One key takeaway from the first online meeting on February 27th, 2019 is that there is a clear interest. 77 people RSVPed and 36 people took an hour out of their day to discuss data literacy with us. Participants actively engaged with the discussion. They were eager to share what they had been working on, ask questions and hear from others about what was working. We think that we might be onto something here.
Another key takeaway is that people came for different, overlapping reasons. From a quick assessment of the reasons people gave for joining the call and their data literacy priorities, a few clear themes emerged:
- Learning & Best Practice: Reading people’s whys for joining the call and listening to their report backs from the breakout groups, it became clear that the call participants have been plugging away, working on building data literacy in their respective corners, organisations and communities. They joined the call with valuable experiences to share, and questions to ask. They are ready to hear from others about what is working, what is not and how we can take data literacy work to the next level.
- Sharing Resources: Along with sharing knowledge, participants expressed an interest in sharing resources. Now the question is, how do we share resources well? We know that we can’t just throw resources online and expect people to find them. How do we ensure quality? Discoverability? Usability? These are questions for future calls.
- Data Playbook: People are interested in greater exposure to Playbook content. They want to know how they might modify the content and Playbook concept for their own communities and networks. We are also interested in feedback on the beta version of the playbook for a version one.
What is the Data Literacy Consortium?
Data is everywhere. Often organizations focus on data science as the output of ‘data ready’ or a ‘data-driven organization.’ We are leaving people behind by not being equitable in the application of technology and the potential opportunities this brings. More and more organizations are building a data culture shift to upskill staff, processes, and infrastructure to be more data savvy.
Many humanitarian and civil society organisations are currently focusing on improving data literacy. The Consortium would provide a mechanism for organisations to share resources and expertise. The foundation for the Consortium is the Data Playbook developed by IFRC which is a collection of social learning resources to drive data literacy. The Data Playbook is published on an open/creative commons license that makes it available for external entities to reuse and modify.
Our current draft mandate of the Data Literacy Consortium is to:
- Co-create the next Data Playbook
- Share best practices
- Convene learning spaces – online and in person (webinars, training)
- Provide opportunities for questions to get answered
- Build products/services to help advance the mandate
Photo Credit: What data is in a piece of fruit, Exercise, IFRC Data Playbook (Fanor Camacho, IFRC Americas, 2018)
How to get involved
The easiest way to get involved is to RSVP for the next Data Literacy Consortium User Group Meeting. We will share a video recording with you after the call. And, if you can’t join, we will have a shared note space where you can add your contributions.
We realise that not everyone can make the meeting given busy schedules, but please still register for the next meeting and select the box marked ‘keep me informed’ to get updates on the Consortium via email. You can also follow the hash-tag on social media: #DataLiteracy #dataskills.
Or if you want to have a one-on-one conversation about the Consortium:
- If you are working on humanitarian and data literacy issues, send an email to Heather.LESON AT ifrc.org.
- If you are working on civil society and data literacy issues, send an email to Consortium AT FabRiders.net
Editor note: Blog post co-written by Heather Leson (IFRC), Dirk Slater (Fabriders) and Katelyn Rogers (Center for Humanitarian Data)