Purpose / Problem / Opportunity
The Caribbean region is generally regarded as “data poor,” not just because of limited access to high quality, locally relevant data, but also cultural and institutional habits and capacity limitations (both in the public and private sectors) often forego the use of data, and other forms of evidence, for policy and decision making. There is general Civil Society and Media apathy towards demanding access to, and use of open data for more critical investigation and analysis.
A comprehensive and sustainable "data literacy" program will seek to develop greater awareness, attitudes, competencies and capacity to build a stronger data culture across the Caribbean.
Project Scope / Description
Building sustainable open data infrastructures and enabling the effective use of Open Data in the Caribbean, requires organizations from all sectors (public, private, media, civil society) to invest in staff and community capacity across the whole open data value-chain, including skills for: supplying open data; using open data; and understanding, analyzing, and mobilizing data to create change. Similar and complementary skill-sets are required across the rapidly expanding data ecosystem, including Big data, private data, and crowd-sourced data.
This Strategic initiative will pursue a range of activities including:
1. Adopt/adapt the International School of Data model to establish a distinctive "Caribbean School of Data", hosted at the Mona School of Business & management, UWI and affiliate institutions in other countries across the Caribbean (beginning with Cuba and St. Lucia, and Guyana)
2. Incorporate a range of Data literacy programs targeting Private Sector enterprise, that includes Data management, data integration and big data analytics offerings
3. Adopt a virtual incubation model to encourage and facilitate Data-driven entrepreneurial startups
4. Develop a sustainable Data Journalism fellowship program and community for Journalists
5. Build a Caribbean data competency map to identify and make searchable & accessible, individual and institutional clusters of skills, knowledge and capabilities in the region
6. Identify opportunities to progressively integrate data competency into the formal educational curriculum of schools, colleges & universities
Open Data Sources
New Government open data portals in the Caribbean, including: Jamaica, St.Lucia, DomRep, T&T