DSC_0213Nineteen representatives from 12 civil society organizations (CSO) in the Province of Negros Oriental are gathered for a 3-day capacity building activity on open government data, an offshoot of the research “Enhancing Citizen Engagement with Open Government data”. This free training was held at UCS 202, Uytengsu Computer Studies Hall, Silliman University, Dumaguete City on February 12-14, 2015. The skills training aimed to appreciate the importance of data in communicating key governance issues to citizens; learn data skills more particularly (a) data tools like scraping pdf documents and converting them to reusable formats; (b) data visualization (offline and digital); (c) telling stories from data; produce a data visualization on area of interest and present this in a public event with other key stakeholders; and draft a plan of action on how they intend to popularize or communicate their outputs from the workshop to wider audience or their constituents.

The activity was graced by Dr. Emmannuel Lallana, Chief Executive of Ideacorp, who discussed the context of open government and open government data at the global, regional, national, and subnational spheres. Also, Ms. Farah Dibs Gentuya, DILG City Director of Dumaguete, presented about the FDP, the documents disclosed through the FDP and how citizens can make use of these documents. Further, Ms. Gianne Gaorian shared about the current initiatives of the Philippine Government on open data and open government. She highlighted on the open data portal and how citizens can make good use of it. On the second day, Gianne facilitated the online data visualization workshop.

Dr. Dave E. Marcial, provincial lead for Negros Oriental, facilitated two workshops: selection of data set and offline data visualization. In the same manner, Mr. Michael Canares, research leader, facilitated the workshop on data narratives. He guided the participants in weaving a story of their data visualization, how to communicate their data and what are their options for doing so.

At the end of the workshop, participants were able to present their data visualization outputs, both online and offline. The participants are expected to meet again next month for a learning workshop.

This activity is implemented by Step Up Consulting Services, with funding provided through the World Wide Web Foundation ‘Open Data for Development Fund’ to support the ‘Open Government Partnership Open Data Working Group’ work, through grant 107722 from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (web.idrc.ca). For more information about the research, go to http://encite-ogd.ph.