June 30, 2015, #hackjak2015 kick off event. From left to right, Rob de Groot (Hivos), me and Basuki Tjahjadi (Governor of Jakarta)

June 30, 2015, #hackjak2015 kick off event. From left to right, Rob de Groot (Hivos), me and Basuki Tjahjadi (Governor of Jakarta)

During a meeting about the Open Data Agenda-Setting for Asia 2015 last February, hosted by the Web Foundation, somebody asked a group from Indonesia when we put Hackathon Jakarta as one of the indicators of Open Data in this country. He asked, “Why is the Hackathon Jakarta Open Data Challenge [known as #HackJak] considered one of the milestones of Open Data in Indonesia? What makes #HackJak different from other Hackathons?”

The question was valid and important. As most of us who are working in the development sector (especially in Information and Communication Technologies) know, there are a lot of hackathons happening in Indonesia and each of them are contributing to their own cause. So what makes #HackJak different?

As I represent the Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative, a key initiator of the first #HackJak in 2014, my answer to him was “because #HackJak is not a stand alone event. It is not only hacking the data to make applications but more into develop awareness of the use of Open Data. Building awareness for government in its role as data provider, as well as for programmers as the intermediaries. #HackJak was able to create a sense of necessity around the need for collaboration within the open data ecosystem.”

#HackJak is back again this year. The main important difference compared to the previous #HackJak, is the active involvement of Jakarta’s government. This time the Jakarta government, represented by the Regional Planning Body (Bappeda), is more active in providing their data and actively setting the agenda not only for the event but also its follow up.

We have learned from the previous #HackJak and would like to make the results more sustainable. We plan to have a series of activities, which aim to go beyond the use of data and also touch upon data management within Government of Jakarta. This year #HackJak plans to have the results adopted by a specific department within the Jakarta Government.

This year the topics are tourism and public service delivery. With more organizations on board with different sets of skills and capacities (e.g. Ford Foundation, UN Global Pulse), this year #HackJak promises to be even better. There will be: a scrapathon, with the objective to make more open data available; crowdsourcing for a specific issue; a visualthon engaging with graphic designers to make open data better to read and understand; and finally the hackathon, followed by  incubation. As we want to make the result of #HackJak useful, we would like to ensure that the winners stay within the Jakarta Government until the program is adopted and useful towards Jakarta existing technology platform, the Smart City.

As collaboration is the main element of HackJak, the Jakarta Government is working with main partners such as SEATTI and Making All Voices Count. There are also contributing partners such as Ford Foundation and UN Global Pulse. We are welcoming other individuals or organizations to join this journey and help us to turn open data into actionable data.

SEATTI is very happy that #HackJak is back. We kick off in mid-June, so stay tuned for more information!

(re-blog from SEATTI’s website)