Data in Dakar

Working at USAID is a whole new world. It is a massive organization that manages billions of dollars in aid per year. The Monitoring and Evaluation Team at USAID/Senegal has the (somewhat thankless) job of evaluating the success of these activities, across the Mission’s Health, Economic Growth, Education and Democracy offices. Part of my job here has been to get these offices to talk to each other.

We have been working on a streamlined solution for indicator reporting on the Mission’s current projects. This has not been an easy task, as it turns out, because each office has its own data organization and reporting methods. What we are hoping is that this publically available dataset will foster transparency and learning across the Mission.

Another project that I have been working on to improve the Mission’s capacity for data use is geocoding the Mission’s projects. I am hoping that people will be excited to learn more about this, and I am planning a training workshop on how the data can be used on the Mission’s ArcGIS Online Account.

When I’m not buried in data, I’ll at the beach, listening to live Senegalese music, or eating street food and practicing my French. The city was a bit sleepy during Ramadan, but seems to have exploded with activity since. Speaking of Ramadan, I spent the Senegalese holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, Korite, with a local family (pictured below).13659200_10204966466721040_7845500635333500325_n