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Guestblog contributed by ELDOHUB

Earlier this month, on March 3rd, several initiatives around the world took place to celebrate International Open Data Day. HivosARTICLE 19 and Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) contributed with a mini-grant scheme to local #ODD18 initiatives. One such event took place in Eldoret, Kenya. Read their guestblog about the event below!

 

OPEN DATA DAY AT ELDOHUB

Eldoret, Kenya - Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. Out of 72 organizations and individuals who applied to be supported to host the event, EldoHub was among the 10 selected organizations across the world.

EldoHub is located in the Western region of Kenya and celebrated Open Data Day by hosting a hackathon. It was held in Eldoret, Kenya, and focussed on County governments’ transparency and accountability. The event brought together technologists, entrepreneurs, universities, and other institutions to brainstorm and come up with lasting solutions for transparency and accountability in government institutions.

The event emphasized the use of open data to promote transparency, good governance and entrepreneurship.  The participants grouped themselves and came up with ideas on how to use data to solve different issues in the society, mostly involving the public sector. The groups presented their ideas and projects. The top three groups will hopefully go on and participate in Open Contracting Innovation Challenge later in 2018.

 

 

The event brought together individuals with different professional backgrounds, it was interactive and the turnout was more than anticipated also attracting support from Uasin Gishu County. On that day different ideas were realized ranging from health sector, farming, administration and so much more.

The audience was also introduced to a few entrepreneurs regarded as mentors that have had a successful encounter with technology and entrepreneurship. The judges also had a chance to give comments to the groups and ways they can work on their ideas.

 

 Our main goal for the event was to come up with data driven tools to track county governments' use of finances provided by the national government or solutions that enable the public to access information regarding the use of finances in the public offices and track development projects

 

The following groups presented their ideas to the judges:

  1. Wiki Farm – A platform to use open data through SMS and USSD to guide farmers on good farming practices, and how to increase credit worthiness. They also seek to use open data to influence policies to make farming attractive to young people in Africa
  2. Okoa Mama- A platform to provide data to the community regarding maternal health in our public health institutions, with an aim of providing a solution to the ailing maternal health care system in Kenya. They also use SMS/USSD to reach pregnant women with information
  3. Wazi- A tool that can be used to track financial spending in the government. It can be used to track the budgets and development projects
  4. Exposed- Using data to expose corrupt dealings in the county governments more like whistle blowing
  5. E-Transparency- Using open data to reduce favourism, nepotism and corruption in the tendering process in the county governments

The judges elected  Okoa Mama Group as winner of the hackaton. Okoa Mama was followed by E-transparency as first runner up and WikiFarm as the second runner up.

 

You can find more information about Eldohub here