Visuals for Gender successfully organized a two-day hackathon and stakeholder engagement under the theme Hacking for Gender: Combating gender-based violence with the power of technology. The event was held at Mobile Web Ghana on 2nd and 3rd March 2018.
The training session/hackathon held on the first day was specially designed to build the capacity of journalists, CSOs /NGOs who work on sexual reproductive health issues, statisticians, gender activists, and students. The stakeholders’ dialogue which was held on the second day also gave the keynote speakers the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge on the topic of gender and social engagement with all who attended the event. The goal was to have a dialogue on some of the actions that need to be taken in order to tackle issues of gender-based violence and also on the role of good and flexible policies in promoting a better society for all.
Visuals for Gender stands for data-driven advocacy on gender issues. Therefore, we started the first day by introducing the attendees to the works we have done so far. We showed them a number of developed visualizations which have been published on our blog and other online news portals we are in partnership with. A total number of 37 participants attended the two-day hackathon out of the 48 persons who registered online. This comprised of 19 females and 18 males.
The main event began with a training session on how to use the Tableau Public software. Participants were trained on how to use the software to develop simple static and interactive visualizations. Each one of them had the opportunity to try their hands at the software with the Child Marriage datasets we provided them with for the demonstration. The participants got a hang of it in no time and started making modifications on their own. This training session was coordinated by Elikplim Sabblah.
After the first session was the turn of Nana Baah Gyan (Ph.D.) who educated the attendees on the significance of data visualization in their advocacy work.
Soon after that, the participants were asked to break into groups which marked the beginning of the idea generation session. The various groups had different themes to focus on based on their choice of a gender-based violence offense. Some of these were on defilement, abortion, attempted defilement, rape and child marriage. The groups shared ideas on how they will solve gender-based violence in Ghana. Each group managed to do some data analysis and visualization with the Tableau Public software.
The following day of the hackathon was a stakeholder engagement and presentation of results by various groups. The resource persons; Esther Amarh, founding director of EAA productions and Pious Asante, a Gender Mainstreaming Research Assistant at FAO had an interactive session with everyone. Esther spoke on the need for everyone to make the effort to combat gender-based violence with the power of technology. Pious Asante also gave his presentation on the importance of enforcing and adhering to policies enacted to protect the vulnerable that are prone to gender-based violence.
Presentation of results by the various groups was next. The various groups pitched their ideas on how they will use GH 3,000.00 to tackle the issues of gender-based violence in a period of two months. They are presentation tackled domestic violence offenses like defilement, attempted defilement, child marriage, abortion and the proper mechanism by CSOs/NGOs to tackle gender-based violence in the society. Participants exhibited skills they learned from the previous day’s training. Their presentations revealed visualizations on data sets recorded by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service. They told compelling stories on how they will use the prize money for two months to undertake their various projects. The judges accessed each presentation and finally announced ‘the Winning Team’ as winners of the hackathon.
The hackathon was a successful one. All who attended expressed their joy at the knowledge and skills they gained from the event. Especially because these newly acquired knowledge and skills will be helpful to them in their work.
At the end of the two-day event, the hackathon was successful. Participants expressed their happiness for being part of the training and being given the opportunity to get trained with tools on visualizations. Others, expressed interest of taking it further, by forming a coalition where the advocacy will continue with everyone bringing to the table their skills and strengths. The resource persons also pledged their support to continue with the good course and help in their own little way.