The Ministry of Communications is developing an Open Data Portal as part of its implementation of the eTransform Project and has organised a 4-day Data Upload Challenge and a Hackathon under the Ghana Open Data Initiative to make government data open and accessible to all for free.
The event which was organised in collaboration with MobileWeb Ghana and was held from the 2- 5 April, 2019 at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (KACE) had about a hundred and thirty (130) participants from MDAs, Civil Society, Academia and Application developers to interact with datasets uploaded on the revamped National Open Data Portal and create ideas on developing applications for citizens and sector stakeholders. The ideas generated during the event helped teams create an application which helps citizens trade their waste for money, a dashboard that gives users a visual representation of agriculture, health and registered business in Ghana and, also applications that give users the opportunity to make predictions amongst others.
The Open Data Upload Challenge which was organised during the first two days of the event brought a group of software developers, data scientists and statisticians to interact with representatives of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and assisted them to do a data assessment on the relevance of such data to development. It enabled MDAs upload relevant data onto the portal using the standard all institutions are required to adhere to while making their data freely accessible to all.
Data was uploaded by the Energy Commission, Ghana Investment Promotion Commission, Ministry of Agriculture, Registrar General’s Department and the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development. A total of 50 datasets and about 200 data resources were uploaded on the National Open Data Portal during the event.
The data hackathon ran for the next two days of the event and brought people together to work on data-related projects for problem solving from MDAs use-case, recognition and networking. The hackathon enabled the use of datasets uploaded on the Open data portal to develop citizen-centric applications for the stakeholders of MDAs.
Awards were given to the best three (3) institutions for the Data Upload challenge while the winners of the Data hackathon received a total of GHC15,000 prize money and are currently undergoing a month acceleration program at Mobile Web Ghana to enable them fully develop their software solution.
About the Ghana Open Data Initiative
The Ghana Open Data Initiative was started in 2012 to ensure that government data will be open and easily accessible but became inactive from 2015. To revamp the initiative, the Ministry of Communications under the eTransform project redeveloped the open data portal, developed a national data sharing policy with an open data component. The Ministry also trained 154 government employees from 20 MDAs on open data management, publication, policy and change management. The redeveloped portal currently has 130 datasets with about 1000 data resources and can be found at https://data.gov.gh