While big data represents a new era of computing, what does it mean for civil society organizations in Southeast Asia? How can nations in the Lower Mekong harvest the power of big data? These were the questions discussed during a five-day workshop, from 8–12 June, 2015, at College Of Innovation of Thammasat University Pattaya in Thailand. New Opportunities Mean New Challenges Where data in any format may be explored and utilized, the Mekong ICT Camp featured a series of workshops and panel discussions to help more than 60 participants from the region to learn open source technologies, define, and design project challenges.
Author Archives: ICTworks
As promised, here is an overview of the steps needed to create an open data plan in order to be compliant with USAID’s new Open Data Policy It is really easy to get lost in the weeds on this stuff, so I am only outlining the top-level steps; please note that every step may have many questions, decision points, and additional tasks included. Remember, ALL projects and cooperative agreements will need to submit their data captured to the DDL during the period of performance of their award. And of course, as this is a brand new policy with still many questions, the following is a set of suggested steps based on current understanding of USAID’s requirements. You can ask specific questions of USAID at https://opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/ask?tags=USAIDopen. During the Proposal Stage Budget: Make sure your budget includes (either implicitly or explicitly) the time, effort and expertise to create and implement an open data plan, as well as the IT systems required to generate and store open data, and submit it to the Development Data Library
Excel gets a bad rap for data visualization. I get it. I can barely stand to look at these ugly charts. Can you imagine sending a client something like this? To be honest, I can barely see the patterns that are supposed to be highlighted in these charts
There’s no denying the importance of having the right information and data when it comes to planning, informing, analyzing, and monitoring and evaluating. How that information is displayed can have a surprising influence on the ease of understanding and interpreting the data. At the M&E Tech Conference I had the opportunity to talk about the strengths of using maps as a data visualization tool and shared some of the things we at Development Gateway and AidData have learned when integrating mapping into Aid Management Platforms around the world. The images below show two different ways to display funding information about projects taking place throughout Timor-Leste: a tabular report and a line graph. While they show the same information, they each have their own limitations: the report makes you dig for information, while the graph can’t show country context or other data layers
There is enormous interest and investment in the potential of educational technology (edtech) to improve the quality of teaching and learning in low and lower-middle income countries. The primary aim of the DfID-funded Educational Technology Topic Guide is to contribute to what we know about the relationship between edtech and educational outcomes. Taking evidence from over 80 studies, the guide addresses the overarching question: What is the evidence that the use of edtech, by teachers or students, impacts teaching and learning practices, or learning outcomes? It also offers recommendations to support advisors to strengthen the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes that use edtech. Educational technology was defined as the use of digital or electronic technologies and materials to support teaching and learning.
Last week, I was at the M&E Tech conference in Washington, DC. It was two days of discussion on how to better use technology for monitoring and evaluation of development projects, and how to monitor and evaluate the use of technology for development projects. So ICT4M&E as well as M&E for ICT4D. Got it?
Social norms and stigmas often lead to men owning mobile phones more often than women in many parts of the developing world. Sometimes when a woman does happen to acquire a phone, she even faces threats of violence because of her ownership. These unfortunate findings show that gender is one of the biggest issues in mHealth and ICT for Development in general. Unfortunately, according to a 2013 literature review, there has not been substantial research about gender relations in mHealth interventions. My name is Jack O’Rourke and I am a student at Fordham University.
Recently, Elvis Mushi of Twaweza, shared with me interesting mobile phone survey results from his Sauti za Wananchi program. I find them remarkable in two ways. First, he found that 80% of Tanzanian households own at least 1 mobile phone. Then he found that mobile phone coverage reached 88% of the population. One of the largest and poorest populations now has near-ubiquitous mobile phone access.
Recently, D. Jerome Martin tweeted that he was happy that 50% of USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures grantees were conducting randomized control trials in their interventions. He felt it was a move in the right direction, that big data drives big impact. I disagree.