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Introducing the 2018 Class of School of Data Fellows!

- June 27, 2018 in School of Data, School of Data Fellows

This blog has been reposted from the School of Data blog. School of Data is delighted to announce its sixth class of fellows. From June until January 2019, the programme will allow fellows to deepen their data literacy skills and work alongside local partner organisations to enhance the data literacy network local to them. We were really pleased to receive a large number of applications and would like to both congratulate and wish all our new fellows the very best for their fellowship! Pamela Gonzales is passionate about data visualization and bridging the digital divide for women. She is the co-founder of Bolivia Tech Hub, a collaborative space for tech projects to contribute to the prosperity of an innovative ecosystem in Bolivia. Pamela is also the Regional Ambassador for Technovation, a San Francisco based program that equips girls with the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Universidad Mayor de San Andres.         Odanga Madung is the co-founder and Data Science Lead at Odipo Dev, a data science and analytics firm operating out of Nairobi Kenya that delivers services to various bluechip companies and NGOs across the country. Odanga’s deepest interest is at the intersection between data and culture and it is through this that Odipo Dev has been able to carry out data analysis and visualisation on various activities for a wide range of clients and occurrences in Kenya and the world.Some of his work has been featured in publications such as Adweek, Yahoo, BBC, CNBC, Quartz, and Daily Nation, just to mention a few. He will be working on Open Contracting in Kenya during the period of his fellowship. You can follow him on Twitter @Odangaring and Odipo Dev @OdipoDev for more information.   Nzumi Malendeja is a Research Associate at an Independent Evaluation and Research Cell of BRAC International in Tanzania, where he leads larger-scale research projects in education, agriculture, and health. Here, he has developed mobile-based data collection platforms (ODK Collect and SurveyCTO), which replaced the traditional paper-based methods. Before this, Mr. Nzumi worked as a Field Monitor and Research Assistant at SoChaGlobal and Maarifa ni Ufunguo respectively, both in education and construction sector transparency projects. Mr. Nzumi has attended a 4 week Summer School Training on Research Methods and Teaching Skills, hosted by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, funded by the Germany Academic Exchange Services (DAAD). Presently, Mr. Nzumi is working on his thesis towards the fulfillment of the Master of Research and Public Policy at the University of Dar es Salaam.   Sofia Montenegro A fan of nature and the teachings it hides, Sofia has dedicated herself to research in the social sciences. She studied Political Science at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Public Opinion and Political Behavior through a Masters degree at the University of Essex, where she deepened her interest in data methodologies in social research. Sofia is interested in academia only as long as it drives political action. She looks to help other women to be involved freely in data practice and political spaces. Sofia is also interested in network analysis, studying corruption as a social phenomenon, following electoral processes and learning research methods.   Elias Mwakilama is a lecturer at University of Malawi-Chancellor College and Coordinator of Research, Seminar and Consultancies, and Diploma in Statistics programme in the Mathematical Sciences Department, Elias Mwakilama is a computational and applied mathematician in the field of operations research. He lectures and supervises undergraduate students in Mathematics & Statistics fields. His research interests are in working with optimisation models using mathematical statistics techniques integrated with computing skills to offer solutions of industrial related problems in theoretical and practical arena. Elias holds a first upper class MSc degree in Mathematical Sciences from University of Malawi. His website is here. During his fellowship, he hopes to support the “public procurement open contract platform” for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Malawi with Hivos.   Ben Hur Pintor is an open-source and open-data advocate from the Philippines​ who believes in democratising not only data, but ​also ​the means of utilising and analysing data.​ He’s a geospatial generalist and software developer who’s​ worked on projects related to renewable energy, blue carbon ecosystems, and participatory disaster risk mapping and assessment. ​Ben is currently pursuing an MS Geomatics Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines. As part of his advocacy for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), he’s a co-organiser and active participant of FOSS4G Philippines and MaptimeDiliman — avenues for sharing open​ ​source mapping technologies with the community.   Hani Rosidaini is passionate about how technology can be adopted and applied for people’s needs. She combines her technical skills, especially in information systems and data science, with social and business knowledge, to help companies and organisations in Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. This includes her own ventures. Highly relevant to this year fellowship’s focus of data procurement, Hani has experience as a data specialist for public policy in the Indonesia Presidential Office, where she has analysed the national integrated data platform, data.go.id, contributed to data-driven policy making, advocated ministries and agencies, as well as engaged with civic and local communities.

Introducing the 2018 Class of School of Data Fellows!

- June 27, 2018 in School of Data, School of Data Fellows

This blog has been reposted from the School of Data blog. School of Data is delighted to announce its sixth class of fellows. From June until January 2019, the programme will allow fellows to deepen their data literacy skills and work alongside local partner organisations to enhance the data literacy network local to them. We were really pleased to receive a large number of applications and would like to both congratulate and wish all our new fellows the very best for their fellowship! Pamela Gonzales is passionate about data visualization and bridging the digital divide for women. She is the co-founder of Bolivia Tech Hub, a collaborative space for tech projects to contribute to the prosperity of an innovative ecosystem in Bolivia. Pamela is also the Regional Ambassador for Technovation, a San Francisco based program that equips girls with the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Universidad Mayor de San Andres.         Odanga Madung is the co-founder and Data Science Lead at Odipo Dev, a data science and analytics firm operating out of Nairobi Kenya that delivers services to various bluechip companies and NGOs across the country. Odanga’s deepest interest is at the intersection between data and culture and it is through this that Odipo Dev has been able to carry out data analysis and visualisation on various activities for a wide range of clients and occurrences in Kenya and the world.Some of his work has been featured in publications such as Adweek, Yahoo, BBC, CNBC, Quartz, and Daily Nation, just to mention a few. He will be working on Open Contracting in Kenya during the period of his fellowship. You can follow him on Twitter @Odangaring and Odipo Dev @OdipoDev for more information.   Nzumi Malendeja is a Research Associate at an Independent Evaluation and Research Cell of BRAC International in Tanzania, where he leads larger-scale research projects in education, agriculture, and health. Here, he has developed mobile-based data collection platforms (ODK Collect and SurveyCTO), which replaced the traditional paper-based methods. Before this, Mr. Nzumi worked as a Field Monitor and Research Assistant at SoChaGlobal and Maarifa ni Ufunguo respectively, both in education and construction sector transparency projects. Mr. Nzumi has attended a 4 week Summer School Training on Research Methods and Teaching Skills, hosted by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, funded by the Germany Academic Exchange Services (DAAD). Presently, Mr. Nzumi is working on his thesis towards the fulfillment of the Master of Research and Public Policy at the University of Dar es Salaam.   Sofia Montenegro A fan of nature and the teachings it hides, Sofia has dedicated herself to research in the social sciences. She studied Political Science at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Public Opinion and Political Behavior through a Masters degree at the University of Essex, where she deepened her interest in data methodologies in social research. Sofia is interested in academia only as long as it drives political action. She looks to help other women to be involved freely in data practice and political spaces. Sofia is also interested in network analysis, studying corruption as a social phenomenon, following electoral processes and learning research methods.   Elias Mwakilama is a lecturer at University of Malawi-Chancellor College and Coordinator of Research, Seminar and Consultancies, and Diploma in Statistics programme in the Mathematical Sciences Department, Elias Mwakilama is a computational and applied mathematician in the field of operations research. He lectures and supervises undergraduate students in Mathematics & Statistics fields. His research interests are in working with optimisation models using mathematical statistics techniques integrated with computing skills to offer solutions of industrial related problems in theoretical and practical arena. Elias holds a first upper class MSc degree in Mathematical Sciences from University of Malawi. His website is here. During his fellowship, he hopes to support the “public procurement open contract platform” for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Malawi with Hivos.   Ben Hur Pintor is an open-source and open-data advocate from the Philippines​ who believes in democratising not only data, but ​also ​the means of utilising and analysing data.​ He’s a geospatial generalist and software developer who’s​ worked on projects related to renewable energy, blue carbon ecosystems, and participatory disaster risk mapping and assessment. ​Ben is currently pursuing an MS Geomatics Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines. As part of his advocacy for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), he’s a co-organiser and active participant of FOSS4G Philippines and MaptimeDiliman — avenues for sharing open​ ​source mapping technologies with the community.   Hani Rosidaini is passionate about how technology can be adopted and applied for people’s needs. She combines her technical skills, especially in information systems and data science, with social and business knowledge, to help companies and organisations in Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. This includes her own ventures. Highly relevant to this year fellowship’s focus of data procurement, Hani has experience as a data specialist for public policy in the Indonesia Presidential Office, where she has analysed the national integrated data platform, data.go.id, contributed to data-driven policy making, advocated ministries and agencies, as well as engaged with civic and local communities.

Introducing the 2018 Class of School of Data Fellows!

- June 22, 2018 in announcement, fellowship

School of Data is delighted to announce its sixth class of fellows. From June until January 2019, the programme will allow fellows to deepen their data literacy skills and work alongside local partner organisations to enhance the data literacy network local to them. We were really pleased to receive a large number of applications and would like to both congratulate and wish all our new fellows the very best for their fellowship! Pamela Gonzales is passionate about data visualization and bridging the digital divide for women. She is the co-founder of Bolivia Tech Hub, a collaborative space for tech projects to contribute to the prosperity of an innovative ecosystem in Bolivia. Pamela is also the Regional Ambassador for Technovation, a San Francisco based program that equips girls with the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Universidad Mayor de San Andres.       Odanga Madung is the co-founder and Data Science Lead at Odipo Dev, a data science and analytics firm operating out of Nairobi Kenya that delivers services to various bluechip companies and NGOs across the country. Odanga’s deepest interest is at the intersection between data and culture and it is through this that Odipo Dev has been able to carry out data analysis and visualisation on various activities for a wide range of clients and occurrences in Kenya and the world.Some of his work has been featured in publications such as Adweek, Yahoo, BBC, CNBC, Quartz, and Daily Nation, just to mention a few. He will be working on Open Contracting in Kenya during the period of his fellowship. You can follow him on Twitter @Odangaring and Odipo Dev @OdipoDev for more information.   Nzumi Malendeja is a Research Associate at an Independent Evaluation and Research Cell of BRAC International in Tanzania, where he leads larger-scale research projects in education, agriculture, and health. Here, he has developed mobile-based data collection platforms (ODK Collect and SurveyCTO), which replaced the traditional paper-based methods. Before this, Mr. Nzumi worked as a Field Monitor and Research Assistant at SoChaGlobal and Maarifa ni Ufunguo respectively, both in education and construction sector transparency projects. Mr. Nzumi has attended a 4 week Summer School Training on Research Methods and Teaching Skills, hosted by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, funded by the Germany Academic Exchange Services (DAAD). Presently, Mr. Nzumi is working on his thesis towards the fulfillment of the Master of Research and Public Policy at the University of Dar es Salaam.   Sofia Montenegro A fan of nature and the teachings it hides, Sofia has dedicated herself to research in the social sciences. She studied Political Science at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin and Public Opinion and Political Behavior through a Masters degree at the University of Essex, where she deepened her interest in data methodologies in social research. Sofia is interested in academia only as long as it drives political action. She looks to help other women to be involved freely in data practice and political spaces. Sofia is also interested in network analysis, studying corruption as a social phenomenon, following electoral processes and learning research methods.   Elias Mwakilama is a lecturer at University of Malawi-Chancellor College and Coordinator of Research, Seminar and Consultancies, and Diploma in Statistics programme in the Mathematical Sciences Department, Elias Mwakilama is a computational and applied mathematician in the field of operations research. He lectures and supervises undergraduate students in Mathematics & Statistics fields. His research interests are in working with optimisation models using mathematical statistics techniques integrated with computing skills to offer solutions of industrial related problems in theoretical and practical arena. Elias holds a first upper class MSc degree in Mathematical Sciences from University of Malawi. His website is here. During his fellowship, he hopes to support the “public procurement open contract platform” for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Malawi with Hivos.   Ben Hur Pintor is an open-source and open-data advocate from the Philippines​ who believes in democratising not only data, but ​also ​the means of utilising and analysing data.​ He’s a geospatial generalist and software developer who’s​ worked on projects related to renewable energy, blue carbon ecosystems, and participatory disaster risk mapping and assessment. ​Ben is currently pursuing an MS Geomatics Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines. As part of his advocacy for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), he’s a co-organiser and active participant of FOSS4G Philippines and MaptimeDiliman — avenues for sharing open​ ​source mapping technologies with the community.   Hani Rosidaini is passionate about how technology can be adopted and applied for people’s needs. She combines her technical skills, especially in information systems and data science, with social and business knowledge, to help companies and organisations in Indonesia, Australia, and Japan. This includes her own ventures. Highly relevant to this year fellowship’s focus of data procurement, Hani has experience as a data specialist for public policy in the Indonesia Presidential Office, where she has analysed the national integrated data platform, data.go.id, contributed to data-driven policy making, advocated ministries and agencies, as well as engaged with civic and local communities. Flattr this!

Announcing our new member: ‘Caribbean School of Data’

- June 21, 2017 in announcement, community

Today we’re delighted to welcome a new organisational member to our network: the Caribbean Open Institute! They will carry the Caribbean School of Data Initiative. The new Caribbean initiative is led by Maurice McNaughton who coordinates the Caribbean Open Institute, as the regional node for the Open Data for Development network activities in the Caribbean. The COI coalition of partner organisations and individuals conduct regional open data research, advocacy, and capacity-building activities such as the Global Open Data Index and the Open Data Barometer. The new “Caribbean School of Data” will be hosted at the Mona School of Business & Management, UWI and affiliate institutions are planned for other countries across the Caribbean (including Trinidad & Tobago,  Haiti, Cuba and Guyana). Already in the group’s pipeline is a virtual incubation model to encourage and facilitate data-driven entrepreneurial startups as well as a project to build a Caribbean data competency map, to identify and make searchable and accessible, individual and institutional clusters of data skills, knowledge and capabilities in the region. School of Data is already working with the Caribbean Open Institute on a Data literacy project in Haïti called “Going Global: Digital Jobs and Gender” for which we have recently recruited two Fellows. Welcome, Caribbean School of Data!   About School of Data members School of Data’s organisational members are legally independent groups, affiliated formally through a memorandum of understanding. Our members are groups whose mission and activities are aligned with ours and with whom we plan to collaborate in this data literacy work. Caribbean School of Data  is our fourteenth member!   Flattr this!

Welcoming our 2017 Fellows and Data Experts!

- June 21, 2017 in announcement, fellowship

We’re delighted to welcome our new Fellows and Data Experts to School of Data! We wish them all every success for the year ahead.

Fellows

Idriss Kone, Cote D’Ivoire

Idriss is a statistician and  economist at the Ministry of Budget in Cote d’Ivoire where he is responsible for monitoring and evaluating customs activities including the analysis of foreign trade statistics and measuring the  impact of tariff reforms and trade agreements. Furthermore, Idriss has experience in Education and Financial Inclusion having worked as the MTEF(Medium Term Expenditure Framework)  specialist at Ministry of Education and served as a principal investigator for “Women, Monetary Practices and Technological Innovation” project in Côte d’Ivoire. He  holds an engineering  diploma in statistics and econometrics from the National Advanced School of Statistics and Applied Economics of Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). He will be joining the 2017 Fellowship class to work with the Publish What You Pay coalition in Cote d’Ivoire on extractives data.


Pascal Elie, Haiti

Pascale Elie holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Montreal and specializes in statistical and actuarial analysis. She worked as a statistician and actuarial adviser for various Canadian and Haitian companies, particularly for the Auto Insurance Fund for the State Employees in Haiti. She also participated in launching a start-up insurance company in Haiti, UniAssurance S.A. Currently, she is a consultant for HaitiPay S.A., where she leads the company by proposing and implementing financial product using strategic mobile payment solutions. With HaitiPay, she is also responsible for marketing a mobile wallet service operated by the National Bank of Credit, by developing and implementing distribution strategies and leading elaboration of new products and services related to mobile banking. She will be working to develop the data literacy community in Haiti as part of the Going Global: Digital Jobs and Gender programme.  

Lyse Marie-Carlie Ladouceur, Haiti

Lyse is an engineering student at the Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haïti (Port-au-Prince). She served as a GIS and Data Entry Intern for UNOPS where she used data to created maps that detailed the road conditions in the south of Haiti following Hurricane Matthew. She will be working to develop the data literacy community in Haiti as part of the Going Global: Digital Jobs and Gender programme.

Yan Naung Oak, Myanmar

Yan is passionate about civic tech, open data, and the power of new technologies to empower communities and civil society. He is currently work at Phandeeyar, an ICT Innovation Hub in Yangon, Myanmar, which is spearheading the use of technology to accelerate change and development in Myanmar. He is a native of Myanmar but studied and worked in Singapore and the United States, before coming back to Yangon in 2014. He will be joining the 2017 fellowship class to work with the Natural Resource Governance Institute on data literacy and data availability in the jade mining sector.  

Sebastián Oliva, Guatemala 

  Sebastián Oliva was born in Guatemala and got into computers since his early childhood. Although he majored in engineering and physics, he kept an interest in social science as well as for the multidisciplinary realm of exact science. Sebastián has worked both for tech companies and for social tech projects. He also develops free software and hardware. He was a in intern for Google, in the “cloud” division, where he gathered knowledge of programming language Python. Sebastián was member of the winner teams in the Latin American development challenge Desarollando Latinoamérica 2014 and was a finalist in the Space Apps Challenge 2014. His interest in School of Data comes naturally when you align his social impact interests with his technical skills in data extraction, processing and presentation. Amongst his other interests you can count documentary photography and, why not, role and strategy games. You can send him a tweet at @tian2992  

Data Experts 

Nuru Magwaza, Tanzania

Nuru is a data trainer and researcher from Dar es Salaam Tanzania. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Computer and Information management, she has worked as a research assistant and data consultant in Tanzania including with the Open Data Institute. As a data enthusiast, she is now working as a data fellow in the Data Zetu project under Code for Tanzania which helps citizens in addressing their problems by using data. She will be joining the 2017 data expert programme working with the Tanzania Media Foundation and NRGI to clean extractive sector data from TEITI, develop an extractive data journalism fellowship curriculum and run in-house data training for TMF staff.  

Ketty Adoch, Uganda

Ketty is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist based in Kampala, Uganda. In 2013, inspired by a Twitter post about an upcoming online data expedition (School of Data MOOC) on global carbon emissions, Ketty joined Open Knowledge and signed up for the course. Passionate about the environment and feeling the need to expand her skill set, she found the data expedition methodology very useful and has used it in her training in Uganda. She will be joining the 2017 data expert programme to work with the African Centre for Media Excellence in developing GIS skills and tools for journalists and media organisations focusing on the extractive sector.         Flattr this!

How do you become data literate? Part 3

- May 31, 2017 in community

What does it mean to become ‘data literate’? Where do you start and how can you use data within your work and projects? To explore these questions, we would like to introduce some of our community members and data activists from around the world, who ended up working with data at some point in their lives. We were curious about how they actually got started and – looking back now – what they would recommend to data newbies. Each month we will publish a new interview, this is no. #3. Got feedback? Have questions? Feel free to get in touch: helene.hahn@okfn.de  

Vadym Hudyma

Social change activist, data trainer at School of Data, from Kiev, Ukraine Topics: responsible data, data security Tweets: @VadymGud   Introduce yourself. My name is Vadym from Kiev, Ukraine. I’m a School of Data fellow working on responsible data and privacy. I worked with different Ukraine-based NGOs and helped them to design their data pipeline and their data projects in a more secure and responsible way. I’d like to give them an understanding that data sometimes can not only be liberating, but also harmful. I’m trying to persuade NGOs to consider this issue in their internal processes. Also I’m doing independent research on how our government is using personal data, how it is being stored and reused. I’m also following data discussions on the current Ukrainian situation, because we have a very huge and vibrant open data community.   When was the first time you came across data and when did you start to use data in your work? I started interacting with data as a website editor. I worked on a very interesting project on monitoring MP’s activities and at some point our partners, who supposed to be doing analysis, failed miserably doing their job. We had two weeks left to finish the project before the launch. I have looked through the results gathered so far with my journalism background and I sensed that something terribly wrong could be published. So I gather some data-savvy friends, who could quickly gather the data needed and analyze what was really going on. We managed to finish our project in time. So this was the first stress test on data analysis and data cleaning. After this I started working with government data and slowly discovered other datasets for me. In Ukraine, between 2012 and 2013, NGOs were under much pressure by the government. Many have been investigated, we were monitored all the time. It’s still the case now, but much less dangerous than it used to be. Within the NGO I worked with, I took care of digital security. I was trying to secure our communication and tried to implement basic understanding of digital security within the organisation. Basically, it was when I begin to understand both the importance of data usage for putting pressure on the government and why it’s important to protect your digital infrastructure.   What topics and projects are you currently working on? There is one very progressive governmental agency working in education. They recently published datasets on educational data, but it wasn’t properly anonymised. There are some possibilities to de-anonymise thousands of people and their educational records, which is a very sensitive information on different levels. So I was working on an article about this issue and I’m in contact with the agency to solve the issue on the public personal data. There needs to be a better understand of how data can be used and published securely. Having data available opens up many possibilities, but we should be aware of the risks as well.   How would you explain data literacy, what does it mean to you? We live in a society that hugely depends on data, whether we understand it or not. In the last years we were dealing mostly with data held by governments. But now we have much more access to data and the whole process was further democratized in a way. This availability brings possibilities as well as risks. For me, data literacy is the ability of people to think about data not as a neutral tool, but as something that could shape society in a way, that we initially may not even expect. We should really be careful and thoughtful, when designing data project, doing research and investigations. We need to think not just about our audience, who reads our data stories or uses our data sets, but also about the people behind those data sets. So data literacy for me is understanding that there is not just numbers or data points, but also real people behind those.   What would you recommend to someone interested in data, but does not know where to start? Probably I would recommend defining your goals. It helps to know, what you want to achieve and then look around for information and data sets available online.   Links: Blog posts by Vadym on School of Data Flattr this!

Ask Your Questions to Former School of Data Fellows

- March 23, 2017 in announcement, Events, fellowship

  Do you have questions about what it’s like to be a School of Data Fellow? What will I learn? How can I fit Fellowship work around other commitments like work and family? Will I need to travel a lot? As part of our call for applications for the 2017 Fellowships and Data Experts, we’re hosting a live, informal Question and Answer session next Monday 27th March at 12.30 UTC with two former fellows :
  • Julio Lopez, a Fellow from the Class of 2015 from Ecuador
  • Sheena Carmel Opulencia-Calub, also from our Class of 2015, who’s based in the Philippines.
You can read more about both of their backgrounds and interests here. The Q&A will be live on School of Data’s Youtube channel. We’ll share the link soon. Stay tuned! Flattr this!

Second #OpenDataParty Comes to Benin City, Nigeria

- December 9, 2015 in announcement, Events, fellowship

#opendatapartyimage
“– bring your laptops, coffee mugs and power extension cords!”
On December 11th, the second #OpenDataParty kicks off at Benson Idahosa University, Benin City. During two action-packed days, #OpenDataParty will welcome open data enthusiasts united by the desire to make, meet and speak everything open data! This exciting event is the creation of Nkechi Oduwuone, School of Data’s 2015 Fellow in Nigeria, and Oludotun Babayemi, a School of Data alum. Together with support from The Indigo Trust , Heinrich Boll Foundation Nigeria, and the Edo State Open Data Portal, Sabi Hub, Nkechi has come up with a promising agenda including a Data Expedition Class focusing on environmental and health data and a session focusing on a new platform for NGOs, journalists and citizens to use in tracking environmental expenditures. This promises to be a fantastic event and an opportunity for the Nigerian open data community to gain new skills, make connections and have a lot of fun. We can’t wait to hear all about it! There’s still time to register for the event at opendataparty.org, which runs from Friday, December 11th to Saturday, December 12th, 2015, 8am to 5pm both days. The full agenda is as follows: DAY 1 (FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2015) DATA EXPEDITION 9-9.30am – Registration | Introductory/Welcome Remarks 9.30 – 11am – Data Pipelines? Open Knowledge Foundation School of Data 11 – 11.30am – Coffee Break/Media Briefing 11.30 – 1.30 – Skill Share [Using Mobile Phones to Ground Truth Data | Data Scraping Tools | Data Analysis Tools [Excel, Google spreadsheets]| Digital Security and Privacy Reboot | eHealth Africa | School of Data | CODE | Heinrich Boell Foundation 1.30 – 2.30pm – Lunch 2.30 – 3.30pm – Telling Stories with Data [Storytelling mechanisms and tools for Journalists | Using Data for Advocacy for NGOs| Using the FOIA] Radio One | Premium Times | Follow The Money | Right to Know 3.30 – 4.30pm – Skillshare 2 [Tools to Collect and Find Data | Data Scraping Tools | Data Analysis Tools [Excel, Google spreadsheets]| Digital Security and Privacy Save the Children | Population Council | ONE.ORG 4.30 – 5.00pm – What have you learnt   DAY 2 (SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2015) IDEATION SESSIONS Through Follow The Money, how can we collaborate to track expenditures on the Great Green Wall in Nigeria Go? Let’s Find Out! How can we develop a tool to reduce waste in Benin City? 9.00 – 9.30am  What have we learnt? 9.30 – 9.45am What about Following The Great Green Wall Funds? 9.45 – 10.00am What about the Environment Data Sprint? 10 – 10.30am Tea/Coffee Break 10.30 pm – 1.30pm Mapping | Data Sprint [Laptops + Music + Coffee + Drinks] 1.30 – 2.30pm Lunch 2.30 – 3.30pm Rounding Up + Presentation: Mapping | Data Sprint 3.30 – 4.00pm Networking + Vote of Thanks   Flattr this!

School of Data Fellows: What Are They Up To?

- October 8, 2015 in Costa Rica, ecuador, fellowship, ghana, Macedonia, nepal, Nigeria, philippines

Our brilliant 2015 School of Data Fellows are a busy bunch! We asked them to reflect on the first half of their fellowships; here’s a roundup of just a few of the highlights:
  • Camila has run numerous training events, working with Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and with Costa Rican university students. She has also run two data expeditions and a workshop in Mexico City in the NGO Festival FITS – in total, Camila has trained 177 participants! Camila looks forward to engaging wider audiences of Costa Rican NGOs and journalists in data-literacy training during the remainder of her fellowship.

  • In Macedonia, Goran has been making great progress on the Open Budgets project and work is underway with the Metamorphosis Foundation on upgrading their ‘Follow The Money’ website. He has also been busy finalising contracts with the winners of the Open Data Projects competition and facilitating their kick-off. Goran is also finalising his first skillshare on TimelineJS, which we look forward to!

  • In Nepal, Nirab has responded to the devastation caused by April’s earthquake by supporting all manner of data-related support, working with a host of CSO’s, INGOs, government agents, technologists, journalists and researchers. He has a particular interest in post-disaster transport management and has trained 78 road engineers in OpenStreetMap, who are utilising this knowledge across 36 different districts of Nepal!

  • In Ecuador, Julio has been busy preparing a workshop for Campus Party Ecuador 2015, a fantastic technology festival kicking off later this week. He has also been collaborating recently with Innovation Lab Quito on an exciting upcoming training event in October and also with SocialTIC and the Ecuadorian Journalist Forum on an event planned for November.

  • Nkechi attended the Africa Open Data Conference (AODC) in Tanzania recently, where she did some fantastic networking at the School of Data booth. She also organised an Open Data Workshop for approximately 25 Tanzanian CSOs and journalists at the conference, comprising skill shares on data advocacy, finding and verifying data, the data pipeline, scraping and visualizing. Nkechi looks forward to consolidating her work in strengthening the Nigerian data-literacy community in the coming months of her fellowship.

  • In the Phillipines, Sheena has worked extensively on data skills for effective disaster response, organising successful training events in Northern Mindanao and Leyte with a total of 77 participants. She recently participated in in the Forum on Open Government Data organized by the Knowledge for Development Center, which provided powerful insights regarding School of Data’s role in supporting the Open Data movement. Sheena is focused on extending her network of local NGOs and media actors in the coming months, as she makes progress to her goal of establishing a local School of Data instance.

  • In Ghana, David has hosted several workshops, including a data scraping workshop with Code for Ghana, and another during the Africa Open Data Conference with fellow School of Data and Code for Africa colleagues. He has presented two online skillshares on Data Scraping and R programming which have received very positive feedback! David is currently organising the first H/H Accra meetup. He intends to focus on data journalism for the rest of his fellowship, in anticipation of the national elections that will happen in Ghana next year.

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UK Crime Data: Feeling is Believing

- July 1, 2015 in crimedata, Featured, Legal, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Knowledge

Latest crime data shows that the UK is getting significantly more ‘peaceful’. Last month, the Institute for Economics and Peace published the UK Peace Index, revealing UK crime figures have fallen the most of all EU countries in the past decade. Homicide rates, to take one indicator, have halved over the last decade.
Crime Scene by Alan Cleaver, Flickr, CC-BY

Crime Scene by Alan Cleaver, Flickr, CC-BY

But the British public still feels that crime levels are rising. How can opening up crime data play a part in convincing us we are less likely to experience crime than ever before?

The ‘Perception Gap’

The discrepancy between crime data and perceptions of the likelihood of crime is particularly marked in the UK. Although it has been found that a majority of the public broadly trust official statistics, the figures are markedly lower for those relating to crime. In one study, 85% of people agreed that the Census accurately reflects changes in the UK, but only 63% said the same of crime statistics.

Credibility of Police Data

Police forces have been publishing crime statistics in the UK since 2008, using their own web-based crime mapping tools or via the national crime mapping facility (http://maps.police.uk/ and http://www.police.uk). This has been purportedly for the purpose of improving engagement with local communities alongside other policy objectives, such as promoting transparency. But allegations of ‘figure fiddling’ on the part of the police have undermined the data’s credibility and in 2014, the UK Statistics Authority withdrew its gold-standard status from police figures, pointing to ‘accumulating evidence’ of unreliability. The UK’s open data site for crime figures allows users to download street-level crime and outcome data in CSV format and explore the API containing detailed crime data and information about individual police forces and neighbourhood teams. It also provides Custom CSV download and JSON API helper interfaces so you can more easily access subsets of the data. Crime map from data.police.co.uk But the credibility of the data has been called into question. Just recently, data relating to stop-search incidents for children aged under-12 was proved ‘inaccurate’. The site itself details many issues which call the accuracy of the data into question: inconsistent geocoding policies in police forces; “Six police forces we suspect may be double-reporting certain types of incidents“; ‘siloed systems’ within police records; and differing IT systems from regional force to force. In summary, we cannot be sure the ‘data provided is fully accurate or consistent.’

The Role the Media Plays: If it Bleeds, it Leads

In response to persistent and widespread public disbelief, the policies of successive UK governments on crime have toughened: much tougher sentencing, more people in prison, more police on the streets. When the British public were asked why they think there is more crime now than in the past, more than half (57%) stated that it was because of what they see on television and almost half (48%) said it was because of what they read in newspapers [Ipsos MORI poll on Closing the Gaps. One tabloid newspaper, exclaimed just recently: “Rape still at record levels and violent crime rises” and “Crime shows biggest rise for a decade“. As the adage goes, If it Bleeds, it Leads.

Crime Data and Mistrust of the Police

Those engaged in making crime figures meaningful to the public face unique challenges. When Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, and the following public inquiry found institutional racism to be at the heart of the Met police, public trust towards the police was shattered. Since then, the police have claimed to have rid their ranks of racism entirely.
Police by Luis Jou García, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Police by Luis Jou García, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

But many remain less than convinced. According to official statistics, in 1999-2000, a black person was five times more likely than a white person to be stopped by police. A decade later, they were seven times more likely. One criminologist commented: “Claims that the Lawrence inquiry’s finding of institutional racism no longer apply have a hollow ring when we look at the evidence on police stops.” [Michael Shiner reported in the Guardian]. Equally, the police distrust the public too. The murder of two young, female police officers in Manchester in 2012 ignited the long-rumbling debate over whether the police should be armed. So the divide between the police and the public is a serious one.

A Different Tack?

In 2011, a review was undertaken by the UK Statistics Authority into Crime Data. Its recommendations included:
  • Improving the presentation of crime statistics to make them more authoritative
  • Reviewing the availability of local crime and criminal justice data on government websites to identify opportunities for consolidation
  • Sharing of best practice and improvements in metadata and providing reassurance on the quality of police crime records.
It’s clear that the UK police recognise the importance of improving their publication of data. But it seems that opening data alone won’t fix the shattered trust between the public and the police, even if the proof that Britons are safer than ever before is there in transparent, easily navigable data. We need to go further back in the chain of provenance, scrutinise the reporting methods of the police for instance. But this is about forgiveness too, and the British public might just not be ready for that yet.