At the start of the New Year we would like to share some of the exciting work we have planned. This includes the launch of two new regional hubs, and the continuation and expansion of projects from our existing regional hubs. Read more below to find out some of what’s in store for 2017!
Two New Regional Hubs in Africa and MENA
We are pleased to announce the launch of our two newest regional hubs which will officially start work in 2017. One of these is the regional hub for sub-Saharan Africa, and another for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The Africa Open Data Network (AODN) will be hosted by the Local Development Research Initiative (LDRI) in Kenya. This hub aims to scale the development impact of open data initiatives in Africa through promoting the adoption of improved open data principles, best practices, policies, partnerships, and use. The AODN will be supported with additional capacity building and innovation oriented activities, building on existing OD4D-implemented work in Africa, including efforts led by Open Knowledge International (OKI) and the Open Data Institute (ODI).
The MENA hub will be hosted by the Access to Knowledge for Development (A2K4D) center at the American University in Cairo. Their work aims to strengthen research and advocacy capacity of the open data community in the MENA region to help address the long-lasting development challenges. This work will also support innovation in different fields, as well as build stronger connections with international open data initiatives and partners.
New Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean
We are also continuing work and exploring new projects with two of our existing hubs in Latina America and the Caribbean.
In Latin America, the project led by the Latin America Open Data Initiative (or ILDA according to its Spanish name) will work with the aim of scaling open data initiatives that contribute to reducing corruption, improving health service delivery, increasing resilience of cities and reducing violence against women. In light of an increasingly dynamic open data ecosystem across the region, this new phase of research will explore scaling the open data field to address key development challenges in an inclusive and sustainable way. The project will also provide support to governments and the implementation of a regional agenda, aimed at broader adoption of open data principles and stronger implementation of open data policies in Latin America countries.
In the Caribbean region, the Caribbean Open Institute (COI) will be leading a project to prepare Haitian youth for digital jobs. For Haiti, while the digital economy could offer new employment prospects that aren’t constrained by a limited local job market, the country will need to surmount important challenges if it is to seize these opportunities. Wages and labour regulation, especially for online outsourcing, are often problematic and the required skills and infrastructure are scarce. This project aims to create the enabling conditions for young Haitians to find employment in the digital economy through addressing skills and infrastructure deficits. Specifically, it will design, pilot and evaluate locally adapted online courses to enhance the technical skills of young Haitians; develop platforms for young Haitians to be matched with companies working in the digital economy, particularly those owned by the Haitian diaspora; and perfect the skills of telecommunications engineers in Haiti.
We have more exciting work planned for 2017. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates in the coming months!