Editor’s Note: The following post is from our international fellow Rakesh Dubbudu. Rakesh spent a few weeks with us learning about civic innovation in Chicago. Rakesh works as an open data advocate in India as one of the co-conveners of the National Committee for People’s Right to Information.
Before I arrived in the USA, I was unsure of the learning & exchange during this trip. Though my interest centered on good & effective governance using technology & data, I was unclear about the specifics. During the orientation in Washington DC, I came to know that I would spend three weeks in Chicago with the ‘Smart Chicago Collaborative’. It was time for a quick google search to check what Smart Chicago was doing. I understood a little about Smart Chicago’s work.
Last Thursday at the Chicago Community Trust, the OpenGov Chicago Meetup resumed after an extended summer break. It was the first in a series of meetups that will focus on learning about and helping microdemocratic groups that interact with official government functions – starting first with park advisory councils. Here’s the raw meeting notes.
As part of our post- Chicago School of Data Days work, we are doing lots of analysis of the data we’ve collected and the artifacts we created together.
One key dataset, especially for the consideration of gaps in data provision and skills development, are the answers to the census form we’ve been working on for months. We’ve got 246 responses to date. Here they are, with identifying information and end-matter (re: how they want to be contacted, participation in the project, etc.) removed.
The census form was a key part of the Chicago School of Data project and the conference. We took responses from this survey to better understand how data was used by organizations and responded by creating themes that defined the conference sessions and discussions.
Here are the themes that we came to:
The next meeting of Open Gov Chicago(-land), set for Thursday, November 20, 2014, is going to do a deep-dive on Chicago Park District Advisory Councils. Here’s a description:
Our next meetup will be the first in a new series that focuses on learning about and helping grassroots groups that interact with official government functions.
First up is the Park District Advisory Council. There are 194 advisory councils covering the entire city, and they are populated by regular Chicago residents who care about their neighborhoods. We will hear from people who run these councils, find out what kind of data and technology they use, and figure out we can help.
As part of this new series, we’ve done some research on councils. We’ve taken a look at it from a technology view, hoping to kick off some thoughts in the civic tech community on how we might be helpful.
Humboldt Park Formal Garden