Friday, 10.30-11.30 (Academy Hall)

Partnering with data scientists to make big data accessible and useful. Kate Diaz, TechnoServe; Kelly Skeith, Freedom House; Jonathan Wang, Delta Analytics; Dan Kheloussi, DataKind DC
This will be an interactive session which helps participants identify good data science projects they might bring to data science volunteers. It will also equip them with several options where they can apply for volunteer support and provide tips on managing a volunteer team. We’ll share our experience working with teams of volunteer data scientists to develop deeper insights into our M&E data.

Session Level:

Intermediate M&E with Beginner Quant Skills

Session Details:

Representatives from data science volunteer organizations DataKind and Delta Analytics, and their NGO clients, TechnoServe and Freedom House, will begin the session by briefly discussing their respective big data projects in market systems and democracy and governance. The NGO panelists will describe the goal of the projects and their experiences and lessons learned from the collaborations, including what kind of data, technical skills, time and resources were needed and what they would have done differently. The data scientist panelists will describe the projects from their perspectives and provide more details on what they look for when accepting NGO clients and taking on big data projects. After time for Q&A, attendees will then break out into small groups with the panelists to discuss any big data projects they are currently working on or would like to do in the future. The panelists will facilitate the group discussions to help attendees identify any challenges they may face and provide tips on how the projects can move forward successfully. This session is designed to be interactive and provide a workshop like environment in which attendees can discuss their own work and learn from the panelists and each other.

Session Leads:

Kelly Skeith, Senior Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Freedom House. Kelly’s duties include oversight of the design, monitoring and evaluation of all of the organization’s international human rights, democracy and governance programs. From 2010-15, Kelly served as an M&E Specialist at Social Impact, most recently serving as Deputy Director for Social Impact’s Performance Evaluation practice. Kelly provided management and technical oversight for evaluation, assessment, and performance monitoring activities for USAID and the Department of State and facilitated evaluation trainings for donors and other program staff around the world. Her technical work focused on the utilization of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to capture output, outcome, and impact level data to improve program and policy design and effectiveness in transitional, fragile, and conflict-affected areas. Kelly has also worked at USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) where she supported conflict assessments and the development of the Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding toolkit. She holds a master’s degree in economic and political development from Columbia University. More on her here and at Freedom House.

Kate Scaife Diaz, Director of Impact Measurement, TechnoServe. Kate is Director of Impact Measurement at Technoserve, where she has also held the positions of Regional M&E Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Senior Manager of Corporate Measurement. She holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Chicago and a MALD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Kate is an avid experimenter with technology in the workplace, but prefers low/no tech when off the clock. More on Kate here, on Twitter @TechnoServe, at TechnoServe and on its blog.

Jonathan Wang, Director of Projects, Delta Analytics. Jonathan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 and worked in economic consulting for a year before joining Uber as a Fraud Associate. Through his experiences working as a pro-bono management consultant through The Berkeley Group, he developed a passion for collaborating with social sector organizations to affect greater change. This inspired the founding of Delta Analytics which bridged Jonathan’s interests in data and social impact. Outside of his work with Delta Analytics, he enjoys reading, music, and fencing his weapons of choice, sabre and foil. More on Jonathan here and at Delta Analytics.

Dan Kheloussi, DataKind DC. Dan focuses on emerging issues and technologies in electricity markets. He previously supported the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability with the development and demonstration of smart grid technologies, and has also performed research in various fields, including particle physics and LED lighting. Dan has a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Science degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University. When he’s not writing queries and making graphs, Dan enjoys playing basketball, taking advantage of the cultural events around Washington, DC, and volunteering with local farmers markets. More on Dan here.