Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding Data for Evaluations

Finding existing Government Data is often a huge problem for evaluators who are designing evaluations in Africa. We don't always know what is available, but even if we know, it is usually very hard to get hold of the relevant data.

The first eResearch Africa conference took place from 06-10 October 2013 in Cape Town and was hosted by the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology

Presentations from the conference are available here.

What I do find exciting is that quite a few of the presentations spoke about making government data available. I learnt about the Accelerated Data Programme, in a presentation by Lynn Woolfrey, and was also excited to see the Human Science Research Council and UCT share something about their intiatives to make data available.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

One of my new favourite productivity tools

I'm currently working with some smart people who aren't shy to self identify as geeks and nerds. One of them introduced me to a tool that has now become indispensable at work. is an electronic version of the old fashioned whiteboard in the office. Except its much more portable, it integrates with dropbox and it sends you email reminders of tasks due. And its free! I use it to:

* Manage task lists with evaluation teams  - task cards move across three lists: to do, doing, done.
* Keep track of data flows  - each type of data gets a card that moves across lists like: to administer, administering, received back, initial quality control done, to capturing, capturing done, data quality control done, added to master database
* I imagine it can work pretty well for keeping track of action points between meetings.

Its not quite as cute as this lego calendar that syncs with google calendar, but it comes close. Here is a description of trello by Mashable.