WHAT IS DATA LITERACY
Data literacy is the ability to read, create and communicate data as information, as well as understanding the possibilities of using data and its consequences. We tailor our data literacy trainings to the specific needs of the Red Cross National Societies.
WHO WAS THE TRAINING FOR
Participants to the data literacy training were from:
- Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) staff and volunteers
- Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA)
- Department of Surveys (DoS), Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development
- Department of Water Resources (DWR), Ministry of Irrigation and Water
- Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy & Mining
WHY IS IT NEEDED
The main objective was to equip the data teams with skills in data analysis and management. The focus went on ensuring that data is collected on standardized forms. This supports rapid mobile data collection and analysis of information from locations countrywide in disaster preparedness, response and recovery phases.
WHAT THE MALAWI DATA TEAM DID
The training consisted of four sessions:
1: Data responsibility
Gumbi Gumbi, MRCS Data Team Lead, gave a half day presentation on data responsibility. The aim was to get the participants acquainted with the concept of data responsibility, the characteristics of data types, and the different stages and roles in the data life cycle. The presentation also dealt with the risks and threats of using personal data, as well as the means to handle them.
2: Mobile data collection
Wonderful Kunje facilitated this one and a half day theoretical and practical training. The emphasis was on the RAMP toolkit. The trainer presented the benefits of mobile over paper-based data collection and the tools used in mobile data collection.
During the practical session, the participants learnt how to design questionnaires, set up the server, download the tool on the phone and set up the server link for data collection, cleaning and visualisation. They also took part in a live quiz to see how the trainees were interpreting the content and open up discussion on ideas that could be improved upon.
3: The Malawi Spatial Data Portal (MASDAP)
Brown Mphalo, a Masdap administrator from DoS, gave a 30 minutes presentation on the background of Masdap, highlighting its architecture and functionalities. In addition, the participants watched a live demo on how to use the portal.
4: The Community Risk Assessment (CRA) dashboard
Simon Tembo, MRCS GIS Specialist, gave a presentation and facilitated a discussion on the CRA dashboard. The aim of the session was to introduce the participants to the MALAWI CRA dashboard so that they can quickly identify the geographic areas that are most affected by a natural disaster or crisis and, within those areas, the people that are most affected.
FEEDBACK & FOLLOW-UP
The participants received an online survey asking for their feedback on the training. The results showed that most participants were satisfied with the delivery and contents of the sessions.
Adopting a standard data collection template as a result of this training will limit duplication or gaps in information, speed up data flow and support easier analysis.
The follow-up goal is to facilitate simplified trainings on basic data collection at community and district level, which can be rolled out by stakeholders countrywide.
WHEN & WHERE WE STARTED
We have so far conducted trainings in:
- 2017: The Netherlands Red Cross
- 2017: IFRC Regional Data Skills Workshop Hungary
- 2018: Ethiopia Red Cross
- 2018: Uganda Red Cross
- 2018: Zambia Red Cross
- 2019: Kenya Red Cross
- 2019: Malawi Red Cross
DATA TEAM CREATION & TRAINING so far!
- Malawi (3 members, operative 2017)
- Kenya (3 members, operative, 2018)
- Uganda (2 members, operative, 2018)
- Ethiopia (1 member, setting up 2019)
- Philippines (1 member, setting up, 2019)
- Zambia (1 member, operative, 2018)
- Mali (1 member, setting up, 2019)
- Nepal (Planning, 2020)
- Lebanon (Planning, 2020)
- Zimbabwe (Planning, 2020)