Open Data for Sustainable Development was one of the four main themes in Cambodia ICT Camp 2018. According to the United Nation, Open Data can support different areas of international development. Hence, it can contribute to many of the objectives outlined in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. Based on the report from the world bank, there is evidence that open data has contributed to many essential objectives for development, including to 1) Foster economic growth and job creation, 2) Improve efficiency and coverage of public services, 3) Increase transparency, accountability, and citizen participation, 4) Facilitate better information-sharing within government.
Given the potential of technologies and open data, Cambodia ICT Camp 2018 has introduced 19 sharing sessions focusing on the use of open data and information technology for sustainable development, including development in health education. environment and society.
Ashish Fitkariwala, founder and director of EduQuest Hub, held a sharing session on the use of technologies in education (EdTech). In his session, he introduced the EdTech overall landscape as well as the use of EdTech in developing skills and knowledge in the country’s educational and corporate sector. Ashish pointed out that “In EdTech, there a lot of things that can help people who cannot reach the physical form of education and it can help upscaling the equality of education for people who don’t have much time.”
In particular, the United Nations has determined that open data can contribute to sustainable development unless it is used to achieve development goals and the likelihood of access to the data is equal.
In fact, inequalities do exist in data and information accessibility, especially between women and men. Mrs. Pyrou Chung, Senior Advisor at East-West Management Institute, held a sharing session on women’s participation in open data and civic tech under Open Data for Sustainable Development theme. In her session, she focused on the importance of data to uncover and promote the needs of women and how women can involve in open data movement for their community and country development. She addresses that “In Cambodia, it is not common for women to pursue their study and career in ICT in general, not to mention involving in open data movement; however, there is a huge space for women in this field and they can also use ICT to help to contribute in any kind of development.”
Women’s participation in open data is one of the most participated sessions under Open Data for Sustainable Development theme. Every sharing session was designed to guide participants to understand the relation between Open Data and sustainable development, as well as to guide participant on how to utilize open data to overcome development challenges. More importantly, these sharing session, the hands-on guidance, and tools were designed to help the participants to employ open data for improved development programs.
Cambodia ICT Camp 2018 is a five-day conference built around the four main themes of Open Source for Good, Social Innovation, Open Data for Sustainable Development, and Cybersecurity. The hands-on workshops, mentoring sessions, lectures, panels, and excursions aim to give participants a chance to learn how to securely adapt technologies to tackle social and environmental issues in their communities.