September 25, 2022

Martinique conference addresses challenges of “Open Access” to data in the Caribbean

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carbica_visuel2-e1419783684609From Repeating Islands

CARBICA—an association that brings together archivists from the English-, French- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean (n close partnership with the departmental archives of Martinique)—held its tenth quadrennial conference from December 2 to 5, 2014, at the Departmental Archives of Martinique in Fort-de-France. Organized around the theme « Open access ? » Répondre aux défis de l’accès aux archives et aux données publiques dans la Caraïbe [“Open access ?” Addressing the challenges of access to records and public data in the Caribbean], discussions and presentations centered on access to archives and open data:

In the presence of more than 100 professionals from the Caribbean and local executives from Martinique and Guadeloupe, the issues of personal data protection, open government, the difficulties posed by the application of overlapping or deficient laws, the teaching of concrete examples from the Caribbean and the world over were exposed and debated by presenters from the fields of archiving, information and communication technology (ITC), public administration and university research. [. . .]

How to foster the growth of a “knowledge-based economy” while respecting the evolving framework, in Europe as well as the countries of the Caribbean, respect for private life and the right to information? [. . .] The interactive workshops, in French and English, facilitated by Trudy Peterson, specialist in questions of access and human rights (United States); Bruno Ricard, “Mr Open Data” of the inter-ministerial service of the archives of France (France), Avril Belfon (Trinidad and Tobago), Sharon Alexander-Gooding and Cherri-Ann Beckles (Barbados) who explored the legal framework in the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean and their impact on the archives, allowed participants to better position themselves with regards to problem-solving (identification of risks and possible recourse).

The tenth CARBICA conference, organised with the support of the General Council of Martinique, the Regional Cooperation Fund, the International Council of Archives, the French Ministry of Culture, the Regional Council of Martinique, the General Council of Guadeloupe proposed a distinctive formula which guaranteed a mix of professions, thanks to a partnership with the National Centre for Territorial Public Service (CNFPT in French) and a combination of a public conference with practical professional work sessions.

[. . .] The tenth conference of Caribbean Archives concluded with concrete resolutions in order to advance, with transparency and legal security, the opening of public archives to the citizenry the Caribbean Archives Association, CARBICA, adopted the principles of access to archives promoted by the International Council of Archives and committed itself to working towards them being taken into greater consideration in the legislations of the countries concerned. [. . .] The CARBICA website will also enable sharing of procedures and forms developed by the archival services of the membership as useful documentary resources.

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