Why a Caribbean School of Data?

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.

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 the requisite skills for: supplying open data; using open data; and understanding, analyzing, and mobilizing data to create change. The Caribbean School of Data is a stratetgic initiative of the CAribbean Open Institute, with the mission of building a comprehensive and sustainable "data literacy" program that will seek to develop greater awareness, attitudes, competencies and capacity to build a stronger data culture across the Caribbean.

The CSOD  will pursue a range of strategic 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
  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

The CSOD's first significant undertaking is a Data literacy project in Haïti called “G"AYITIC Goes Global" in collaboration with lead partners LACNIC and IDRC, that seeks to increase women's access to employment in Haiti by building digital capacities in the field of Information Technology.