Voices from the Field: Challenges and Opportunities of Data

September 8, 2017
robinson with malawi women

The Center for African Studies, Global Water Institute and the Global One Health Initiative are continuing the Voices from the Field brown bag speaker series featuring multidisciplinary researchers from Ohio State who work in Africa. This semester’s theme, Challenges and Opportunities of Data in Africa, explores how research, teaching and extension efforts can capture the potential of data (collecting, sharing, communicating, securing) in an African context. Researchers working in Africa in any field—from social science to hydrology to epidemiology—need data to be able to develop and guide best practices and produce actionable scholarly results. Speakers will discuss the data challenges they face in their research in Africa and their strategies to surmount them. Examples could include challenges collecting data (scarcity of samples, cultural barriers, physical logistics), managing data (digital infrastructure), communicating the value or implications of data to stakeholders, and more. Speakers will also discuss some opportunities that they have made use of (serendipitously or intentionally) to collect data, such as crowdsourcing, pairing data capture with other unrelated activities, digital games, etc. By sharing best practices and notable “worst practices” in data collection, analysis, management, the series aims to foster a community of practice at Ohio State that would benefit those working in Africa and in other international settings. The series is intended to provide networking opportunities for faculty, students and members of the general public. All sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 12-1 in Enarson Classroom Building room 160 starting September 6. Participants are welcome to bring lunch and eat during the sessions. Click here for more details about the series. Streaming is available during and after the sessions.