NRGI hosted the event #dataMuseTunisia on the 11th of December in beautiful Tunisia where a group of CSO’s from different NGOs met in the Burge Du Lac Hotel to learn how to craft their data sets and share their stories through creative visuals. Bahia Halawi, one of the leading data scientists in the MENA region and the co-founder at data aurora, led this workshop for 3 days. This event featured a group of professionals from different CSO’s. This is one of the events NRGI did along with school of data for the sake of driving economic development through data in the extractive industry. Earlier this year NRGI did similar events in Washington, Istanbul, United Kingdom, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and many others.
The experience was very unique and the participants were very excited to use the open source tools and follow the data pipeline to end up with interactive stories. The first day started with an introduction to the world of data driven journalism and story creation. Later on, participants checked out some of the most interesting stories worldwide before working with the different phases of the data pipeline. The technical part challenged the participants to search for data related to their work and after that use google spreadsheets, web extensions and scrapers to automate the data extraction phase.
After that, each of the participants used google refine to filter the data sets and remove redundancies ending up with useable data formats. The data sets were varied and some of them were placed on interactive maps through carto dB while some of the participants used data wrapper to interactively place them in charts. The workshop also exposed participants to tabula, empowering them with the ability of transforming documents from pdfs to excel. They also discussed some of the challenges each of them faces at different locations in Tunisia. It was very interesting to see participants share their ideas on how to approach different data sets and how to feed this into an official web portal that can carry all these sets together.
One of the participants, Aymen Latrach, discussed the problems his team faces when it comes to data transparency about extractives in Tataouine. Other CSO’s like Manel Ben Achour who is a Project Coordinator at I WATCH Organization came already from technical backgrounds and they were very happy to make use of new tools and techniques while working with their data.