Data has become an intricate element of today’s age of digital and technological information progress.
Social Media and connected devices, as well as digital communication, has allowed institutions as well as businesses to be able to collect and leverage customer data to help develop increase sales and improve customer interaction.
Driven by this new thinking, a consortium of African organisations – africapractice, iHub and Code for Africa, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – have announced the launch of Takwimu, an Africa-focused digital information service for people working in the human development arena.
‘Takwimu’, a Swahili word translates to ‘data’ or ‘information,’ seeks to empower African changemakers with access to high-quality visual data, in order to support their work in educating, influencing and advocating for deeper development impact.
The use of visual data has become a powerful tool for development storytellers and practitioners.
Takwimu’s goal is to make it much easier for development champions and storytellers to find, download, and share high-quality analysis and data visuals in their own materials.
By opening out access in this way, Takwimu aims to stimulate broader participation in development policy and programming.
Takwimu provides expert analysis of the key stakeholders, decision processes, policies, organisations and budgets that are driving development outcomes – combined with access to authoritative sources of national and sub-national statistics in the health, agriculture, education and financial inclusion sectors.
Onyebuchi Ajufo, spokesperson for Takwimu said that the initiative will support a community of development storytellers and practitioners as they use analytics and data to create impact through their publications, reports, presentations and other content.
“We’d like to thank the many NGOs, development officers, data scientists and journalists across the continents who have contributed to building Takwimu and we hope the service is a useful contribution to the African development community,” he said.
Takwimu covers ten countries in Africa; Burkina Faso, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The service plans to make key content available in French, Swahili and Amharic later this year.
africapractice is a communications and PR consultancy while Code for Africa (CfA), a federation of indigenous civic technology and open data laboratories, manages key digital democracy resources such as the openAFRICA.net data portal and the GotToVote.cc election toolkit.
In addition to funding and technology support, CfA’s labs incubate a number of projects including PesaCheck, the continental africanDRONE network, and the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR).