The Third Sector often touted as the unofficial government due to its strides in various sphere of society like education, health, gender advocacy, energy, and environment often require relevant data in order to tell creative stories that will help them achieve their organizational goals and influence social change.
This formed the backdrop of SAMI’s Social Media Week event tagged ‘The Use of Data in telling authentic stories’. The panel session moderated by Toyin Adesola, Executive Director, Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative exhibited the ensemble of DebolaDeji-Kurunmi of Ideation Hub Africa, Raymond Anyasi of Naphtali Books, OluseyiOyebisi of Nigeria Network of NGOs, BankeAlawaye of Code Lagos, and NiniolaSoleye of Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) Health Trust guesting the discussion.
‘Data is a big challenge globally, we are not waiting for traditional institutions but we are looking at data generated by citizens’, saidOluseyiOyebisi, hence data gathering must take a conscious effort because ‘if you don’t track record while it happens, it may be hard to get it back’remarkedBankeAlawaye. Data may be sourced from government agencies like Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, credible independent bodies like Philips Consulting, Leke Alder, while some data may be extrapolated from research conducted by similar non-profits in the same territory or other countries subject to scrutiny.
It is critical to support stories with verifiable facts and figures so as to eliminate ambiguity. ‘It is possible to have accurate, inaccurate, and misleading types of data. Misleading data is created when you are making verbose assumptions or interpretation from your data, which could even possibly have arisen from accurate data’ established DebolaDeji-Kurunmi while NiniolaSoleye added ‘data is very important because it deals with life and death, for example, during the Ebola scourge, there was talk about bathing with salt, drinking salt, so in a country with many people living with hypertension and they start drinking salt water because they want to prevent Ebola you know what will happen’.
On the import of data to authentic storytelling, Raymond Anyasi stated: ‘data spur you to action, it is how you convince the next person to get on board, it is how you convince corporate bodies, data makes your story compelling, it makes your story authentic.’