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Portugal

Open Data Tutorial (PT0004)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Portugal Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities

Support Institution(s): AMA, as the managing body of the National Open Data Portal of the Public Administration (Dados.gov)., All entities who want to participate (open to civil society).

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: Portugal Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

COMMITMENT #4: TUTORIAL VIDEOS ON THE USE OF OPEN DATA PLATFORMS
Commitment Start and End Date: January 2019 – August 2020
Lead implementing agency/actor Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Despite the increasing amount of public open data, the percentage of the population that accesses it is still reasonably small, namely due to the lack of knowledge about their existence and / or the difficulty in working with these data.
As such, there is untapped potential for using open data for innovation and stimulating economic activity.
What is the commitment? Creation of small online tutorial videos about the use of open data platforms and some examples of operations and studies that can be performed with this data.
These tutorials will be made available to university students and researchers, at a first phase.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? The measure aims to provide a greater percentage of the population with the knowledge needed to use the open data platforms.
As a first step, the videos will focus on the dissemination and use of the platforms. In a second phase, the main objective of the videos will be about the structure of the open data and how operations and studies can be carried out with them.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? The commitment fits in the Open Data and Use of ICT and Digital Inclusion data Axes.
Additional information
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date:
Definition of content and structure of tutorial videos 1st semestre of 2019
Previous promotion of the vídeos
2nd semestre of 2019
Dissemination of the tutorial videos 4th semestre of 2019 August 2020
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency CRUP - Prof. Dr. Jorge Costa
Title, Department Vice-Rector of ISCTE/Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Email and Phone Vice.Reitor.SIQ@iscte-iul.pt Other Actors Involved State actors involved AMA, as the managing body of the National Open Data Portal of the Public Administration (Dados.gov).

CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups All entities who want to participate (open to civil society).

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Tutorial videos on the use of open data platforms

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [21]

“Despite the increasing amount of public open data, the percentage of the population that accesses it is still reasonably small, namely due to the lack of knowledge about their existence and / or the difficulty in working with these data. As such, there is untapped potential for using open data for innovation and stimulating economic activity.

Creation of small online tutorial videos about the use of open data platforms and some examples of operations and studies that can be performed with this data. These tutorials will be made available to university students and researchers, at a first phase.

The measure aims to provide a greater percentage of the population with the knowledge needed to use the open data platforms. As a first step, the videos will focus on the dissemination and use of the platforms. In a second phase, the main objective of the videos will be about the structure of the open data and how operations and studies can be carried out with them.”

Milestones:

4.1. Definition of content and structure of tutorial videos

4.2. Previous communication/promotion of the videos

4.3. Dissemination of the tutorial videos

Start Date: 1st semester of 2019

End Date: August 2020

Context and Objectives

According to the commitment text, access to public open data resources is limited in part due to difficulties in working with the data. Hence, the opportunities provided by the growing amount of data available to citizens are not being properly leveraged. This commitment aims to provide more of the population with the necessary tools to use open data platforms by developing tutorial videos. The initiative is coordinated by the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (CRUP) and the videos will be developed by a team of faculty members at ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). [22] The videos will provide an introduction on how to extract and explore content from open data platforms, using Dados.gov as the running example (the government open data platform). The videos will focus exclusively on issues of data management and analysis using “R”, an open-access statistical software. Hence, they can be useful for users of other open data platforms. [23]

From interviews with a CRUP representative, the IRM researcher learned that the script of the tutorials will be developed by a professor at the department of information science and technology who specializes in information systems. The videos will then be produced by a soft skills laboratory also at ISCTE-IUL. The laboratory is responsible for all eLearning tools and manages its own online platform, where the videos will eventually be disseminated. [24] According to the Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA), these videos may eventually be used by researchers or businesses, among others. However, in this first phase, the goal is mostly pedagogical and targeted at students from the university developing the tutorials. [25] In meetings, a CRUP representative also mentioned the interest of using the videos as part of classes at ISCTE-IUL. [26]

Still, analyzing the commitment against OGP values, the initiative has the potential to contribute indirectly to improving access to information by providing and disseminating a set of tools that the public could use to explore open data platforms.

The commitment is verifiable as the main milestones concern the development and dissemination of the videos. According to the IRM researcher, two features limit the impact of the initiative. First, if completed, the commitment will not provide new data but new information on how to use open data resources. This information is not exclusive; the internet provides a multiplicity of free resources on the same topic. [27] Second, the potential impact of the tutorials is largely contingent on the scope of the dissemination strategy. The action plan provides no specific information about this key step although it is identified as a specific milestone (4.1). CRUP representatives who coordinate the initiative described plans to disseminate the videos among the student community at ISCTE-IUL. [28] This strategy is appropriate given the context in which the tutorials will be developed. However, there was no mention of dissemination plans among students of other universities or among the wider public. For these reasons, the IRM researcher considers the potential impact of the commitment to be minor. Although university students are potentially the most likely users of open data platforms, they are also among the segments of the public better equipped to access this information elsewhere.

Next steps

The IRM researcher does not recommend carrying this commitment forward to the next action plan given its limited impact. However, on the basis of the analysis above, the IRM researcher recommends the following steps:

  • Promote the inclusion of input from potential users (e.g., students) in the development of the tutorial videos. This would create a more open and inclusive production process.
  • In order to promote a wider dissemination strategy, consider using the connection to other universities provided by CRUP to distribute the videos more broadly to the Portuguese academic community.
  • Consider adding a connection to the tutorial videos in Dados.gov.pt in order to increase the potential impact of the commitment.
  • The outreach efforts conducted as part of the commitment could be strengthened by scheduling workshops in different locations or webinars targeted at different publics.
[22] Jorge Costa, Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities, interview with IRM researcher, 18 April 2019.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Cláudia Barroso and Tiago Mendonça, Administrative Modernization Agency, 22 April 2019.
[26] Jorge Costa, Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities, interview with IRM researcher, 18 April 2019.
[27] For example, https://www.edx.org/ and https://estatsite.com/2017/12/01/tutorial-manipulacao-e-analise-de-dados-em-r/ provide free tutorials on data analysis using R, in both English and Portuguese.
[28] Jorge Costa, Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities, interview with IRM researcher, 18 April 2019.