Mokopane show and tell

August 7, 2023

OpenUp in partnership with Geekulcha, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and LP Dev Ecosystems hosted a data literacy workshop in Mokopane, Limpopo. The workshop took place on 22 April 2023 at Aletuke Community Care Center in Mokopane. The objectives of the workshop were to introduce the youth to basic data skills, and showcase how data can be used to tell an evidence based story with the intention to drive change in their communities. HSRC also showcased how data can be simplified and packaged using graphs to tell a story. The data literacy workshop is an activity under OpenUp’s Codebridge Youth project. To assess the impact of the data workshop, we created a pre and post workshop survey and asked the participants to complete it before and after the workshop. 

Participants demographics 

The workshop was attended by 25 participants with the 30 - 35 age group having the biggest representation and 15 - 19 having the least representation. 68% of the participants were female, added to this, a majority of them had Matric or higher qualification.

Activities of the day

OpenUp generally uses Google Forms to create surveys in its data literacy workshops. The reasoning is that Google Forms are accessible and easy to use. A lot of the participants indicated that they had not used Google Forms to create a survey before did not know how to access raw data on Google Forms, and more than half of the participants did not know how to download graphs or create graphs from google forms. Based on these findings, we could create an opportunity for youth people in Mokopane to learn more about free tools that can help them in carrying out personal and community based projects. We were able to offer participants basic data and digital literacy by exposing them to learn about free tools for data collection, presenting and communicating the findings in a simplified way.  

During the workshop we explained how data can assist the youth better present the challenges that the youth/community faces in Mokopane and which tools to use to find data that will make them understand their community better. As a team we introduced Youth Explorer, WaziMap and Municipal Money tools to the youth. 

The next segment of the workshop was an introduction to data where we shared some examples and demonstrated how the tools that we had introduced actually worked. We then took the conversation further and shared the role of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and municipal budget for young people to check if the issues that they identified were prioritised by the municipality and whether or not they had a budget allocated to them. The participants were asked to identify challenges in their community and support it with data as well as a possible resolution to the challenge. Some of the challenges that the participants raised include: 

  • Lack of access to Water
  • Poor Roads infrastructure 
  • No aftercare for kids  
  • No library 
  • No electricity  
  • Unemployment
  • Drugs
  • Affordable housing 

The participants were split into groups where they used the above mentioned tools to to perform the task. One group was identified as a winner because they used the tools and data to support their statement, taking the informed approach to resolve the problems in their community.

Key findings

A post workshop survey  was completed by the participants and this data showed that they had learned a lot. 

A majority of the participants were keen to use the civic tech tools that they had learned about i the workshop.
96.7% of the participant indicated that they would use data to understand issues in the municipalities moving forward.

The participants were interested in attending another data workshop and gave input regarding what needs to be covered in the workshop. They also shared some suggestions on what the next workshop/s should focus on. Most of them were centred around data collection and coding. We also got to find out what they enjoyed and benefited from the session and most of them found it to be informative.

Way forward and conclusion 

The workshop was well attended by youth who showed interest and willingness to engage and participate in further data skills workshops for the benefit of the community. The participants are clear on the projects that they want to work on to improve their community. They have shown interest in OpenUp, Geekucha and HSRC to come back and train them on the necessary digital and data skills that they can use to improve service delivery and other challenges in their community. It is in this regard that OpenUp is proposing a Youth Summit in Mokopane in partnership with Geekulcha and HSRC to establish a Codebridge Youth project in which we turn the youth from problem identifiers to solution oriented participants. In addition,assist them identify projects that they can work on and train them on the data & digital and communication skills that they can use to carry the projects.  

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