Visuals for Gender, in partnership with the U.S Embassy Ghana, is undertaking a project called “Data for Gender-Based Violence Advocacy”. This project is aimed at:
1. Using data to advocate against gender-based violence.
2. Training representatives of Civil Society Organizations/Non-Governmental Organizations and Media Houses (Journalists), in the use of simple tools for data visualization and telling data stories, which will be useful in their advocacy work.
3. Educating girls in Junior High Schools on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
4. Training teachers with the requisite skills of dealing with sexual violence issues about their students.
We organized workshops to train CSOs/NGOs and Journalists. The workshops were aimed at building the capacity of participants, to help them incorporate data analysis and visualization in their gender advocacy work and news reporting.
The workshops were done on three different occasions. The dates for all three sessions were 3rd October, 21st November and 5th December. In each workshop, we had representatives from Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Journalists and some students.
We interacted with the participants about their knowledge on data analysis and visualization. Majority said they had no idea about what it was. They expressed their happiness about having the opportunity to be trained, which will eventually help them in their advocacy work.
At the beginning of every workshop, participants were taken through a session on the “Importance of Data-driven Advocacy”. Participants received insight about how powerful data-driven advocacy is, and how its use can help in discovering trends in gender-based violence cases and prediction of future occurrences.
Participants were exposed to simple data analysis and visualization tools. In the first workshop, participants were trained on how to use Microsoft Excel for data analysis and Tableau Public Software for data visualization. They used data sets from Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.
The second and third batches were trained to use Microsoft Excel for data analysis and how to design simple infographics using canva (a graphic designing web and mobile application). From our experience with the first batch, we noticed that the participants were struggling to understand the process of data visualization using Tableau public, hence we decided to introduce Canva for the subsequent batches.
In order to evaluate the participants understanding of their newly-acquired knowledge, we put them in groups and gave them an exercise to do. They were asked to design infographics using the data sets we provided. The various groups came up with beautiful visualizations and infographic designs and they presented them at the end of the day.
Participants were excited about gaining knowledge in how to analyse and visualise data with these simple tools. At the end of the workshop, they all mentioned that they did not have knowledge about what they learned, prior to the workshop. They expressed interest in implementing what they learned in their various fields of work. They also added that such training programs should be extended to other regions of Ghana.
At the end of the day, the feedback we had from the participants indicated that they were excited about gaining knowledge on using simple tools to help them do data analysis and visualization in their advocacy work and news reporting.