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Malawi data: the bootcamp and a bleg

13 June 2013

There is some excitement in Lilongwe surrounding Malawi’s first-ever Data Literacy Bootcamp, where participants are now in their second day of learning how to find, extract, and analyze public data. Though the bootcamp had limited spaces for participants (30 journalists, 30 coders, and 30 “digital creatives”), you can already find the tools that were shared with participants online. The first place to start is the Malawi Databootcamp web site (where I’m told more resources will be posted later). There is already some straightforward instructions on how to use Google Fusion Tables from one workshop at Malawi Databootcamp that shares publicly the data on all foreign aid projects in Malawi from 2011-2016 (note that some of the other data sources in that workshop site are currently “protected” and unavailable to the public). Updates from bootcamp participants are available on Twitter using the hashtag #dbootcamp (note: there’s a related Bolivia #dbootcamp that will also appear in the search). There are a few Malawians tweeting from the bootcamp — I recommend following @chimxy and @ctenthani.

In other news, a dissertation recently filed in New Zealand uses night-light data in Malawi, joined to Malawi AidData, to show the impact of aid “on economic activity, as captured through the degree of night light intensity.” (HT Brad Parks.)

Folks often ask me about available data in Malawi, and in a later post, I will put together a round-up of some standard datasets, some new datasets, and other data resources. Colleagues who study Malawi, please email me about datasets you use so I can include them (or feel free to post them in the comments here).


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