TransparenCEE Workshop on Data Advocacy: visual know-hows for NGOs

TransparenCEE workshop on Data Advocacy and Communication took place on 8th of April, in Centrum Hewelianum in Gdańsk, Poland. It was held by civic tech expert Anna Kuliberda and Michał Szota, a graphic designer.

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The aim of the workshop was to show the representatives of various non-government organizations from CEE region what are the possibilities to promote the data they are collecting and make it more understandable for their audience.

During the theoretical part Anna Kuliberda emphasized that data advocacy is as crucial as other elements of „data life cycle” (which are collecting, storing, verifying and analyzing of the data) – mostly because it enables organizations to make actual change. Michał Szota pointed out that it’s always good to remember that Internet is mostly visual and that’s why a presentation of numbers or facts – as well as cooperation with a designer – should not be neglected by organizations who are dealing with data.

Then, during the practical part, the participants were divided into 3 working teams. The teams were given a task to prepare „a magazine cover” for their project – preferably in a form of digital and interactive website which should contain unique multimedia content. Then projects were discussed by the trainers and the whole group. Within only 2 hours teams were able to create „covers” for 3 different projects based on their deep knowledge of local budgets, prison conditions or cases of electoral frauds.

The participants found workshop inspiring and useful. Iryna Shvets from Ukrainian organization “OPORA” told us that sharing experience with people from other countries and discussing trends and tools in data visualization with them was the most important part of the training for her.

“Learning from others’ mistakes helps you not repeat them – and instead of that make your own”, Jelena Berkovic from GONG added.

“As NGOs we do similar things – like budget visualizations for example – but in a case of every organization the creative outcome is different. That is why it’s so important to have the opportunity to meet and “steal” knowledge from each other from time to time”, Cosmin Pojoranu from Funky Citizens in Romania concluded.