One of our biggest wins is that we have distilled and clarified our mission: to lower the barriers that African journalists face in accessing and using data in their stories. And 2022 has confirmed our raison d'etre. We have seen the critical link that this hub serves as it connects journalists and newsrooms to reliable data and support. We have worked heard to realise this mission and despite the difficult circumstances, we achieved the following:
- Made 120 datasets available for free download and use via our data repository
- Trained and mentored 26 fellows in our Data Journalism Fellowship (Kenya)
- Trained and mentored 18 fellows in our Community Journalism Fellowship (Nigeria)
- We trained over 71 people as part of our Fundamentals of Data Journalism course
- Co-created or helped to produce 41 data stories, including examples here and here
As we think about our impact on a deeper level, we also want to look at the bigger picture where we believe that the hub connects whole populations of people to impactful stories rooted in accurate information and context that they can trust. i.e. data-driven stories. This is our motivation, our guide, our north star.
Some of our major wins that speak to our vision:
- Inflation Tracker and Observer tool (lead by Open Up): In the context of rising inflation around the world, we launched our own set of Inflation Rate data for the continent (available here). We believe that our dataset is the most comprehensive up-to-date inflation dataset available for Africa and is certainly the only source, to our knowledge, available for free. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is often the go-to resource for journalists to access Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) data, but the IMF relies on countries sharing their data. For many African countries, the CPI data available on IMF is several months out of date. This is despite country-level inflation rate data being publicly available and often published monthly by the responsible national body. We saw the gap and took up the opportunity to collect this country-level data on a monthly basis by scraping the latest publications. You can explore this data in this interactive visualisation, dig deep into how the data is collected or understand what the numbers actually mean.
- Hospital of Horrors (facilitated by Orodata Science): A story and video published by one of our Community Journalism Fellows in Nigeria, Sodiq Ojuroungbe, investigates the poor quality of health infrastructure in Ogun State that led to the death of a pregnant woman who had to travel far distances to access adequate healthcare. The video has had > 14 000 views on YouTube thus far. Critically, the story was not only picked up and reported by other newsrooms, but also caught the attention of the Commissioner of Health for Ogun State who has requested follow up engagements with us. This in-depth piece, rooted in data and analysis, shows the potential that data journalism has not only in highlighting critical issues for audiences, but also for grabbing the attention of local decision makers.
- Postpartum depression in men (facilitated by Odipodev): A 1-minute video published by Joy Chemutai, a fellow in the Africa Data Hub Journalism Fellowship in Kenya, speaks to the relatively unknown issue of Paternal Postpartum Depression. Rather than sticking to the common story angle of the impact of newborns on mothers, this piece intentionally sought out an alternative perspective. This is made all the more important in the patriarchal society of Kenya (and beyond) where 10% of new fathers suffer from PPD and the issue remains highly stigmatised. Critically, too, this video was published straight to Twitter by Africa Uncensored, one of Kenya’s leading investigative newsrooms, and showcases the mission of this fellowship to support young journalists to experiment with new media platforms and formats.
Moving forward, we commit to digging deeper into the types of support you are looking for as journalists; the types of stories you need help with; the types of data you are looking for. If you have an idea, please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To an exciting 2023,