Who We Are
DataShift is an initiative of CIVICUS, in partnership with the engine room, Wingu and Open Institute. Learn more about the team below.
We are keen to hear from individuals and organisations that are interested in collaborating with us. Get in touch!
CIVICUS convenes DataShift. It is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the initiative and leads DataShift’s policy work, particularly on the Sustainable Development Goals and data revolution.
Jack has a background in sustainable development policy and project management. Previously, he worked for Stakeholder Forum, where he worked on a range of global governance issues, including many projects on the post-2015 agenda. He was also Assistant Editor of Outreach, a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development. He has authored a number of publications on topics ranging from deforestation to corporate sustainability reporting.
Cassia has experience working on sustainable development and international cooperation in the public, private and third sectors. She has followed the major global processes on sustainable development, having attended the Rio+20 in 2012, and later working as an advisor on Sustainable Development at the Brazilian Permanent Mission to the United Nations. During her studies, she worked with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), where she supported the organization’s initiatives in Brazil and in the Amazon. Cassia holds at MPA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Universidade Estadual Paulista. She is a Brazilian citizen currently based in New York.
She was previously the Pan-Africa Digital Campaigner for Oxfam International and Digital Content and SEO Manager in the private sector. Nicolle has also worked on a variety of projects related to communicating human rights issues, particularly women’s rights at both SANGONeT and Women’sNet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, as well as Certification in Search Engine Optimisation. With a special interest in Digital Activism, she has conducted numerous workshops on the use of social media for the development sector, including a webinar series on Digital Campaigning.
Alex has a background in grassroots organising and civil society engagement. He led the Armenian National Committee Western Region, a grassroots human rights organization based in the United States. Alex also worked at Counterpart, where he worked with local civil society groups from Honduras to Afghanistan, from Georgia to Egypt and Senegal to build the next generation of civil and political leaders globally. Alex can speak Farsi, German, Armenian, English and Spanish.
Davis has extensive experience in open data and citizen engagement from his former roles as Capacity Development Manager for Development Initiatives, and as National Coordinator for the National Taxpayers Association in Kenya. He is a champion for bringing together parliamentarians, policy makers, civil servants, technology experts, civil society organisations, and community level organisations to develop inclusive information ecosystems that support data sharing and use. He holds a Masters in Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
Hannah has been the monitoring, evaluation and reporting consultant for the mHealth Tanzania Public-Private Partnership that has implemented the largest maternal, neonatal, child health text messaging service in Tanzania reaching over 1.3 million subscribers. The organisation is also expanding capacity to capture citizen-generated data on health facility performance. Previously, as the Programme Manager for the Global Health Initiative at Yale University, she led the research team for evaluating Tanzania’s Medical Stores Department’s Last Mile Initiative.
the engine room
The engine room investigates and supports the effective use of data and technology in advocacy.
The engine room leads DataShift’s in-country direct support to civil society organisations working on citizen-generated data initiatives, coordinates DataShift’s Learning Zone and provides strategic support.
Tin has a background in communication studies, web development and interface design and works to simplify the relationship between technology, data and human beings. He started work in the development sector in 2010 with the International Land Coalition, helping shape global online land rights accountability projects like the Land Matrix. He also developed online and offline training for land rights groups in South America, Africa and Asia, supporting them to build data-driven campaigns. In his spare time, he develops digital security training programs for high schools, and helps Italian NGOs working with asylum seekers to integrate technology into their work.
Zara has worked in the field of information accessibility and data use among civil society from a number of different angles. She was the first employee at OpenOil, looking into open data and publicly available information in the extractive industries, then moved on to work for Open Knowledge, running the Open Development Toolkit and working with School of Data on data literacy for journalists and civil society. She has worked in over 20 countries, and enjoys observing varying cultural responses to different technologies. Zara is fascinated by the relationship between technology and power structures, and runs a regular podcast, Collusion, on this topic.
Tom is a researcher with interests in political participation, corruption and technology. At Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS), he designed and managed projects on election monitoring, voter education and accountability in countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Bolivia. Tom previously spent three years on Control Risks’ Global Risk Analysis team, producing analysis on politics, corruption and natural resources in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa while developing the organisation’s GIS mapping capability. Tom holds a MA in Global History from King’s College London and a BA in History from Durham University.
Alix has over 7 years of experience supporting the use of data and technology in social change organizations. Her background in media studies graduate research focused on how new media played a role in facilitating opposition politics in repressive contexts. While conducting this research, she worked at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) developing projects and working to influence organizational technology planning. She has worked with groups like Tactical Tech and Mobile Active designing data capacity development programming, and mobile security strategies for activists and journalists respectively. She holds an M.A. in Media Studies from University of Oslo and a B.A. from Colorado College, and sits on the board of directors of HURIDOCS.
Wingu is a not for profit NGO that helps to empower the work of NGOs and other non-profit organisations through technology and agile methodologies.
Wingu provides strategic input into DataShift and manages DataShift’s in-country work in Argentina, providing direct support to citizen-generated data initiatives.
Majo works for the Argentinean NGO Wingu – Tecnología Sin Fines de Lucro. She has a background in communication, specialising in planification and politics. She has worked for more than ten years on social projects covering subjects such as; health, migration, transparency, international affairs, technology and more. Majo holds degrees from the Buenos Aires University of Oxford (Argentina) and Xi’an University (China). She has lived, studied and worked in many countries like Canada, India, China, France. She is very enthusiastic about online campaigning, human-centred design and the power of citizen-generated data.
For the past six years, he has been working in technology, specifically in social good technology. His background is in Business Administration at Universidad de Buenos Aires and studied Marketing and Advertising at Barcelona. He is the main person behind Wingu, a nonprofit organisation working to strengthen the work of social projects in Latin America through the power of the internet. He dreams big, Wingu has thus already trained more than 10,000 NGOs from across the region, implementing technologies to more than 700 projects. He defines himself as a technological social entrepreneur. He loves traveling and is passionate about the data and its innovative and intelligent use.
The Open Institute
The Open Institute collaborates with governments, citizens, civil society organisations and other players to develop policies, tools and knowledge that strengthen citizens’ voices in the governance and development of their societies.
In 2011, Jay Bhalla co-founded the Open Institute. He is an innovation strategist and Open Data Advocate, who helped pioneer Kenya’s digital revolution. He helped design the Kenyan government’s 2006 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy that kick-started the nation’s innovation and digital startup culture, and played a leading role in shaping the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI).
Jay has worked with globally recognised institutions and partners to launch open data initiatives and projects in Africa, South East Asia and North America. Jay supports the overall project delivery for the “Global Goals for Local Impact” project and works on technical delivery models for citizen-generated data that DataShift supports.