APIA, Samoa - From April 8 to 11, 2019, representatives from the governmental-environmental agencies from Samoa, Palau, Kiribati, and FSM participated in a workshop about managing the Inform data portal - facilitated by the Inform team at SPREP: Paul Anderson, Tavita Su’a and Julie Callebaut. With this Inform team at SPREP, participants learned about environmental data management, state of environment training, their individual environmental data portals and other areas of data management, GIS.
For the data portal, they learned how to create a user, how to create a group, how to add user(s) to a group, how to add a dataset, how to add resources, and how to add metadata fields.Participants learned about (1) linking to existing resources; (2) publishing documents, reports, spatial data, and project stories; (3) copying resources from other data portals e.g. (https://data.adb.org) and (https://data.gov.au); (4) the use of tabula tool to extract raw data in pdf files and reports; (5) important to fill in the metadata for every resource and data posted in the portal; (6) how to create dashboards and data stories; and (7) accessing and using the resources in IUCN data portal for threatened species - International Union for Conservation of Nature .
Participants learned about the Indicator State Reporting tool; a tool that is completely in-house for the Inform Project. Inform’s 4 total products are the (1) data portal, (2) reporting tool, (3) data analysis, and (4) data sharing.
The objectives for the reporting tool are: (1) to simplify reporting process, (2) to reduce burden on PICs in reporting for SDGs, SOEs, (3) one work package for all environmental reporting requirements, and (4) indicators mapped across multiple reporting requirements. The reporting tool is a prototype reporting tool. It has been successfully installed in 5 PICs: Cook Islands, Fiji, RMI, Niue, and Palau. The reporting tool is still under development, however.
On the last day of the training, the FSM delegation split up: Snyther and Skiis went upstairs to learn about the iClim project, while Kikuo joined the others in learning about a mobile data collection tool: the Kobo toolbox. (A manual on the mobile data collection app, another manual about the data portal, and dkan manual can be found in the help section of the SPREP regional portal.) The benefits of mobile data collection are (1) no-paper-and-all-digital; (2) collect text, photos, and GPS point – all in one form; (3) work offline; (4) stream data to computer; (5) immediate analysis; (6) faster decision making ; (7) simple and robust; (8) and complex forms (skip logic, multiple choice, drop down lists, preloaded data, answer validation, set ranges, constraints, hints, calculations, grouping). The iClim project is something similar to the government data portals where all resources related to climate change would be uploaded onto the iClim portal.
As a result of the training, participants are able to upload data to the portal, including metadata, manage users and groups (create new groups and add user accounts), understand different roles and permissions, apply good practices during data management, know how to source and clean data on the portal, know how to verify, control and correct data on the portal, know how to create dashboards, stories and visualizations. Furthermore, each country's delegation further defined a way forward on their respective country's national environment data portal.