The Pakistan Data Journalism Certificate Program is a 5-week course for 14 professionals competitively selected from the media, civil society and tech communities in Pakistan. The goal of the program is to catalyze the development of Pakistan’s open data community and evidence-based decision making in some of the least developed regions of Pakistan. Geographical teams focused on Baluchistan, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are trained to access, analyze and tell stories with data. Participants engage in one to two-week workshop and lab sessions spread out over the course of 12 months to avoid pulling them out of their economically vulnerable newsroom for extended periods.
Content is based on a 200-hour data journalism manual developed through funding from the World Bank, UNDP and USAID and has been tailored to the Pakistan context with local examples and data. The manual, which balances the principles of public service journalism with the technology for data gathering, analysis and visualization, concentrates on public interest stories that counteract corruption and mismanagement and foster governmental transparency and accountability at both the local and national level. The manual has been successfully deployed in Afghanistan, Kenya, Sudan, Myanmar, Eastern Europe and Central America. The program is intended to instill the skills and level of data literacy necessary to produce both short data stories on a deadline as well as hard-hitting data-driven investigations through engaging digital storytelling. Teams will produce and publish content in their home outlets and on this blog throughout the training process. To graduate from the program, team will produce in-depth investigative pieces that unite data analysis with powerful human-driven narrative to spark public debate about government spending and services in the face of citizens’ needs.