A lot is written about open data how it can help us solve day to day problems in our communities, coordinate better and its potential to create smarter, more informed citizen/factivists, improve journalism and transparency and help create a more accountable government. But working with data in terms of reading, analysing, curating, producing, publishing and communicating it is not an easy process.We aim to create the tech infrastructure,curate a set of civic datasets in Lebanon, deliver world class training for students, bloggers, NGOs and journalists and share hard learned lessons
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
– high school students
Expected expertise: basic computer usage (manipulating excel sheets, files etc) and internet skills – no data/mapping related skills needed.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Abir Ghattas https://twitter.com/AbirGhattas – http://abirghattas.com/
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
– Datasets in open data format
– Video tutorials
– Website + blog
– an Open Data Platform
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Planning to establish a partnership with AltCity – i've previously worked with them on several topics and they are able to provide a space and a vibrant community outreach.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
45 (15 at least from each group) aka
– 15 bloggers
– 15 high school students
– 15 NGOs reps
Their participation will be sustained by providing them assistance to work on their own project and actual server access and tech support and resources.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
expertise in ckan, dkan, open data kit, mapping, data driven documents and web programming
data mining (how to work with existing datasets, clean data, collect data, create mechanism for collecting new data)
open data concept and implementations
open source toolkits/framework
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Will aim to host workshop at AltCity in Hamra, Beirut.
Participants will need to bring their own laptops. Internet is provided by AltCity.
Participants will be granted access to online pre-configured server
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
connection with bloggers: Me and Abir are 2 techies part of the lebanese bloggers, blogging and at times getting in trouble since 199something – we have previously started viral tech related campaigns like ontornet demanding for fast internet – LIRA lobbying to successfully stop a Lebanese Internet Regulation Act etc… we have also provided community with workshops and resources on anti-censorship and privacy.
We also have the technical abilities to conduct those trainings since both of us are computer engineers.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
- Making data interesting
– Process of transforming scattered data into engaging information is challenging to make others follow it
– Technical skills need to be shared with a non-technical audience
– Internet speed in Lebanon
– Arabic language and localisation issues
– Lack of similar projects means lack of inspiration
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
primary participants: ability to make data they have open and publish it as long with a good understanding of the politics and culture behind open data
regional community: successful creation of one project that would be useful to the local community by the participants
global digital community: creating content in arabic and video tutorial and documenting the work and challenges faced and presenting/creating examples of good practices and encouraging examples of good data work.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
- 1 April to 1 May:
Finalize project detailed plan
finalize communication strategy
create and configure online server to be used in training and made free/publicly available for public/participants to host their data.
– 2 May to 1 June:
Curating and creating datasets to be uploaded to platform to be used as example, inspiration and as hand on experience and demo.
Create the corresponding how-to access
Creating Communication docs/media outreach for each target audience
- 2 June to 1 July:
Creating workshop training
Social media outreach
Test running workshop incl
- 2 July to 1 Sept
Workshop for students
Workshop for bloggers
Workshop for NGOS
Workshop for Journalists
Boot camp for 4 groups.
2 Sept to 1 Oct
Direct support and follow up with participants on their projects
Publishing Video tutorials and any tutorial content generated during the workshops
2 Oct – 1 Nov
Producing missing content or new content arising from Qs
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
- Dedicated Private server for a year to be used by participant and for free by interested participants/public – 20$/month digital ocean server https://www.digitalocean.com/pricing/ total: 240$
– Free/Demo Cloud platform with google – Free
– server maintenance 20$/month – total 240$/month
– tech support for 45 participants for 3 months after 100$/month
– paying workshop location cost (4 workshops will be conducted) – 800$ (TBD)
– coding and producing actual datasets to be used – 400$
– content production + video tutorials – 400$
– social media ads (twitter/facebook) and campaign – 100$
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
- Outreach to audience
– Provide feedback and peer review