Purpose of event is to:

  • bring the UKGovCamp unconference model to the digital government sector in Ireland
  • bring together the community which is currently split across silos, eg, open source, open data, education, health, policy, etc.
  • promote cross-border knowledge sharing and collaboration


Having attended OpenDataCamp in Manchester and UKGovCamp16 and spoken to many people at those events, it is clear that community-centred unconferences have been key to the success of digital government in the UK. Our aim is to bring this approach to Ireland.

At the moment there are pockets of progress in digital government in Belfast and Dublin, but these are fragmented because there is:

  • little interaction between different parts of government (eg education, health, etc) or different policy areas (eg open data, open source, procurement, etc)
  • very little knowledge-sharing between the two jurisdictions, ie North-South

We are therefore planning to hold a cross-border GovCamp in Northern Ireland, at a location halfway between Belfast and Dublin. The organisers have deep connections in the open data and open source communities in Belfast and Dublin and will draw on those contacts to promote the event and bring people together in the autumn of this year for a high-energy unconference in the vein of UKGovCamp.

Funding will be used for:

  • catering
  • venue hire

About the organisers:

  • Brian Cleland (@briancleland) – Researcher, Ulster University
  • Jonny McCullagh (@jonnymccullagh) – Analyst/Programmer, QUB
  • Stevan Barry (@stevanbarry) – Project Support Manager, Health and Social Care Board
  • Lorraine Barry (@lorraine__barry) – Postgraduate & GIS Research Technician, QUB
  • Norman Hawkins – Deputy Principal, Department of Finance and Personnel

The GovCamp team have separately organised many conferences and unconferences in the areas of open source, open data and open government. This is the first time that they will have come together to organise a major cross-border event using the GovCamp model.