How I Designed my Way to ODP16

Hamzat Lawal 2 December 2016 0

Open Data Party (ODP) is a quarterly event initiated by Connected Development (CODE), meant to expose experts from different fields to gain hands-on experience on the use of data to make an informed decision. The last ODP took place in Kano on November 22 – 23, 3016 and I was  part of the team  to make things run smoothly.

“Don’t you think someone from CODE needs to be in Kano ahead of time to monitor the situations before the core team and other out-of-town participants starts arriving”, asked Oludotun Babayemi – I will go, that was my reply to him and he asked me more than 3 times if I meant my answer considering the fact that I just arrived  from the United States of America (USA) 3 days earlier from an assignment to observe the USA general election in Colorado.

I packed my bag on 20th of Nov which was a Sunday and head straight to Kano, my arrival was at night, I lodged in a hotel and reflecting on how to start the next day which is the eve of the event.

The week from 20th to 25th was a busy week for all of us at CODE as we are also having NASS event that same week and we have to split ourselves to grace all the event, also our finance officer fell ill  as she was on drug throughout the week, and I was left with some of her functions while also planning the event.

Monday 21st came so fast than I had expected, I rushed out of bed and went straight to freshen up before moving to eHealth Africa (EHA) Office in the ancient city of Kano where the event was slated to hold, I worked all day planning and strategizing  with the EHA staffs (energetic people like Ayodele and Olajumoke) on  logistics and accommodations before the participants will arrive  in Kano.

The first day of the event graced the most important session of the event with versatile facilitators from EHA and outside. I was more captivated by the session on mobile data collection by Nonso of Reboot as it does not just discuss data collection but design processes and thinking is a whole fraction of his session. I cannot believe I took the class twice.

“We are all designers” said Nonso at the beginning of his session, every participant was quizzed including myself at the beginning of the session but I got to learn more by the time he explained what he meant.

One way or the other, we all design our way to wherever we find ourselves, coming to Kano on 20th instead of rushing to come on 21st is a design well thought of by the team back in Abuja and it paid us in full by the end of the event.

The agenda for both days of the events is well thought of and it was one of the most efficient designs as both the participants and the facilitators are put into considerations which made the event a lot of successes with a turnout of more than 100 participants in both the 1st and the 2nd day of the event.

I end up connecting with more people and getting to meet physically with the community reporters whom we have always been meeting only but online. “Are you Tunde, you mean you are Sharru Nada?” those are the questions I was asked the most  of them.

The event ended with a mapping session by the EHA GIS department guys as we are all walked through mapping of Chibok in Borno State (I cannot believe we just mapped Chibok).

Tunde Adegoke Presenting the new iFollowTheMoney Platform to the participants

Tunde Adegoke Presenting the new iFollowTheMoney Platform to the participants


I also facilitated a session on our new platform which we aim to use as a medium to reach out to more people to follow the money together.

Though the platform is still in its infancy stage, the growth has been exponential since it was launched and our team is working more on using the platform to domesticate our follow the money project in the whole country with a vision to expand to other African countries.

The ODP16 is gone but the knowledge gain and the connections made are far expanding by the day, I cannot wait for the next 2017 version of it as I look forward to learning more as the year goes on.

With projects like School of Data Radio and ODP, I believe the challenges that follow #OpenData which is usability can be solved to some extent if organizations like CODE, EHA can work more on reaching out to more prospective data users and other organizations who are still sitting on the fence can leverage on the success of the event and build more capacity around data knowledge.

If you are interested in following the money, you can request an invites HERE

The #OpenDataParty in #Kano: A Gathering of Community Champions and Data Enthusiast

Oludotun Babayemi 25 November 2016 2


It’s the 3rd year in a row of the Connected Development [CODE]’s Open Data Party, and truly, I feel we can do more and better, especially as the community keeps growing. Since 2013, the community of participants, and enthusiasts has grown from 0 in 2013 to 837 in 2016. Wondering what the numbers are – it’s the numbers of participants that have attended our quarterly data training where we teach skills and tools in making data meaningful and useful. At this year large event, we had 122 participants and out of 42 respondents (of our evaluation), 59.5% and 33.3% rated all aspects of the 2 – day hands – on training as excellent and good respectively, while 7.1% rated it has average.

So for so many people, that never knew how the ODP came to eHealth Africa, in Kano, it was our decision to take it to the North West at first, after moving it from the North Central in 2014 to South-South in 2015. We never knew who will help host it this time, but fortunately, during one of my August Break, I caught up with one of my senior colleagues – Lucy Chambers, who invited me for a drink in Maitama. With her colleagues at work, our chit chat mentioned ODP, and she said we should explore the opportunity of eHealth Africa hosting the event. Just some minutes after she mentioned that I remembered how Michael Egbe, in 2014, after the ODP in Abuja, had discussed that we should consider the possibility of hosting this event together with eHealth Africa. I knew this was just it – Many thanks to Anu Parvatiyar, who took the email conversation forward, but unfortunately, could not attend as she was in Maiduguri, as one of the team responding to the recent Polio outbreak in Borno State.

This year event was a little bit different from the past ones in that I did less of control – no thanks to eHealth Africa, and the team that came in from CODE who took their various spaces in handling logistics, accommodation, social media, and the rest; also, we focused mainly on skills and tool shares – a total of 9 skills with 12 tool usage were shared in 14 hours during the 2 – day event; we also scrapped the ideation session which we had last year, as we found out that for us to be able to support ideas, we will need 12 months of mentorship before the winner can execute the plan, and make use of the seed grant effectively – for those that were looking forward to this, we are sorry, we want to focus on sharing the use of tools and skills, Also we were not able to support the winners of the ideation session, as we were not able to support them financially, and technically. We found out that our community champions at Follow the Money needs a yearly community gathering (which was one of the theories of change for Follow The Money), as such we gave more hours to a Follow The Money session, Next year we might have a whole day of community gathering!

The first day witnessed sessions from What data and open Data is – the only session I was able to facilitate, while data pipelines were taken by Precious Onaimo, the current school of data fellow in Nigeria. It was always exciting to see the World Cafe facilitation style been used for one hour each for each session that has Data Scraping tools taken by Precious Onaimo and myself; Mapping using Open Streetmaps by eHealth Africa; Analysing and Creating dashboards with Microsoft Excel by eHealth Africa; Mobile collection of data and data design by Nonso Jideofor of Reboot. The skill session continued on the second day, and skill session included visualising data with Tableau and CartoDB by eHealth Africa, Analysing data with Microsoft Excel by eHealth Africa. Participants commented on how educative most of the sessions were but would have been helpful if training materials had been available to them before the start of the event.

The skill session continued on the second day, and skill session included visualizing data with Tableau and CartoDB by eHealth Africa, Analysing data with Microsoft Excel by eHealth Africa. It was followed by a 3 – hours Follow The Money session where new thinkings about the movement were discussed. Some of the key discussions were the role of community reporters in building their various communities as the movement now has a community champion in all the 36 states and the FCT. Also, the new platform for citizen engagement and participation was unveiled for the community input. The afternoon session of the day was started by eHealth Africa sharing Why they Map, and why mapping is important, it was followed by a community mapping of Chibok, Borno State to make participants gain skills on mapping their own community as well.

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