Below are archives of our Spring 2014 newsletters.

Open MENA May 2014 Newsletter

OpenMENA joins Open Government promoters in Tunisia

Tunisia officially joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) earlier in 2014. The government has to work with civil society to elaborate an action plan where it lists the commitments it makes in order to increase openness, transparency and accountability in the governance process.

Here comes OGP.Dialogue, the Tunisian national public consultation, initiated by civil society organisations and joined by the government in an effort to bolster a truly participatory process. OpenGovTN, an umbrella collective coordinating numerous Tunisian NGOs, is coordinating the OGP.Dialogue and has invited OpenMENA to take an active part to the process.

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Open Knowledge Morocco launches networking effort

The Open Knowledge Morocco team has launched a networking effort through which the initiative aims to become the hub for Open Data enthusiasts in the country. They are also producing a series of videos with various actors of the Open Data movement in Morocco. The first video of the series features Sarah Lamrani, the Director of the e-Government program in Morocco.

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OKFestival 2014 program is now live!

The Open Knowledge Festival (OKFest) 2014 edition is to be held in Berlin, Germany on 15-17 July 2014! OpenMENA will be present in different ways: through organising a community-dedicated fringe event as well as participating to the number of exciting sessions that will take place during these days. Among the many wonderful activities, a session is of direct relevance for the MENA region as it asks how openness can hel the unfinished ‘Arab Spring’. Make sure to get a ticket and attend!

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The 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference announced

The 16 IACC edition will be held in Tunisia (21-24 October 2014) under the leitmotiv “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action”. Organised by the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, the conference aims at bringing together a wide number of stakeholders and answer the crucial question: “How to trigger change against impunity for corruption?” OpenMENA has submitted a session proposal. You can follow updates on the 16 IACC website.

OpenMENA April Newsletter

The Open Data Handbook in Arabic? — Yes, please!

A screenshot from the Open Data Handbook home page
A screenshot from the Open Data Handbook home page

As per its authors’ description, “The Open Data Handbook discusses the legal, social and technical aspects of open data. It can be used by anyone but is especially designed for those seeking to open up data. It discusses the why, what and how of open data – why to go open, what open is, and the how to ‘open’ data.”

Published under the CC-by 3.0 Unported license, the Handbook has already been translated in many languages. We at OpenMENA feel the need to bring it to a broader audience in the Middle East and North Africa. Thus, we have embarked on a translation journey. The translation is already 43% complete and we are sure you would greatly help in this endeavour.

Start translating the Open Data Handbook in Arabic!

Thoughts on Qatar’s draft Open Data Policy

Qatar's evaluation in the Open Data Barometer 2013.The Qatari Ministry of Information and Communications (ictQATAR) has published a draft Open Data Policy and a public consultation asking for input. Although the general tonality of the Policy paper is positive and promising, there are a few unclear yet fundamental points which require immediate attention if ictQATAR wants the Policy to be successful. OpenMENA has put together a brief outline of the country’s Open Data current status and discusses the draft Policy paper.

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Wandida: Ceci n’est pas un MOOC

Wandida is an online platform launched by two Moroccons at Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Wandida provides a wide number of Open Educational Ressources in English, French, Arabic and Moroccan Arabic. Licensed under CC-by-SA-NC 4.0, these resources are available for anyone to access, (re)use and share.

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What is Creative Commons? ما هو المشاع الابداعي؟

Creative Commons Lebanon has produced two explainer videos for Creative Commons in Arabic. The first one explains to people with no background what Creative Commons is, how it started and why there is a strong need for such an initiative. The second video is focused on licensing, explaining in Arabic what are the different types of licenses and how they can be used.

Inaugural edition: 21 Feb — 21 Mar 2014

Open Data Day 2014 in the Arab World

Open Data Day 2014 | اليوم العالمي للبيانات المفتوحة 2014
Open Data Day 2014 | اليوم العالمي للبيانات المفتوحة 2014

Saturday, 22 February 2014, marked the Open Data Day 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.

Our part of the world saw quite some excitement in Egypt and Tunisia. From what we have seen, Wikipedia entries have been started, discussions around raising awareness about Open Government Data were held and code was written.

Read more on the events in Egypt and Tunisia

Transparency and accountability from Tunisia is the online observatory of the Tunisian Parliament. Marsad aims at accompaning the process through which the forthcoming Constitution is composed and to make the whole more accessible for every citizen. Marsad’s mission is thus to increase transparency and accountability in governance all by helping to create a more participative democracy.

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Access to Information in Egypt and beyond

The Egyptian Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) has published an extensive report on the history and current provisions surrounding access to information. The study thus examines the legal status of information (regardless of its producer) and reviews the freedom of information as well as the consequences of providing and withholding it. The report also compares access to information frameworks in Jordan and India.

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“Guide to Free Culture” | “دليل الثقافة الحرة”

Creative Commons Morocco is composing the forthcoming “Guide to Free Culture” (“دليل الثقافة الحرة”). The Guide will be a print and online book in Arabic and will focus on broad free culture movement (open source software, open data, OER, etc.). The book will be available on the dedicated website (still under construction).