Africa Data Hub (ADH) is, at its core, a data platform that exists to lower the barriers that African journalists face in trying to access and use data in their storytelling around health and development.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an initial surge in health journalism as newsrooms rushed to cover the crisis worldwide. However, we realised that newsrooms often struggle to find a source of reliable real-time data, especially when it comes to Sub-Saharan Africa. Data offers a unique opportunity for journalists to report with accuracy and nuance and can provide the perfect mechanism for unearthing new story ideas, offering alternative angles to existing narratives, or presenting examples of trends and outliers that may be otherwise missed. However, access to data on the continent and the considerable resource and skills constraints faced by local journalists hinder the prospects of data-driven and gender-sensitive reporting from becoming standard practice. We believe that access to quality data not only has the potential to challenge power and the status quo, but also to have a direct impact in addressing vulnerability, inequity and exclusion.
In response to these challenges, the Africa Data Hub (ADH) was launched in September 2020. ADH is spearheaded by a collective of data organisations operating across three African countries that work together to provide local journalists with verified accurate up-to-date data, tools, training, mentoring and support to tell the stories that matter with the data they need.
The following form a core part of our work:
ADH connects journalists and newsrooms to reliable data and support, which in turn connects whole populations of people to impactful stories rooted in accurate information and context that they can trust. We believe that ADH can become the go-to source of health- and development-related data for journalists on the continent. For overall impact, ADH seeks to contribute to an improved data-driven news ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa that will ultimately support evidence-informed decision-making on the continent.
We see our datasets, visualisations, training and fellowships as a first step in bringing journalists into the fold and starting to build up a community of journalists in Africa who work with data. We believe that these activities will serve as key avenues in driving momentum of open data on the continent forward and that our programmes can be the fire to kickstart the data journalism movement into the next level