Over forty participants from the Caribbean joined the Third LEARN ECLAC Mini Workshop, held on 24 November 2016 and organised by LEARN project partner ECLAC at its Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The Mini Workshop reunited regional experts and a diverse audience from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Curaçao, Saint Lucia and Guyana, many of whom followed and participated in the event via streaming.
The morning session began with a Welcome Address and Opening Remarks by Ms. Diane Quarless, Director of the ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean and Mr. Peter Nicholls, Unit Coordinator of the ECLAC’s Caribbean Knowledge Management Centre, followed by a series of presentations on research data management and the work of Caribbean institutions in this field.
Paolo Budroni, from the University of Vienna, discussed how the data deluge and the Open Science movement are changing the way research is undertaken and how the LEARN project will support research organizations in facing this challenge. Next, Wouter Schallier, Chief of the Hernán Santa Cruz Library of ECLAC further elaborated on the LEARN project and the work done to date and presented the state of the art of RDM in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Gabriel Abed, CEO of Bitt, introduced the audience to the work that his organization has made in the field of open data and explored the challenges and possibilities of Open Data in the Caribbean context. The morning session concluded with a presentation by Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, who presented the work of CTU in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in particular the current efforts of the organization in developing a Caribbean Open Data Portal.
Winston Butler, Strategy Expert from Jamaica, opened the afternoon session with a presentation on good practices of research data management in the Caribbean, focusing on the challenges that need to be addressed to achieve greater consistency in the regional approach to data management. The last speaker of the workshop was Susan Chand, who presented the current efforts of the University of the Southern Caribbean in supporting researchers in the Caribbean region and identified the steps and activities that should be undertaken to implement Research Data Management in research institutions.
Each of the presentations was followed by questions and an open discussion, in which attendees exchanged views on the general aspects related to RDM, such as the cultural change needed to make data sharing possible, training opportunities, the roles of stakeholders (research institutions, researchers, support services, funding agencies, etc. and policy development. The workshop participants also shared their experiences in data management in the region, the challenges that they have encountered, the areas that need to be addressed (such as legislation updates, further collaboration across sectors and countries, technology development and government support) and strategies to move forward towards the implementation of RDM in the Caribbean.
Blog post by Gabriela Andaur, ECLAC