Open Government Student Challenge


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Congratulations to the winners of our Open Government Student Challenge!

Thanks to everyone who applied with their impactful and innovative projects using our open data and information. After careful consideration of over 45 applications, the Open Government team is pleased to announce 3 winning projects!

Raja Kammoun

Raja Kammoun

My name is Raja Kammoun, and I am doing a PhD in civil engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. I am using data downloaded from the site to assess the vulnerability level of the drinking water and the risk potential from human activities. I am using land use data, relief maps, the inventory of radioactive waste and mining regions and oil and gas fields. By using this data in a geographical information system, I expect to locate and identify the sources of drinking water pollution. Those results will be useful for municipalities to put action plans in place. My project also involves developing an improved methodology for carrying out a vulnerability study using only data available from the municipalities and the open government portal. This methodology will be useful for adapting the water withdrawal and protection regulations.


Maral Mehran

Maral Mehran

My name is Maral Mehran and I am completing a master’s degree specializing in Environmental Assessment at Concordia University. I am using maps, health data and reports from Open Canada to explore the possibility of applying GBA+ (Gender-based Analysis) to guide environmental policies and programs at Environment and Climate Change Canada. I will be using a variety of data to illustrate the reality of Indigenous women in remote communities being disproportionately exposed to the negative environmental impacts of industrial activities. I will argue that GBA+ can be used to reorient environmental policies to prioritize the pursuit of environmental and social justice for these communities, and hope that this research will influence the development of future environmental governance.


Lisa Pei and Wendy Wang

Lisa Pei Wendy Wang

We are Lisa Pei and Wendy Wang, and we study science and political science at Western University. We are using data to explore gaps in financial literacy education in Canada. FLYN is Canada’s first federally recognized network focused on financial literacy for youth. By conducting research and engaging with 6,000 students, financial aid officers, guidance counsellors and trustees, we’ve found that youth face different money challenges that are not adequately addressed. We strive to make financial literacy more accessible for youth and empower the next generation to have the ability to make sound financial decisions. FLYN aspires to be a youth leader at both the local and national level, ultimately helping to inform education policies and assist in the development of youth-focused initiatives in the financial literacy space.

We are looking forward to seeing the winners share their work at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Ottawa from May 29 to 31, 2019!

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How to apply

Fill out our quick application form, which will ask you to:

  • provide a link to the data or information you used in your project
  • describe in less than 100 words how you used this open data and/or open information in your project
  • tell us in less than 100 words what you hope to achieve with your project
  • tell us in less than 100 words what you hope will be the impact of your work
  • summarize your project in less than 150 words to showcase your submission on

Before applying, you can also read a few examples of possible projects.


  • Must be above 18 years old as of May 15, 2019.
  • Must be a student enrolled in any program at a Canadian post-secondary institution (university, college, technical school, etc.) for at least 1 semester anytime over the last 2 years.

Applicants from marginalized communities and equity-seeking groups are encouraged to apply. If you would like to, we invite you to self-identify.


Winners will be selected based on our open grading rubric on April 30, 2019. Up to 4 winners will be brought to Ottawa to attend and participate in the Open Government Partnership Global Summit from May 29 to 31, 2019. Roundtrip travel from within Canada, up to 5 nights of accommodation, and meals up to the allowable maximum as specified by the Government of Canada will be provided, up to an estimated value of $3,000 for each winner. Prizes cannot be substituted or exchanged for cash or other items. Winners will be contacted directly using the contact information they provide in the application form.

Deadline for submission is March 31, 2019, at 11:59 pm EST.

We will be holding information sessions on February 27, 2019, from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm EST in English and from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm EST in French to answer any and all of your questions. Please be sure to register in advance.

Submission and resources

Project requirements

Eligible projects will identify and use open data or information available on These assets could be used for only a portion of the project, and could also be combined with other data and information sources.

Completed projects, as well as projects in progress are eligible. If you have more than 1 project you want to share with us, please fill out a separate form for each project.

Applicants can submit attachments to demonstrate a completed project or any documents that show preliminary results and proof of concept. These include, but are not limited to, a publication or draft paper, conference paper or presentation, poster presentation, data visualization or proposal. If more information is required about your project and its results, we will contact you.

The projects could be academic or extra-curricular, and could fall under one or more of the following subjects, but all subjects will be considered:

  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Journalism
  • Business
  • Technology (for example, machine learning, AI, or product development)
  • Natural and Applied Sciences

Students from any undergraduate and graduate program are eligible to apply. At least 1 winner will be selected from the undergraduate level who scores “outstanding” in all categories of the grading rubric.

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