A fit-for-purpose framework for embedded evaluation:


The January Featured story on O4C Facebook gives a detailed insight into how we continually reflect, adjust and refine our evaluation framework – to best capture important insights and learnings:

The first cycle of activity in the Open4Citizens project was completed in December 2016. Based on our design-anthropology-inspired evaluation framework, Antropologerne and our O4C project partners have gathered rich information about activities across pilot locations and have started extracting lessons from this.

We’ve been engaging with local stakeholders to support organisation of hackathons in all five pilot locations/cities of the project: Opendatalab CopenhagenOpendatalab MilanoOpendatalab RotterdamOpendatalab Barcelona and Open4Citizens – Karlstad. During these hackathons participants across Europe have used open data to develop appropriate solutions to specific challenges.

We are eagerly analysing our first year of activity and building lessons learned into our second project year (January to December 2017).

A Design-supported evaluation framework facilitates ’embedded evaluation’:

All evaluation data gathering and analysis is done by embedded evaluators, i.e. it is carried out internally in the project, with pilot team members being involved in planning, gathering data and evaluating hackathons and related activities. A potential drawback of this approach can be insufficient distance to the activities, leading to biased data gathering and analysis. To mitigate this challenge, we’ve designed a fit-for-purpose data gathering template which is used by all project pilots.

Antropologerne’s data gathering design prioritises photos of activities and graphical interpretation of findings. This facilitates alternative interpretations of activity by other pilot teams to those gathering the information, clearer communication of activities across pilots for analysis and learning, and is a complement to written material. Shared visual templates also facilitate communication with stakeholders beyond the project team.

Formative evaluation helps us to learn lessons across the project:

Initial analysis of our rich and extensive evaluation material allows for us to map out where we are achieving our aims and where we need to adjust our approach. So far, we learn how the the local context and involved stakeholders are important in shaping activities and ecosystems/OpenDataLabs.

Based on early learnings, we have developed design principles to improve innovation tools used in our hackathons. To better support citizens to work with open data, all tools need to be

  1. Data focused,
  2. Simple,
  3. Flexible and
  4. Add value to the solution creation process.

In addition, our open data project partner, Dataproces, has incorporated lessons from the use of open data and the OpenDataLab Platform in the hackathons to continue designing the online platform underpinning all pilots (see last month’s featured story for more).

Continuing to refine both formative & summative evaluation elements – Understanding how best to support citizens’ use of open data:

Across our five pilots, we will continue to test our hypotheses about how best to achieve the project vision by capturing and reflecting on ways in which we create social value. We are evaluating the value created through

  1. structured co-design activities (i.e. a second round of hackathons) supported by a specific set of tools to facilitate participation and an understanding of open data,
  2. the infrastructure needed to support the co-creation of open data-driven solutions to challenges in urban services and,
  3. the governance level set-up that will ensure the sustainability of the O4C approach.

If you’re keen to learn more about the O4C evaluation approach: Get in touch with Janice at Antropologerne (http://www.antropologerne.com/?lang=en, see ‘Team’)


Look out for next month’s  #Open4CitizensFeaturedStory for more about the O4C project!


Exciting platform ventures for 2017


The December Featured story on O4C Facebook teased out what exciting platform developments we intend to engage during 2017:

Dataproces designs and builds the digital platform for the Open4Citizens project: http://opendatalab.eu. The team responsible at Dataproces is in the middle of an agile innovation process with the purpose to develop for several groups of users. At one level, we design to assist all project partners in preparing the facilitation of the various Open4Citizens hackathons held across Europe. At another level, we design to give the participants in these events the best possible experiences. This means that we are dealing with users from different contexts and cultures who are all passionate about different topics and with varied expertise and preliminary knowledge about open data.

It is an interestingly complex task, and during 2016–the first year of development–we’ve been testing different tools for data visualization and concept development. Tools that we have proposed for the first round of project hackathons during autumn 2016.

As the project is continuously developing, we are keen to propose a similarly dynamic solution. Our goal is to be innovative about how to stimulate, trigger and support a broad spectrum of citizens, who are all curious about open data across Europe–within the project and beyond.

During 2017 we look forward to iterative exploration, development and test of the 2nd release of the platform. In the beginning of the new year, we want to zoom in on selected personas to develop relevant user journeys. With this approach, our goal is to build a framework for an improved platform–a “toolbox”–for curating a selection of relevant tools for analyzing, visualizing and using data together in a participatory design approach.

Our work is continually under development–you can find the current version at http://opendatalab.eu.

Input is always very welcome  We’re keen to be in dialogue!

Reach out to us at: mbt@dataproces.dk & as@dataproces.dk


Follow-up and Post-hack process in Copenhagen

Continuing from the successful Hack Integration event several participants expressed an eagerness to participate in an active follow up phase. Building on their feedback the O4C team in Copenhagen have made their resources available to the 6 participating teams. This means engaging dialogue and ‘hooking them up’ with relevant stakeholders able to support their next possible steps.
Aiming to support further development and ideally creating
prototypes ready-for-testing or applications for early funding, we host a series of three Meetups to zoom in on the act of Pretotyping, reflecting all aspects of the Business Model Canvas and a start-up funding inspirational talk:

Overall, around 6-8 participants representing 4 teams joined in on our follow-up activity – while yet other participants pursue ideas ignited during Hack Integration in other contexts. One team in particular have joined an external start-up process through Væksthus Hovedstadsregionen.

November 10th 2016: ”Pre-to-typing”
Exposing participants to the idea of Pre-to-typing we proposed various ‘shortcuts’ to measuring the level of interest among an intended target group for a new idea. The aim is to invest as little as possible while learning as much as possible – making sure what teams are working on is the right thing to be build. The business aspects of their proposals need to be developed in parallel with their technical definitions.

November 23rd 2016: “Business Model Canvas”
During the second session we pushed teams to think strategically about each aspect of the Business Model Canvas for their concepts – focusing in particular on the core of their value proposition, infrastructure and finances.

December 8th 2016: “Start-up advice and early funding inspiration”
Through active dialogue and rich exemplification, entrepreneur, consultant and educational designer: Thor Rigtrup Larsen joins in to give advice on possibilities and next steps for the teams continually developing their ideas.

Looking ahead
We invite participants and teams to stay in dialogue with us and reach out in case of particular advice or support needed!


♥ Thank you for joining our efforts ♥ 


Hack Integration in Copenhagen

A summary of Hack Integration

Hack Integration is the first of 2 hackathons hosted by OpenDataLab Copenhagen as part of the Open4Citizens project. The overall ambition of the project is to investigate the potential for new and improved welfare services by exploring the gap between open data and citizens’ ability to use open data as a resource.

In Denmark, the aim of the first hackathon was to explore how open data might work as a resource in service innovation aimed at improving the integration of Newcomers to Denmark.

A diverse mix of engaged participants in a great venue

Between October 7-9th we borrowed the great venue of the HumLab on the 5ft floor of Aalborg University – Copenhagen. Overall, 28 participants brought a diverse set of skills and curiosity to the mix – across asylum seekers, journalists, photographers and students (representing service systems design, techno-anthropology, global refugee studies, DTU and the IT University of Copenhagen).

skills the participants brought in

Participatory methods & platform testing

Led by Antropologerne, the O4C Consortium partners have developed a ‘starter kit’; a collection of methods that support citizens’ ability to make creative sense of open data. Throughout the weekend we facilitated the teams through this process – from initial ideation to conceptual solutions demonstrated through prototypes:

  • Inspiration and discussion: Defining what need to address
  • Brainstorming and prioritisation of ideas
  • Platform and data exploration
  • Fast and Furious prototype sessions + deep digital prototype building
  • Pitch


Agenda for the weekend:

DAY 1 – Inspiration and Brainstorming

To kick-off the event we had invited several inspirational speakers to articulate pertinent challenges and problems – openings for improved services based on data.

The Grassroots movement of ‘friendly-dwellers’: Venligboerne reminded us how the big differences can be made in the everyday lives of many people – through social media.

“We’re social activists hacking the social rules!”
– Zaki Abarra, Venligboerne

The Association New Dane (Foreningen Nydansker) invited proposals to support better integration in Danish companies.

“We need to become better at integrating immigrants into working life”
– Torben Møller-Hansen, Foreningen Nydansker

Open Knowledge Foundation Denmark enlightened us on the importance of finding alternative stories based on data and data analysis.

“Turning data into knowledge means making open data useful”, and
“data sets are  political; they shape our world view”
– Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen, Open Knowledge Foundation DK

Asylum seeker and representative from the Red Cross initiative New Times shared a few glimpses of the challenges met in her encounter with Denmark: 

“Freedom is a balance between duty and rights”
Marion Chen, New Times/Asylum seeker

The festive launch evening invited networking, delicious food and initial team acquaintance – as well as agreements on team-names and focus areas.

Maintaining a lively atmosphere we energized with playful exercises and delicious food from the social economic enterprise Send Flere Krydderier.


Day 2 – Prototyping and Data exploration

The second day was the long intense day of prioritising ideas and exploring how data might help address the qualitative needs and challenges on the integration arena. 

The platform OpenDataLab.eu was introduced and explored. Introductions was given to the crowdsourcing initiative Mapillary, illustrating how it’s possible to create data by engaging the crowd. An open data curious citizen and spare time app developer spontaneously shared the obstacles he encountered developing open data based apps (e.g. for finding playgrounds and monuments).

As teams intensely brainstormed and developed prototypes, OpenStreetMap idealist Søren Johannesen gave input and ‘hangaround support’ along with data-wizz and hackathon experienced Morten Fuglsang.

Day 3 – Tweaking concepts and finale pitching

During the course of the hackathon weekend the participants kept the same level of enthusiasm and commitment for the main topic, which they found to be very relevant. They approached open data and integration from different perspectives, and on the 9th of October they pitched 6 ideas – and was given feedback from both the crowd and an exciting feedback panel.

Outcomes and results 

  • 6 pitches addressing the needs expressed in the inspiration session:
  • E-learning platforms for job-creation, private host-family opportunities, Sports centered bridge-building apps, mentor-networking, and a community-based translation application
  • Excited participants and teams eager to follow-up in follow-up process post-hack 
  • Continued support and networking from speakers across varied expertise and interests
  • New friendships and ignition of new potential collaboration
  • A common ground for students, asylum seekers, NGO’s and open knowledge enthusiasts

The 6 concepts pitched:

New connections, skills & greater data curiosity

The atmosphere maintained a high level of playfulness, openness and curiosity. Overall the participants were very satisfied with the experience of joining Hack Integration. Several highlighted how they did acquire both new skills, a greater curiosity towards data and new valuable connections.


“I believe it will be cool to create a dataset with important translations and cultural interpretations.”

“It was super productive, energizing and a great experience overall!”
– Lizette

“Interesting topic that is quite important and requires more attention.”
– Nikolai

“Gained a practical insight into using data/open data for various purposes.”
– Silas

“I learned something I didn’t know before.”
– Marion

To learn more: 

First Pre-Hack meeting for the Danish Pilot

Pre-hack ChallengesThe first Pre-hack meeting for the Copenhagen pilot was held at the VerdensKulturCentret to work around the experience of being a refugee, asylum seeker or otherwise ‘new’ in Denmark. From there we discussed and identified key challenges, needs and possibilities.
Among others, we considered the challenges of: Mastering their own life, access information, healthcare, rights and language skills, understand the Danish culture.

We will continue from here, to address those challenges and to prepare the ground (datasets, further links) for the coming work

The workshop allowed us to clarify the challenges we can work within a sort of ‘hackathon’. That is, an event in which we facilitate cooperation between citizens and experts with different academic and practical backgrounds and expertise. The aim is to create new services and solutions – or improve existing services. The concepts must make sense and be practical for asylum seekers and newcomers in Denmark – or for active groups supporting them.

We look forward to working with interested individuals and firms and bodies the next few years!

Thanks to all the dedicated participants that Thursday evening in VerdensKulturCentret attended our workshop. Also a big thank you to our Danish partners in Open4Citizens project!


Press Release

Open4Citizens improves the meaningful use of Open Data supporting the engagement of urban communities see page.

O4CtextThe latest developments in Open Data and Open Government allow the collection and publication of huge datasets that can provide insightful information on many aspects of urban life (health care, social and environmental services). However, the full potential of this phenomenon is still largely untapped: even though such databases are constantly incorporating new data, the resulting information is only used by a small number of organizations ­ mostly private that know how to use this data for commercial purposes. While the European Union promotes the vision that all Public Sector Information should become available to the general public, in just few cases Open Data is actually used to support better public policies or decision-­making.

The EU funded O4C project aims to integrate citizens more tightly both at the input and output side of the Open Data phenomenon. On the input side, the data collected from institutional sources (such as traffic-­related, environmental, statistics) are complemented by user ­generated data (such as anonymous logs to portals and personal data users are willing to make publicly available on social networks). On the output side, the project focuses on the creation of “playgrounds”, where citizens and other local actors are empowered to actually convene and cooperate to the development of new web and mobile applications that enhance their very own experience of already existing public services. These playgrounds include service jams, hackathons, co-­design workshops, and other physical or virtual events, open to citizens, interest groups, but also representatives of the public sector, students, hackers and startuppers.
O4C is carried out in five pilot locations – in Denmark, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands – with the purpose of creating unique communities of practice (OpenDataLabs) , whereby citizens and other stakeholders can co­-create innovative applications based on Open Data. The project will investigate and document the ways Open Data allow to co­create new public services that improve the quality of their daily lives.
The consortium: Aalborg University Copenhagen -­ coordinator (Denmark), I2CAT (Spain), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Telecom (Italy), Experio (Sweden), Antropologerne (Denmark), TU Delft (The Nederlands), Dataprocess (Denmark).
H2020 Contract Number: ICT­687818
Subprogramme Area: Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation
To know more about the project: http://www.open4citizens.eu

Kick-off meeting

11-12 January 2016 the Open4Citizen project started with the Kick-Off meeting at AAU-Copenhagen.
All the partners of the consortium met for the first time and discussed organisational, administrative and content-related aspects of the project.

Some of the partners have a consolidated history of mutual collaboration, others are new, therefore the meeting was a good opportunity to tune-up expectations and perspectives and to start thinking how Open4Citizen can make a difference.
The partners also included workshop sessions, where the consortium started the discussion on the format of the hackathon, the content of the first cycle of hackathons, the methodologies and the expected outcomes of this first cycle.


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