Data Expert Programme

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What is a School of Data Data Expert?

The data expert programme is a new initiative of School of Data designed to build the organisational capacity of civil society organisations and newsrooms to use data effectively. Since 2014, School of Data has been experimenting with interventions designed to support civil society organisations to use data, partnering with Global Witness on an embedded fellowship and Metamorphosis on a civil society data support challenge. Drawing from the lessons of these initiatives, the data expert programme has been designed to accomplish three distinct objectives: raise the level of data literacy of the staff of the partner organisation(s), support the organisation(s) to deliver a specific data project and foster a connection between the partner organisation(s) and the local data community.

The Data Expert Programme is a nine-month placement with a local civil society organisation, in partnership with School of Data. During this time, data experts will work alongside the partner organisation and the School of Data team to design a tailor made data capacity building support programme that addresses the data literacy needs and realities of the selected civil society organisation.

Through the programme, the data experts will learn to diagnose the data literacy needs of a non-technical civil society organisation, design organisational capacity building programmes and provide long term support on data-driven projects and advocacy. They will also deepen their own knowledge of the CSOs’ field of expertise. Furthermore, the partner organisation will learn to diagnose their own organisational data capacity building needs and develop strategies for institutionalising data approaches in their work. Their staff will have benefitted from in-house training and mentorship and be more confident in using common data tools and pursuing data stories. Finally, their staff will develop and implement a hands-on project, documenting their work and making sure that the chosen techniques are sustainable by the organisation beyond the duration of the data expert’s presence.

At School of Data, we recruit data experts on an annual basis, and provide them with data and leadership training as well as coaching on how to best design long term data support for an organisation. Data experts will become part of a growing global network of School of Data practitioners, benefiting from the network effects of sharing resources and knowledge and contributing to our understanding of how best to localise our training efforts.

In 2017, we will be recruiting for 2 data expert positions to work with us from April to December. As data experts will be providing direct support to pre-selected civil society organisations, it is necessary that they are based in close proximity to their partner organisation. This year, we are recruiting data experts based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and in Kampala, Uganda.

The application will be open until 2nd of April 2017.

How do I apply?

Please visit this link to the application form.

How is the School of Data Expert Programme funded?

The School of Data Programme, including the data expert programme, is funded through grants from the following institutions: Internews/USAID, Open Data For Development (World Bank & IDRC), the Hewlett Foundation & the Open Society Foundations and the Natural Resources Governance Institute .

We are currently recruiting Data Experts for a programme funded by and delivered in collaboration with the Natural Governance Resource Institute in Dar Es Salaam, TZ and Kampala, UG.

What partner organisations will the data experts be supporting?

We have been working closely with the Natural Resources Governance Institute to select the partner organisations for the 2017 Data Expert Programme.

The Tanzanian data expert will work with the Tanzania Media Foundation (www.tmf.or.tz). The expert is expected to support this organisation on a project around budget data related to extractives industry. We will expect from the Data Expert to able to, at minimum, scrape, clean, and analyse budget data. Knowledge of and experience with data specific to the extractives industry is a plus, but a willingness to learn is the most important requirement. Lastly, the Data Expert will also be expected to run trainings related to the data project, which means that we will favor applicants with any kind of training, teaching or knowledge sharing experience.

The Ugandan data expert will work with the African Center for Media Excellence (https://acme-ug.org/). They already have a good in-house data expertise and regularly support other journalists in improving their skills. The expert is expected to support this organisation on a project requiring strong GIS skills along with general data wrangling skills. Knowledge of and experience with data specific to the mining industry is a plus, but a willingness to learn is the most important requirement. Lastly, the Data Expert will also be expected to run trainings related to the data project, which means that we will favor applicants with any kind of training, teaching or knowledge sharing experience.

FAQ

Who can apply to become a data expert?

Our ideal candidate combines the following skills:

  • Data savvy: has experience working with data and a passion for teaching data skills.
  • Understands the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and media in bringing positive change through advocacy, campaigns, and storytelling.
  • Data Experts are passionate about enabling partners to use data effectively through in house training and long-term support.
  • Interested or experienced in working with newsrooms or civil society organisations.
  • Has strong facilitation skills and enjoys training others
  • Eager to learn from and be connected with an international community of data enthusiasts.

The purpose of the School of Data Data Expert programme is to improve the data literacy of CSOs and newsrooms. As such, it is not currently offered to government employees.

How does the data expert programme differ from the Fellowship programme?

While we recruit and run the data expert and fellowship programmes simultaneously, there are a number of substantial differences between the programmes. The main difference is that the fellowship is designed to build individual capacity and the data expert programme is focused on developing organisational data literacy. In many ways, the profile of candidates we are looking for is very similar and we even expect some data fellows to become data experts. Data experts are expected to be slightly more senior and have a proven track record on delivering data training.

That being said, if you are new to the School of Data community and not sure if you should apply to be an expert or a fellow, the question you should be asking yourself, is what are you more interested in doing over the course of the nine month placements. Data experts should be excited about working closely with a civil society organisation and getting the opportunity to support a resource constrained team learn new skills and become more data-driven. While it would be impossible not to learn and grow through this experience, you are more excited about seeing the impact that you can have on this organisation!

How can I apply?

To apply, you will have to fill our application form and attach your CV. The form is available at this link.

What kind of activities will data experts carry out?

School of Data believes in building organisational capacity through two complementary approaches to skills developments. The organisations will improve their ability to design, manage and implement technical data projects through a learn-by-doing approach. This will be further enhanced by a bespoke training plan designed to addresses the hard data skills that the staff lacks and requires.

As such, the activities that the data expert carries out will responsible to the specific needs of the partner organisation. Over the course of the first month of the programme they will conduct a needs assessment to prepare the work on the project and a training plan, both of which will be adjusted over the course of the nine months. At the conclusion of the programme, the data expert will provide the organisation with a tailormade sustainability strategy.

How will School of Data support the data experts?

We will:

  • Provide a globally recognized community and programme which includes mentors, fellows, educators, and partners
  • Organise a 9-month programme including online and offline trainings aimed at developing data and leadership skills as well as individual coaching
  • Advise the data expert on the design of the data training plan
  • Provide support and feedback on the on modules and curriculum developed for the organisations
  • Implement an evaluation process tracking the deliverables of the data expert programme
  • Connect data experts with a growing community of School of Data practitioners and ensure continuous exchange of resources, knowledge, and best practices
  • Connect with and organise training sessions and coaching with renowned experts in the areas of participatory events management, storytelling, public speaking, etc.
  • Facilitate opportunities for paid work, including fundraising for stipends to ensure ongoing availability and reactiveness to the needs of learners; see below for more information on the stipend

How much time are data experts expected to dedicate to their placement?

Our data experts are not employed full time. We ask the experts to dedicate up to ten working days per month. This will include regularly working from the offices of the partner organisation to train and support their staff. Furthermore, data experts will be expected to be an active member of the School of Data network, which will often mean doing being reactive to the activity of other network members..

Are data experts remunerated?

Data Experts will receive a stipend of $10,500 USD for the duration of the fellowship. This is not meant to cover them for full time work, as this is a part-time role, but we would expect them to dedicate at least ten days of effort for this amount. In addition to the stipend, experts will have access to a small amount of funds to organise local events and travel abroad at least once.

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School of Data Summer Camp: data experts join our worldwide network of data practitioners

The programme will also fund the participation of all experts at the School of Data Summer Camp (in May, exact date to be announced). This includes economy class airfare, accommodation, food, and transportation.

How is the training programme structured?

The nine-month training programme consists of a series of offline and online trainings and workshops aimed at developing core skills.

The fellowship programme will kick off in April and fellows will attend the School of Data Summer Camp in May. This training event brings together all School of Data practitioners, including fellows, volunteers, and local initiatives such as Escuela de Datos (Mexico and Spain), Escola de Dados (Brazil), Ecole des Données (France), and others.

After the training, fellows will participate in regular online trainings and will be expected to run online and offline events and to support specific organisations and communities to use data effectively.

Are the data experts required to work with specific local organisations?

Yes. We have been working closely with the Natural Resources Governance Institute to select the partner organisations for the 2017 Data Expert Programme.

The Tanzanian data expert will work with the Tanzania Media Foundation (www.tmf.or.tz). The expert is expected to support this organisation on a project around budget data related to extractives industry. We will expect from the Data Expert to able to, at minimum, scrape, clean, and analyse budget data. Knowledge of and experience with data specific to the extractives industry is a plus, but a willingness to learn is the most important requirement. Lastly, the Data Expert will also be expected to run trainings related to the data project, which means that we will favor applicants with any kind of training, teaching or knowledge sharing experience.

The Ugandan data expert will work with the African Center for Media Excellence (https://acme-ug.org/). They already have a good in-house data expertise and regularly support other journalists in improving their skills. The expert is expected to support this organisation on a project requiring strong GIS skills along with general data wrangling skills. Knowledge of and experience with data specific to the mining industry is a plus, but a willingness to learn is the most important requirement. Lastly, the Data Expert will also be expected to run trainings related to the data project, which means that we will favor applicants with any kind of training, teaching or knowledge sharing experience.

What happens after the training programme?

Data Experts will be part of the alumni programme at School of Data and be part of our recommended local contacts. They will also be eligible to become accredited trainers in our network for future training opportunities, as well as receive letters of recommendations for future employment purposes.

We would love to continue working with our data experts to provide support to local communities after the training programme. To achieve this, we will do our best to fundraise for stipends and to facilitate paid work with our partners, but would also appreciate fellows who can dedicate some time on a volunteer basis.

How are the data experts selected?

Data Experts are selected by a selection committee which will include funding and implementing partners based on a mix of criteria including applicant experience and profile, availability, local partnerships, etc. The items we take into consideration during selection are:

  • Application (answers to application form & CV);
  • References;
  • Local partnerships of the applicant.

How many data experts will you take from each country?

We are recruiting for two data expert positions this year – one in Kampala, Uganda and one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We will select one expert per country.

How many data experts will be recruited in total?

Two data experts will be recruited for the 2017 Data Expert class.

When can I expect to know if my application is successful?

We are planning to announce the selected data experts in early April. This timeframe will permit coordination for visa applications to the School of Data Summer Camp. We will contact all applicants about our decisions.

If I am not accepted as a data expert in this round, may I apply for the next round?

Yes, you are most welcome to apply for the next round of data experts and/or the fellowship programme. We will also suggest other opportunities for getting involved in our School of Data activities around the world.

How can I get involved if I am not selected or I am not based in one of the above mentioned countries?

Unfortunately, our data expert positions are limited, but we always welcome collaboration with data enthusiasts from all over the world. There are many ways you can get involved with School of Data:

Keep in touch

Join our discussion list. Keep up with the latest news, post questions, spark discussions, or help other learners out by answering their data questions. Want the latest from School of Data in your inbox without the chat? Join the announce list.

Write new course material

Contribute a new module to School of Data. Contribute your tips, tricks and tools to School of Data’s collection of learning materials by contacting us ( https://schoolofdata.org/contact) with the text you would like to include. We are keen to experiment with new formats, so don’t feel restricted to text! If you have video tutorials, slideshows, or materials in another format which will wow a learner, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Write for the School of Data blog

Blog for us. Have you done something cool with data? Have you recently discovered a new tool or found a way to work through a tricky problem?

Organise a local training or data expedition

We are happy to coach you to organise local School of Data events. If you have some time on your hands, a venue with a good internet connection, a good data set, and a community of people interested in gaining insights from data, contact us!

Organise an online skills sharing session

If you got specific data skills and want to share them with a broad community online, we are happy to facilitate online skill sharing sessions.

If you like our suggestions and want to work with us, or if you have other suggestions for collaboration, just email us at schoolofdata-team@okfn.org.

Other Questions?

Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have at any point during the application process.