Calling citizen-generated data projects: we want to support you

Are you working on a project involving citizen-generated data (CGD) in Argentina, Nepal, Kenya or Tanzania? Does your project need some help to get to the next level? Then you came to the right place: the DataShift is looking for citizen-generated data projects to support, to help improve their planning and implementation. Support will vary depending on the organisation’s needs, but will include mentorship, resources, peer exchange and technical support.

Projects in Argentina

We are supporting our Argentine partners, Wingu (http://www.winguweb.org/), with implementation of the Desarrollando America Latina (DAL) process. If your project is based in Argentina, go here to apply and learn more: http://2015.desarrollandoamerica.org/paises-miembros/argentina/

Hello? Is it you we are looking for?

The concept of citizen-generated data can be interpreted in many ways. We prepared a briefing note that frames our understanding of citizen-generated data. In short, citizen-generated data is data that people or their organisations produce to directly monitor, demand or drive change on issues that affect them. It is actively given by citizens, providing direct representations of their perspectives and an alternative to datasets collected by governments or international institutions.

Wondering if your project is the right fit? These are some examples of projects we’re looking for:

  • You are collecting data with the help of citizens to monitor, complement or challenge official governmental statistics in areas such as sanitation, education, gender-based violence, access to land rights, etc.
  • You are in the planning phase of a project involving citizen-generated data, and would benefit from support in planning your project.
  • You want to make sure the methodology you created will give you the most credible, most exhaustive results possible.
  • You need help with making sense out of the data you collected, for impactful campaigns or to advocate for greater accountability and transparency.
  • Your project is well under way, but it has stalled for lack of resources or technical support.

What the DataShift can do for you

We will be providing in-depth support to up to three projects in each of the three pilot areas (Argentina, Nepal, and Kenya+Tanzania), along with light-touch support to a larger number of organisations (depending on availability of funds), between the months of September and December 2015.

Strategy conversations

Support for each project will start with a conversation to assess the needs of the project. These strategic conversations will help us understand which type of support is most appropriate. The conversations will help with understanding the project’s goals, objectives, theory of change, existing methodologies, the intended audience, existing resources and organisational capacities, as well as the overall organisational “tech culture”, i.e. what type of technological resources exist in house and what is the level of integration of technology in the organisation’s work.

The DataShift sprints

We’ll also organise three-day “project sprints” in each pilot location, in which organisations supported by the DataShift will come together for intense, targeted work with local and international experts. The sprints will allow organisations to meaningfully move their projects forward, gain knowledge and share experiences with other participants.

How exactly does this work?

We want to provide tailored support: instead of using the one-size-fits-all approach, we wish to understand the best way we can support your project and provide targeted, specific assistance. Based on the initial strategy conversations, we will decide together with the projects whether they need expert support, training, or covering of basic technical costs (or a mix of the three).

We also commit to keep it real. Our funding is limited, and we will make sure we don’t overpromise and underdeliver — rather the other way around. We will be transparent and open about how much we can do, and decide together with the projects on the type of support that is most effective.

Here are some examples of support we can provide, either through external expert support or by training in-house staff:

  • Needs assessment and project analysis
  • Security, privacy, and responsible data issues
  • Developing or improving the research methodology
  • Data cleanup, wrangling, analysis
  • Data visualisation
  • Interactive storytelling
  • Development and programming
  • User experience (UX)
  • Strategy for campaigning and advocacy
  • Software licenses, hosting support
  • Participation fees for training events

How to apply

Send an email to tin@theengineroom.org, briefly explaining your project, why you think it might be a good fit, and how you’d see us supporting your project.

The applications close on September 7th, 2015. If you’re shortlisted, we will be contacting you in the first half of September for the initial strategy conversations.