Nadia Wanjiru at the Nairobi Arts Godown, Kenya.
Nadia Wanjiru is a young talented artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is representative of the young female artists in East Africa. Women artists are transforming the contemporary art scene by bringing ideas inspired by how they experience the world. Nadia is a true East African - she is born of a Kenyan father and Nubian mother – and thus describes herself as the Nubian queen of East Africa. Nadia struggles with profound deafness. She hardly hears without wearing gadgets (hearing aids) but is one of the best communicators we have come across. She has an identical twin sister (Sadia) and the two are inseparable. Nadia realized early in life that the regular classroom was not the place for her, and she therefore started to paint to express herself and represent the world she saw around her. Nadia has one of the largest following in the country today.
Women in Kenya make up 50.1% of the country's population. The gender gap has narrowed because the government has embraced progressive policy. The catalyst for even greater gender equity could be application of the data revolution to make women more visible. Currently, data suffers from several gender blind spots. Collecting data that accurately reflects the experiences of women could help policy makers craft policy that is more gender sensitive. Data collected with a gender lens looks significantly different. For example, the gender gap, looking at income and job opportunities, in Malawi currently stands at 28%. Application of gender sensitive data to policy and business could help bridge the gender gap - lifting around a quarter million people out of poverty every year (see infogram below). In addition, data in the hands of women is a powerful tool for accountability and creating innovation and entrepreneurship.
Mobile phones have availed governments and business access to quality real-time data - known as hyperdata - that has been a game changer. This has bolstered the access of data with the potential to transform lives. Hyperdata is high frequency data that comes to you on the spot, enabling stakeholders to analyze it and act on it immediately. There are two effective ways of collecting hyperdata: 1) time sensitive mobile surveys (voice or text); and 2), multimedia images/videos coming from recruited contributors in countries like Kenya.
MOBILE PHONE WIELDING CITIZENS + FREQUENT COLLECTING OF DATA + CRITICAL ANALYSIS = HYPERDATA
Hyperdata has the ability of improving the accuracy of existing econometric indexes; for example: Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is the most widely used measure of inflation and is viewed as an indicator of the effectiveness of government economic policy. The CPI is an aggregate of a food basket particular to every country. Using mobile technology, we can now calculate extremely accurate country CPI's by aggregating daily regional food staple price indexes (FSPI). To do this, analysts use high-frequency commodity price data captured daily by regular citizens via mobile phones. These indexes could be used to combat inflation, improve welfare policy, fiscal policy, and monetary policy. Hyperdata gives us macro-economic insight that is elusive in emerging and frontier markets. This data could be successfully used to better measure and asses evolving global dynamics through a gender lens.
My interview below with Dr, Kweku Opoku-Agyemang elaborates how mobile surveys are used to collect data with the potential to promote democracy and gender parity in Ghana. A gender data revolution will help African countries continue their inclusive growth trajectory and combat inequality effectively. Data in the hands of women is the key to the continent's bright future.
Hyperdata for Democracy and Economic Transparency