Saturday, March 21, 2015

Workshop on raising citizen awarenness on Open Data

The  workshop "Raising awareness and engaging citizens in re-using PSI" was held within the SHARE PSI 2.0 conference in Timisoara, Romania on March 17, 2015.  The workshop was co-chaired by Daniel Pop, West University of Timisoara and Yannis Charalabidis, University of the Aegean.  The workhop touched upon ways to enhance citizen participation and engagement in reusing open governmental data.  

Several experiences to boost opendata uptake by citizens and entreprises were presented and discussed, resulting in a set of proposed "ways":

Way #1: Give them a "home"
An open data portal has to offer the ability to citizens / users to create and maintain a profile

Way #2: Make them customers / Create an Open Data marketplace
When a citizen cannot find the dataset he is looking  for, he can put a request that is channeled to the appropriate administration

Way #3: Make them opendata publishers
Allow for upload of datasets by users

Way #4: Allow working on datasets / make them curators
A dataset can be processed by a user and then republished as a new version.  Datasets can be visualised, extended, linked by users

Way #5: Give them incentives
- Measure and publish popularity of the users, based on their activity.
- Give incentives for data usage / utilisation (e.g. free tickets to community events, free parking, to most prominent users)
- Organisation of competitions / datathons with prizes for the best applications
- Organisation of data journalism competitions  for users

Way #6: Involve them upfront
Organise meetings of interest groups (e.g. finance, environment, etc) among interested citizens and entreprises. Use questionnaires, for initial screening of ideas and people.

Way #7: Provide specific support for entreprises
Companies have different viewpoint than citizens: they need data quality, availabiliity, support, etc.  So, provide something like that for companies and utilisation will be higher.

Way #8: Promote the creation of journalism teams
People might want to “tell a story” acting like data journalists within the local communities, but they might not have the skills needed
So, make small groups among citizens to work around open data, generating small or larger stories.

Way #9: Provide training
Citizens without the proper knowledge cannot take advantage of incentives targeting more advanced people.
So, invest in training citizens on basic digital skills (make a web site, work with a dataset, write a story, etc)

A slideset of the main outcomes can be found here: while a full description will be available in the SHARE PSI 2.0 project open database of best practices. 

The workshop panel. From left to right: 
André Lapa, AMA, Portugal (rapporteur)
Noël Van Herreweghe, CORVe, Belgium
Chris Harding, The Open Group, UK
Jan Kučera, University of Economics, Prague
Daniel Pop, West University of Timişoara, Romania (co-chair)
Yannis Charalabidis, University of the Aegean, Greece (co-chair)
Peter Winstanley, Scottish Government, UK
Robert Ulrich, KIT, Germany
Petya Bozhkova, Balkan Services, Bulgaria
Szymon Lewandowski, DG Connect, European Commission

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