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Linking legislative openness to open data in Canada

Authors: Paulina Marczak (Queen's University, former OpenNorth research intern), Renée Sieber (McGill University, GeoThink Lead)
September 2017

Legislatures are increasingly attuned to the rhetoric of open data for legislative content like bills and Hansards. This rhetoric dictates that government content should be freely accessible, repurposable, machine-readable, standardized across subregions, and available without licensing restrictions. Canada offers an excellent example of renewed emphasis on openness across jurisdictions. The call for legislative openness also derives from open data advocates, who seek to apply the rules of open data to unstructured information. We do not know whether legislative openness in Canada, at the provincial and territorial level, matches the rhetoric of open data. This study focused on commonly occurring categories of information on subnational legislative websites, and examined their copyright, availability, archivability, information timeliness, and plain language descriptions.

Open Smart Cities in Canada: Situating Canadian Cities in an International Smart City Ecosystem (Webinar 1)

Authors: Rachel Bloom (OpenNorth), Dr Tracey Lauriault (Carleton University), Jean-Noé Landry (OpenNorth)
Funded by Natural Resources Canada
August 2017

As Canadian municipalities trend towards developing and deploying open and smart city strategies and roadmaps, they must increasingly become aware of tools, processes and procedures that produce open and geospatial data and determine the priority data that will become public and contribute to smart city contexts. OpenNorth’s Open Smart Cities in Canada project is funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and consists of an environmental-scan (E-scan) and gap analysis of smart city definitions, actors, standards, and pathways; a Canadian smart cities assessment report from the project’s four partnering cities (Edmonton, Montreal, Guelph, and Ottawa); an inter-jurisdictional framework based on a case study in the Province of Ontario; a report on international policy mobilities and guidelines for city manager practices surrounding open and geospatial data in a smart city context.

This research is led by OpenNorth and funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) GeoConnections. The core team of experts leading the research for this project include Prof. Tracey Lauriault at Carleton University, M. David Fewer at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and Prof. Mark S. Fox at the University of Toronto.

Video recording of the webinar presentation available here

Data 4 Impact Report 2017

Prepared by OpenNorth, Powered by Data, Data for Good
August 2017

Reporting from the 2nd annual Data 4 Impact workshop held in Edmonton (AB) in the lead-up to the Canadian Open Data Summit 2017. The event brought together more than 80 regional and local not-for-profit organizations to raise awareness about the value of data sharing within the sector, provide frameworks and techniques to facilitate the use of data, and share use cases of community data collaboratives. The workshop was co-organized and facilitated in collaboration with Data4Good and Powered by Data.

Understanding the Digital Capacity of Newcomer Settlement Organizations

Authored by OpenNorth
Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
April 2017

Conducted in 2017, this follow-up research project conducted for IRCC was designed to gain a deeper understanding of the digital capacity and needs of service provider organizations that serve newcomers in Canada and inform support recommendations for the sector. OpenNorth collects the input of 261 newcomer settlement organizations with a primary data collection tool and presents its findings in a French and English webinar.

Aligning Canadian Open Data Programs with International Best Practices

Authors: Erin Bryson (OpenNorth, Geothink.ca), Jean-Noé Landry (OpenNorth), Prof Peter Johnson (University of Waterloo)
Funded by Geothink.ca
January 2017

The international Open Data Charter (ODC) is a set of 6 principles that provide governments with a common foundation upon which to realise the full potential of open data. As Steward of the ODC, OpenNorth interviewed 10 cities and 4 provinces in Canada to discuss how the ODC could align with sub-national open data policies and programs. The report is a collaboration with GeoThink.ca. The City of Edmonton was Canada’s first city to subsequently adopt the ODC and OpenNorth currently advises the Province of Ontario on the ODC’s implementation.

How can we improve urban resilience with open data?

Authors: Jean-Noé Landry (OpenNorth), Keira Webster (OpenNorth, Geothink.ca), Bianca Wylie (OpenNorth), Pamela Robinson MCIP RPP (Urban Planning Ryerson University, Geothink.ca Researcher)
Funded by Open Data for Development
December 2016

Urban resilience is focused around issues that are constantly changing and evolving, such as migration patterns, employment trends, industrial development and climate change. Launched at the OGP’s annual conference in Paris in 2016, OpenNorth’s discussion paper on the value added by open data in addressing urban resilience is based on the input of 35 global south and north experts. The discussion paper informs OpenNorth’s contribution in developing the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign toolkit.

Data 4 Impact Report 2016

Prepared by OpenNorth, Data for Good, New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network
August 2016

Reporting from the 1st annual Data 4 Impact workshop held in Saint John (NB) in the lead-up to the Canadian Open Data Summit 2016. The event brought together more than 60 regional and local not-for-profit organizations to raise awareness about the value of data sharing within the sector, provide frameworks and techniques to facilitate the use of data, and share use cases of community data collaboratives. The workshop was co-organized and facilitated in collaboration with Data4Good and the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Networks' (NBSPRN).

Understanding the Data Needs of Settlement Stakeholders to Better Support Newcomers and Refugees

Authored by OpenNorth
Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
April 2016

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) commissioned this study from OpenNorth in 2016, when Canada was facing an influx of Syrian refugees. The report focuses on how IRCC’s open data strategy and infrastructure could better meet the data and information needs of their stakeholders, with key recommendations on data quality, accessibility, and standards. The study is based on a combined qualitative and qualitative data user needs identification methodology developed by OpenNorth.

Gaps and opportunities for standardization in OGP members' open data catalogs

Authors: James McKinney (OpenNorth), Stéphane Guidoin (OpenNorth), Paulina Marczak (OpenNorth)
Funded by Open Data for Development
Winter 2015

OpenNorth co-leads the standards stream of the OGP Open Data Working Group from 2014-2015. In that capacity, Open Data 4 Development funded OpenNorth to investigate reporting and analysis practices of OGP members’ catalogs, study existing processes to identify gaps and opportunities in how standards are applied, and suggest baseline standards and best practices to enhance data’s usability.

Identifying recommended standards and best practices for open data

Authors: Stéphane Guidoin (OpenNorth), Paulina Marczak (OpenNorth), Juan Pane (ILDA), James McKinney (OpenNorth)
Funded by Open Data for Development
Spring 2015

This OpenNorth study examines open data standards practices to determine where they produce barriers to accessibility in terms of discovering, accessing and using data. It recommends standards for more global adoption to enable information sharing. The findings were presented at the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in 2015 for which OpenNorth served as the conference reporting anchor for the standards stream.