Stories on Data, Social Media and Development

How Immersive Virtual Reality can be a Pathway to Development and Social Change

The digital evolution is fast-moving, to say the least. In my last post, I attended an international conference keynote speech online. It was a traditional one-way, non-interactive 2D broadcasts, meant to simply transfer knowledge, but new tools are transforming how educational content is delivered. Through these new digital innovations we …

Social Media and Development meet at conference “Refugees, Borders and Membership”

Last week, on October 24-25, the open international conference Refugees, Borders and Membership took place at Malmö University in Sweden. The organizing department, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM) broadcasted their two keynote addresses, Oxford University Professor David Miller and Colgate University Professor Ellen Percy Kraly, …

„Do no digital harm” – Towards a more ethical humanitarian innovation

Digital communication tools such as mobile phones, online platforms and applications have great importance in humanitarian emergencies and considered as life-saving commodities especially when it comes to coordinating the food delivery, shelter, health services and other types of assistance in emergency response. New forms of information and communication technologies and …

Reflections on the #AidToo summit in London, 18 October 2018

In my previous blog post, I have discussed how the #MeToo and #AidToo campaigns, emerging from social media movements, managed to dominate the headlines of media for long months and determine the agenda of numerous global discussions in the international development cooperation. Despite #AidToo succeeded in raising awareness to the …

Counting on Statistics: How can national statistical offices and donors increase use?

A new report “Counting on Statistics” from AidData in collaboration with OpenDataWatch and ContactParis21 was launched at UNDataForum which surveys hundreds of government officials in developing countries to understand what they need to better produce and use official statistics.

“Global data must not only increase in quality and accessibility, it also must increase in use and understanding- Producers need to engage with their users, listen to their concerns, & use their feedback to improve if they are to succeed in adding value & winning public trust”

Some of the findings of the report entails:

  • The need to broaden the domestic user base of official statistics
  • Rethink dissemination strategies in line with what the government users want
  • Monitor the use of the data
  • Making produced data easier to use and access critical to spur data use
  • Increasing technical expertise and obtain greater technical support on statistical capacity

In connection to my thoughts on our previous blog-  Data is for machines, information is for people– Definitely an interesting read for the data for development community.


Going Local- Citizens as Shapers! What does it entail to learn and transform it to action?

There is a growing consensus on the importance of local ownership, locally-led development and the applicability of the adaptive programming approaches in the field of development.  Data-driven, evidence-based, citizen-centred, learning focussed are often the words that we hear in this context. Policy makers and global development practitioners often increasingly stress …

Social Media Movements – Are they able to make real social change?

The #MeToo movement and the scandals of sexual abuse and exploitation (SAE) by staff of organizations working in humanitarian aid and development cooperation have unfolded within a six months period in late 2017 and early 2018, and spread like wildfire in the media. Victims of sexual violations decided to stay …

Is Social Media Slacktivism Development’s White Noise?

Activism vs. slacktivism — it’s a mainstream debate. Activism is about making your voice heard; inspire, promote, mobilize, take to the streets and push for change. But nowadays digital do-gooders can sit in their underwear and endorse a cause from the couch or with a couple of “likes” on the …

Data is for machines, information is for people

In my previous blog, I touched upon harnessing the potential of data-ecosystem with the exploding volumes of data specifically in relation to the Leave no one behind principle. It is important to realize that the exponential growth of the data and revolution in relation to big data is not just spurred …

Social Media – bringing communities together and tearing them apart

SOCIAL MEDIA – idyllic ideas of connecting the world and everyone in it, or growing grounds for extremist views, false news and misinformation? Arguably both. But what role does social media play in communicating for development? How does it become an obstacle, pushing in the opposite direction? And when does …