About Data Uruguay
Hi! Thanks for visiting. We guess you’re looking up some information about us and you don’t understand Spanish. That’s ok 🙂.
Sadly we don’t have the resources to keep our whole site updated in English, but this should help you get a general idea of who we are and what we do. Furthermore, feel free to contact us about anything else you might need or want to know, and we’ll do our best to answer ASAP.
Data Uruguay is a civil Society organization that works on open government, open data, open knowledge, civic tech, transparency, access to information, digital rights and co-creation of public policy. Our work is based on three pillars:
Creation of civic tech based on open data to promote the knowledge and exercise of rights or informed decision making in partnership with other organizations, government and communities.
Organization of national and international networks and events to foster community building to support open government, open knowledge, digital rights, participation and open data.
We partner with local and international civil society organizations and academia, to promote open government, data and knowledge, human and digital rights, participation and cocreation of public policy.
To contribute to a more just society through the use of open data and civic technology, based on three pillars; social tools for participation and the reuse of open data, strengthening of communities and social activism.
A more just society can’t exist without the participation of informed people. For this, public information, open data, transparency and civic tech are fundamental and we mean to contribute from those.
Every tool created by Data Uruguay is open, licenced as free software and available for its download and reuse, as well as the data generated by them is available as open data.
The main focus of the organization is in Uruguay, but we develop regional and international work both in community building and events, as well as project replication in other countries, in partnership with local organizations.
Don’t mind a few things lost in translation?
Searching for info on one particular project?
The information page for each project includes general info, screencaps, milestones, tech sheet, awards, partnerships, FAQ, graphic materials and logos, photos, press clippings and more (all in spanish, though).
How we work
We’re a semi-voluntary, horizontal and consensus-based organization, made up by a multidisciplinary team that works remotely, without a fixed physical space or office hours*.
A central tem (we call it the nucleus), manages projects and general administration, with great freedom of action. Project teams are formed by interest and availability among nucleus members and people occupying a grey zone, between being part of the organization and being partners or suppliers in projects.
*from before the pandemic made it fashionable! 😛
Networking and cocreation
Collaboration is a central aspect of our work. Data doesn’t have every thematic expertise that our projects require (health, education, sustainability, etc.). That’s why we develop our projects in partnership with other organizations or affected communities, that can take advantage of the expertise we do have; open government, open data, collaboration, participation, transparency, project design, coding, interface design, usability, etc.
Oportunism (in a good way)
Although we have a strategic orientation and prioritized issues, our organization defines much of its work based on opportunities both as a response to external demand, as well as the availability of new data, or contacts with capacity for incidence in other organizations.
Lab and replication
Our focus is in Uruguay, both for the means available and the personal connection of our team with the idea to improve our reality. We’re aware that the context of the country in the region allows us to innovate and that’s why we use it as a lab to later replicate experiences together with partner organizations in countries like Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, México and others.
Desde el gobierno abierto al Estado abierto en América Latina y el Caribe
In 2017 we detailed the inner workings of our organizations for chapter XXII of this book (yes, in Spanish).
Open by default
In the same way we use data to create our tools, we also publish all data generated by our tools in the National Open Data Catalogue maintained by Uruguay’s eGov agency (Agesic).
Everything we code is published as free and open source software and we promote its reuse for any purpose, under a GPLv3 license.
Content generated for our tools is under a Creative Commons 4.0 International Attribution license. You’re free to Share (copy and redistribute the material by any means or format) and Sdapt (remix, transform and build from the material for any purpose, even commercially), under the following terms; Attribution (credit appropriately, link to the license, and indicate if changes have been made) and Not imposing additional restrictions (legal terms of technical measures that legally restrict others to make any use allowed by the license).
A bit of history
Around 2009, a group of committed public servants from Montevideo local government started publishing open data and managed to promote an agency-wide policy. On the national level, the Agency for Electronic Government and Informativa and Knowledge Society (AGESIC) supported the initiative and later created an Open Data Working Group, for which it convened actors from both academia and civil society, including future members of Data. Some of them, also organized that year the first regional open data hackathon by the name of Desarrollando América Latina (Developing Latin America, promoted by Ciudadanía Inteligente from Chile).
Our organization is born from the consolidation of a group of people who already had some link to open data, and saw with concern the unusual situation of a strong push for innovation where offer of open data was greater than demand.
On april 2012 the organization achieved its legal status and in october we launched our first project (QueSabes.uy). Barely starting 2013 we faced the challenge of co-organizing the first Regional Open Data Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (which on its next edition would be renamed ConDatos), giving us at the same time the opportunity to simultaneously create the first un conference on the subject (ABRELATAM) oriented to civil society.
The success of the event propelled us surprisingly to a central spot in the regional conversation on open data. We established an extended network of contacts through America and Europe, proving that we were capable of successfully handle substantial amounts of International funding, cemented a relationship with the national government through co-organization with AGESIC, and earned us the trust of international donors, particularly AVINA Foundation, who gives us our first fund to develop the project PorMiBarrio.uy.
That same year, along the creation process of Uruguay’s second action plan for OGP, the Open Government Network (Red de Gobierno Abierto, or RGA) starts to take shape, making articulation with other local organizations a key focus of our work.
Through 2014 and the start of 2015 ATuServicio.uy is developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MSP). A pivotal project for our way of working, consolidating the co-creation methodology partnering with organizations who are expert on the subject matter. It was also key in making our organization move from offer to demand, since its great success generated interest of many other public agencies and organizations.
We’ve been honored with a number of awards to both our organization and our projects, but achieving the first place in the 2015 OGP Awards placed us in a spot of tremendous exposure on a global level, that solidified the credibility of the organization in the world of open government. Around that time as well, our «Café de Data» meetups are born; gathering community to learn and work with open data. From these encounters, projects like ATuNombre.uy and DondePinta.uy are born.
In 2016 we co-organized with the RGA, Agesic and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) the OGP Regional Meeting for the Americas in Montevideo. Once again locating us in a central point of the regional community, but this time not only for open data but for open government. The sustained relationship with OGP has been crucial for our work and the RGA in particular.
Between 2017 and 209 we developed our education projects; DerechosDeEstudiantes.edu.uy with UNICEF Uruguay, CES, UTU and ANEP and ElijoEstudiar.edu.uy together with ANEP. This topic has become central to our work, and this trend is consolidated in 2021 with the signature of a broad agreement with the University of the Republic (Udelar), which gives as a first result ATuNombre.Udelar.edu.uy.
In 2018 we start organizing (in partnership with la diaria and RGA organizations) our «Datos y Cogollos» (Data and Buds) meetings, where projects linked to data are shared. The format was created by SocialTIC in Mexico and replicated all over Latin America.
In 2020 the launch of the third version of DondeReciclo.uy helped us redefine work methodologies, tech stack and a series of optimizations in our way or working, aiming to achieve project that are more sustainable in time, simplifying their maintenance and update.
We’re more than Data
Beyond or collaborative work, we incubate or facilitate through our legal entity the work of projects that complement and allow us to broaden the impact of our work.
- After organizing the first edition of ABRE LATAM in 2013 we transfered the event to the community, allowing it to consolidate as the prime space for open data in Latin America. Since then we keep collaborating with facilitation on every edition of the event.
- That same year, a coalition of civil society organizations that would become the Red de Gobierno Abierto gave its first steps, where we execute tasks of executive secretariat and coordination, including its representation in the Open Government Working Group.
- In 2016 our infrastructure and legal entity allowed the first activities of the Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos (ILDA), which would become independent in 2017 and move on to become a key actor for open data in the region (including taking over coordination for ABRE LATAM).
- Also in 2016 the Datysoc (Datos y Sociedad) project is formed within Data to do research on digital rights in Uruguay, projecto that is reformulated in 2019 and keeps working in tight coordination with the rest of our organization.
- In 2021 we incubate legally and administratively Wikipedistas de Uruguay, allowing for new collaborations and transfer of knowledge on topics and projects related to of open knowledge.