Why Big Data matters for Lower Mekong countries?

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Photo Credit: Trang Ta

While big data represents a new era of computing, what does it mean for civil society organizations in Southeast Asia? How can nations in the Lower Mekong  harvest the power of big data? These were the questions discussed during a five-day workshop, from 8-12 June, 2015, at College Of Innovation of Thammasat University Pattaya in Thailand.

New opportunities mean new challenges
Where data in any format may be explored and utilized, the Mekong ICT Camp featured a series of workshops and panel discussions to help more than 60 participants from the region to learn open source technologies, define, and design project challenges. With design thinking methodology, facilitated by Good Factory, participants
focused on prototyping those challenges for social impact projects.

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Photo Credit: Trang Ta

Klaikong Vaidhyakarn, a lead organizer, said “Big data is coming to our daily life since mobile phone penetration in the Mekong region saw double growth and this is an opportunity to use data in development works such as health, environment or even disaster risk reduction. Some development projects, including community health data human and animal to prevent disease outbreak, have already leveraged big data.”

Continue reading Why Big Data matters for Lower Mekong countries?

What Campers Said in 2010

In the 2010 Camp, the organizers hired third-party evaluaters to interview campers in order for us to understand the nuance of participants’ feelings, opinions and all kinds of interaction during the five-day activities.

The results of the interview and qualitative evaluation were very encouraging. The following is the summary from the evaluation report. You may read about
2012 Report Testimony directly.

Continue reading What Campers Said in 2010

Laurence Millar: Open government data to support dialog between citizens and government

Laurence Millar will give out a kickstart keynote for Mekong ICT Camp 2010.

Laurence Millar

Laurence Millar is an independent advisor in the use of ICT by governments, and Editor at Large for FutureGov magazine. His career has included work in the public and private sector, in the UK, USA, Asia and New Zealand. From 2004, he led the New Zealand e-government programme providing leadership in strategy and policy, establishing a foundation of shared infrastructure, and maintaining oversight of government ICT investment; he finished in the role of NZ Government CIO on 1 May 2009.

He has written and spoken extensively about the importance of open government to strengthen trust between government and the people. He believes passionately in the power of open government data to support a more effective dialog between citizens, businesses, civil society (NGOs) and government

Governments in USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as international oragnizations such as the World Bank have all launched catalogs of data that is available for reuse. There is a growing collection of freely available software tools (such as Gapminder, Many Eyes, and Swivel) being used by engaged citizens in the community and businesses. In addition, communities around the world are developing applications to provide better insight into the business of government.

Open government data and citizen-led measurement provide a focus to improve understanding of government performance, increase transparency, strengthen trust in government, and deliver better value to citizens.

You can read more of his opinions at www.gvg.net.nz

2008 Camper Tharum Bun on Mekong ICT Camp

Tharum Bun wrote this small piece for us.

While Mekong ICT Camp’s hope of educating new generation of technologists and citizen-journalists to enhance their capacity so that they can contribute more to their communities, the week-long workshop is essentially an opportunity that enables people from the region to gather to exchange their skills, knowledge, in particular culture. The 2008 camp in Chonburi Province’s Thammasat University Learning Resort, has more or less inspired participants to go beyond what they learned.
— Tharum Bun, a 2008 Mekong ICT camper

Tharum Bun is journalist and digital media specialist. He writes as a freelancer for Asian Correspondent, a web-based newspaper that focuses on Asia; he also covers news stories for The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia’s oldest English newspaper. In digital media, he advises news organizations to make the most of web technologies, building and engaging targeted audience.