Former Fellows

The School of Data Fellowship has been running since 2013. We worked with each class of Fellows to help them mature as data leaders through the Fellowship. Months or years after their Fellowship, they are still working within their community or internationally, pushing data literacy forward. They are now trainers, university professors, journalists, community organisers, researchers or civil society organisation leaders.

Class of 2013
Class of 2014
Class of 2015

Class of 2013

2013 was the year of the first incarnation of the Fellowship programme, which we named to be the Mentorship programme. It was a brilliant precursor to the current Fellowship programme, and we’re still seeing great things come from Ali, Ketty, Tarek, the very first School of Data “mentors”.

Ketty, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist, went on to become a central piece of the open data and mapping community in Uganda. Tarek, a Data Mining and Information Retrieval expert, has been creating Arabic-language tools and training materials helping bring open data and data journalism forward. Ali went on to become a prominent consultant on the impact of data.

The 2013 Fellowship would not have been possible without the support of [Funders]

Ketty Adoch, Uganda


Ketty is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist based in Kampala, Uganda. In 2013, inspired by a Twitter post about an upcoming online data expedition (School of Data MOOC) on global carbon emissions, Ketty joined Open Knowledge and signed up for the course. Passionate about the environment and feeling the need to expand her skill set, she found the data expedition methodology very useful and has used it in her trainings in Uganda.

Tarek Amr, Egypt


Tarek is a MSc. graduate in Data Mining and Information Retrieval with a decade of experience in software development. Tarek sought out the School of Data to hone his data visualization skills while preparing his dissertation in the UK. Tarek is an Open Knowledge ambassador in Egypt and uses his digital media talents to help journalists and activists raise their data skills.

Ali Rebaie, Lebanon


Ali is a data analyst from Lebanon who, as part of and after his participation in the first School of Data Fellowship, has been training hundreds of data enthusiasts worldwide, spreading data skills and educating on the use of the data pipeline methodology to ordinary citizens and journalists. He is now also a renowned speaker on emerging data technologies.



Class of 2014

12 Fellows from 11 countries. The 2014 class of the Fellowship is the biggest and most diverse to date, with a mix of GIS specialists, developers, journalists, designers and community leaders. They have become leaders within and outside the School of Data network as part of member organisations or as contributors to the open data and data literacy movements.

We partner every year with organisations to help coordinate Fellows in their region. In 2014 those partners were Code for Africa, SocialTIC (Mexico) and Publish What You Pay Indonesia.

Additionally, the 2014 School of Data Fellowship was made possible thanks to the trust and support of several funders: the World Bank through the Partnership for Open Data, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), Hivos, Indigo Trust, the Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative (SEATTI), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

Antonio Cucho Gamboa, Peru

Antonio is a PHP and Python programmer, co-organizer of Hacks & Hackers Lima and among the founders of the Open Data community in Peru. He is an active participant in projects around both open data and data journalism. In July 2013 he took part in AbreLatam in Montevideo, Uruguay with the award winning project Lima I/O. He is now based in Miami and works as senior developer for the data journalism team of Univision news. During his Fellowship he worked on election and extractives data and ran several workshops with journalists, CSOs and citizens.

Codrina Illie, Romania

Codrina is a PhD Student at the Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest working within the Groundwater Engineering Research Center ‘CCIAS’. She is an active promoter and researcher of open geographic data and open source software in Romania. As part of the Geodata Openness Initiative for Development and Economic Advancement in Romania project team, she works to improve the scientific basis for open geodata model adoption in Romania. During her Fellowship she worked on geospatial and elections data, with a notable contribution to a Bosnia and Herzegovina civic hacking workshop.

Dona Djambaska, Macedonia


Dona graduated in the field of Environmental Engineering and has been working in Skopje with the Metamorphosis foundation, a School of Data member organisation. At Metamorphosis she focuses on organising trainings for computer skills, social media, online promotion, photo and video activism. She is also an active contributor and member of the Global Voices Online community. During her Fellowship she facilitated several data literacy trainings and meetups in her region.

Hannah Williams, South Africa

Hannah is a graphic designer working in both web and print with an experience in copy writing and public art projects. She focuses on projects that have a social impact, using her knowledge in data visualisation. Her Fellowship was focused on helping specific South African organisations with her data visualisation and storytelling skills, which he did alongside another South African Fellow, Siyabonga Africa.

Happy Feraren, the Philippines


Happy Feraren is the co-founder and CEO of – a Manila based civil society organization (CSO) which monitors the quality of service delivery provided by frontline government offices through volunteer reporting. aims to uplift the standard of public service and create a culture of active citizenship. Happy leveraged her knowledge of the public service to maximise the impact of her Fellowship, which resulted in events and workshops aimed at civil servants, such as the Civil Service Commission.

Joachim Mangilima, Tanzania

Joachim Mangilima is a technology and data enthusiast with a passion for using technology and data. He is active as a consultant in the field of development, deployment and management of mobile and web-based solutions as well as systems for decision support, data collection, analysis and management. Joachim is also the co-founder of Google Developer Group Dar es Salaam, a group of technology enthusiasts and software developers who are interested in open source technology with a bias in Google’s developer technology. His Fellowship’s work was focused on helping building open data skills and awareness among civil servants in Tanzania, with the support of the World Bank, which he still works with.

Nisha Thompson, India

In 2010, having worked as a social media and community organiser for the Sunlight Foundation, Nisha moved to India. There, she gained experience in water data management and open government data, and became the Lead Organizer of DataMeet, an Indian community of people working towards open data by sharing experiences and helping others with data related problems. While Datameet was already hosting meetups and Open Data Camps when she became a Fellow, the Fellowship was an opportunity for her to start doing data trainings and expeditions, especially around data journalism.

Oludotun Babayemi, Nigeria

With a Masters Degree in Information Management, 5 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and a CrisisMapper Fellowship under his belt, Oludotun had already an excellent profile for the School of Data Fellowship. His work on monitoring and evaluation systems used to promote good governance, accountability and transparency (such as the Follow The Money and the Education Budget Tracker) made him a valuable contributor to the School of Data network. After a Fellowship focused on building the community of civic hackers and training journalists, he successfully applied for Connected Development, a NGO he is now board member of, to be part of the School of Data network.

Rita Zágoni, Hungary

Rita Zágoni is a programmer with a social science background. She has worked in IT management and web development before joining the Economics department of Central European University, where she is in charge of parsing unstructured, free text data to create analyzable data formats. Her Fellowship was a rare occasion for Hungarian NGOs to receive both basic and advanced training in data skills.

Ruben Moya, Mexico

Ruben studied computer science at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UDG). He is currently building web applications. He is an avid follower of technology and love to see new places. He entered the Fellowship as an already prolific trainer, giving lectures on design and basic and advanced programming, both online and offline. The Fellowship was an opportunity for him to focus on data literacy skills in the trainings he ran with civil society organisations and journalists.

Siyabonga Africa, South Africa

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga is a new media design graduate from the East coast of South Africa living in Johannesburg. His career has its roots in public administration and journalism from the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University respectively. His work during his Fellowship involved mentoring organisations to run specific data projects, in coordination with Hannah Williams, another South African Fellow.

Yuandra Ismiraldi, Indonesia


Yuandra is a full stack mobile engineer and game developer from Indonesia. He holds a bachelor and master degree in software engineering. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, while working in the University as a Research Engineer as part of the team that help researchers to adopt next generation digital research tools and skills. The main achievement of his Fellowship was the outstanding work that he did while working with the local network of Publish What You Pay Indonesia, organising regular trainings and creating content.

Class of 2015

For the 2015 School of Data Fellowship class we selected a mix of strong technical Fellows and experts with a deep knowledge of their audiences. It allowed us create or contribute to valuable projects that we are still enriching: A data journalism project about migration in Central America, a website about Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Data, and the Easy Guide to Mobile Data Collection.

We partner every year with organisations to help coordinate Fellows in their region. In 2015 those partners were Code for Africa, SocialTIC (Mexico) and Metamorphosis (Macedonia) and Connected Development (Nigeria).

Additionally, the 2015 School of Data Fellowship was made possible thanks to the trust and support of several funders: the Partnership for Open Development (POD) OD4D, Hivos, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Macedonia.

Camila Salazar, Alajuela, Costa Rica


Camila studied journalism and Economics at the University of Costa Rica. She now teaches data journalism classes at the same university while working in the data journalism unit of La Nacion (Costa Rica). She has several years of experience working with data and quantitative tools to write journalistic stories. She worked with several high profile journalism projects and is motivated to share her knowledge, making her a perfect profile for her Fellowship programme. As part of her Fellowship she ran data journalism trainings across Latin America, and wrote learning content that she is still using to this day.

David Selassie Opoku, Accra, Ghana


David Selassie Opoku is a graduate of the United World College Costa Rica, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Biology and the New Jersey Institute of Technology with an M.S. in Computer Science. He has had the opportunity to work with the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, the Eugene Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, the UNICEF Health Division and a tech startup in New York City. His Fellowship was focused on building a data literacy community in Ghana, through meetups and training. He is now the Open Data for Development Africa Lead at Open Knowledge International.

Goran Rizaov, Skopje, Macedonia

Goran Rizaov

Goran Rizaov, data-journalist based in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, with several years of experience in investigative journalism. Goran was a Professional Development Year fellow in 2011/2012 studying data journalism, precision journalism and online media at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, ASU, Phoenix, Arizona. He worked with School of Data network member Metamorphosis (Macedonia) on providing data skills to Macedonian NGOs during his Fellowship.

Julio Lopez, Quito, Ecuador


Julio is an economist and consultant at the Energy Division at the Inter-American Development Bank. He became interested in open data after joining “Extrayendo Transparencia“, which translates to “Extracting Transparency”, a Grupo FARO’s initiative that promotes the dissemination of citizen-oriented government data to improve the accessibility and use of information from the oil and mining industries in civil society organisations and local governments in Ecuador. In line with this experience, his Fellowship focused on creating content and facilitating trainings related to extractives data, with the support of our partner the Natural Resources Governance Institute.

Nirab Pudasaini, Kathmandu, Nepal

Nirab Pudasaini

Nirab is the lead mobile application developer at Kathmandu Living Labs. Working with the team at Kathmandu Living Labs Nirab has been championing the OpenStreetMap and Open Map data movement in Nepal. By training and mobilizing volunteers they have been successful to make OpenStreetMap as the most detailed map data source for Kathmandu. His Fellowship started on on a dramatic note, with a magnitude 7.9 which destroyed most of Kathmandu. He still managed to create, as part of his Fellowship, the foundation of the Easy Guide to Mobile Data Collection.

Nkechi Okwuone, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria


Nkechi is the Open Data Manager of the Edo State Open Data portal in Nigeria, the first sub-national Open Data portal in Africa. She is an alumnus of Federal Government Girls College, Ibusa and the University of Port Harcourt, where she received her B. Eng in Electrical Electronics Engineering. Nkechi is also a director in SabiHub, a not for profit organization with a vision to solve social problems using technology where she mentors entrepreneurs and open data enthusiasts. Her Fellowship was similarly orientied on community building and mentorship, helping build the bases of a data literacy community in the Edo State. Her main achievement was the organisation of a the second Nigerian Open Data Party.

Sheena Carmel Opulencia-Calub, Makati City, the Philippines

Sheena Carmel Opulencia-Calub Photo

Sheena works as a National Information Manager of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene with organisations such as ACF International and UNICEF. She is specialised in working on data management during emergencies, supporting communities, non-government and government agencies in managing and establishing information management systems during events such as Typhoon Pablo in 2012, Zamboanga Crisis, Bohol Earthquake, and Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013. Her Fellowship was consequently focused on similar work, where she used the data pipeline as a basis for training CSOs and civil servants around the Philippines.