The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is currently convening a very interesting workshop entitled, “Toward A Caribbean Open Institute: Data, Communications, and Impact”, being held in Kingston, Jamaica from 20 June – 1 July 2010. I was invited to give a talk entitled, “Open Government Data”. About 40 experienced and energetic policy and technical experts from regional and international organizations (including the UN), non-governmental organizations, universities, and the finance and communications sectors are actively engaged in discussion. A key aim is to explore how open institutional data approaches, Web 2.0 communications, and monitoring and evaluation methods can become forces that increase regional collaboration on issues such as agriculture, fishing, trade, tourism, immigration, ICTs, entrepreneurship, etc.
The workshop concludes later today with brainstorming on the kinds of pan-Caribbean initiatives and pilot projects that might lead to economic development and better governance. I hope a Caribbean open government data policy will be one vision from this workshop, and that the Web Foundation can continue to support this vision through raising awareness, capacity building and coordinating collaborative fora in this region and around the world.