Monday, June 23, 2014

PenPlusBytes Organizes Data Journalism Training, Hackathon on Maternal Health

Each year thousands of women die from pregnancy and childbirth related complications, therefore there is an urgent need to throw more light on this challenge for corrective measures. In light of this situation International Institute of ICT Journalism (PenPlusBytes), is organizing a training workshop and hackathon on Data Journalism for Journalists at Ho in the Volta region from June 25th – June 27th, 2014, supported by STAR Ghana under the theme ‘Open Ghana: Data Journalism for Improved Maternal Healthcare Delivery’. It is aimed at building the capacity of Journalists with new, greater and more efficient ways of capturing and propagating issues bordering on maternal healthcare delivery and spending in the Volta region by exposing them to a more data-driven approach to their coverage. AMATSI, a data-driven story builder with online publishing features developed by PenPlusBytes will be launched during this event.

“With increased availability of data, journalists can now investigate and tell compelling data driven stories and this workshop and hackathon is coming at a time when Journalists are demanding skills and knowledge to enable them navigate data journalism space. It will expose them to available opportunities to play an essential role in helping to analyze and digest all maternal health related information through the practice of data-driven journalism, while presenting the media with an effective avenue to have a notable impact on human development by equipping them with the ability to make sense of data for citizens” says Kwami Ahiabenu, II, President of PenPlusBytes.

Data Journalism provides opportunities for journalists to tell exciting stories backed by evidence. Producing data driven stories has gained greater currency with growing availability of open data that is freely available online and analyzed with user friendly tools. In covering maternal health issues, data driven journalism can help journalists put this important societal issues on the center table. Data is indeed rapidly exploding in quantities far vaster than the capacity of civil society, commercial entities, and individual citizens to make sense of it. Data Journalism Training, Hackathon on Maternal Health is therefore, in response to the need to bridge existing gaps in Data-driven story telling skills and knowledge of maternal health issues. Excited by the opportunity to build his capacity, the GNA’s Kafui Kanyi describes the upcoming workshop as an opportune one. “I expect to acquire more skills and techniques on how to easily access data, process it and convey it in a manner that enhances my stories” he said.

Established in 2001, PenPlusBytes is a leading organization in Africa working in 3 areas: governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining. STAR-Ghana is a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana’s government, traditional authorities and the private sector.

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