The third Open tea of the year organised by Data4Development and Partos/The Spindle saw a range of great examples and lessons. Theme of the day was the way relevant and available data could be used for informed programming and decision making. About 20 participants gathered at the Simavi office in Amsterdam to listen to, and discuss, cases from four different organisations.
Pieter de Jong showed Simavi’s use of data gathering applications, and raised the issue of how to catalyze the use of data in the organisation. Eva Roos focused on the work that Aidsfonds does combining and analysing different data sources on the open-data platform Zoom. Maaike Blom shared outcomes of a Data4Development data mining exercise on a large IATI data set combining all organisations active on Education in Uganda. And Rodrogo Nuñez discussed how HiiL uses large scale data gathering to learn about people’s access to justice systems.
All presentations lead to lively discussions on challenges that many participants recognized. There were practical or technical challenges, such as the possibilities for the visualizations of large data sets, to make them accessible and attractive to audiences and easier to work with for professionals. But also organisational challenges, like getting sufficient attention and capacity for data related work.
The increased availability of data provides many new opportunities to support sustainable development. Sharing new insights among those working with data, as we do during these Open Tea events, can only help in doing this better.