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Photo courtesy of the Jakarta Lab

Photo courtesy of the Jakarta Lab

Build, facilitate, celebrate: A look back at our 2015 highlights

Web Foundation · December 24, 2015

2015 is almost over, and it’s paved the way for a lot of learning for us. Our Jakarta Lab took on the challenge of choosing just five of their many highlights the year has seen to share with our readers. To know what they are, read on! (This post originally appeared on the Jakarta Lab’s website).


We celebrated our official launch!

The Open Data Lab Jakarta officially launched on 5 February. The event at the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel in Jakarta was bustling with over 130 distinguished guests from government institutions, international and local organisations, civil society, media, and partners from across the Asia-Pacific region. Highlights of the evening included the ‘rice cutting’ ceremony, performances of Indonesian traditional dances, and guest presentations from our partners from across Indonesia, India and the Philippines. For us, this official launch emphasised our commitment to advancing open data in the Global South, particularly in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
We facilitated the development of a regional open data agenda

Parallel to the launch, we also held the first Regional Open Data Agenda-Setting for Asia workshop from 4 to 6 February in Jakarta. The event brought together participants working in various sectors from over eleven countries across Asia-Pacific. Joined by members of the Web Foundation Open Data team, we developed an agenda for open data for the region moving forward.

This workshop was conducted as part of the Harnessing Open Data to Achieve Development Results in Africa and Asia project, and gave birth to Open Data Asia 2020, which laid the foundation for the selection and design of research projects with partners in Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines.


We moved from pilot to policy in Banda Aceh

Our project in Banda Aceh took a leap this year. With the finish of the first two phases focusing on education and health services, we published our first Lessons Learned Paper. Additionally, in November we participated in the “GCF Knowledge Exchange and Learning Event” organised by the Asian Development Bank. Here, we experienced firsthand the growing interest in the ‘Responsive Open Data Model’ we used for this project detailed in our How-to Guide.

These papers, along with results from the earlier project phases, and using inputs from case studies around the world, led to our current third phase, which delves into the creation of a legal framework for open data. Together with the City Mayor, and using the Jakarta PerGub 181/2014 as reference, the goal is to create a Perwali or City Mayor’s Decree to make government agencies in Banda Aceh proactively publish their data. This has also been brought about by findings and research showing that the most effective means to ensure the open data initiative’s sustainability is to provide a legal basis for proactive disclosure.


We helped civil society use open data for fiscal transparency

October marked the culmination of our Open Data for Transparency (OD4T) project. Kicking off in June 2014, the OD4T project had us working with four civil society organisations from Indonesia and the Philippines, with the goal of capacitating them to effectively use open data in their fiscal transparency advocacies. With each of our partners’ and the overall projects’ lessons learned identified, we put together a Lessons Learned Paper, which inspired the How-to Guide that outlines the model we used to implement this project. We also have partner interviews in the line up and all these will be released in January 2016, so watch out for them!


We built new new partnerships across Indonesia and Southeast Asia

2015 was peppered with conferences, workshops, trainings and events. While we would love to talk about them all, a few stood out.

  • 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa: our team members presented at the conference, stimulating a critical dialogue for how open data is approached in the Global South using the Lab’s on-the-ground perspectives. Quite often, we forget that the resources, cultures, organisations, and capacities differ from context to context—and this is where we also come in to test different models and see which would work best in each situation.
  • Research Partners Workshop for Southeast Asia:  as part of our Open Data Asia 2020 program, we kickstarted four new projects in the region with our partners CIPG (Indonesia – From smart to open cities), CLRG (Philippines – Follow-the-money initiative), Sinar Project (Malaysia – Capacity and tools building in countries with limited data availability), and Young Innovations (Nepal – Bridging the current information gap between parliament, government agencies, and citizens).  

2016 is bound to be an exciting year ahead, with lots of new projects and progress happening for the Jakarta Lab. To keep track of our activities and know the latest from us, visit our project pages or follow us on Twitter @ODLabJkt!

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