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Launching and sustaining municipal open data initiatives: how Open North can help

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Cities across Canada are committing more than ever to implementing open data infrastructure and policies, which in turn means they now have a greater need for strategic planning and tactical support in order to draw the full benefits of open data.

Following the launch of the Open Cities Index by Public Sector Digest (PSD), Open North decided to partner up with the PSD to launch our Open Data Strategies Partnership.

As a first step in this exciting partnership, we will be offering an open data webinar on May 17th from 1-2 p.m. ET, which will allow us to present new technical and strategic support offerings tailored to municipalities’ needs, and to equip attendees with best practices and resources to launch and sustain open data initiatives.

Led by open data experts Jury Konga (Open Knowledge Foundation) and Jean-Noé Landry (Open North), this webinar will present specific examples of strategic planning and evaluation frameworks for municipalities, as well as stakeholder engagement mechanisms best practices.

But this is only the first step. The webinar will also be an opportunity to present Open North’s newly assembled multi-disciplinary team of expert associates, which will be available for follow-up consultations and projects to support the development and achievement of successful municipal and provincial open data programs and initiatives.

Details of this new service offering will be presented during the webinar.

Meet Open North’s Expert Associates

Jury Konga

Combining experience in provincial and municipal government, private and non-profit sector, Jury provides strategic and operations planning with a pragmatic approach. He developed the Open Data Framework for Canada’s “G4” cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa) and has assisted many municipalities in developing Open Data, Open Government, Innovation and Community Engagement strategies, implementation plans, training and event organization. Jury is an Open Knowledge Canada Ambassador and was appointed as “Access by Design” Ambassador by Ontario’s prior Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian. He was the inaugural Chair of the MISA (Municipal Information Systems Association) Gov 2.0 SIG in 2009, Chair of the 2014 GO Open Data conference and continues to be active in the open data open government community.

Mary Beth Baker

As a federal public servant, Mary Beth works on evidence-­based design for usable citizen experiences. She previously worked at the TBS Web Standards Office on the Standard on Web Usability, learning how to build capacity within a policy framework. As Government of Canada Codefest Co-­chair, she brought together 300+ private and public sector contributors (developers, designers, testers and communicators) to work on this open source project. Working both from within and outside of government as a member of Open Data Ottawa, she has a keen understanding of the level of outreach, engagement and collaboration that is needed between government and stakeholders in order to ensure the success and viability of open data initiatives.

Jonathan Mark

Currently a business consultant after 29+ years with the City of Vancouver’s IT Department, Jonathan was the Senior Manager of GIS and CADD Services. His team was responsible for the City’s enterprise GIS infrastructure (core software, hardware, and databases), as well as the award-winning web GIS application VanMap, Topobase, CADD, 3D implementations and other GIS applications. With strong business analysis and project evaluation and management skills, Jonathan was very involved in the City’s Open Data initiative having created the content and enhancements for the open data portal. Prior to joining the City in 1984, Jonathan taught in the Urban Land Economics Division of the Faculty of Commerce at UBC.

Jay Bhalla

An innovation strategist with over 15 years of experience in the ICT sector, Jay has advised the World Bank Institute on technology strategies for civic engagement and has worked to build successful grassroot community tools for monitoring government delivery and tracking state expenditures. He has also designed and led technical capacity building training tools for more effective citizen engagement, which have been adopted by countries around the world. As founder and Executive Director of the Open Institute, he has helped pioneer Kenya’s digital revolution and has played a leading role in the country’s Open Data Initiative, the only second of its kind on the African Continent.

About Open North

Jean-Noé Landry

As the Executive Director of Open North, Canada’s leading open data nonprofit and online budget simulator provider (Citizen Budget), Jean-Noé has led open data feasibility studies, roadmap design processes, training sessions for senior public servants (Institute of Governance) and external open data stakeholder assessments for cities and federal agencies, including most recently for Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. He also co-founded Connexité MTL, a data-driven social innovation incubator designed to address the shortcomings of the hackathon model.

Actively involved in the Open Government Partnership in the open data working group and applied research projects such as the OpenData500 index in Canada, Open North specializes in open data standards, policies, advocacy, and strategies. It also has a strong track record building website to make data more accessible, while increasing transparency and accountability. Open North recently helped established the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network, the permanent consultation mechanism on open government in Canada.

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