up Budgets in MENA

Government budgets are at the core of development. It is the government’s most powerful economic tool to meet the needs of its people, especially those who are poor and marginalized. Whether you are interested in health, education, the environment, or pensions, the most well-meaning public policy has little impact on…
Mwazna, Egypt's state budget explained. Screenshot of the website

Mwazna: Government budget explained

Mwazna ('budget' in Arabic) recently launched in both English and Arabic. Planned for and beautifully executed by Amr Sobhy and Tarek Amr, Mwazna aims to break down financial complexities so anyone can understand where their money goes. I asked Amr and Tarek to answer five questions to elaborate on the…
Qatar's performance as assessed by the Open Data Barometer 2nd Edition (screenshot).

Open Data for Qatar: Now What?

The Qatari Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies announced a finalised Open Data policy in December 2014. It is encouraging to observe that, despite its various transparency caveats, Qatar is quite openly discussing an Open Data policy. A year ago, I wrote a quick overview of Qatar's draft Open Data Policy paper. Alongside, I also responded to…

Creative Commons Arab World Hangout at Open Data Day 2015

[This is a guest post by Sadeek Hasna] On February 22, the Creative Commons Arab World community organised Google Hangout session about Open Data in the Arab World. The online event was on the occasion of the Open Data Day 2015. The Hangout was moderated by Sadeek Hasna (Syria), and Riyadh Al-Balushi (Oman), Faiza…
Oman, Matrah Corniche (Muscat). Image by Andrew Moore on Flickr, CC-by-SA 2.0

Oman Needs Open Data

Open Data can provide great opportunities to Oman. The government has massive amounts of data about all aspects of life in the country that remain stored without ever getting used or, at best, remain constantly under-utilised. [caption id="attachment_257" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Oman, Matrah Corniche (Muscat). Image by Andrew Moore on Flickr, CC-by-SA 2.0[/caption] As part of…

Open Data Index Stories from Egypt and Oman

The Open Data Index team invited the community to send in their 2014 open data stories. Open knowledge enthusiasts from Egypt and Oman, among others, contributed: Egypt ranked #79 in the 2014 Open Data Index Last year I contributed to parts of the Index, but the majority of the work…

2014 Open Data Index: Slow Progress by MENA Governments in Opening up Key Data

Government data still not open enough – 2014 evaluation highlights little change in favour of Mid-Eastern openness Open Knowledge has published its 2014 Open Data Index which shows that whilst there has been some progress, most governments are still not providing key information in an accessible form to their citizens…

Draft Open Data Policy for Qatar

The Qatari Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (generally referred to as ictQATAR) had launched a public consultation on its draft Open Data Policy. I thus decided to briefly present a (long overdue) outline of Qatar's Open Data status prior to providing a few insights of the current Policy document.…

Help us translate the Open Data Handbook

Read in/Lire en/بلغات أخرى : Arabic, French The Open Data Handbook  aims to introduce the readers to the legal, technical and social issues related to Open Data. It starts by introducing Open Data and sheds the light on its importance. Then, it explains how people can liberate data, and the…

“Open-washing” – The difference between opening your data and simply making them available

(This is the English version of the Danish blog post originally posted on the Open Knowledge Foundation Danish site and translated from Danish by Christian Villum, “Openwashing” – Forskellen mellem åbne data og tilgængelige data. Originally published on the OKFN main blog.) Last week, the Danish it-magazine Computerworld, in an article…

Visiting the Open Knowledge Communities around the World

Two young Berliners, Alex (a software developer from Spain) and Margo (a graduate in European politics from France) decided to leave their daily lives and travel around the world for one year to meet people and organizations working actively in open knowledge related projects, documenting them on their website, OpenSteps.org.…

After Open Data Day #ODD14

On 22 February, the open knowledge enthusiasts celebrated the International Open Data Day (#ODD14) across the world. More than 190 events took place around the globe and many of these were organized by Local Groups of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Christian Villum from OKFN Central has published a summary highlighting…

Open Data Day 2014 | اليوم العالمي للبيانات المفتوحة 2014

Bloggers, hackers, designers, statisticians and other citizens who are interested in Open Data and Transparency will gather online and offline for the International Open Data Day on February 22, 2014. The event takes place to encourage governmental data openness. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Open Data Day | اليوم العالمي للبيانات…