Open Development Cambodia is pleased to host the Cambodia ICT Camp 2018. Cambodia ICT Camp 2018 is a five-day event built around the 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.
We kicked off the Camp with an welcoming speech by Open Development Cambodia’s Executive Director, Mr. Try Thy, who welcomed participants and other notable guests, including members of the Ministry, Open Development Mekong Partners, speakers, and student volunteers. He provided a thoughtful history of the history of ICT Camps. Try first joined the 2015 Mekong ICT Camp, which is open to the broader Mekong sub-region, as a participant. Since then, the Camp has become an annual event. Mr. Try and the rest of the Open Development Cambodia Team have worked to create Cambodia ICT Camp 2018, a localized version of the Mekong ICT Camp. This camp is created specifically to serve the needs of the Cambodian ICT community and to present an opportunity for learning and professional growth.
Our keynote speakers Pyrou Chung, Puangchomphu Rammuang, and Norbert Klein spoke on open data for sustainable development, social innovation, and open source for good, respectively. Pyrou Chung’s speech was a powerful call to open up data to promote inclusion and achieve sustainable development. She specifically focused on the importance of data to uncover and promote the needs of women. “Inequalities do exist,” she stated, “and we need more disaggregated data to tackle these inequalities.” To close her speech, she encouraged women to reach out to organizers of the camp to make clear what kind of data women need to engage in development and pursue their goals.
Pyrou Chung delivered her keynote speech on Open Data for Sustainable Development.Puangchomphu Rammuang emphasized the role of people in contributing to the development of their country. As a representative form the Thai Fund Foundation, she shared the importance of social innovation in the mission of her organization.
Lastly, Norbert Klein highlighted for the audience the potential of open source software. He suggested that participants should spend their organization’s money on furthering their cause, not on the software. The open source movement is a powerful community of programmers that work to make public code available for all. The speeches were connected by the common thread of the great need for the themes of the ICT Camp to contribute to Cambodia’s development. Cambodia ICT Camp 2018 presents a great opportunity for participants to learn more about these themes and apply them to their development challenges.
Our final keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Mok Khemera, Director of e-Government Department, a representative from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication. Mr. Khmera noted the powerful ability of open data and internet connectivity to contribute to development. “Open data is important for the rich and the poor,” he states, highlighting the importance of the ICT Camp’s goals. We have come together at Cambodia’s first ICT Camp to advance these ideas of social innovation, open source, open data, and cybersecurity. He closed with a call for participants to work with the government to leverage these ideas to increase government efficiency, further its development efforts, promote the e-Government frameworks and lead Cambodia to a better future.
This year’s camp was joined by a large and diverse set of participants. We are joined by over 90 development workers, entrepreneurs, journalists, health workers, agricultural specialists, students, and members of the private sector. Over the next 5 days, participants will take part in workshops that range from open data, data collection, cloud security and big data to design thinking, social entrepreneurship, and social media. Participants will have the opportunity to apply the lessons they hear to problems facing their organizations and communities. Through prototyping sessions, mentoring opportunities, sketch noting, and field visits, participants will be able to utilize the camp as a powerful tool to achieve their development goals.