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@ILabAfrica Holds Workshop to strengthen KNBS Data Access and Dissemination Activities


A team from @iLabAfrica Research Centre attended a workshop organized by the centre, at Lake Naivasha Country Club on 16th January 2015. This is a second of such workshops. The purpose of this workshop was to provide the panel an opportunity to critique the prototype application developed by Strathmore team of interns. The workshop is part of a project that @iLabAfrica is currently working on, in partnership with The World Bank and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).


The purpose of this inter-institutional collaboration is to strengthen the Bureau’s (KNBS) Data Access and Dissemination Activities through Research and Student Attachment/Internship Programme at Strathmore University (SU). The inter-institutional framework involves resources from KNBS, Strathmore University, @iLabAfrica and the World Bank, working in an integrated approach to enhance KNBS Data Dissemination and information sharing capabilities in line with article 35 of the Constitution and Statistics Act No. 4 2006.  Phase one of the project officially commenced on 21st October 2014 and is scheduled to end on 27th February 2015.


The first workshop took place in Strathmore Business School on 19th November 2014. The workshop sought to give developers (Strathmore University Students) a platform to pitch their project execution plans to a panel of Strathmore Faculty members, KNBS representatives and The World Bank. Feedback from the panel helped inform the prototype development process before the second workshop.


The initiative implements the concept of Open Data which may be defined as, some data which is available for reuse by everyone. It is data that is shared with the public as a public information resource. This data is not confined to patent, copyright, etc. The prime objective of open data is to get the right information to the people who need or want it, in a form that allows them to use it. Data visualization tools can be put into great use here. Such tools allow data to be displayed in various visualisation formats such as a Pie Charts, Line Graphs, Pareto and Bubble Charts, XML data, CSV among others.


The Open Data initiative has shown that organisations such as Universities, Google, Virtual Kenya, independent developers etc. are ideally placed to help explore official data in meaningful, interesting and interactive ways. Strathmore University, through @iLabAfrica, is in the first phase of developing a web portal that explores the official statistical data provided by KNBS, the custodian of official statistical information in Kenya. This portal aims to provide access to key Population, Health, Education, Agriculture, GDP and Public Finance data, especially county based data.


The workshop was attended by KNBS representatives, the World Bank, and select Strathmore Faculty members who are part of the project Inter-disciplinary committee.  The Strathmore University Faculty members shared their expertise on various sectors addressed in the data visualizations showcased by the developers.


Inputs from KNBS subject matter experts helped all participants gain knowledge on data dissemination activities of the bureau.