Open Cities Strategies: A New Initiative by Open North to Help Cities Succeed in Planning and Implementing Their Open Data Programs

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

With its strong record of open data expertise, that’s where Open North comes in.

It’s important for us not only to act as a platform for attracting talent specialized in addressing the needs of municipalities, but for making their expertise easily accessible to those implementing open data initiatives. As a not-for-profit organization, our goal is to see all cities in Canada succeed in planning and implementing their open data programs.

Our new service offering is called Open Cities Strategies. Based on international best practices and the newest trends in open data assessment methodologies and maturity modelling, Open North will evaluate your needs and support your open data programs on a range of topics, including:

  • Community engagement (e.g. assessing the needs of data users)
  • Co-organizing local or regional open data events (e.g. challenges, collaborative process)
  • Online open data community engagement mechanisms
  • Internal buy-in from data custodians
  • Open data program administration
  • Forward planning and road-mapping
  • Data audit or open data catalogue
  • Open data publishing
  • Standards
  • Policies and internal guidelines
  • Training and education
  • Open data portal and infrastructure
  • Open data risk assessment
  • Planning and implementing a pilot open data initiative

We’re excited to partner with OpenGovGear, Advisory North, and the Public Sector Digest (PSD) as part of this initiative. We’ve also assembled a team of expert Open North associates, which includes two of Canada’s leading open data experts Jury Konga (Open Knowledge Canada Ambassador, “Access by Design” Ambassador and Chair of the 2014 GO Open Data conference) and Jean-Noé Landry (Executive Director of Open North, and co-founder of both Connexité MTL and the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network), as well as Mary Beth Baker (federal public servant and member of Open Data Ottawa) and senior IT business consultant Jonathan Mark, who spearheaded Vancouver’s IT department for almost three decades. International innovation strategist and former World Bank Institute evaluation advisor Jay Bhalla rounds off the team by offering over 15 years of experience in the ICT sector. (For more information about our team, check out their bios here).

The Open Cities Strategies is already making itself known. Through our partnership with the Public Sector Digest, we recently completed our first open data webinar 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.

Over the summer months, we will finalize our methodology and launch a new website to be easily reachable to cities. We invite any of the following to stay in touch with us by completing our needs and challenges CONTACT FORM:

  • City Managers/CAOs
  • City Councillors/Mayors
  • Provincial/Federal Open Data Offices
  • Chief Information Officers
  • IT Directors and Managers
  • Economic Development Officers
  • Open Data Third-Parties
  • Municipal Clerks
  • Corporate Services

Stay tuned for more details!

If you’d like to learn more about Open North’s Open Cities Strategies, contact us at: info@opennorth.ca

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