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Step Up Managing Consultant Attends India Meeting on Open Data

Michael Canares, with some of the participants in the India Meet. Dr. Michael Gurstein (middle, in green polo) is one of the mentors of the project.

Michael Canares, with some of the participants in the India Meet. Dr. Michael Gurstein (middle, in green polo) is one of the mentors of the project.

Mr. Michael Canares, Managing Consultant of Step Up Consulting Services and Team Leader of the Open LGU Research Project was one of those invited to attend the Regional Project Meeting of the Emerging Impacts of Open Data project funded by IDRC through the World Wide Web Foundation.  The meeting was held at the The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, India last 16-19 July 2013 and was attended by more than twenty people from within Asia, and from the UK and Canada. The meeting also coincided with the TERI workshop on Open Government Data and Resources.

The meeting introduced the research project to stakeholders in India. At the same time, the participants were also orientated to the state and condition of open government data in India.  An afternoon project launch on 16th June was done with representatives from different sectors in India – government, civil society, business community, and IT professionals.  India is one of the countries with a right to information act (RTI) that has since empowered citizens to demand from government data to explain, for example, its spending and investment decisions.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for the researchers to discuss different tools used in the study of open government data.  Among those discussed in the forum were stakeholder’s mapping, surveys, follow-the-data, news analysis, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews.  Mr. Canares, in one of the sessions, led the discussion on the use of stakeholders’ mapping to define how stakeholders (e.g. business, civil society, research institutions) interact with government, and use government data for their purposes.  This workshop was attended by one of ODDC project mentors, Michael Gurstein.

Michael Gurstein is one of the leading thinkers in community informatics. Most of his work deals with how information and communications technology empowers and enables communities. In this meeting, Dr. Gurstein contributed significantly to the discussion most especially in unearthing underlying theories informing the methods and in refining analysis frames of the different research methods that the researchers would like to use.

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