Two Nova Scotians using the data in their business are Alastair Jarvis and his business partner Will Martin. They created WoodsCamp, an online tool that uses the province’s forest inventory data to match woodlot owners with loggers and markets for their timber. “Data-rich problem spaces are ripe for social enterprises whose job it is to find new business models to solve problems that governments don’t have the time or resources to take on effectively,” said Mr. Jarvis. “Making government datasets available to innovators invites experimentation and innovation that delivers impact.” Mr. Jarvis believes others will use open data as a foundation for innovation. To watch a video on how he uses the data portal in his work, click here, https://youtu.be/_PbvYerKGSc. Nova Scotia launched the open data portal to give free, easy access to a wealth of government information. The portal was expanded several times over the past year to include data collections, high-resolution 3D maps and some information previously only available for a fee. The portal has received about 300,000 page views and 8,000 downloads. The most accessed datasets include public service information, historical vital statistics and environmental monitoring reports. The site has logged visitors from all over the world and more than 60 per cent of visitors return. Open data is just one way government is being more transparent. Earlier this year, Nova Scotia became the third province to start posting completed Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) requests online. Over the last few years, government has made other great strides in becoming more transparent by posting ministerial expenses, funding investments and creating forestry harvest maps. The website address is data.novascotia.ca. Nova Scotians are using data to create new opportunities and innovations while government continues to make more information available. Government is marking the first anniversary of its open data portal by making more than 50 new and refreshed data collections available to the public today, Feb. 7. This brings the total number of datasets publicly released over the past year to nearly 400. “The open data movement continues to grow in our province and our portal is a valuable tool many entrepreneurs, students and citizens can use to access information,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Nova Scotians are finding new ways to use data to innovate, solve problems and grow the economy.” The open data portal presents information in an accessible, easy-to-work-with format. Among the new datasets added today are: provincial immigration nominee program statistics, 2012-2015 community and family services program access African Nova Scotian family names No. 2 Construction Battalion nominal roll farm registrations Nova Scotia Museum locations funding programs, grants and awards employment service centre locations school boards and public school locations
The action plan sets out a series of measures to enhance the overall protection of children affected by armed conflict, including the cessation and prevention of child recruitment, and the release of children from national security forces. The Sudanese Government also committed to appoint a high-level focal point to coordinate the implementation of the plan and to collaborate with the UN in monitoring progress. With that signing yesterday, all seven countries whose national security forces are listed by the UN Secretary-General for recruitment and use of children have committed to the objective of Children, Not Soldiers, a global campaign to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government security forces in conflict. The other six are Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. “Twenty years after my mandate was created, governments around the world now agree that children should not be associated with national security forces in conflict,” said Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in a press release . “The Action Plan signed today will bring about a more protected future for the country’s children. I look forward to its full implementation and reiterate my full support to the Sudanese authorities to reach this objective,” she added. Signing ceremony of Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in national security forces on 27 March 2016 in Khartoum, Sudan. Photos: UN of for Children and Armed Conflict ‹ › Sudan’s State Minister of Social Welfare Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim signed the action plan on behalf of the Government. “We will work to promote and protect children’s rights in areas of armed conflict and displacement. We are also committed to strengthen existing mechanisms that are included in the Child Act of 2010 and the Sudan Armed Forces law,” he said. Upon successful completion of all measures agreed to in the action plan, the Sudanese Government Security Forces will be removed from the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict. Chad completed the requirements of its action plan and was delisted in July 2014. In a joint declaration, the three co-chairs of the UN Country Task Force on monitoring and reporting pledged support for Sudan. They are Bintou Keita, Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID); Marta Ruedas, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator; and Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative.