We wrote a book with 200 Contributors and 120 pieces of content!

by Heather Leson, Dirk Slater and Melissa El Hamouch | Dec 8, 2021 | Insights and Inspirations

Wow! Over the past 11 months, we’ve been digging into ‘data is a team sport with special events (sprints), learning and training. All this collaboration and social learning has resulted in us creating an updated IFRC Data Playbook version 1. The original IFRC Data Playbook Beta was published in 2018 and continues to be in use around our network. With Strategy 2030 citing digital transformation as a priority, our team set out to update the Data Playbook and align it with the IFRC Digital transformation maturity model.  

How? We’ve hosted over 50 sprint sessions with almost 200 participants from across regions, RCRC organizations and expertise (plus some special guests). Their contribution builds on the 100s of Beta contributors and the 4000 registered people from the IFRC Data and Digital week, which was a kick-off for this upgrade project. Playbook contributors tend to fall into the following sectors – health, cash, information management (IM), planning, monitoring and evaluation and reporting (PMER), information technology (IT), legal, and innovation. But we enjoyed having people from across humanitarian work share inputs on what works and what doesn’t from their day-to-day activities.

The Innovation Journey 

We’ve learned so much on this innovation journey and are so thankful for all contributors and supporters. We’ve been testing the following:

  • Make a network-centric resource – Collaboration on resources to create assets for and by the network is a transformation. It was exploratory innovation to create for and by the network using shared and open leadership methods.  
  • Network and community building with mentors and ambassadors – We convened multiple communities and networks across the Red Cross Red Crescent. Network-building is complex across time zones, skills and language. While the majority of the sessions were in English, this still provided a unique forum to foster community/network building exercises to support leaders and build peer networking on their data and digital journey. 
  • Skillshares – By creating content and spaces, we used a ‘sharing’ and  ‘learn by doing’ approach  to support exposure to innovation methods, data/digital literacy skills, open methodologies, facilitation, peer training, and documentation skills.  
  • Transformation and innovation – Both activities show distributed networks can apply open methods to innovate and transform supporting the digital agenda. Participation activities also show a digital divide in our network. If we want to transform how we work together as a network, we need to continue to find and support new ways to connect and create. 

Take a quick look and stay involved

We’ve curated 10 modules with over 120 items (slide decks, exercises, games, scenarios and handouts/checklists) to help teams on their data journey. Here is a sneak peek at the Table of Contents:

1 – Understanding how data matters
2 – Strengthening Data Projects
3 – Nurturing Data Cultures
4 – Getting the Data We Need
5 – Making Data Useful/Useable to Ourselves and Others
6 – Understanding & Analysing Data
7 – Responsible Data Practices and Protecting Data
8 – Presenting and Visualising Data 
9 – Decision Making with Data
10 – Data Science and Emerging Tech

Two of our module editors, Katie Lilly and Melissa el Hamouch recently gave this presentation sharing some of the exercise content:

 From Curation to Content Review  

The Design and content review state will be done with the over 200 contributors to the Data Playbook. We are also designing recipes, draft workshop templates and organizational activity plans to help our network activate the content in their 2022 planning. If you’re interested in integrating content into your team’s 2022 activity planning, we’d be happy to share draft content with you (we might ask you for feedback though!) 

Our goal is to move the content review and design phase to the launch in early 2022. We’ll be sure to reach out to current contributors along this journey.  Do get in touch if you want to be involved  –  [email protected]


Leave a Reply