DATA4CHAN.GE brings talented people in the visual storytelling community together with civil society and human rights organisations that have original datasets and powerful stories to tell.

During our workshops multidisciplinary teams consisting of data researchers, data journalists, coders, UX designers, graphic designers and human rights organisations create data visualisations and devise innovative advocacy strategies.

The initial idea for the DATA4CHAN.GE workshop resulted from a detailed needs analysis of the Iranian and MENA human rights sector’s data driven advocacy output by UK based not-for-profit Small Media in 2014. It revealed that human rights organisations (HROs) in the region collect primary data and had a strong desire to visualise their research, but lacked the skills and access to professionals to do so. It also showed that data visualisation professionals in both MENA and the West were desperate to work on “projects that matter” rather than commercial projects, but that they lacked access to HROs who collected data. As a result DATA4CHAN.GE was created, a workshop where the two sectors could collaborate to create data visualisations aimed at elevating public engagement and effective advocacy, which in turn could bring about real positive change.

The first workshop took place in London, UK in November 2014 in partnership with Visualized, in conjunction with their first London conference. This workshop was attended by four HROs focusing on human rights abuses in Lebanon, Iran and Yemen and lasted two days. It was a great success with all HROs developing prototypes of interactive data visualisations, but the feedback showed that all participants wanted a longer workshop where they could learn more skills and have more time to collaborate.

So, for our second workshop in Beirut, Lebanon in November 2015 we took this feedback to heart and and created a five-day workshop, complete with an extensive training programme which incorporated different streams of learning as well as allowing for plenty of creative collaboration and group work. The feedback for this approach speaks for itself!

We are always working on improving our workshops. We tailor the training programme to suit all participants and make sure everyone will leave feeling inspired and armed with brand new skills to help them do effective data driven advocacy or journalism in the future. The atmosphere at the workshops are inclusive, supportive and positive and those who attend become part of a very unique alumni who remain in contact via a private Slack channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The DATA4CHAN.GE workshops are organised in collaboration with leading international and local partners in the data and data visualisation field.