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Steady but Slow — Open Data’s Progress in the Caribbean

Matthew McNaughton, Founding Principal of Slshroots co-authored with Denique Ferguson and Alesha Aris of the SlashRoots Foundation. It was originally published on the Open Knowledge International’s Blog in support of the 2016 Global Open Data Index Launch. The Global Open Data Index and the Caribbean Then Over the last two years, the SlashRoots Foundation has supported the Caribbean’s participation in the Open Knowledge International’s Global Open Data Index (GODI), an annual survey which measures the state of “open” government across the world. We recently completed the 2016 survey submissions and were asked to share our initial reactions before the full GODI study is released in May. In the Global Open Data Index, each country is assessed based on the availability of “open data” as defined in the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Data Definition across key thematic areas that Governments are expected to publish information on. These include: National Maps, National Laws, Government Budget, Government Spending, National Statistics, Administrative Boundaries, Procurement, Pollutant Emissions, Election Results, Weather Forecast, Water Quality, Locations, Draft Legislation, Company Register, and Land Ownership. For the 2016 survey, the Caribbean was represented by ten countries — Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. As the Caribbean’s Regional Coordinator, we manage and source survey submissions from citizens, open data enthusiasts, and government representatives. These submissions then undergo a quality review process led by global experts. This exercise resulted in 150 surveys for the region and provided both an

Where do you get data for/from the Caribbean Region?

by Corbeaux, Editor of Disenfranchised Data If you have ever tried to get data for or about the Caribbean region, you would find that, there is not one location for all the data, but an array of silos, where you then have to search and pick through to find the data you need. Global Organizations with Caribbean Data The World Bank- Latin America & Caribbean- Graph, map and compare more than 1,000 time series indicators from the World Development Indicators. Open Data Soft- A Listing of open data portals around the world. World Bank Open Data- Graphical representation of some basic data sets from the World Development Indicators Caribbean Organizations that are data focused The Caribbean Open Institute primarily a research and open data advocacy organization. No data can be found on this site, just publications on research and various news articles in relation to their work. Caribbean Open Data Census- Project from the Caribbean Open Institute, has 27 Datasets for 25 Places DevCa- Developing the Caribbean an event that is held annually in Jamaica, in conjunction with the Slash Roots Foundation. Usually lead by Matthew McNaughton. (currently this site gives a unsecured warning most likely an SSL issue) CARICOM Regional Statistics- Economic and Social data in the areas of Balance of Payments, Government Operations, Consumer Price Indices, External Debt and more. ( Excel and Adobe format for download) CARICOM Directory of National Statistical Office — Can not forget the old faithful Statistical Offices in this list for the good old paper based or unpublished data. These offices would most likely require you to

Snapshot: state of Open Data in the Caribbean in 2015

The concept of “Open Data” is not new in the Caribbean. It began to gain prominence around five years ago, with the crystallised into the first Caribbean Open Data Conference, and the Caribbean Open Institute. With regard to understanding the term ‘Open Data”, the key focus should be on the word “open”, which speaks to being able to “freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness)” (Source: Open Definition). Greater openness on the part of governments, with respect to data and information, along with the provision goods and services, foster not only improved transparency, accountability and public participation, but also contributes to innovation and entrepreneurship. According to a 2013 study by Capgemini. Methodology Launched in 2013, the Global Open Data Index is an annual effort to measure the state of open government data worldwide. The methodology employed is based on the following four assumptions: Open Data is defined by the Open Definition Government’s role is in publishing data National government as aggregator of data Federal (or national) government is accountable for the open publication by all its sub-governments More

Open Data Key to Driving Digital Innovation in the Caribbean 

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands. Across the Caribbean, governments are moving their essential services to digital platforms and generating more data than ever. Yet, much valuable public information remains locked away in proprietary systems, beyond the reach of Caribbean innovators and end users. A growing number of open data initiatives aim to change this, but it won't be easy. “The Caribbean can benefit tremendously from open data as part of its development agenda,” said Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist, in a presentation on Open Data at the 13th Strategic ICT Seminar of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union held in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on 30th September 2015. His call to make more government data available was timely, as he addressed an audience that included several government ministers and officials from across the region. Extracting maximum value from data is increasingly becoming a base-level requirement, as governments aim to measure progress and demonstrate achievements. “Transparency, openness and accountability are three of the main benefits of open data,” Wooding pointed out. “However, there are also significant social and economic benefits that can be derived from the development of new applications and services based on open data.” The Seminar was also addressed by Anat Lewin, an ICT Policy Specialist with the World Bank. Lewin shared on the work of the Bank in open data projects in the Caribbean, including Open Data Readiness Assessments in Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica and St Lucia. She also announced that the Bank is supporting development of online open data portals in Jamaica and St Lucia. In an interview

DevCa 2015 and the Caribbean Open Data Community

OPEN DATA - How does the relationship between citizens and their government change in the age of the internet and online social networks? This is one of the questions that drive our search for knowledge and experiences to share at YoGobierno. One notion (among many others) that establishes a pathway for this change is open government data. Government data is data and information produced or commissioned by government or government controlled entities.Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike. Globally, there is a growing community of people who are avid advocates of open data, and open government data specifically. The argument is that by allowing anyone to use government data, more transparency and democratic control can be achieved. People from the government, civil society or private sector would be able to use it to create new and improved products and services, government would be more efficient and citizens more involved. For this to be achieved, the concepts, requirements, uses and potential impact of open data need to be communicated to citizens and their governments, which is why the open data community is constantly sharing actionable knowledge to implement open data practices around the world. Most recently, for example, on February 21, a global Open Data Day was celebrated in over 220 places. People gathered in conferences, workshops, and meetings of all sizes – organized by civil society, governments, or both – to learn what’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015

The Caribbean’s Tech Startup Ecosystem started with the first wave of Internet Startups in the mid 90s, inspired by, and at times clones of, the American success stories. The region had, and in some cases still has, its own eBay (, Yahoo (, early social networks ( and,online dating (,alumni networks  (, its own Search Engine (, Online Ad Network ( caribclix), Car Classifieds             ( and so much more. It was a time when entrepreneurs bootstrapped, squeezed alot out of DSL Internet speeds, and without the help of accelerators, hubs or incubators, used primarily online advertising and affiliate marketing to make money. Some failed, learned and evolved; some made money, and others sold their websites for major money. 9273

Data is the new OIL! Help the Caribbean get some! Take and Pass on this Survey on availability of Agriculture Open Data.

ICT4AG- The survey aims to identify the availability, use and issues in relation with agriculture open data in the Caribbean. Open data are complete sets of information on an issue or activity, that are open and free to use, reuse, and redistribute. They are formatted for ease of use, in many cases take the form of databases, and favour public information, transparency, accountability and innovations. It is undertaken by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and Connectimass (a Caribbean association, in the framework of the Agrihack Talent Caribbean initiative, and of the efforts of these organizations to promote knowledge sharing on agriculture in the Caribbean. The AgriHack Talent Caribbean project aims to support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people. Most agricultural organizations have information on their website; we are more interested here on specific links to sets of data on specific topic(s) or activity(ies) that can be re-used. Your response to this survey will help the development of ICT applications that will enhance the agricultural sector as well as help better address agriculture data challenges in the Caribbean. The research targets in particular agriculture stakeholders and IT developers involved in developing solutions for agriculture from the Caribbean. It will only take a few minutes to complete this form.  Questions marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory. Please respond to this survey by 24 August 2014. Preferably, please respond today here