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Sierra Leone ODRA meeting ends

Sierra Leone ODRA meeting ends

The wrap-up meeting on the Sierra Leone Open Data Readiness Assessment on Thursday 20th November, ended at the Ministry of Information and Communications conference room 8th Floor Youyi Building in Freetown.

The meeting attracted Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Civil Societies, learning institutions, Right to Access Information.

In her presentation, Ms. Jeanne Holm, Instructor, Civil Innovation and Data Science, said during 12 days site visits, 40 focus groups with over 200 people were interviewed, while 20 high value datasets were assessed and 60 data intermediaries indentified.

She said preliminary assessment indicates strong leadership from the Rights to Access Information Commission, the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Open Government Initiative (OGI) as open data portal provides strong technical starting point, but stressed that more support and datasets were needed.

She disclosed that data and record managements are lacking with serious issues with data accessibility.

She also stated that preliminary polices are in place with gaps visible while calling for trainings in data management and data driven decisions to be made.

Speaking on the opportunities for impact, she said leverage Ebola data to build a sustainable and open health care data system,  create ability for evidence based decisions around schools, policies and outcomes and a better understanding of gender based violence and justice through high quality open data.

She said come January next year the Open Portal Action Plan will be launched.

In his contribution, Mr. Shahid Kargie of the Public Sector Reform Unit said in 2014 a needs assessment on records management in the country as consultant should reference the said report as it sets the platform for a good records management system in the country.

Mr. Hassan Tholley, Vice President of Crown Technical University recommended an ethics committee that will look into how data is fetched and delivered.

Mr. Foday D.M. Sesay, Founder and Executive Director for Democracy and Development Association and Interim Chairman of the National Federation of Civil Societies and Media Organizations is yearning to know the existing strategy to ensure sustainability.

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