DIP Lab conducts Data Portal Workshop

The Development Innovations and Policy Laboratory (DIP Lab) hosted a face-to-face workshop on February 7, 2023 for the DIP Lab Data Portal at the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), UP Los Baños (UPLB). The workshop aimed to foster collaboration among the DIP Lab stakeholders and guide potential contributors of the data portal on its proper use and management. 

One of the services that the DIP Lab will be offering is a data portal which would serve as a digital repository of several knowledge products related to policies in the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) sector. Its aim is to make policy-relevant data readily available and accessible to different users.

The Director of the UPLB Information and Technology Center (ITC) Assistant Professor Danilo Mercado and Computer Programmer Almira Samiano, both DIP Lab project members, served as resource speakers for the workshop. A total of 23 representatives from different offices and projects involved in the development of policy-relevant information in the AANR sector attended the activity. These include the Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (INREM) and the Forest Development Center (FDC) of UPLB; DOST – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) funded project Watershed-based Approach for Integrated Land Use Planning (WILUP); and the Department of the Interior and Local Government Region IV-A, among others. 

In his lecture, Asst. Prof. Mercado introduced the DIP Lab data portal and highlighted its early development using the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), a commonly used open-source data management system for powering data hubs and data portals. He contextualized his discussion by defining data portal terms such as the dataset, organizations, groups, metadata, and the data management process. He also mentioned that the data portal can house different file formats such as CSV or Excel spreadsheet, XML file, PDF document, image file, or linked data. These datasets can then be grouped to help users easily search and find publications.

Ms. Samiano, on the other hand, facilitated a hands-on activity on creating user profiles and adding datasets and metadata in the portal on the second half of the workshop. She gave a short demo and guided the participants as they upload datasets under their respective organizations. 

The participants were also taught about the different roles that could be given to data portal users to help them understand who has the authority to edit datasets and ensure data integrity. The speakers also noted that data privacy will not be an issue, as long as the files to be uploaded in the portal are already in the public domain. Otherwise, a consent to publish agreement should be accomplished by the involved parties.

At the end of the data portal workshop, the policy documents of each organization that were collected served as initial entries in the data portal. The DIP Lab data portal is slated to be launched in the first quarter of the year. The portal, once developed, can be accessed by the general public through the official DIP Lab website at diplab.uplb.edu.ph.

Learn more about the DIP Lab by visiting its Facebook page (@diplab.uplb) and Twitter page (@diplab_uplb) or sending an email to [email protected].

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Therese Marie Quilnat