TM: Working with Quotidian Data on this project gives me a bias to believe in the availability of platforms to build and create forums for discussion and produce qual data. The stand out example is the Crowdmap under Ushahidi; it helps students (which we all always are) know more about where to get data, what kinds of data is available to them and on the flip side open up information centres to public. PhD students can use forums like this to get data for themselves and thereafter share their findings in the system thereby generate a self sustaining loop. This is the way forward in my opinion for the benefit of all.
TM: In Panel 2, there was a mention of how data even within the McMillan library is patriarchal, so bearing this in mind, in matters qualitative data, one cannot fail to consider the cultural influence of patriarchy in shaping data based on what data is included and who gets to decide what way it is kept. Despite existing freedoms, because of these factors, data will be shaped in a particular way, be it patriarchal or be it from the basis of a global north looking down on a global south in matters surrounding the discussion on repatriation.
TM: In Panel 2 this stood out visibly in that researchers could feel that they tend to feel invisible, unrecognized as they deal with data, give their best only to be left in the cold which is a death blow to morale when you are just referred to as an African researcher. The counter argument came in Panel 3 where matters invisibility in data came out when researchers like those working with IDRC when funded seldom consider the fact that the data they collect belongs to IDRC, which is a trend that recommended to other institutions to handle copyright issues. This data retention and copyright balance between the researcher and donor organization tips the scale against over-research as data is already had how they share and make the data accessible is another question altogether.
TM: Institutional bureaucracy in matters surrounding qualitative data in consideration of whom this data is meant for. Considering the KEBS rep, where the discussion only centred around qualitative data for the big institutions which they train on data handling. Questions on breach were not addressed in that what do they do to large institutions who share my phone number for promotional SMS?
TM: The power of the internet played a big part of the discussion in the various ways through which data is transferred and the potential to transfer it exists. Be it from the Zoom and WhatsApp mentorship groups by Eider Africa or the creation of YouTube videos by the lecturer to make academic material more consumable. The allure of the same is another matter altogether.
TM: I think based on the discussion they are few and far between in that we could see that there is a lack of data sharing between individuals, government institutions and even activist groups. Either through activists being told they have to write in a particular way for their work to be ‘acceptable’ in academia or be it data retention by institutions and individuals in their laptops that can benefit a larger audience for fear of legislative sanctions.
TM: Two things come to mind based on this from the discussion: 1. The various laws Phares mentioned that directly affect the way data is handled in this country; the Data Protection Act was heavily mentioned in Panel 3 and how in large part made me think about how data is handled in this country. So are the laws addressing what actually matters to the researchers at hand or are they there to fit in with the rest of the world? KEBS representative mentioned that legislation on matters qualitative data and its infrastructure is being initiated at a step by step basis. Who decides the frequency or amount of steps or what the actual steps are is what remained unanswered. 2. Institutional laws and economics on the manner by which qualitative data is handled, the sieving effect of institutions like University libraries that limit access to a select bunch yet living under a cover of a public institution benefiting from public funds is a fallacy.
TM: Panel 1 talked of this in a stand out manner by rasing the question: who do we create this data for? Is data created for a select few who went to University? As such the subject of packaging data in a manner that is accessible and consumable for all through initiatives that encourage public engagment as is done at Ukombozi Library stands out for me.
TM: Qualitative data infrastructure was touched heavily on the capacity side, for example, the readiness of institutions like university to work with qualitative data, how they deal with issues of copyright and ensuring that the data they retain does not end up in the wrong hands either through students' work ending up in publications or government data stored in foreign data servers and thus accessed by the foreign government.