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Open Cities Lab Visits Orodata Science in Lagos

On Thursday the 14th of April 2022, Richard Gever, Executive Director of Open Cities Lab (OCL), and Sarah Findlay, Project Lead of Africa Data Hub paid a visit to the Orodata Science team in Lagos

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The OCL team was received by the Executive Director of Orodata, Blaise Aboh, with other executives and the team at their Yaba Office. The visit was geared toward mapping out the next phase of the Africa Data Hub project and also developing business partnership ideas.

For the last two years, Open Cities Lab and Orodata Science have worked closely on the African Data Hub, a reputable project and up-to-date source for COVID-19 related data in user-friendly formats on the African continent. The Africa Data Hub seeks to support and promote quality access to information, data-driven journalism and in turn, facilitate evidence-based decision-making about the pandemic across the continent.

For the first phase of the project in 2021, Orodata Science empowered three newsrooms under the ADH Data Journalism Workshop with tools, data and knowledge to produce more stories that are of public importance.  A total of 93 journalists were trained across three newsrooms including Nigeria Health Watch, Premium Times and Information Nigeria Data visualization support was also provided to the newsrooms to help their journalists improve the quality of their reportage using an array of newly available data.

With the support of ADH, Orodata Science also developed a Covid19 Vaccine Tracker which provides deep insights into the depth of the outbreak, especially the vaccination administration efforts of government and allied actors.

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For the second phase of the project in 2022, Orodata Science is working with OCL to implement the ADH Community Journalism Fellowship and ADH Twitter Space. The ADH Community Journalism Fellowship (ACJF) is designed to improve the coverage of under-reported issues in local communities across Nigeria while focusing on potential solutions with lasting impact toward effective public service delivery, grassroots development and improving the quality of life.

The ACJF program will be delivered in three cohorts, some of its highlights include Data Journalism Bootcamp to train fellows on advanced investigative, data storytelling and mapping techniques. Each fellow will receive a grant sum and advisory sessions with mentors will be offered to build their journalistic skills. The ADH Twitter Space is a monthly forum which is facilitated by Orodata Science and it is geared toward driving an incisive conversation with subject matter experts on topical issues with a focus on Equitable Economic Recovery. The first edition of the ADH Twitter Space focused on the Covid19 outbreak and issues related to the mismanagement of Covid19 funds and the low level of vaccine administration.

The visit also presented an opportunity for the Open Cities Lab team to explore and visit different tourist attractions in Lagos. Amongst the places that Gevers and Findlay visited are Nike Art Gallery where they beheld artworks by Nigeria’s finest artists and also the Lekki Conservation Centre which boasts of the longest canopy walkway in Africa.

Open Cities Lab (OCL) is a non-profit open and non-partisan organization that combines the use of action research, co-design, data science, and technology with civic engagement to enable the development of inclusive cities and urban spaces. Its design methodology and implementation will always reflect ethics with the user placed firmly at the centre of all important decisions. OCL works to build inclusion and participatory democracy in cities and urban spaces through empowering citizens, building trust and accountability in civic space, and capacitating government.

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Orodata Science in the past few years has worked with global corporations, institutions, and organizations at different levels on numerous projects encompassing data and digital rights, media innovation, and most importantly on improving equitable access to public services.  Orodata democratizes public data, and knowledge for the benefit of citizens and societies towards openness, transparency in governance, and effective policy design and development. To trigger real outcomes and emancipatory changes, Orodata supports communities at scale through the development of civic solutions and support of community solutions journalism.

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