Expert Q&A: Blue Ventures Data Feedback Toolkit w/c 12th July

Katie Stone • 6 July 2021
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Next week (12th July) we will be hosting a Q&A discussion with experts on Blue Ventures Data Feedback Toolkit. The toolkit was curated by Blue Ventures, Abalobi and Mwambo colleagues back in April 2021 as a practitioners guide to use data in community based marine management. Over the last few weeks, I have been reaching out to people who have either used the toolkit or contributed to designing it, and will be posting their opinions and perspective on the toolkit next week for discussion. The experts will be on standby for questions throughout next week, so please refresh your memory of Blue Ventures Data Feedback Toolkit attached, and be ready to ask lots of insightful questions!

This will be a great opportunity to network and explore the importance of data within ICT4Fisheries - looking forward to it!

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Katie Stone

To kick start our week of expert discussions, Blue Ventures Jenny Oates (Knowledge Development Manager) and Hannah Gilchrist (Monitoring and Evaluation Manager) provide some insights into the planning process involved throughout the curation of the Data Feedback Toolkit. Amongst other colleagues at Blue Ventures, Abalobi and Mwambo, Jenny and Hannah drew on the experience of individuals working with small scale fishers in Timor-Leste, Tanzania, Comoros and Indonesia to help design and structure the toolkit. Check out some of their comments below:

“In March 2020 we had a group call within BV to share experiences on data feedback processes, learning from all the different contexts we’re working in around the world. This included short presentations of data feedback processes in: Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Comoros, including exploring the various techniques that are already in place to communicate the results of fisheries management methods to the communities. We found lots of common challenges and successes, including how to empower communities, especially women. One of the main challenges was working out how to engage everyone in the community, not just the interested ones. An important element of the toolkit was making sure the results were clear and understandable as well as relevant to the target audience. By using case studies from around the world we hope that the toolkit will be useful for other organisations working with communities and marine/terrestrial resources all over the world.”

What challenges do you think you may come across when designing a toolkit for the communities you work with?

Please reply with comments and questions for Jenny and Hannah!

  • Katie Stone

    Our second round of expert opinions come from Carlos Paz and Octavio Tolentino, business advisors at SmartFish NGO. SmartFish NGO works with small-scale fisher cooperatives in Mexico to catalyse access to better-paying markets in exchange for maintaining or improving sustainability.

    Carlos and Octavio gave feedback on Blue Ventures Open Data Kit (ODK) toolkit - a toolkit which provides comprehensive guidance on how to use the online data collection tool. Data collected on android and smartphones via ODK software improves small scale fishers accuracy and efficiency when monitoring their fish stocks. This also enables timely feedback of results to communities so they can make informed decisions on management methods. Check out Carlos and Octavio's expert opinion on Blue Ventures ODK toolkit below:

    “First of all, we want to express our gratitude to Blue Ventures and its team for creating such a comprehensive guide. We came across this Guide at the beginning of May and although we have been working with ODK for a few months now, we found it very useful. We would like to share our thoughts about your Guide here:
    - It covers well the different approaches (ODK collect and Briefcase) to collect data from collectors in the field. We didn’t know about ODK Briefcase and how this can be used as a last resource to upload data via a computer. This comment applies also to “Form Creation”, as we do not use Google Projects and its API, but Kobo Toolbox.
    - It has a broad scope in the sense that it can help organisations with little or none IT/Data collection expertise, to those familiar with the tool (like ourselves).
    - The recommendations on how to train and nudge people to become collectors in the field were very valuable. It would be amazing to watch or read specific cases about how BV has implanted the tool.
    - Despite it being a very long document, the link and shortcuts within make it easy to navigate.”

    Do any of our network members also use ODK? How do you see it enabling data feedback to communities and decision makers? Leave your comments and questions below!

  • Hannah Gilchrist

    Thanks for sharing Katie!

    I see ODK being used through Kobo Toolbox and from my experience it makes it a lot faster for data to be shared and discussed. Ultimately enabling decisions. Would be interested to hear what others have to say.

  • Serge Raemaekers

    We at ABALOBI have used ODK for many years until we switched to building our own apps. However we are big fans of ODK and especially Kobotoolbox as they allow for rapid prototyping and deployment. We have so many stories when were in the field about to deploy a new type of survey, discussed this in a fisher group, and then that evening updated the form for the next day, taking into account the fishers' input. The tool lends itself really well for co-design.

  • Katie Stone

    To mix things up a little today, I thought it would be great to share some images of Blue Ventures and partners colleagues providing data feedback to communities.

    It would be so amazing to see other peoples data or knowledge feedback sessions...share your images to this post!

    How important do you think it is to provide feedback face to face? What other methods have you used to provide data feedback when we were not able to do so in person because of COVID?

    First image: Lugas Hakim (BV - on the left) trains community data collectors in mobile monitoring - Photo_ Indah Rufiati
    Second image: Nusi (FORKANI) presents data to a fishing community, Indonesia _ Photo_ Blue Ventures

  • Serge Raemaekers

    We have tried to provide data feedback via whatsapp groups and occasionally google meet by sending data bundles to the participants 30 mins or so before the meeting. Mixed results, but it did spark fishers to look a bit more regularly at the data analytics they have within their app. We are continuously striving to make data visualisations more engaging, with more elements in the info-graphic that resonate with fishers. A bit like the picture from Indonesia above here, but then digitally. Any tips and lessons learnt would be very welcome.

  • Abigail Leadbeater

    Not quite data feedback but here's a picture of a very happy Jean Luc Ramahavelo (BV) creating graphs in Tableau that can used as a basis for community feedback meetings.

  • Katie Stone

    Our next expert piece comes from [~86] MacDonald, the Community Development Manager at ABALOBI. Margaret talks about the pros and cons of the Blue Ventures Data Feedback Toolkit from her perspective of working with small scale fishers in South Africa. Read Margaret's expert piece below:

    “ABALOBI works with small-scale fishers through a combination of technology and training. In South Africa, we have co-designed a mobile app with fishers for fishers. This digital logbook, the ABALOBI Fisher App, enables fishermen and fisherwomen to record catches, expenses and income from fish sales on their smartphone. We encourage fishers to reflect upon and utilise the information that log to guide their own fishing activities. In addition we work with communities to interrogate the data and support them to understand and utilise the data collectively to contribute to fisheries management decisions.

    I thought that the data feedback kit was a useful document as it was practical, it presented case studies and it gave various suggestions on how to support small-scale fishing communities to understand and utilise their knowledge.

    The data toolkit was relevant in our context however, because fishers log their own catches rather than community monitors there were some suggestions that we will have to adapt. The toolkit is useful as we are working on more consistent engagement and addressing data literacy. While this toolkit does not explicitly speak to this, the approach section is useful in that it provides a clear approach to ensuring materials and the needs of the audience are addressed.

    In reading the toolkit and reflecting on my own experience, I feel as though data should be communicated like a story- one should ensure it is interesting, fun, captivating and relevant to the audience!”

    I totally agree with Margaret’s point that data should be communicated as a story - often lots of numbers in books or spreadsheets can be overwhelming!

    What challenges do you come across with making data accessible?

    Please reply with comments and questions for Margaret below!

  • Katie Stone

    Thanks to everyone who provided feedback this week! I hope the posts have been useful and interesting for everyone in the ICT4Fisheries network.

    We are working hard to increase interaction and engagement with the network so keep an eye out for more projects in the future!

    Katie

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