Retrospective: Mekong ICT Camp 2015

The biannual Mekong ICT Camp was held on the 8th to 12th June this year at the College of Innovation of Thammasat University Pattaya in Thailand. The fourth edition of this five-day workshop for Information, Communication, Technology Capacity for Independent Media, Community Health Workers, and Civil Society Organisations saw around 60 participants from the Mekong sub-region including Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan, China.

The hands on workshop focused on several topics like crowd-advocacy, cloud connection, and open paradigm participation. The Mekong ICT Camp featured workshops and panel discussions, which helped attendees garner more information about open source technologies, as well as understand concepts so as to come up with and design project challenges.

These workshops included:

•    Create Viral Content
•    Anyone Can Code
•    Open Data for Development Work
•    Set up Voice Response Application with Verboice
•    Open Street Map: Mapping what Matters
•    Data Visualization
•    Drone for Environmental Survey
•    Set up Communications during Emergency
•    3D Printing for Development
•    Using Technology for Health

Making use of a design-focused approach, attendees were able to shift the focus on their project challenges towards projects related to the social impact sector.

One of the main questions raised and discussed over the course of the workshop included the topic of using big data for countries in the Lower Mekong region. Making full use of open data as well as crowdsourcing are things that will be increasingly important for ICT specialists, journalists, and community health workers.

In order to assist with the workshops and give guidance to the participants, InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia, Open Development Cambodia, and Engage Media came together to guide participants with the prototyping of their challenges in the hackathon sessions.

Other than these organisations, Ryan Gerety from Open Technology Institute also led another hands-on session where 3 teams designed their project with mesh Wi-Fi network connections in order to assist people who have no connections to the Internet, especially in times of emergency.

The Mekong ICT Camp also featured two panel discussions and digital laws and open development Mekong. Before wrapping up the 5-day workshop, some attendees even went on to share what they’ve learned at Barcamp Mekong.

We look forward to the next edition! For more information about the Mekong ICT Camp, visit their official website here.

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Photo credits: mekongict.org