Evolving and Iterating the Data Playbook V1 during our second co-creation sprint

by Heather Leson and Dirk Slater | Aug 9, 2021 | Insights and Inspirations


We are hosting iterative sprints to design and get input to the development of the Data Playbook V1.  We launched the Data Playbook (Beta) in 2018 and have been learning about how teams and participants of training can build their abilities to design and support data pipelines that increase the effectiveness of humanitarian efforts.

A sprint is a community engagement opportunity to identify and enlist people outside of the core team to develop content and drive future use. The people who come to the sprints have the potential for being power users of V1. Sprints are where the co-creation rubber meets the road.

What Happened in Sprint 2 (July 19-29, 2021)

During our second sprint, we built upon the work of the first sprint, which took place in June 2020 when we got lots of input on a draft table of contents for V1 and before the second sprint, we iterated a new version.  New modules that now appear in the table of contents include: 

  • Collecting Data, 
  • Understanding Data (for Data Analysis) and 
  • Emerging Tech.  

Module titles in the ToC that have evolved: 

  • Data Standards/Data Quality has become Useable Data
  • Data for Leadership has become Data for Decision Making
  • Visualising Data has become Presenting Data.  

Our aim for the second sprint was to start getting inputs into the new modules and explore the new framing and exercise for existing modules.  We divided each three-hour sprint session into topic hours, where we spent 60 minutes discussing a module.  

What we learned  

The module that got the most attention during this round was “Understanding Data”.  Our module editor, Mununuri Musori, Senior Information Management, Planning and Reporting Officer at IFRC, led conversations that surfaced:

  • How important it is to understand the reasons for the data to be collected in the first place, 
  • To build skills for humanitarians to pick up a dataset and ask, “what is the story this tells us?”, 
  • For teams to understand when they have reached their capacities in understanding data and engage external individuals with data analysis or data science skills to help out.0

Emerging Tech, one of the new modules we are building from scratch, has two Module Editors, Mahendra Samarawickrama, Data Science & Analytics Manager at the Australian Red Cross and Paola Yela, Information Management and Data Science Officer at IFRC. A vital issue for this module is making it future proof. During the conversations, we asked what Emerging Tech means to people. As responses like Artificial Intelligence, BlockChain, NFT’s (Non-fungible Tokens) came out, we realised that the playbook’s task would be to provide frameworks and methods for groups to understand the potential impacts of emerging tech on humanitarian work, rather than focusing on a particular topic.

We also talked about how Data Protection should be an element in all of the V1 modules, which brought to light how interoperable the exercises and aspects of any module might need to be.  An exercise in Data Protection might also be used as part of the Data Collection module. There also might be a lot of overlap between ‘presenting data’ and data for decision making, etc.  

Other takeaways:

  • The Data 4 Decision-Making module needs exercises and pointers to identify and counter confirmation bias.
  • The Data Collection Module should include survey fatigue and guidance on ensuring people are just collecting the data they need. 
  • Useful framing for exercises in the Useable Data module might include “Data makes the world go round” and ways of exploring data as social commons, how datasets might benefit others.
  • Join us in August for Sprint #3

Our next sprint will be taking place over six sessions, August 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th & 26th, from 3 pm to 6 pm CEST.  During this sprint, the core Data Playbook team will be taking stock and planning the road to the launch of V1. Guests can provide inputs on interactive exercises, how to achieve behaviour change, the co-creation process and learning design. If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, please register here


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