Workshop @ HacksHackersLima, Lima, Peru

DSCF8085After Brazil, it is time for Open Steps to document Open Knowledge projects in Peru, the last country on a list of 24 travelled since the journey began back in July 2013.

In the city of Lima, we had the pleasure to organise our Open Data visualisation workshop with the newly created local chapter of HacksHackers, and the evening, since most of the attendees where journalists, was mainly focused on data-journalism.

For those who do not know HacksHackers yet; it is a global network bringing the so called Hacks (journalists) and Hackers (software developers) together with the purpose of rethinking the future of news and information.

Within only one week since its official launch, HackHackersLima has attracted the attention of many enthusiasts in the Peruvian capital and are already preparing great actions such as an upcoming Hackathon taking place in several cities from South America at the same time. This event, conceived by the HacksHackers network has the title of “La ruta del dinero” and aims to research on how public money is being used in the participant countries.

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At the end of our event, during the great debate we enjoyed, enthusiastic participants could give us an insight on the status of Open Data/Open Government initiatives at both the city and the country level. We felt grateful to count with the contribution of Leonardo León, key person on the implementation of the Open Data platform of the municipality, which by the way is built on Junar. Leonardo shared with us lots of details about the administration’s actions to encourage transparency, economic development and citizen participation through Open Government mechanisms. In this line, already 3 hackathons have taken place in the city where some great apps got built on top of the data available. We would like to mention Mi Canasta, a web platform built by Carlos Salvatierra and his team at the FabLab UNI, where citizens stay informed about prices and availability of sessional products in the wholesale market. Looking at the future, we experienced that a new law has been passed on the municipality which will set a more solid base for the continuation of the measures already taken. As it happens in Buenos Aires, Lima represents a model for further implementations by other regions or at national level.

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Although Peru is part of the Open Government Initiative and the OGP since April 2012 and counts with FOI law since 2002, there is still a lot to do at the country level. According to the OGP report, the government is now preparing its 2nd action plan and hopefully the actual site dedicated for transparency will be improved.

We want to thank again the team at HacksHackersLima and Open Data Peru for the great organisation. They are the proof of how enthusiastic journalists, activists and hackers are making Latin America become one of the most active spots in terms on civic activism.