FOI Notes: Photography, Research, Open Data, More

19 March 2012

Photography: The Freedom of Information Center of Armenia  has announced plans for a  photography exhibition to open May 3, International Press Freedom Day, in Yerevan, Armenia, devoted to freedom of information and the freedom of expression. “We are in the process of collecting photos and/or caricatures from around the world that are related to Right to Know and Freedom of the press.  So please send us any photos/caricatures that in your opinion capture the application of these two fundamental rights.”

Research:  The Constitution Unit at University College London is conducting research into FOI and universities and are looking into whether academics are using FOI as a research tool (see ).  “We wanted to ask if anyone knows examples of how FOI is contributing to academics’ work and any common problems academics face when requesting. Part of the project will involve formulating some useful guidelines for academics to help them get the most out of FOI. We have a short online survey for any academics or undergraduates using FOI in the UK, and wondered if you could fill it out if you have used FOI or pass it on and circulate it to anyone who may be able to help We would also be interested in hearing about experience of academic use elsewhere in the world.”

Uganda: The Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is undertaking a study to establish Uganda’s Open Government Data readiness. “The study, which will form the basis of advocacy, awareness raising, and network building activities, is gauging political willingness, public administration readiness, and civil society interest and readiness.We are also assessing citizens’ perceptions on open governance. Please see for the online survey. For details about the assessment, email”

Africa:  “The Land Security Agenda: How Investor Risks in Farmland Create Opportunities for Sustainability” by Earth Security Initiative examines an increase in land acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa by foreign investors and indicates that many problems are created by a lack of access to information by citizens. AFIC participated in the study and also reviewed the report. Please follow this link for full report.

Canada: is launched by University of Ottawa communications student Joelle Drouin to provide a one-stop place for her list of 222 Twitter accounts, 95 Facebook pages and 11 blogs by Canadian bureaucrats and cabinet ministers.  

Open Data: Open data activists at a conference in the United Kingdom begin an initiative to create a “charter of engagement” to outline ways they can get beyond simply publishing datasets, and get to supporting people to use data to create social, economic and administrative change. See explanation  by Tim Davies, co-director of Practical Participation and Web Science/Social Policy PhD student at the University of Southampton.

Open Data: A workshop entitled “Using Open Data: policy modeling, citizen empowerment, data journalism,” is planned for June 19-20 at the European Commission Headquarters, Brussels. The workshop is organized by W3C and the JRC-IPTS within the framework of the CROSSOVER project, a support action co-funded by the European Commission´s DG-INFSO under the Seventh Framework Programme – ICT Workprogramme 2011-2012. “This workshop asks a simple question: what is all the ‘new’ government open data being used for?”

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