We here at NetSquared are proud to announce the beta launch of Hacker Helper. Hacker Helper is a website that helps prepare developers for hackathons by providing issue-specific problem statements written by NGOs and activists who are working on the ground to solve social problems. It also provides developers with links to relevant data sets, APIs, and other people who are working on projects to solve the social problem.
This week some paradoxes of big data and principles for Big Data Resilience projects are featured. StatAfrica is also launched and assumptions about data's prospects are reviewed. Difficulties underlying the use of open data are also surfaced.
Last week I attended a conference "Can Open Data Improve Democratic Governance" held in Berkeley, California. As part of its Data and Democracy initiative, The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) convened representatives from the public sector, tech industry, and NGOs to discuss the many issues surrounding open data.
This week read about a new collaborative open data initiative for developing countries, the importance of data literacy and open data projects in China. There is also news on the potential for those with little data footprint to be excluded from Big Data informed decisions. The necessity of understanding the value you want from Big Data before embarking on Big Data projects is also emphasised.
The terms "open data" and "open government" have been thrown around in both rich-world and developing country contexts. In the US National Day of Civic Hacking came and gone June 1st, but what does it really look like in action? What sorts of approaches should one take in their communities to foster civic participation and social change? What sorts of outcomes can one expect? We got a glimpse of it when Steve Spiker (@spjika) from OpenOakland and the Urban Strategies Council spoke at a recent San Francisco Tech4Good event. Steve is pioneer in the civic hacking movement and was recently honored by the White House for his efforts.