Thursday, 15.15-16.45 (Academy Hall)

Qual data hackathon: A collaborative workshop for improving use of tech-derived qual data. Karen Greiner, Equal Access; Prabin Shreshtra, Equal Access Nepal
This workshop is an opportunity to “hack” (collaboratively create) ways to operationalize tech-derived qualitative data. The workshop will begin with a brief presentation of the RAAM model: Data for Reporting, Action, Advocacy and Motivation. The model establishes a typology of qualitative data applications. The hackathon will be (de)structured using the “Open Space” method, which allows participants themselves to shape the direction of conversation, within the general theme of “making good use of qualitative data.” 

Session Level:

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Session Details:

This is a 1.5 session that will include 20 minutes to “set the stage” and establish a shared vocabulary for the session, followed by over an hour of contributions and discussion from workshop participants. Be prepared to move around the room and speak with a diverse group of qualitative data aficionados. Two short readings are available to help prepare participants for the content and format of the session. Reading 1 (on content) describes the RAAM model, which outlines different uses for qualitative data including Reporting, Action, Advocacy and Motivation. Reading 2 (on format) is a half-page description of the “open space” methodology. For readings, see here.

Illustrative examples of each type of data use will be provided, drawing heavily from data and experiences collecting, analyzing and using qualitative data from a civil society and good governance program in Nepal (The CS:MAP project, a collaboration with MERL-Tech co-host FHI-360 – see here)

Once we have approached a common understanding of what is meant, in this instance, by “Data for Reporting, for Action, for Advocacy and for Motivation,” (The RAAM model), we will go into deeper discussions using “open space.” Open space is a facilitation mechanism for engaging groups of people in discussions to explore particular questions or issues that are generated by participants themselves. Workshop participants self-organize according to interest creating a marketplace of ideas and experiences that allows discussants to go deeper on specific themes than would normally be possible in a traditional presentation-plus-discussion format. Guiding “open space” sessions is “the Law of Two Feet,” which holds that if someone feels they are not learning or contributing in a given discussion, they should use their two-feet to move on to a different discussion, with no hard feelings and no questions asked.

Because of the highly participatory nature of this workshop, it is difficult to determine in advance the exact content of the hour-long discussion component. The diverse experience and skills of participants, however, will ensure that all in attendance have the opportunity to identify and explore multiple ways to make good use of qualitative data, beyond traditional reporting.

By the end of this workshop, participations should be able to: 1) describe key challenges faced by program and/or monitoring and evaluation teams when they have large amounts of qualitative data to analyze and use; and 2) list several ideas for using qualitative data that have been designed and/or documented by practitioners across the globe.

Session Leads:

Karen Greiner, Director of Research and Innovation, Equal Access. Equal Access is a non-profit organization working in communication for social change in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Karen is a researcher and practitioner specializing in communication for action and social change. Her research and writing focus on communication interventions designed to promote change in creative and inviting ways. Prior to joining Equal Access, Karen was part of UNICEF’s Polio Eradication communication team in Chad and Pakistan. She was an English teacher and HIV/AIDS educator as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon (1998-2000), has a BA from Duke University in Comparative Area Studies and an MA in International Education from New York University.  Karen is a Fulbright Fellow Alumna (Colombia, 2008-2009), with a Ph.D. in Health Communication from Ohio University.  She is fluent in French and Spanish and can bargain and make grammar mistakes in Pulaar and Wolof. Learn more about Karen here, here, on Twitter @kpgreiner or at Equal Access.

Prabin Nanicha Shrestha, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Equal Access Nepal (Digital Broadcast Initiative). A graduate in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Prabin has been working in the field of development and research for almost a decade. His research focuses on war narratives, peace discourses, gender norms and communication for change. Before joining Equal Access, Prabin was involved in the impact evaluation of development projects and served as researcher for one of the leading research institutes in Nepal where he collaborated on research on the decade-long Maoist war in Nepal. Prabin has a BA degree in Social Work, and has practiced as a social work apprentice in various settings such as hospital, autism rehabilitation centers, and a number of development organizations. Prabin is also interested on working with community members at grassroots in participatory research and action. More about Prabin here and at Equal Access Nepal.

Supplementary Materials:

Find the session readings here.