International Training: Enhancing Open Access to Knowledge, Information and Data in the Mekong

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Welcome to the Wikispace for the "Enhancing Open Access to Knowledge, Information & Data in the Mekong: Open Data Festival and International Capacity-building Workshop".

We kindly invite you to contribute to this program to shape and complete this three-day training together.

General information: dates and venue[edit]

Dates: February 26-28, 2017

Festival Venue: Phandeeyar Event Space

Venue for the training: Best Western Green Hill -


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Over the last 30 years, the nation states in the Mekong region have taken steps to reform their land policy to facilitate the efforts to end poverty, create wealth and grow their economies. To do this most effectively in this modern age requires the leveraging of technical innovations and data.

Since 2009, a global movement led by leaders in governments around the world, has sought to champion the opening up of data held by states in order to catalyse innovation, demonstrate accountability and enable people, especially youth, to create wealth and employment contributing to economic growth and stability. Such open data - available in forms that various constituencies can access, use, re-use, re-purpose and share - provide both the public and private sector and non-state actors with a unique opportunity.

Although open data is not the magic bullet to the complex and evolving land governance and land policy reform landscape, it can provide stakeholders within the region with an additional tool to implement their development agendas. These also relate to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is also integrated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) development planning, and involves the Mekong states. Rapid progress on the SDGs, including indicators related to land, is dependent on the quality and accessibility of data used to develop, implement, monitor and review policy interventions and measure progress against indicators for the 2030 Agenda.

Land is a core part of the development agenda. Improving its use and accessibility increases its efficient and effective use across various the ministries, departments and agencies, while also providing the private and non-profit sectors with data to help them design strong investment and intervention strategies that are also vital to productive development. The Government of Myanmar’s comprehensive development plan, as well as Vietnam’s socio-economic strategy 2020, prioritize elements of economic activity such as manufacturing, agricultural production and economic zones whose implementation would be enhanced by open data, especially land related open data. In Laos, the land policies of the last decade are up for review, with the Prime Minister pledging to find solutions to land issues that have arisen as land has been turned to capital. Improvements in data availability and accessibility will provide policy makers critical information for decision making as well as evidence of change and impact. Open data also offers opportunities to better evaluate, monitor, and respond to the initiatives of other development partners, including private sector. In the broader picture, adopting technologies that improve data organization and management, and its quality and accessibility across and between the various sectors, not only lends itself to more nuanced analysis and interventions on land but can also be used to address related challenges in regard to the environment, public health, and more.

The Myanmar Open Data Festival and the related capacity-building workshop, “Enhancing Open Access and Use of Knowledge, Information & Data in the Mekong,” offer unique opportunities to explore the challenges, needs, opportunities and technologies related to Mekong countries becoming leaders in the effective use of data to support development.


The overall goal of the workshop is to learn about emerging standards and technologies to support better data use, discuss the practical steps necessary to adopt, adapt and institutionalize open data, especially as related to land, and explore opportunities for enhancing data use between countries.

Objectives of the Workshop[edit]

  • Further build the capacity of participants in development of robust open data initiatives
  • Explore open data and related projects/initiatives being implemented within the region and beyond
  • Discuss options and opportunities for improving the quality, organization and accessibility of data, especially related to land, within the Mekong Region
  • Connect data leaders within the region to each other inorder to facilitate knowledge exchange and technology transfer

Delegates shall will learn about and discuss:

  • Emerging trends in data innovation in the public sector
  • New terms, concepts and approaches to support cutting-edge data management
  • Top open data initiatives and platforms in the world today and the technologies they use
  • How to increase use of data
  • How to access and link to other open data sets
  • The potential for data to contribute to economic and social development efforts and how to maximize that

26 February 2017[edit]

Open Data ‘Festival'[edit]

The open data festival, which is open to the local community in Yangon, to bring together all those interested in open data. This festival will convene a growing network of national and regional leaders to support and elevate ongoing work, ensure continuity of the open data conversation in Myanmar, support an open data culture in Myanmar, and connect the range of actors working in Myanmar with key actors in the Mekong region and internationally. This event will also help to reach out to new individuals and organizations who can help to enrich the open data community in Myanmar.

The festival will include information and exposition booths from local and international organizations, a dynamic talk show of open data experts from the region and around the world and lightning talks showcasing good practices and examples on the use of open data in the region.


17:00-21:00: Share Fair - booths/tables from local, regional and international organizations

18:00-19:00: Talk Show / Interactive Panel Discussion

Speaker Bio
Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Coordinator Since 2012 Laura Meggiolaro has been responsible for the overall management, implementation and expansion of the Land Portal as its coordinator. Laura holds a master’s degree in communications science and a master’s degree in economics for development. She has extensive experience (12 years) in the development sector, with particular emphasis on the land governance, collaborating with UN agencies and civil society organizations, including the FAO, the International Land Coalition and ActionAid, specializing in information and knowledge management. Laura led the Land Portal through an in-depth assessment that resulted in the formulation of a new development strategy establishing the Land Portal as an independent foundation with the aim of becoming a hub for Linked Open Data and a clear example of innovation and open development in action contributing to policy formulation and better decision making and increasing transparency in the land sector.
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Thin Lei Win, Asia Resilience Correspondent, Thomson Reuters Foundation Born and raised in Myanmar, Thin currently covers resilience issues across Asia for the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), the non-profit arm of the Reuters news agency, for whom Thin has worked since 2008. In 2015, Thin returned to Myanmar after many years abroad to set up, launch and manage Myanmar Now, an award-winning bilingual news agency, producing in-depth reports on the country’s historic elections and transition to a popularly-elected government, with the support of TRF. Thin also co-founded The Kite Tales, a unique preservation project that chronicles the lives and histories of ordinary people across Myanmar. Until 2015, Thin worked as the Bangkok-based Southeast and East Asia Correspondent for TRF, producing award-winning humanitarian news coverage in the region on issues as wide-ranging as land rights, disasters, conflicts, climate change, women’s rights, and refugees and displacement. Thin caught the journalism bug when she interned at a publishing house in Singapore in 2000 in her final year of studies in Business Management. She eschewed the business world for life as a reporter, to her parents’ initial consternation.
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Muchiri Nyaggah, Executive Director of the Local Development Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya Muchiri serves as the Executive Director at the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), an action-oriented think tank supporting efforts of African governments to end extreme poverty, end hunger and reduce inequalities. LDRI’s work is focused on the role of agricultural transformation especially the capability of states to have available to them, and share openly, data and statistics for decision-making. Until March 2015, Muchiri served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Open Institute Trust, a think-do tank based in Nairobi, Kenya working on open data and open governance. Through his work there, he pioneered efforts towards subnational engagement on open government through a flagship program known as, Open County.
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Penhleak "Pinkie"​ Chan, Regional Network and Partnership Supports Manager at East-West Management Institute Pinkie is an open data advocate and practitioner. She is currently supporting East West Management Institute' Open Development Initiative (EWMI-ODI) in building coalitions and offering a constantly evolving open data and information platform to track development trends in the Lower Mekong region from country to regional level. Before joining EWMI-ODI, Pinkie worked with Open Development Cambodia, a flagship project of the initiative. Pinkie is also interested in civic tech, open education, design thinking, and arts.
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Dr. Do Van Hung, Dean of Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi – Vietnam National University (VNU) Dr. Do Van Hung is Dean of Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi – Vietnam National University (VNU) and Vice-Chairman of The Vietnam Library Association. He is also a committee member of The Division of Standards for Library and Information Science in Vietnam, Vietnam Standards and Quality Institute. Dr. Hung is a leading advocate for Open Educational Resources and Open Access and integrating Open Data in Vietnam. He coordinates numerous Open Data-related projects, is encouraging collaboration on open access b between 26 higher education institutes, and has organized international conferences focused on open access.
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19:00 - 20:00: Lightning talks

20:00-21:00: Music

Local music/entertainment by DJ Moe Lone
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Those interested in participating are encouraged to register:

If you are interested in having an information table or a lightning talk about your work, please contact

27-28 February 2017[edit]

The Open Data Workshop[edit]


Adding Value to Open Data Portals, Pyrou Chung, ODI Regional Data Manager

How the National Land Use Policy Promotes Use of Publicly Accessible Land Information Database Systems for Decision-Making, Rob Oberndorf, USAID Land Tenure Project

Program Day 1


Activity Description


Introduction & Welcome

9:00 - 10:45

Presentation: Latest Trends in Real World Data Innovation in the Public Sector

  1. “Shades of Open Data” - The spectrum of open data from closed to open
  2. Common terminology in the data community
  3. Some Top Data Portals Around the World


Participants gain understanding on the various mutations of open data, the terminology currently common in the community and selected top open data portals.

(60 mins) Experiences from around the region: participant presentations and discussion


Participants share the open data projects and/or policies they are championing/implementing in their countries.

10:45 - 11:00  

Coffee break

11:00 - 13:00

(60 mins) Experiences from around the region: participant presentations and discussion

(60 mins) Experiences from around the region: participant presentations and discussion

12:45 - 14:00  

Lunch Break

14:00 - 15:30

Group discussions

(20 min) Presentation - Myanmar: How the National Land Use Policy Promotes Use of Publicly Accessible Land Information Database Systems for Decision-Making

Presentation: How to Implement Successful Open Data Initiatives

  1. Addressing Certainty - Licensing, Frequency, User Experience
  2. Appropriate Technology - Popular Technologies for Collection, Dissemination and Visualisation of Data
  3. Considering Partnerships - Software developers, media partners, data producers, academia
  4. A Demand-driven Approach - Feedback loops, community focused approaches



Participants are exposed to four key areas they should consider in detail when seeking to design/strengthen their data initiatives. Participants should be able to discuss how these various elements apply or don’t apply within their context.


15:30 - 15:45

Coffee break

15:45 - 17:00

Presentation: Bringing Data to Life - Increasing Efficiency Through Data

  1. Linking Data Across Thematic Areas
  2. The Potential of Linked Data technology
  3. Data Visualisation
  4. Capacity Building for Better Use of Data for Decision Making


Participants gain understanding on the basic concept of linked data.

Participants can discuss how the multi-thematic approach, visualisation and the skills needed for these can support efforts to increase efficiency in government.



Wrap-up Day One

Program Day 2


Activity Description

9:00 - 9:30

Welcome & overview of the day


Sustaining Economic Development Momentum Through Data

  1. Potential Contribution of Data in Engagement Within the ASEAN Economic Community
  2. Data as a means of implementation for development strategies/plans
  3. Sector-wide or whole-of-government approaches to data coordination in the context of development plans.



Participants can identify possible entry points for data-driven conversations within the context of the ASEAN Economic Community priority projects.

Participants can discuss how coordination of data can be realised within the context of the implementation of national development plans and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes aspects of land data.


11:00 - 11:15  

Coffee break

11:15 - 12:45

Group discussions

(20 min) Presentation - Myanmar: How the Land Tenure Project's Participatory Mapping Manual Provides Land Open Data to Promote Responsible Investment.

How One African Country is Leading the Continent on Data

Kenya’s Open Data Journey, efforts towards realisation of a data revolution for sustainable development and its engagement its Role in the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) community.




Towards Cutting-Edge Data Initiatives in the Mekong  - In-depth Discussion

Group session using a matrix to explore the human, economic, political and technological considerations for national data initiatives.

  • The discussion matrix encourages delegates to take into account the content so far in exploring potential augmentation of their initiatives in order to launch, resource or scale them.
  • The groups nominate a chair who presents their observations to the plenary



Participants can identify and articulate the ways in which their data initiatives could be augmented in order to achieve the objectives they seek which can include allocation of financial resources, policy changes, high level political support and infrastructure.

15:30 - 15:45

Coffee break

15:45 - 17:15

Delegate Presentations & Discussions


Way forward & Closing


Venue information

The festival will be hosted in the event space of Phandeeyar.

11th Floor of MAC Tower, 561, Merchant Road, Merchant Rd, Yangon 11181, Myanmar (Burma)

The venue of the training will be supported by USAID and in the process of being identified.


Hotels in Downtown Yangon area[edit]

Clover City Center Address : 217, 32nd street.(upper block), Pabedan Township Phone : 01 377 720 Price for Local : MMK 38,000 (minimum Price) Price for Non-local: 48 USD

Clover City Center Plus No.217, 32nd street.(upper block), Pabedan Township, Myanmar، 32nd St, Yangon 11181 Phone : 01 377 720 Price for Local : MMK 55,000 (minimum Price) Price for Non-local: 60 USD

Orchid Hotel Address - No.91, Anawrahta Road, Pazundaung Township, Yangon, Myanmar Phone : +95 (1) 399 930, +95 (1) 901 0061~64 Price for Local : MMK 40,000 (minimum Price)

Central Hotel Address : Corner of 31st street. Bogyoke road. Phone: 01 241 001 Price for Local : MMK 40,000 (minimum Price) Price for Non-local: 60 USD

East Hotel Address : 234-240 Sule Pagoda Rd, Yangon Phone : 09 731 35311 Price for Local : 70 USD Price for Non-local: 60 USD

Panorama Hotel Yangon Address : 294-300, Pansodan Street Phone : 01 253 077 Price for Local : MMK 50,000 Price for Non-local: 70 USD