I spent four of the first eight weeks of this year in project sites. In India, I reconnected with the Dristhi project, which is nearing its field trial. We worked with the tech team, observed ANMs using the product, and heard from a “Strategic Advisory Board.” The main take-away question for the project, to me, was something like the following: “In a few years’ time, when the ANMs have learned to use a computerized platform like Dristhi’s, they’ll get to the point where they can’t function without it. When you first introduce it to them though, it’ll be the most foreign thing they have seen. How do you bridge that gap?” I suppose that is the role of design.
I was also in Nigeria, where we began a process of transferring our data tools and processes for the Nigeria Scale-up Initiative to our Nigerian colleagues. As a part of this transfer process, I created R training that took our colleagues all the way from first steps to plotting and aggregating data.
Miriam, Suveg, and I started volunteering at Adhikaar. We got to participate in a really fun afternoon learning about population education, and are starting a class helping on civics education and the American Naturalization test soon.
I read about Lyra, looked at some demo videos, and realized that the future is here! I highly recommend watching Bret Victor’s Drawing Dynamic Visualizations Talk and looking at Lyra if you are interested in data visualization–the future of data visualization is dawning upon us.
I picked up Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series again. What an incredible bit of writing it is! I had read just the first three books in high school, and took great pleasure in finishing the entire seven book series this time.
I received the Art of Community as a gift, and have just started reading it. Its an interesting attempt by Ubuntu’s community manager Jono Bacon to “document the undocumented” when it comes to managing online volunteer communities. Should be interesting!