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International Open Data Day celebrated in Nigeria

- March 22, 2019 in Follow the Money, Nigeria, Open Contracting, Open Data Day, open data day 2019

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. BudgIT Foundation and Connected Development (CODE) received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership, to organise events under the Follow public money flows theme. This is a joint report produced by Ayomide Faleye and Yakubu Titus Tukurah: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post.

Open Data Day with BudgIT, Nigeria

When the message to host a community event celebrating the International Open Data Day was put out to the community members of Yaba Local Council Development Area, we didn’t expect the turnout that graced the event. For a nation whose government takes pride in its ability to keep citizens in the dark about government activities, the huge response was a breath of fresh air.

Uadamen and Ayomide before the event

Over fifty people attended the event, among which were students, health workers, traders, engineers, clergymen, and community leaders. The event kicked off with Ayomide Faleye defining open data, stating its importance in the development of any economy and how citizens can use it as a tool to demand accountability and transparency from their government.  She explained what civic duties are and tracking how public funds are used is an important civic duty. She also asked the participants for their perception of Open Data to which a participant answered that it meant data which has been processed for public consumption. Ayomide took participants through how citizens can have access to the national and state budgets and be aware of funds allocated to community projects. Emphasizing on the need for citizens to demand transparency from the government during the execution of community projects, she also stated that it is the duty of journalists to criticize, peruse and ask questions about government policies, ensuring every action is in the best interest of the citizens.
Open data should be a tool used by citizens to drive societal change.  As a citizen, how many times have you asked questions? How many changes have you initiated?

Questions

Uadamen Ilevbaoje, Tracka Project manager handled the next session. He began by explaining how Tracka developed as an offshoot of BudgIT which monitors government budget and its intricacies. Tracka goes to communities, share budget pamphlets to citizens to enlighten them about government’s plans for their community while enlightening them on how to demand accountability and transparency from their representatives to ensure excellent service delivery. He showed the participants several projects in different states and their current statuses and also gave instances where Tracka intervened and the results were successful. An example was the renovation of a healthcare centre in Sokoto which was nominated for 34 million naira but nothing was done and patients were sleeping on bare floor without mattresses. Tracka discovered the discrepancy, alerted the public about it and the health care centre was renovated. Ayomide facilitated the Question and Answer session, the most interesting and interactive session. Participants asked several questions some of which are;
  • Are security measures being put in place to protect citizens who decide to criticize or demand accountability from their representatives?
  • where do we find the data to track how public funds are spent?
Participants made observations around the state of the nation and how although it is a long shot, expressed their willingness to contribute their quota to ensure the nation is back on track. Some said their optimism is on the basis of the work done by that organization like Tracka and BudgIT and also, events such as this prove that they are not alone in the fight for a new nation and this gives a strengthened hope for Nigeria’s prospects. The event was brought to a close after the Q&A session. A major takeaway from the event is the discovery of citizen readiness to hold elected officials accountable. Before the programme commenced, the majority of attendees were unaware of steps to take in calling for accountability while some feared for their safety. At the end of the programme, participants were eager to discuss with the convener and speaker, wanting to know more, speaking about their experiences and commending the convener for a job well done. The audience also clamoured for the continuation of the event in the community. This will empower them to be better advocates for a more open and transparent government. Group photographs were taken to capture the highlights of a day well-spent. The event was also captured in the media.

Open Data Day with Connected Development [CODE], Nigeria

The open and accessible data revolution is underway. Citizens no longer want to be passive recipients of legislation that is considered ‘inflicted’ upon them but rather, seek constructive ways to engagecontribute-use the formation of public policy as a means to enhance their civic responsibilities in ensuring that people in marginalized communities are empowered. However, for this to happen, any engagement needs to orientate around evidence that is held up by facts draw out from open sources of big data. Consequentially, public engagement is reshaping how knowledge is developed, shared and used by citizens and stakeholder communities.   The Open Data Day on March 2nd, 2019 was hosted by Titus of Connected Development [CODE] – Follow The Money Initiative in FCT Abuja Nigeria with about over 50 participants that attended the event. The agenda is to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business, and civil society. The event brought together data enthusiasts among social workers, journalists, academics, government officials, youth, students, civil society organizations, community-based organizations and activists from all over the city of Abuja. They learned and shared skills around using data to enhance their activities in providing solutions to burning issues affecting people in rural communities. The event was focused on why government and individuals should open up their data for good governance and transparency with notable speakers and facilitators: Mukhtar Halilu (Asst. Community Engagement FollowTheMoney), Frank (Data Analyst- Data Lead Africa), Muhammed (Reboot), Jennifer Faeren (Journalist), and the host Yakubu Titus Tukurah (Data Visualizer- FollowTheMoney).

Participant asking question during the event

The concepts of “accountability” and “transparency” provide insight in understanding how open data requirements and expectations are achieved in different circumstances and the goal of open data has been to open all non-personal and non-commercial data, especially data collected and processed by government organizations. Mukhtar, a community engager, stated that one of the most notable advantages of open data is that making government data transparent increases public trust in government and civil servants, and also allows citizens to hold the government officials accountable for good governance. Frank, a data analyst from Data Lead Africa took a session on why government and individuals should open up their data and gave insight that, one of the key purposes of open data platforms is to promote access to government data and encourage development of creative tools and applications to engage and serve the wider community through the visualization of patterns and relationships. He added that in doing so, enabling civic engagement by providing an opportunity for citizens, public sector organizations, businesses, and independent developers to use a systematically-updated stream of open data is being encouraged.  

Biographies

Ayomide Faleye is a Research Analyst, and Program manager for Open Government Partnership Programs at BudgIT. She is the National Coordinator, Open Alliance Nigeria, a group of Civil Society Organisations seeking to promote good governance in Nigeria and ensure that it derives maximum benefit from openness and transparency needed for inclusive development and efficient service delivery. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Strategic Studies at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. Since joining BudgIT in 2015, a civic startup backed by Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, McArthur, she has been handling projects that advocates for transparency and accountability around government fiscal policy, Open Data, and governance. She is a lover of children and Football. Yakubu Titus Tukurah is a Campaigner and Researcher. A diploma holder in Surveying and Geo-informatics with more than 3 years experience in data visualization. Currently volunteering for United Nation Foundation, Amnesty International, One Campaign, Youth-hub Africa, and a Yali Fellow. Born and raised in Kaduna Nigeria with a burning desire and passion to drive change to marginalized communities ensuring their voices are heard.

Leveraging open data for healthier communities in Africa

- March 15, 2019 in equal development, Nigeria, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, zambia

On Open Data Day 2019, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. The Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative (WELTI) and Safety First for Girls Outreach Foundation (SAFIGI) received funding through our mini-grant scheme by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, to organise events under the Equal Development theme. The event report below was written by Ifeoma Okonji and Hadassah Louis: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post. We are living in times where the spotlight is on women. Gender equality and equal development is a running theme, however, this is not translated in the daily lives of women. The mantra has to be translated to actionable steps if we are to achieve SDG5 by 2030. Open Data is the best defense for women because data does not discriminate, especially when it accessible to and produced by underserved communities.

Women take the lead

Two female led and focused organizations in the Africa region leveraged Open Data Day 2019 to showcase how Open Data is crucial to improving the socio-economic conditions of women in developing communities. Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative (WELTI) in Nigeria and Safety First for Girls Outreach Foundation (SAFIGI) in Zambia, both use open data as a response tool on issues affecting their respective communities. WELTI leads open data initiatives in Nigeria by ensuring that the young women whose lives are being impacted, leverage technology to make their businesses thrive, drive leadership and also in their educational life as such opportunities isn’t inherent in the normal school curriculum and have access to data that can help them in their daily lives. This involves leading stakeholder engagement strategies to drive this. SAFIGI taps into the power of working open, putting young women in leadership positions, and strategic collaboration to pursue research, create safety courses, and execute social campaigns in order to improve safety for girls. Open data often goes hand in hand with open working cultures and open business practices. While this culture lends itself to diversity, it is crucial that those who are involved in Open data take on a bottom up and inclusive approach so that marginalized communities do not continue to be sidelined in research spaces.

Cancer, data and female health

WELTI’s Open Data day was themed Cancer, Data and Female Health. In partnership with CEAFON Nigeria, an organization of doctors who are spreading awareness on cancer, the Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative hosted the event at Girls Senior Academy Secondary School, Simpson Street, in Lagos. The ODD Nigeria event started by beneficiaries being asked what they understood by open data and what sort of data they look for when trying to access data. Young Nigeria women were shown statistics, preventive measures and care in regards to cancer. In the course of the training, they were shown how information can be sought openly. This included pre and post surveys regarding cancer,data and female health and what open sources are available to them to get information. We had 45% of these young women knowing what Cancer,Data and Female Health was all about and after the program, we had a 70% increase in awareness and knowledge and that was quite an impact. This included over a hundred female beneficiaries who were also exposed to sites and data collection/retrieval regarding the subject matter. At the clinical/population and research data level, opening up medical data, sharing and linking large healthcare datasets enables semantically to relate and enrich data on symptoms, diseases, diagnosis, treatments, and prescriptions offering the potential for improvements in care for individuals and populations as well as more efficient semantic access to the evidence base.

Safer communities with open data

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation in Lusaka, Zambia hosted Open Data Day with a goal to increase understanding on the benefits of Open Data in creating safer grassroots communities. The event was hosted at Global Platform in Lusaka. 80% of the attendees were female, and prior to the event 1 in 10 did not understand Open Data, and 40% of participants only had a rough idea about Open Data. The Open Data Day event by SAFIGI was structured to respond to this gap and share strategies which the participants could use to improve and solve issues in their community through Open Data. In 2019, Safety First for Girls is working on a campaign called Equality Culture in which they are engaging community members to address both positive and negative aspects of tradition in line with gender equality. This was founded on the youth led organizations Open research titled the Safety Report paper; https://goo.gl/4Ru6b7 in which they studied how culture, traditions and beliefs help maintain the status quo and inequality. Through this campaign, SAFIGI is using open data to improve safety conditions of girls in local communities through safety education, research, and advocacy. Open Data Day hosted by SAFIGI in Lusaka highlighted the gap in comprehensive research about women from grassroots communities. UN Online Volunteers who worked on the Open Research and Data Analysis through SAFIGI were part of a panel at the event to showcase a good example of how open data can bring positive change by sharing SAFIGI Foundations Open Data Analysis which we is accessible here:- https://goo.gl/RHCGec

An equal future is possible with open data

In a continent like Africa, rigged with strong patriarchal systems which create communities rife with gender inequality, open data initiatives can be a tool to enable for socio-economic empowerment of women. The strides made by SAFIGI and WELTI to use Open Data and open practices for equal development is creating communities within the continent that addresses inequality with evidence-based approaches. While Open data is gender neutral, a gendered approach is necessary for equal development in underserved and developing communities. This can only be accomplished when women take the lead in analysing core issues affecting their communities, sharing this through open data and using best practices to solve gender inequality. The capacity strengthening of female-led initiatives creates a ripple effect in the movement for a more equal world in which women are safer, healthier, and economically sound which emphasises on the human dignity of marginalized girls and in turn promotes their human rights. Open Data Day was more than just a celebration, it is a milestone toward creating a more equal world through data, one girl at a time.  

Biographies

Ifeoma Okonji is a Social entrepreneur, a Customer experience Professional with over ten years’ experience in both the profit and non-profit sector. She is an astute young lady who has a passion to empower young women, and also has a knack for smart work, dedication and teamwork. She is the founder of Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative (WELTI) a non-profit that advocates for equality for young women in leadership, technology, health and education. She is also a Mozilla Open leader, an associate member of Women in Management, business and public service (WIMBIZ),an open knowledge thought leader/advocate and a member of Global giving International. She has a propensity to travel, sustain useful acquaintances and loves music and dancing. Hadassah Louis is a youth leader passionate about gender, digital literacy, and grassroots advocacy. She is founder of the SAFIGI Outreach Foundation and President of Digital Grassroots. She is also a 2019 IFF Community Development fellow, a 2019 Engineers Without Borders Canada Kumvana fellow, a Mozilla Open Leader and expert, an Internet Society 2017 Youth@IGF fellow , an open knowledge advocate, and a champion for capacity building of youth and girls. Hadassah graduated summa cum laude in multimedia journalism, and is a contributor on Impakter.com and Africa.com. She is a Woman Deliver Scholarship recipient 2019. Learn more about her work on www.hadassahlouis.com

Celebrating Open Data Day 2018 in Nigeria

- April 23, 2018 in Follow the Money, Nigeria, Open Data Day, open data day 2018

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The events in this blog were supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Follow the Money theme. The concept of open data is growing rapidly across borders and Nigeria isn’t left out of this budding movement. Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) and OrderPaper Nigeria joined the global open data community to celebrate Open Data Day 2018 and further contributed to the discourse on why certain data should be publicly available in both human and machine-readable formats and accessible without any constraint whatsoever. PLSI’s local event which held at LPI_Hub located within University of Ibadan – Nigeria’s premiere University focused on promoting use of open data in tracking audited funds for developmental projects in Nigerian local communities to foster public accountability and improved service delivery. Likewise, OrderPaper which had developed a Mobile App “ConsTrack” to track constituency projects equally convened a townhall to celebrate the day. Its event was however targeted at training community youths and raising them to become FollowtheFunds Grassroots Champions (FGCs) to track, monitor and report on constituency projects undertaken by members of the National Assembly representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Who Attended?

PLSI assembled various stakeholders in the open data community including data analysts, developers, creative artists, University students, Corps members and other lovers of data. 26 participants attended the event with 56% being males and 44% females. PLSI’s mentor and partner organization – BudgIT was equally represented at the event by two members of its research team – Olaniyi Olaleye and Thaddeus Jolaiyemi. Olaniyi delivered a stunning presentation on “Budget Access – Contracting and Audit” to take participants through the transit mechanism of data from budget to contracting and audit. PLSI’s Executive Director – Olusegun Elemo equally presented on the “Concept of Open Data” as well as a “Walk-Through session on Citizen Participatory Audit”. Also, OrderPaper had 14 participants drawn from various area councils that make up the FCT who were trained on the use of data and technology to interrogate constituency projects in a bid to ensure inclusiveness, transparency and accountability. It is instructive that before the event, 78.5% of the participants rated government presence (generally) in terms of infrastructure and service delivery in their respective communities below average. Specific to constituency projects, many of the participants said implementation was “abysmal” as several communities like Igu in Bwari Area council was revealed to be without a good road.

Participants at the OrderPaper Nigeria Open Data Day 2018

Breakout Session

PLSI organized a datathon exercise for participants to relate directly with audit data of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Three groups worked to analyze and mine raw data as contained in 2013, 2014 and 2015 audit reports. The groups selected three thematic areas to include water, education and health. All three groups went on to visualize their data using creative tools and subsequently presented their findings to the larger audience.

Lessons and Challenges

Despite the rapid growth of Open Data concept in Nigeria, several individuals including key stakeholders in the Open Data space learnt about use of open data and its impact on community development for the first time at the two events. This goes to show the need to continually grow the open data community in Nigeria. PLSI had firsthand view of how unfamiliar participants felt to the Open Data space. Even though 15% were conversant with open data concept, 85% had no clue whatsoever on the importance and usage of Open Data or audit data to track public spending and demand accountability. Many were amazed in the end at how simple the subject is to understand and how critical Open Data is to improving service delivery in Nigeria. Participants were equally introduced to Value for Money – a platform to track, report and act on audited developmental projects abandoned, unexecuted or poorly executed in their communities. Similarly, at OrderPaper’s event, only 78% of the participants knew who the Senator for the FCT is while 72% knew their House of Representatives members. In a shocking revelation, none of the participants knew the amount of money budgeted for constituency projects in two federal constituencies and senatorial districts that make up the territory. It was therefore a great gain that the town hall achieved the impartation of knowledge about who the representatives are; how much was budgeted for constituency projects in the 2016 national appropriation act; and how much was released by government for the execution of the projects. These findings greatly stimulated the interest of the participants in engaging the ConsTrack App to track and report on projects.

Moving Forward

To sustain a growing community of Open Data users, PLSI at its event commissioned three persons as U.I. Open Data Community Leaders who will continue to work very closely with the organization to promote Open Data usage in the University. PLSI and OrderPaper are grateful to Open Knowledge International and Hivos Global for providing the mini-grant that made the two events a success.

Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative Open Data Event 2018

- April 18, 2018 in development, Nigeria, Open Data Day, open data day 2018

This blog has been reposted from debwritesblog This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The event in this blog was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Equal Development theme. We are living in times where it seems very obvious to want certain situations. One of them is the presence of women in all professional fields. Who would not agree that such representation should be fair and equal with respect to the opposite gender? Perhaps nobody would oppose it in public, but the reality is different. Women are not balanced in all professional environments, and more and more cases are reported that reflect the way they are rewarded for their work is not fair. When it comes to open data it is a different situation. It does not take gender into consideration: instead it serves as an empowerment tool for any individual who is interested in making use of it.

Open data

Open data – data anyone can access, use or share – is transformative infrastructure for a digital economy that is consistently innovating and bringing the benefits of the Web to society. It often goes hand in hand with open working cultures and open business practices. While this culture lends itself to diversity, it is important that those who are involved in open data make sure it addresses everyone’s needs. It is therefore encouraging to see that open data initiatives in African countries are being led by women. From heading up technical teams to leading stakeholder engagement strategies, these leaders are driving open data across the continent.

The Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative (WELTI) in partnership with The Hewlett Foundation, Open Knowledge International and SPARC organized a day event to celebrate Open data day 2018 on the 3rd March 2018 at the Fountain Heights SecondarySchool, Surulere where the speakers spoke on “Understanding gender inequality  through open  data /knowledge”  and “The role of data and business in a woman’s world” respectively to 70 young women, young men and some teachers.

Key message shared

One of the female speakers noted that the proportion of women using the internet is 12% and that the percentage of women who have access to the internet is 50% lesser to that of the men. In her opinion, advocacy on gender inequality pertaining to the usage of data can be achieved through: 1. Proper orientation. People need to be enlightened on the use of data and it’s far reaching impact in the society. 2. E-learning centers should increase so that more women can gain access to the internet especially in rural areas.

It was also established that data can go a long way in helping one’s business through the use of the internet. She stressed that the internet has made business transactions easier and better unlike the olden days. The following can be accessed through the use of data:

1. Information gathering and study

With data, one can gather meaningful information about a particular business she is into.

2. Globalization

The spread of one’s business to far and near locations without the need of physical contact or a business card which allows your brand to be known abroad.

3. Online Courses

It aids easy flow in education especially for those who don’t have the time to attend physical classes or lecture. Through the internet and the use of data ultimately, one can study professional courses and be awarded a degree.

4. Payment gateway and online transactions

It aids easy flow of payments for service rendered, unlike the olden days where you have to go pay physically to the owner no matter the distance but with the use of data, one can carry out a stress free transaction even without knowing the person she is transacting with.

We had a pre and post evaluation to get a sense of what the young women felt about open data. The results showed that most women who use data do not necessarily check for topics regarding women or check for information that has to do with making businesses thrive. Hence, WELTI would keep advocating for women to leverage technology especially through her flagship program The Business Meets Technology, as this is another way of them getting access to data that would be beneficial to them. WELTI believes that with proper access to data, women are better able to understand what their rights are and work towards being the best they can be.  

About WELTI

Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative WELTI (Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative) is a three year old registered not for profit organization in Nigeria headquartered in Lagos focused on women. We reach out to young women between ages 14-30 on our three pillars of Leadership, Economic and Health (HIV/AIDS and Female general health awareness). The intention is to enable the young women, through our programs, to be CORE (Competent, Organizationally skilled, Responsible and Ethical) women. The women are taught to own their craft and be leaders in their own right irrespective of their gender. We are well aware that we are in a society where gender parity is yet to be achieved so we are doing the best we can as an organization to sensitize the younger women because we are positive that the time is now and change is imminent. In these few years of her existence, WELTI has through her programs, been able to impact, engage, encourage, equip and empower over 1500 young women to get involved in programs that would help them, hone their skills, own their craft and be leaders in their own right. This we have been able to do by working closely with about 50 volunteers. Kindly follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. For more Information, also visit our website WELTI.

Data is a Team Sport: One on One with Daniela Lepiz

- July 3, 2017 in community, Data Blog, Data Journalism, data literacy, Event report, Fabriders, Nigeria, research, Team Sport, West Africa

Data is a Team Sport is our open-research project exploring the data literacy eco-system and how it is evolving in the wake of post-fact, fake news and data-driven confusion.  We are producing a series of videos, blog posts and podcasts based on a series of online conversations we are having with data literacy practitioners. To subscribe to the podcast series, cut and paste the following link into your podcast manager : http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:311573348/sounds.rss or find us in the iTunes Store and Stitcher. This episode features a one on one episode with Daniela Lepiz, a Costa Rican data journalist and trainer, who is currently the Investigation Editor for CENOZO, a West African Investigative Journalism Project that aims to promote and support cross border data investigation and open data in the region. She has a masters degree in data journalism from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain. Previously involved with OpenUP South Africa working with journalists to produce data driven stories.  Daniela is also a trainer for the Tanzania Media Foundation and has been involved in many other projects with South African Media, La Nacion in Costa Rica and other international organisations.

Notes from the conversation

Daniela spoke to us from Burkina Faso and reflected on the role of journalism and particularly data-driven journalism in functioning democracies.  The project she is working on empowering journalists working cross-border in western Africa to utilise data to expose corruption and violation of human rights.  To identify journalists to participate in the project, they have looked for individuals who are experienced, passionate and curious. The project engages existing media houses, such as Premium Times in Nigeria, to assure that there are places for their stories to appear. Important points Daniela raises:
  • Media is continually evolving and learning to evolve and Daniela can see that data literacy will be a required proficiency in the next five years.
  • The biggest barrier to achieving open-data in government are government officials who resist transparency
  • There is a real fear from journalists of having to be proficient in maths when they are considering improve their skills to produce data-driven stories.  They often fail to realise that its about working with others that have skills on statistics and data analysis.
  • Trust in media has declined in such a big way and it means journalists have to work that much harder, particularly in labelling things as opinion or being biased.

Resources she finds inspiring

Her blogs posts

The full online conversation:

Daniela’s bookmarks!

These are the resources she uses the most often. .Rddj – Resources for doing data journalism with RComparing Columns in Google Refine | OUseful.Info, the blog…Journalist datastores: where can you find them? A list. | Simon RogersAidInfoPlus – Mastering Aid Information for Change

Data skills

Mapping tip: how to convert and filter KML into a list with Open Refine | Online Journalism Blog
Mapbox + Weather Data
Encryption, Journalism and Free Expression | The Mozilla Blog
Data cleaning with Regular Expressions (NICAR) – Google Docs
NICAR 2016 Links and Tips – Google Docs
Teaching Data Journalism: A Survey & Model Curricula | Global Investigative Journalism Network
Data bulletproofing tips for NICAR 2016 – Google Docs
Using the command line tabula extractor tool · tabulapdf/tabula-extractor Wiki · GitHub
Talend Downloads

Github

Git Concepts – SmartGit (Latest/Preview) – Confluence
GitHub For Beginners: Don’t Get Scared, Get Started – ReadWrite
Kartograph.org
LittleSis – Profiling the powers that be

Tableau customized polygons

How can I create a filled map with custom polygons in Tableau given point data? – Stack Overflow
Using Shape Files for Boundaries in Tableau | The Last Data Bender
How to make custom Tableau maps
How to map geographies in Tableau that are not built in to the product (e.g. UK postcodes, sales areas) – Dabbling with Data
Alteryx Analytics Gallery | Public Gallery
TableauShapeMaker – Adding custom shapes to Tableau maps | Vishful thinking…
Creating Tableau Polygons from ArcGIS Shapefiles | Tableau Software
Creating Polygon-Shaded Maps | Tableau Software
Tool to Convert ArcGIS Shapefiles into Tableau Polygons | Tableau and Behold!
Polygon Maps | Tableau Software
Modeling April 2016
5 Tips for Making Your Tableau Public Viz Go Viral | Tableau Public
Google News Lab
HTML and CSS
Open Semantic Search: Your own search engine for documents, images, tables, files, intranet & news
Spatial Data Download | DIVA-GIS
Linkurious – Linkurious – Understand the connections in your data
Apache Solr –
Apache Tika – Apache Tika
Neo4j Graph Database: Unlock the Value of Data Relationships
SQL: Table Transformation | Codecademy
dc.js – Dimensional Charting Javascript Library
The People and the Technology Behind the Panama Papers | Global Investigative Journalism Network
How to convert XLS file to CSV in Command Line [Linux]
Intro to SQL (IRE 2016) · GitHub
Malik Singleton – SELECT needle FROM haystack;
Investigative Reporters and Editors | Tipsheets and links
Investigative Reporters and Editors | Tipsheets and Links

SQL_PYTHON

More data

2016-NICAR-Adv-SQL/SQL_queries.md at master · taggartk/2016-NICAR-Adv-SQL · GitHub
advanced-sql-nicar15/stats-functions.sql at master · anthonydb/advanced-sql-nicar15 · GitHub
2016-NICAR-Adv-SQL/SQL_queries.md at master · taggartk/2016-NICAR-Adv-SQL · GitHub
Malik Singleton – SELECT needle FROM haystack;
Statistical functions in MySQL • Code is poetry
Data Analysis Using SQL and Excel – Gordon S. Linoff – Google Books
Using PROC SQL to Find Uncommon Observations Between 2 Data Sets in SAS | The Chemical Statistician
mysql – Query to compare two subsets of data from the same table? – Database Administrators Stack Exchange
sql – How to add “weights” to a MySQL table and select random values according to these? – Stack Overflow
sql – Fast mysql random weighted choice on big database – Stack Overflow
php – MySQL: Select Random Entry, but Weight Towards Certain Entries – Stack Overflow
MySQL Moving average
Calculating descriptive statistics in MySQL | codediesel
Problem-Solving using Graph Traversals: Searching, Scoring, Ranking, …
R, MySQL, LM and quantreg
26318_AllText_Print.pdf
ddi-documentation-english-572 (1).pdf
Categorical Data — pandas 0.18.1+143.g3b75e03.dirty documentation
python – Loading STATA file: Categorial values must be unique – Stack Overflow
Using the CSV module in Python
14.1. csv — CSV File Reading and Writing — Python 3.5.2rc1 documentation
csvsql — csvkit 0.9.1 documentation
weight samples with python – Google Search
python – Weighted choice short and simple – Stack Overflow
7.1. string — Common string operations — Python v2.6.9 documentation
Introduction to Data Analysis with Python | Lynda.com
A Complete Tutorial to Learn Data Science with Python from Scratch
GitHub – fonnesbeck/statistical-analysis-python-tutorial: Statistical Data Analysis in Python
Verifying the email – Email Checker
A little tour of aleph, a data search tool for reporters – pudo.org (Friedrich Lindenberg)
Welcome – Investigative Dashboard Search
Investigative Dashboard
Working with CSVs on the Command Line
FiveThirtyEight’s data journalism workflow with R | useR! 2016 international R User conference | Channel 9
Six issue when installing package · Issue #3165 · pypa/pip · GitHub
python – Installing pip on Mac OS X – Stack Overflow
Source – Journalism Code, Context & Community – A project by Knight-Mozilla OpenNews
Introducing Kaggle’s Open Data Platform
NASA just made all the scientific research it funds available for free – ScienceAlert
District council code list | Statistics South Africa
How-to: Index Scanned PDFs at Scale Using Fewer Than 50 Lines of Code – Cloudera Engineering Blog
GitHub – gavinr/geojson-csv-join: A script to take a GeoJSON file, and JOIN data onto that file from a CSV file.
7 command-line tools for data science
Python Basics: Lists, Dictionaries, & Booleans
Jupyter Notebook Viewer

PYTHON FOR JOURNALISTS

New folder

Reshaping and Pivot Tables — pandas 0.18.1 documentation
Reshaping in Pandas – Pivot, Pivot-Table, Stack and Unstack explained with Pictures – Nikolay Grozev
Pandas Pivot-Table Example – YouTube
pandas.pivot_table — pandas 0.18.1 documentation
Pandas Pivot Table Explained – Practical Business Python
Pivot Tables In Pandas – Python
Pandas .groupby(), Lambda Functions, & Pivot Tables
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ProPublica Summer Data Institute
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GitHub – JasonKessler/scattertext: Beautiful visualizations of how language differs among document types
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The 2nd Nigerian Open Data Party, a Great Success

- January 20, 2016 in Event report, fellowship, Nigeria

The open data scene is rising in Nigeria, and it has seen the birth of a vibrant community: to the North, Connected Development; to the West, BudgIT, Orodata, Code for Nigeria; to the South, SabiHub and NODA, to mention a few. We all came together on the 11th and 12th of December 2015 to hold the second edition of the Open Data Party, the biggest open data event in Nigeria, with support from School of Data, Code for Nigeria and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The first edition was hosted by Sabi Hub in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, in collaboration with the Benson Idahosa University. The event, described as the highlight of Nigerian Open Data Conferences in 2015, brought together data enthusiasts among social workers, journalists, government officials, academics, and activists from all over Nigeria. They learned and shared skills around using data to enhance their activities.
Participants at the event.

Participants at the event.

The 2015 event was focused on waste management and saw a wealth of notable speakers/facilitators present. This included: Katelyn Rogers (Open Knowledge International Project Manager) Adam Talsma (Senior Program Designer and Nigeria Country Manager at Reboot) Stanley Achonu (Operations Lead at BudgIT), Temi Adeoye (Lead Technologist at Code for Nigeria), Nonso Jideiofor (Reboot), Joshua Olufemi  (Premium Times Nigeria), Ayodele Adeyemo (Nigeria Open Data Access),Tina Armstrong Ogbonna (Reporter with Radio Nigeria and Freelance Journalist), Oludotun Babayemi and Hamzat Lawal (Co-Creator of Follow The Money in Nigeria) and the hostess Nkechi Okwuone (School of Data Fellow, manager the Edo State Open Data Portal and Sabi Hub).
Facilitators at Open Data Party Benin

Facilitators at Open Data Party Benin

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Skill Share Session

Day 1 of the event featured sessions on Data Pipelines (Finding Data, Getting Data, Scrapping Data, Analyzing and Publishing Data) and Ground Truthing Data using Mobile Phones. Other sessions that ran concurrently dealt with Data Scraping Tools and Digital Security and Privacy. The day ended with participants encouraged to document what they wanted to learn or teach on the unconference session of Day 2

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Participants Documented their ares of interest – Either Learning or Teaching for the Unconference session

Day 2 kicked off with a panel session on waste management challenges in the Edo State and how it could be tackled from an advocacy, entrepreneurial and technology perspective.

Immediately following was a 2-hour long unconference session focusing on the learning interests written by participants on sticky notes. This included a Follow the Money session, securing funding for your ideas/projects and maximizing web analytics.

Rounding up Day 2 was the Ideation session which began with Temi Adeoye speaking to participants on how to better understand data problems, getting divergent and convergent ideas as well as thinking outside the box to get good results.

Participants formed groups and brainstormed on developing a tool/platform to solve challenges in waste management with emphasis on recycling, collection and dumping. The session lasted for 2 hours and had a total of 16 participants who were each given 3 minutes to make a presentation of their ideas to a panel.

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Winners of the Ideation Session

The winning idea came from Abdul Mohammed from Kano and Emmanuel Odianosen from Edo State who will be developing  a reporting tool to help waste managers (collectors) efficiently collect waste in communities. They were rewarded with a thousand British Pounds (£1,000) provided by School of Data, along with an incubation and mentorship package provided by Sabi Hub, Code for Nigeria and Connected Development.

And of course we went partying properly at the popular Subway Lounge In Benin City Nigeria!. The event attendees expressed delight at the effort of the organizers who ensured that the event was world class and they all look forward to a bigger event come 2016. A big Thank You to School of Data, OD4D, Code for Nigeria, Sabi Hub, Connected Development, Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Benson Idahosa University for making the event a success!

View details about the event here

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Data visualisation or Data narration? Data in Radio Stories

- January 18, 2016 in Nigeria

For an outsider looking at Nigeria’s news media lately, it would seem that the only things in the mind of Nigerians are politics or security-related. Breaking news are aplenty while more involved stories, either investigative or reporting on community issues, are scarce. This is a problem, but what can we do about it? Development Watch, an initiative by Journalist for Social Development Initiative, hopes to solve this problem. They have plans for a different kind of journalism, providing objective analysis of social development issues and promoting inclusive growth across Africa. And to live up to their goal of creating quality journalism, they decided to facilitate a data journalism session on November 30, 2015, at the occasion of the launch of the main part of their web platform. Data Journalism AbujaMore than 20 journalists were present: 15 from the broadcast, 5 from the print and the others from the new media. Beyond Google Alerts, most of them had little knowledge of the useful tools for digital journalism, and even less about where to find available data in Nigeria. This was expected: we hear this from 80% of the participants to datajournalism trainings. Luckily, the point of those trainings is to familiarize them with the available tools and sources.
“To find data for my reports, I only depend on references from other works, or request a meeting with concerned organizations, as I do not know where to go to, I find this difficult for my work”  said Sam Adeko of Punch Newspapers.
 According to a recent poll by NOI Polls, a polling organisation in Nigeria, most people in the country access daily news via the radio (67%), followed by television, social media and newsprint. With this information in mind, we try to tailor our datajournalism trainings to take into account stories for radio and television, in addition to the use of tools like Infogr.am, essentially useful for print and social media. But before talking about visualising data, we had to cover some basic techniques. In this training, as is the case in many other ones, 90% of the participants used Google search to look up information, but few of them really knew how to search effectively. For example, you can search for specific content on a website by adding ‘site:example.com’ to your search phrase, which will prompt Google to only return results from the site you’ve specified. You can even narrow it down further by using ‘site:example.com/pages/’, and you’ll only see results that match that pattern. Another useful tool that was introduced was Google Trends, which allow to find which search terms are trending on Google. “I really want to know how much people are interested in President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria compared to the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Especially in recent times, this can give me an insight on how important Nigeria is over Rwanda” explained Roluke Ogundele of the Africa Independent Television. All you need do is to enter a couple of common search phrases and you will get how this has been trending over time. We also talked about Twitter, a micro-blogging service that is becoming more widely used in Nigeria. To discover public conversations about a link, you just paste the URL you’re interested in into the search box, and then possibly hit ‘more tweets’ to see the full set of results. When the datavisualisation session eventually came, we asked the question of whether to visualize or not, and how. Tools like Google Fusion Tables, Tableau, Dipity and others make it easier than ever to create maps, charts, graphs useful for newsprint, social media, and television. But what happens when you broadcast on the radio? Because people only listen, the need of getting a story out of the data, rather than just a visualisation, is more obvious. Stories can be told in a captivating way on radio, and they can come from data. “So if you are a broadcast journalist in the radio – you have no excuse, dive in by looking at the problem you want to solve first, via the radio (also works for other media), then find and get the data, and tell your story to the world” said Gloria Ogbaki of Ray Power FM In Nigeria, data journalism is nascent, and opportunities abound. As more new journalists get into the field, thinking of which sector to dive into, there is a need for newsrooms to innovate by, for example, embedding data analysts and Information technology experts with producers of news.
As you can see, most of us never knew what data journalism is, but at the end of this training, we were all excited, and can now go back to incorporate this into our work. We hope this is not a one -time training, we need more of it in our newsrooms” said Okoye Ginka of the News Agency of Nigeria
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Making open data accessible to data science beginners

- November 6, 2015 in Data Blog, fellowship, Nigeria

If you’re reading this, I suspect you’re already familiar with open data, data science and what it entails. But if that’s not the case, fret not, here are a few beginner courses from School of Data to get you started. As new data scientists, we need easy access to substantial, meaningful data without the restrictions of cost or licenses. It’s the best way to hone our new skillset, get objective answers to questions we have and provide solutions to problems. This is a fact that has been acknowledged by leading data scientists. So, how can new data scientists get easy and timely access to this type of data? Open Data Companion (ODC) is a free mobile tool that has been created to provide quick, easy and timely access to open data. ODC acts as a unified access point to over 120 open data portals and thousands of datasets from around the world; right from your mobile device. All crafted with mobile-optimised features and design. ODC was created by Utopia Software, a developer company being mentored by the Nigerian School of Data fellow in the open data community of SabiHub in Benin city, Nigeria. We believe ODC successfully addresses some key problems facing open data adoption; particularly on the mobile platform.
  • With the growth of open data around the world, an ever-increasing number of individuals (open data techies, concerned citizens, software developers and enthusiasts), organisations (educational institutions, civic duty and civil society groups) and many more continually clamour for machine-readable data to be made available in the public domain. However, many of these interested individuals and organisations are unaware of the existence of relevant portals where these datasets can be accessed and only stumble across these portals after many hours of laborious searching. ODC solves this problem by providing an open repository of available open data portals through which portal datasets can be accessed in a reliable yet flexible manner.

  • The fact that mobile platforms and mobile apps are now a dominant force in the computing world is beyond dispute. The percentage of mobile apps used on a daily basis and their use-rate continues to grow rapidly. This means that mobile devices are now one of the easiest and fastest means of accessing data and information; if more people are to be made aware of the vast array of available open data producers, the open data at their disposal and how to use them, then open data needs a significant mobile presence with the mobile features users have come to expect. ODC tackles this problem effectively by providing a fast mobile channel with a myriad of mobile-optimised features and an easy design.

What can ODC offer data scientists? Here’s a quick run-through of its features:

  • access datasets and their meta-data from over 120 data portals around the world. Receive push notification messages when new datasets are available from chosen data portals. This feature not only ensures users get easy access to the data they need, but it also provides timely announcements about the existence of such data. image alt text
  • preview data content, create data visualisations in-app and download data content to mobile device. The app goes beyond a simple “data browser” by incorporating productivity features which allow users to preview, search and filter datasets. Data scientists can also start working on data visualisations likes maps and charts from within the app. image alt text
  • translate dataset details from various languages to your preferred language. This feature comes in really handy when users have to inspect datasets not provided in their native language. For instance, when investigating the state of agriculture and hunger across Africa, available datasets (and meta-data) would be in different languages (such as English, French, Swahili etc). ODC helps to overcome this language barrier.
  • bookmark/save datasets for later viewing and share links to datasets on collaborative networks, social media, email, sms etc., right from the app.
Armed with this tool, novice data scientists, and our more experienced colleagues, can start wrangling data with greater ease and accessibility. Do you have ideas or suggestions on how ODC can work better? Please do leave a reply! 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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