Journal: Research Data Share KE Design Team


March 11, 2021

Attendees: Aurelia, Angela, Wambui, Hawi


0) Catch up

Meghan M. interview reveals the structure of the monarchy

Draft chapter

We are also disruptive to research. Even in our small meetings here. Disruptive to those structures. Top-down, sense of power, etc. Everyone equal, equal say, equal power.

Learning from Journal Club

  • Handbook shared when someone joins; Repeat values in webinars; etc.

  • We need to decide for ourselves what core ideas we are bound by

Hawi: Dialogue as a core value. Open communication. We can share what we think should be done. Contribute to each others’ spirit and what we want to do. Dialogue going on. How do we pick out the dialogue into a structure. What kind of structure. “What is the product?” Believe in each other. Whatever someone is doing there is value in it.

Say it the way you want it. You don’t have to say it in a particular frame. We need to tell people the value of valuing others. What is it that someone is bringing in.

1) Make a practical schedule for NRBuzz and figure out who we want to line up to host.

  • Come and bring something interesting. Ask questions of it together.

  • If you were to analyze it, how would you analyze it? Let’s upload related to something. Etc.

  • Getting people to do something, not traditional webinar. Everyone else gets to do, to ask questions. Walking together in analysis.

  • No RDS in the beginning. Let those doing research know that this is a place you can experiment with doing things that you will be able to transfer to your own project. They need to first understand what RDS is. OK yes, next time I will upload to RDS.

  • AM: It’s how we package it. For most people, whether they are students or off-school, they always have to weigh it against, if I am in school, how will it help me.

  • Promote life-long learning.

  • People are so bent on a project, a thing. Rather than a more transformative way of thinking. Beyond small project.

  • Try to help move people beyond their project, small closed thinking.

  • Qual researchers - how will this help me in my work currently. Limited way of thinking.

  • HR: You are getting into my head. The things you are talking about are the things we are trying to do. Really struggling with how do we capture data and transform it into something that has meaning for people’s lives. Issue of different literatures. Lit review a big problem because no one telling you how to approach lits and make information out of it. Capture it in a way that makes meaning in this world.

  • Frame it as storytelling. Research can be fun. They get stuck trying to do this research thing. We could do a lot of students to join in if we tell them, this is doable. This can be enjoyable. Here are our experiences.

  • Missing and also hidden data. 

  • Aurelia to Angela: Going over and beyond your project. Share your story with PhD people we know. As you do your research. Even if you are developing your research project. Things you can continue to grow and are passionate. It is not about the product of paper. It is about the communities you are building.

  • Hawi: And also the broken. What has been broken. Data does not reflect. Data collected just to get the degree or the masters. No one questions where you got the data from.

2) Discuss: If you were not limited by budget, funder agenda, etc. etc. what would you want to research? Alternatively, what topics/questions do you feel need to be studied but haven’t?

  • Angela: I wish someone would do a qualitative inquiry of the continued and historic experiences of Kenya being “structurally adjusted” in the 1970s/80s. I have heard anecdotally some of the stories of the switch to fees needing to be paid and also changes to how much canteen food cost but want someone to do more in-depth study. It is not a sexy topic for funders… everyone wants to forget that SAPs happened and were so bad for countries in global South… but unfortunately effects continue to be felt today. Need to continue to study it so that we don’t fall into the same trap(s) again

  • Wambui - That would be a great study, particularly from a qualitative point of view! Historical research is something I’d love to get into as well, more on the media side. 

    • Historic research as a whole doesn’t tend to be done. History of things. Memory, perspective of things. We don’t have enough.

    • People do what needs to be done to finish. Not to talk about the bigger picture.

3) Discuss: What artifacts do you wish we had available/archived? 

  • Angela: I would love to see all of the Kenyan history textbooks across all time lined up next to each other side by side to read what kinds of things were emphasized and the changes in content over time.


  • Aurelia take next stab at editing the NRBuzz write-up to highlight the storytelling aspect and make it accessible to / for students.

  • @all come with ideas about the research areas/kinds of research that we would want to see more of. This can help inform future programming.

  • Writing group meeting next week Thurs. same time.

February 11, 2021

Attendees: Hawi, Aurelia, Angela


  • Make writing schedule for Feb - May based on our output of the deutero chapter. The chapter will be a good way to also continue discussions of strategy. We will then be first presenters at NRBuzz in March where we present what we have been thinking and working on in our writing project. Good way to start the series.

    • Quarterly; discuss qual research in Kenya (that doesn’t have to be fully formed or completed)

    • Include a code of conduct and values of the group. (friendly/easy and informal space. First names (as a reflection of our spirit of egalitarianism and attempts to background our hierarchies ← impossible to remove them but we can try to surface other things rather than foregrounding our titles, etc. We respect each other as people not because of our titles but because of each of our worth as a person who is a holder of particular knowledges.)

January 14, 2021

Attendees: Angela, Wangari, Wambui


  • Catch-up; hongera to Wangari who will hopefully defend in Feb!

    • Will she be able to present in sign language? (that is what her research community of deaf people would like)

  • Writing projects:

    • Chapter for Angela’s dissertation → ESTS

  • Annotation still going on? Worthy pursuit for us?

  • Wangari: would like to do the writing tasks; because of different and dynamic time schedule - ride on the new year

  • Wambui - formless and then takes on organic shape. Value of a group like this - talking about research in a relaxed way but being in a space where there is exposure to experimentation (esp. On the qual side); what is the contribution we can make. COVID project kind of fizzled but it could still be picked up.

  • Angela - Nairobi Research Buzz

    • Reclaiming this kind of forum - an informal space for discussion (and maybe also leading into more formal space for discussion)

  • Wangari: Qual methods

    • Co-creation something together.

  • Wambui: 

    • We’ve gone past the formative space. We need to get more structured but without being too much.

    • Lagos Association.

    • We have a writing project and we are working on that everytime we meet. When that is done, then we see, how are we doing.

    • Support group - like-minded people come and talk research. Think about matters research. Days of annotating and interesting items related to covid. Even if we didn’t have tangible outcome, the learning to do something, the process of doing research that was happening there. We all do research in different spaces. To be able to engage in research for research’s sake.

    • What thing can I get out of this: leave of absence from univ because burnt out. But know she loves doing research. Wants to keep doing it. What she hopes we can do - current research approach is very dry; let’s tick boxes. Generic topics, etc. 

  • AO:

    • Create structures that will encourage research that is closely tuned to the needs and values of lived experiences on the ground.

    • Cultivate ways to learn and hone our interpretive approaches to research (aka “qualitative methods”) in an egalitarian structure based on learning by doing (together) rather than a “teaching” or “lecturing” mode. Inspired by radical pedagogies of the people like Paulo Freire, etc. This is where the value of infrastructures like RDS come in as a generative framework for the research activities and learning that are broad enough to allow for multiple perspectives and paradigms.


To Dos:

  • Develop doc sketching out logistics and conceptual of NRBuzz (reclaimed)

    • Quarterly; discuss qual research in Kenya (that doesn’t have to be fully formed or completed)

    • Include a code of conduct and values of the group. (friendly/easy and informal space. First names (as a reflection of our spirit of egalitarianism and attempts to background our hierarchies ← impossible to remove them but we can try to surface other things rather than foregrounding our titles, etc. We respect each other as people not because of our titles but because of each of our worth as a person who is a holder of particular knowledges.)

  • Writing schedule for Jan - March based on our output of the deutero chapter. The chapter will be a good way to also continue discussions of strategy. We will then be first presenters at NRBuzz in March where we present what we have been thinking and working on in our writing project. Good way to start the series.


Next Meeting: 

  • Feb 11

November 12, 2020

Attendees: Hawi, Angela, Wambui



  • Review survey results here.

    • What questions do we have about it? 

    • Which findings speak to you? 

    • What was surprising to you? 

    • What wasn’t surprising? Why?

    • What follow-up questions would you want to ask?

  • AOB


Links shared:



  • Mostly student participation - due to locations we shared it; fact that it was an online survey?

  • Many different Kenyan universities represented

  • Notable how majority were self-funded!!! We see this ripple out and have effects on many of the other aspects → the fact that they were not part of a research community - is it that they just didn’t have time? Too busy hustling to make money to pay for everyday expenses plus school fees??

  • Aspect of “people” in “what is research” was only mentioned by one person which is notable. Disconnect between communities/community knowledge and “research”?

  • AO: Avoids “Duplication” was mentioned severally (and is a common refrain) for why to share data. - term to be unpacked further. Duplication of questions - duplication of sites - but how does that also intersect with the point made in the survey someone that data is not in isolation - a new study promotes new perspectives. So what makes one study a “duplication” and another study something new? Duplication seen as a good thing in positivist sciences as it indicates the robustness of a finding. If it is a finding that can be duplicated then that is seen as a good thing. But in this case, research duplication is not a good thing because it means that new knowledge is not being created. There is a superficial loop where same research inquiry happening over and over. Is the term “duplication” standing in for something else here? What else...


To Dos:

  • Each of us work on a quick writing exercise (2 pages max) with our thoughts based on the survey results - What questions do we have about it? Which findings speak to you? What was surprising to you? What was not surprising? What follow-up questions would you want to ask?, etc. etc. To be uploaded to this google doc for now before next writing call next week.

  • To turn these responses into a word doc that we can also add our comments directly onto - DONE link here


Next Meetings: 

  • Nov 19 5 PM NBO (Writing call)

  • Dec 10 5 PM NBO (Monthly design team call)

October 8, 2020

Attendees: Wangari, Aurelia, Wambui, Angela



  • Update on COVID-19 in KE. Images we can add to this essay? How do we want to reinvigorate this project? Would preparing something to think with other researchers from other contexts help jump start us? (see for example this) (or not?) What does the current moment in Nairobi call us to do/say?

    • Narrative that disease is among us. Corruption over procurement of things like PPE, etc.

    • Lifestyle - age of population (young); rural based; fresh foods; etc.

    • Think about our artifacts and do something with it. Write something brief about it.

    • Good to continue archiving and annotating. We carry on with the story and see how it is changing. Could they be also motivated to do that as well.

    • Check annotations we have done and compile them. Reflect on methodology. 

    • What do we need to say in this current moment in Nairobi?

  1. Differently located people are moving on with the shifts. Talking about the pandemic as a static situation rather than a shifting. Moving through the pandemic.

  • Learning around doing. Qual method. Didn’t anticipate the steep learning curve. How to do this as different to other collaborative teams. Deadlines and set quant methodologies. Funded projects.

  • Teaming up. Getting the whole team back.

  • Looking back and looking forward.

  • Reflective virtual meeting to look at the milestones we have taken. Researchers in Nairobi are hustlers and juggling a lot. Affected by job loss and changes in their lives. Reflective meeting around how COVID has changed the dynamic of knowledge production. Changes to Open Data. Own experiences of being on the working group. What have we managed to do? How has that changed us in any way. Helped us understand better about data… etc.

  • Maybe some people don’t participate because it seems complicated, others wonder what is in it for me, etc. etc.

  • Multi Institutional affiliations - one person has a lot of affiliations across orgs. What it is like to be a researcher and juggle the different demands. Not enough time.

  • Researcher demands

    • Paid vs unpaid work

    • No remuneration from publishing, etc.

    • A city rapidly urbanizing. Time poverty. Balance between work that is paid, unpaid.

    • Speak about it more.

  • Event

    • How do we know each other: Wambui knows Angela from 2015; Wambui knows Aurelia from BIEA conference (2017); Wambui met Wangari through this group. Value - we are not producing a thing, product, article. But in talking and doing, we are a support group. Something new and collaborative is happening. Talks about the nature of our research space. Research space behaves in a certain way. Deadlines, production, etc. THIS has been something else. The process of existing as a group. Even if we don’t have a tangible THING that is delivered. The space of learning. Enjoying. Doing something new. Meeting people who you wouldn’t have engaged with otherwise. Isn’t that value itself? Aurelia and Wambui - project supposed to be doing together. It’s there; it’s in the air. “Kwani what are we doing?” Seasonal rather than western time bound. Gendered connection. The value of seasons and engagement over time. If this group goes on for two or three years. Could generate a lot because the deep work is being done now. Building, creating, etc.

    • Another way to be that is different. Mindful. Level of friendship. What are the things we think are valuable in research?

  • Feedback on the last writing call and next steps

    • Deutero

    1. Finalize this survey to circulate:

    2. Each of us work on a quick writing exercise (2 pages max) with our own answers to the above questions; to be uploaded to our RDS workspace.

  • Research Data KE Vision

    • Almost 1 year since the event at McMillan Library. We have a broader mailing list of people who signed up at that event. Do we want to do a report back? What do we want to say?

    • Do we want to try to enlist more people? For what? To do what?

    • Check this out: Lagos Studies Association… what do you think of this as some sort of model for us to aim towards? Nairobi Studies Association? Nairobi Data Studies Association?

  • AOB


    Links shared:

    • ...


    Notes: See in agenda directly above.


    To Dos:

    • Finalize survey during next writing call (Oct 15).

    • Circulate deutero survey via mailchimp and our contacts by Oct. 19.

    • Plan to have public event in early 2021 after we finish first draft of this deutero chapter to share it with wider community and get their feedback. Also to share what we have been doing with the COVID project and to enroll others/get their feedback.


    Next Meetings: 

    • October 15 5 PM NBO (Writing call)

    • November 12 5 PM NBO (Monthly design team call)

    Sept 10, 2020

    Attendees: Wangari, Wambui, Hawi, Angela, Aurelia


    • Discussion of our design group organization, tasks, etc - this document here.

    • Review Gender and COVID-19 new essay by Syokau and Aurelia here. Discuss any future thematic areas that people might be interested in exploring - put on the back-burner

    • Update from writing call.

    • AOB

    Links shared:


    • Collaborative formations between supervisors and students at ASAA felt different to Kenyan students at USIU. Funding given to pairs (rather than just the faculty?).

    • Hawi - finishing master’s thesis. Private security from human rights perspective under COVID19 (for his NGO). G4S, watchmen (askaris). Visiting different sites; Kajiado, Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos. 300 - 400 guards and the communities around them. Tools once they are ready for peer review. Usalama Forum. Civil Society Org. iCoka - international coalition on private security and Dikaf - Swiss gov’t.

    • Hawi has also written an opinion piece on the ongoing stalemate at the senate. Please take time to read and share.

    • WW: What's the new regulation the government has introduced?

      • Private Security Regulation Act. Registration, management, etc. Law in 2014. But largely lying on the shelf.

    • Writing together: figure it out from the beginning.

    • Establish who is “in” on a particular writing project. (Then need ways to hold each other accountable).

    • First joint writing together - A's dissertation chapter on RDS group and then turns into ESTS piece (in 2021). 

      • Each project should establish who is lead(s). 

      • Formalize it. Meeting to formalize the first chapter/project. Lock in our projects in future.

    • Dissertation chapter/ working towards ESTS article in

      • Lead: Angela

      • Group: Wambui, Wangari, Hawi, Aurelia

    • Governance - organic. Are we a democracy?

    To Dos:

    • Set of questions to guide the analysis. Angela to start a draft. Make sure all members are on the "deutero" essay in RDS.

    Next Meetings: 

    (Optional) Writing/co-working call: Sept 24, 2020: 5 PM - 6 PM NBO

    (Monthly) design team call: Oct 8, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM NBO

    August 13, 2020

    Attendees: Aurelia, Syokau, Leo, Angela, Wambui


    • Discuss any technical / other questions based on the last co-working session.

    • Review Gender and COVID-19 new essay by Syokau and Aurelia here. Discuss any future thematic areas that people might be interested in exploring.

    • Discussion of our design group organization, tasks, etc - this document here

    • Update on sub-groups RE: the papers we’d like to write together/their audiences - outline here

    • AOB

    Links shared:


    • Reviewed some of the technical issues that came up during the last co-working session. 

      • Analytic question sets vs questions

      • How to annotate vs create essay

    • WM: I caught the tail end of Angela's comment earlier about the need to standardize how we annotate e.g. starting the title with our initials, etc. I think it will help us manage and find information better as our data bank grows.

    • Talked about use of PECE as a workspace vs publication and the kinds of skills that we are gaining right now (qual data analysis):

    • (three ways PECE can be used - as

    • Added to this doc on possible publication projects. Decided that we would have another call to focus on this because we always run out of time. Call will be on August 27 at usual time.

    To Dos:

    • By next call on Sept 10, Syokau and Aurelia will complete their essay on Gender & COVID19 for the rest of us to review and offer feedback on.

    Next Meetings: 

    (Optional) Writing/co-working call: August 27, 2020: 5 PM - 6 PM NBO

    (Monthly) design team call: September 10, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM NBO

    July 9, 2020

    Attendees: Hawi, Aurelia, Trevas, Wangari, Angela, Wambui


    • Intros and Updates

      • What have people learned about their specific questions that they have been annotating with?

    • Discussion of the papers we’d like to write together/their audiences - outline here

    • Reflecting in detail on annotating and adding artifacts. If you have feedback on the actual platform as you go through the process, you can annotate using these questions.

      • Outline the parts of the process

      • What were the benefits of going through the process? What were some of the challenges?

      • ...

    Links shared:


    • Saba Saba protests were not covered well in the news yesterday. Mainstream media not covering social justice issues well.

    • Co-working session worked well. 2 hours was short. 

    • AM: There’s a lot more questions we can ask from the materials that we have. One artifact can generate so much information. Annotating as a technique to raise more questions into a topic.

    • Discussion about publication venues (see this doc for more)

    • Next meeting agenda will include discussion about how we want to operate and govern our design team based off this doc.

    To Dos:

    • Think more about publication forms & venues (and what your own goals and priorities are) and add them in here.

      • Wambui to lead on academic publication

      • Leo (?) to lead on policy level intervention

      • Aurelia & Hawi to work together on better understanding how we might be able to feed the work we have done so far into “grassroots” type orgs and their existing work.

    • Develop thematic (sub)-essays based on people’s annotations/interests. AO to work with Aurelia and Syokau to flesh one out as a sample prior to the next call.

    • Keep working on artifacts and annotations!

    Next Meeting: August 13, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM NBO


    June 11, 2020

    Attendees: Aurelia, Hawi, Angela, Trevas, Wambui, Nicera


    • Intros and Updates


    • HR:

      • Seen a lot of demonstrations related to police violence. Human rights activists doing demos in Kiambiu, Mathare… has generated into a big issue. Kiama arrested and taken to police cell. Milimani court. Tweet related to two demos - US embassy and going to the courts. US embassy one was peaceful/no police brutality. One going to high court had tear gas and arrests.

      • Economic hardships due to COVID19. Police arresting these people in informal settlements because they are not abiding by the curfew (because they cannot). Police brutality.

    • AM:

      • Topic of racism in KE is institutionalized. Racism that gets attention is “on the face” kind of racism. People have not been attentive to the racism in instiutions. People are now beginning to talk a bit about it/African history. More people identify with police brutality. Those linkages open now. People beginning to see the injustice of racism but hasn’t opened a big convo in everyday person’s language. On a lots of whatsapp rounds. Amnesty International, Oxfam, etc. corporate and NGOs who normally do not like to talk about these things are really taking a stand on this. UN Women. AU envoy meeting yesterday discussing parallels between how Africans are being treated.

    • TM:

      • Aspects of police relationship read as police brutality in KE. Race is profiled in KE on basis of colonialism. King Leopold’s statue in Belgium brought down circulated more around whatsapp groups. The colonial attachment to race was more significant.

    • HR:

      • Need to look at the history. Question of segregation that has been institutionalized. People of diff economic backgrounds segregated based on spending and earnings. Informal settlement residents don’t get certain things because of where they live.

      • Police brutality would not be there if people could get adequate access to resources like water. Opening of Eastleigh - gov’t saw losing a lot of money based on trying to enforce the protocols. Neighboring communities were sneaking in and out of the hubs and arrested/beaten, etc.

      • June 6 - President wanted to open up KE. People expected him to open but big surge of cases. Curfew extended to 9 pm.

      • Cases increased in Nairobi and Busia (because of the border). People wearing masks and going about their business.

      • Police finding other ways to exploit citizens. Using masks as excuse to get additional money.

    • HR:

      • Amnesty International leading a police working group who met with CS Matiangi and justice system. Tweet about this meeting. What came out between civil society and the gov’t?

    • AO: What are local/international corporates and NGOs/IOs doing?

      • TM: IMF has splurged on KE (good for hustler gov’t)

      • WW: George Floyd playing out in diff. Way here. Talking about colonial history and succeeding structural problems that have been there. Linking that to human rights. Local activists.

      • AM: Channels like The Elephant have helped to contribute to knowledge and awareness raising. They are the ones we are relying on for papers. The org we are writing for, it is a think tank but when we write about police brutality, they say, sorry we are not activist… don’t be so strong. Felt censored by that. A lot of funding may come with COVID. Lots of calls made for COVID. AM in the rotary club, lots of money coming in for COVID. Is COVID everything? What about the other issues? In terms of funding, funding has still not changed, there is a lot of money going to the horn for example. Funding in a targeted way that is not contextualized for the people. Funding going through state or humanitarian effort but still feels like funding is for relief and not for building safety nets, institutions, etc. How is it supporting community response mechanisms? Communities left alone to sort themselves. Funding never reaches that level of impact.

        • WW: “The Elephant for sure has done a huge job in highlighting the lesser-known stories/perspectives in relation to the COVID-19 issue: data, opinion pieces, lengthy interviews with experts (I've seen an economist, epidemiologist among others).”

      • Article on the IMF COVID 19 injection fund:

      • HR:

        • Right now no physical trainings or international travel, etc. Many orgs are still mum. Discussions that are happening but in the UN quarters. Many calls for proposals but they have gone mute a bit. This will shift the direction for post-COVID. Virtual trainings and conferences, etc.

        • Issue of funding

      • TM: 

        • Words and figures thrown left right and center. Biggest problem I’m finding is figures thrown all around. Health is a devolved function so it is supposed to be at the level of county.

      • WW: “Government has set up various working groups, plus there has been talk of cash transfers for the elderly and vulnerable groups, and an artists' fund. Only problem is that there is no clarity on how the artists' fund will be disbursed (who is an artist is a key question), plus there are claims that some of the money for vulnerable and elderly groups is not getting to the intended recipients.”

      • WW: The gov’t does not trust citizens; citizens don’t trust gov’t. Gov’t says one thing and practices something else. 400 people in Nyeri allowed to a funeral. Thought we were supposed to be social distancing. Seeing politicians meeting, etc. complete inconsistency.

    • What we are working towards:

      • AO: there were two streams - archiving and documenting the online conversations as generating our own data + finding what existing data is there (this has been less active). End goal was to present at IODC in Nov. on qualitative open data. If this is the case, how are we capturing our own learnings related to this process?

      • What are our experiences related to annotating? Different synergies that we have - diff. Backgrounds.

      • Goal: write a paper. Show what we speak out and communicate. Towards that, think about conference paper or something else.

      • Work becomes the research process. Let’s also capture what we are doing, how we are doing, what we experience. These zoom meetings, etc. actively document.

      • These practices can help us to open up conversations about documenting and generating data. Data coordination. We can make bigger contribution in how data is managed in the country.

    To Dos:

    • Aurelia to set up a standing co-working time.

    • All to keep annotating and adding artifacts. We will discuss these in detail during next call and also reflect on the process so far. These reflections also form our working group’s data for our future papers.

    Next Meeting: July 9, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM NBO


    May 14, 2020

    Attendees: Wangari, Angela, Wambui, Syokau, Aurelia, Trevas


    • Intros and Updates:

      • What have you been noticing about how public discourse in Nairobi is changing about COVID-19?

      • Other updates?

    • Transnational STS COVID-19 Project

      • Next monthly call (June 11) to be a joint meeting with members of this transational project to share what we have been working on with them and getting their feedback and questions. Can think together with us about what we have been finding.

      • We can use shared analytic questions that cut across other contexts to think comparatively about similarities and differences. Need to further flesh this essay out before the June call.

      • For example, how is social media being used in other contexts?

    1. What do you do when you see “mis-information”? [Is there a point where we might want to intervene? Would it be useful to begin creating comparative examples to throw back into public discussions? No “right answer” but to get people to think a bit differently?]

  • Annotating 

    • Everyone to pick a question and work on it for a week/during the week to answer it

    • [Start crafting questions customizable to your unique interests but opens for collaboration; e.g. one on mental health for Joyce; data for Angela and others; etc. etc.]

    • New members and how to distinguish roles

    • Next steps?



    • Updates & Observations:

      • Wambui: Disease seen as a Nairobi problem? No testing outside of Nai. Life going on as normal. Police blocks going in/out of Nairobi. Denial? Specific hospital set aside for COVID cases but no cases that have been there. County gov’t leadership has not done anything that shows proactiveness. Typical politics as usual (opportunist thinking, more political rather than anything). Interested in nature of communication or the lack thereof: news from media; kwa ground, haven’t felt it; invest in existing infrastructure - nyumba kumis, chiefs, etc. to bring the disease closer. Such distance in communication - disease is NBO disease, no urgency locally, rural counties are different b/c economic activities are different. Small farm agri. - how to manage that? Rely on your own thinking and own common-sense. Big remove from what central gov’t talking about.

      • A: role of social media?

      • W: news of crime, etc. thefts speak to economic situation - stealing food. Struggles are filtering through in some of the things people are doing. Reliance on media and what media has said. Whatsapp groups very similar.

      • A: interesting to see materials from around the world circulating - e.g. images from Indonesia, US, UK, etc.

      • Wangari: lots of info on mental health, uptake is very low. Missing is community based kinds of support. Socioeconomically, people struggling to put food on table. Alcohol. More talk about mental health but prioritization low still.

      • Syokau: Magufuli (TZ) tested Pawpaw and some animal (?) which is fueling a counter narrative questioning whether corona really is a thing and how do we know we have it.

      • A: where are the fault lines being drawn?

      • S: Taxi driver - we were told 21 days; no savings now. Need to go back to make money. How are people going to eat? Ruaka - washing hands; masks became a thing; now no one wears a mask. People saying, "if i haven’t gotten it already then i won’t get."

      • Maybe only Hon. Mutahi Kagwe (Cabinet Secretary for Health in the Republic of Kenya) being the cautioning voice.

      • Wambui: urgency of COVID has become diluted. Who communicates and what are they saying? Not following the 3 PM bulletins as much.

      • “God will be with us.” “God will not let us suffer.” Recognition that this thing is serious but what do we do? Just have to hope for the best (not sure we can handle it if it comes).

      • Center (Nairobi) vs periphery (rural)

      • Conflicting messaging coming out. KEMRI has no money and they are the ones doing the testing. Lead researcher fired. Dissonance somewhere there contributing to us being very relaxed.

      • A: Where’s aid? Donor orgs?

      • S: Any support you do right now… biggest way to give back is via food or money. Any org is trying to give back that is predominantly what they are doing right now.

      • How will this COVID19 time change the next elections?

    • Wambui: What kind of speech emerges around challenging times/seasons? Elections, pandemics, etc.

    • Wangari: Craving good news.

    • Syokau: Add annotation question on transition of what a normal work day looks like? People forced to work remotely, etc. The way we were measured in terms of work, arrive early. What does productivity look like, how is it measured? Once this season is over, how will it shake out?

    • Aurelia: Didn’t end up coming to Africa in the way it came to the West. Behavior change. What influences people? Kilimani people all masked up but other parts of town, not a big deal. Don’t see a post-COVID era coming anytime soon. How do we live with COVID? Tourist economies really need to think about how to grapple with this. Thought would see public health officers enforcing the rules, water for hand washing has been empty. Laxity of public health is really worrying.

    • A: Interesting that police have been seen as so heavy handed with enforcing but health officials not... Speaks to the capacities of the Kenyan state that are already well-established?
    • Wambui: Citizens always playing cat and mouse with government. Disfunctional relationship. Who do you trust and why? Why are people not complying? People understand the problem. Something removed to the individuals’ daily life. This authority telling you on TV - “you must” as opposed to central authority saying you are on the same side. Police is coming to remind you, let’s be careful. Trust (in gov't/media/science/etc) is interesting to unpack.

    • Trevas: are other neighborhoods observing curfew? Wambui: yes for the most part it seems so.

    • Wambui: Translation of technical terms into languages other than english. E.g. alcohol based sanitizer. Is something getting lost in translation. Some of the struggle of communication in how people are understanding the disease.

    • Aurelia: Ghetto radio conversations show the level of disconnect in information. callers asking: "Can i just be taking my lemon and I’ll be protected?" You can see the information gap. Ghetto radio, where Kenyans really are at.

    To Do:

    • Choose "your" annotation question to adopt. If you don't see one you are interested in, work with Angela to add it in.

    • [We will add annotation question on changes to “work day” and environment - for Syokau; add annotation question on communications strategies / rural/urban differences - for Wambui]

    • Group goals:

    • Everyone add in (ast least) 1 artifact per week to RDS.

    • One annotation (of that artifact) (using “your” question) per week.

    • Angela will move in those annotations into this essay out before the June call.

    Next Monthly Call: Thursday June 11, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM Nairobi

    April 16, 2020


    • Trevas Matathia, Joyce Wangari, Leo Mutuku, Esther Obachi, Angela Okune, Rapudo Hawi


    • Intros and Updates:

    • FAQs:

      • Clarification: This COVID-19 project is a way for us to build our understanding and skills related to research data in KE. We are not trying to become COVID-19 experts per say but leveraging the important moment to understand and also develop a collective, public dataset and learn from the process of attempting to do so what it means to develop collective datasets in/for/about Nairobi/Kenya.

      • Clarification: Through this process we are learning about how we can build public datasets together. Check out this collaboration agreement which was just added to the Working Group sign up form recently.

    • Tentative two-part workplan (discussed from ~27 minutes - 36 minutes)

      • Interested in:

    1. Identifying and understanding previous research that we believe could be relevant to understanding COVID-19 (identifying thematic areas we believe to be relevant; aggregating and synthesizing what has already been done; identifying and searching for datasets available)

    2. Building new dataset of COVID-19 public discourse and analyzing their significance and shifts and changes. How is COVID-19 in Kenya similar/different from others parts of the world (comparative aspect links us to the Transnational project)

    Work Plan Part 1 (Lead: Leo)

    • Doc here to outline potential areas of previous research that we believe could be relevant. We will then divvy that up and look for potential data as it relates to these topics (and hopefully eventually get access to some that we can put into RDS and share). Please add to the doc with your ideas.

    • How do we use Zotero? (here is our zotero bibliography)

    Work Plan Part 2 (Lead: Angela for now; Rapudo & Trevas volunteered to help lead on moving artifacts from whatsapp into RDS)

    • Angela will make a video walk through RDS platform and how to:

      • Upload artifacts

      • Annotate artifacts

      • Review current essay here. How to add your artifacts and annotations into the essay.

    • We will have another technical session to work on the onboarding onto RDS.

    • Then we need to finalize on analytic questions (draft here).

    Technical infrastructure - To Do ASAP:
    • Join whatsapp group if you haven’t already [sign up for working group via this link to receive link to whatsapp group]

      • We are currently using the group to share links to articles and news that relate to how COVID19 is affecting everyday lives in KE and beyond, esp. if it has an interesting research angle (under work plan part 2)

      • Max 2 posts (most relevant)/person a day so as not to fill our feed.

      • When you send an artifact, pls include brief 2 sentence commentary on why you think the artifact is interesting/important (this would be the “critical commentary” section).

    • Join Zotero bibliography here.

    • Register for the Research Data Share platform here.

    • Audio recording here.

    • Question: what is the long-term goal RE: applying for project funding for this work?

      • Discussion ~18 - 25 minutes:

        • As we develop this out, we may decide to develop a collective proposal. But also no problem to use the open dataset to develop your own individual or organizational proposal to do further research. It is something we can keep discussing. We may also possibly develop a collective proposal if we see a need to. We can keep an eye out for opportunities and revisit this when we see anything promising.

        • End game: Have an open, searchable dataset that can be pulled into your own repository to enable further research. Then develop research proposals to dive deeper into the datasets, perhaps building out further what we might begin to see from the data.

    • Question: how are you collecting data?

      • Are we using government data?

      • We are aggregating into the whatsapp group but next steps is to catalogue the resources in the whatsapp group so that people can discover, search, access it and do additional work on it.

    • Suggestion by Leo: Keep a running list of research questions.

    Next CallS:
    • Technical Q&A on RDS platform: Wednesday April 22, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM Nairobi

      • Angela will send video tutorial ahead of time.

    • Monthly Call: Thursday May 14, 2020 5 PM - 6 PM Nairobi

    March 19, 2020 NOTES


    Aurelia (Eider Africa); Jimmy (BIEA librarian); Rapudo Hawi (Kijijiyeetu; smart villages – trying to strengthen village units in the county;; Leo (Intelipro/Quotidian Data); Angela (UC Irvine Anthropology/Quotidian Data)

    Agenda: What's next?

    • Idea: Surfacing data better (so that we avoid asking repetitive questions of the same communities.) Have we fully exhausted these other places where we could be looking for alternative secondary data? How do go about identifying them? Making that knowledge available/public?

      • Context: Nairobi history and the data that feeds into/makes Nairobi history. What is easily available? What is missing and should/could be made more available?

        • Proposed next steps:

          • 1) Identify what data is available (RE: Nairobi history). Where/what formats? What stakeholders do we need to involve?

          • 2) Input curated versions into RDS, with permissions.

          • 3) Develop analytic questions related to questioning the always build-in margins:

          • 4) Might this be relevant for some of the research classes taught to be integrated into syllabi/coursework? Perhaps sharing this out as a resouce for Nairobi-based faculty teaching research methodology?


    Audio recording here.

    Given the state of the world right now, it could be particularly interesting to think about how we might be able to collate existing research data that ties to COVID19 issues. 

    What previous research projects have taken place that are relevant to thinking about and working on the COVID 19 emerging crisis? Where is the data? What formats are available? Where are they? What access do we have?

    Use it not to repeat but to build up further (future) interesting research.

    Aurelia: e.g. How does the idea of handwashing work out in informal settlements? What coping strategies exist? Interpersonal relations? What questions would be interesting in that space?

    • There has been a LOT of research on handwashing under the notion of “WASH projects”. Can we get access to it? Need to get access to the donor reports/data on people’s laptops.

    Brainstorm of types of existing projects/research themes that could also be relevant for understanding the sociotechnical dynamics of COVID19:

    • Informal economy

      • Markets - Gikomba traders – not enough

    •  Informal settlements

      • WASH

      • (Measures by gov’t have been about comfortable life – hand sanitizers, etc. Access to water is a problem in many of these parts… not about hand sanitizer…)

    • Schools/edtech

      • What does virtual education look like?

      • Online learning – not an area so developed. What opportunities are emerging from having this? How are teachers coping and students?

      • Edtech research

    • Mobility infrastructure

      • Does Railway museum have any data on movement of people, past and present?

    • Nairobi culture

      • Dynamics that shape our livelihoods.

      • Looking at culture that emerge in Nairobi such as genge, sheng, mababi

      • Dynamics of livelihood based on societal needs that attract people such as makongeni, Jericho, buruburu, kileleshwa, karen, runda, westlands

    • Pharmaceutical supply chains

    • Ebola Research

      • How did countries manage ebola? What systems did they put in place? Lots of research and actual data from ebola. How healthcare systems can handle pandemic even their current structures right now?

    To Do:

    • Add further to the above brainstorm list.

    • Angela to set up a doc to add to:

    • Circulate this blurb online while we have 30 days (at least) of “cognitive surplus” to enlist more people to our group:

      • “As natural scientists collaborate towards developing vaccines for the global pandemic, we invite social scientists to similarly work together to translate our individual experiences and data into collective knowledge that can support communities. Join the Research Data KE Working Group if you are interested in collating existing qualitative/ethnographic research resources across diverse thematic areas relevant to thinking about and working on the COVID 19 global pandemic. Sign up here.”

    • Share in the new whatsapp group relevant materials from other whatsapp groups/Twitter/news, etc. esp. News clippings; research reports; etc. etc. These do not have to be “Africa”-specific but it will be interesting to see the kinds of materials that get circulated and how other countries are also talked about.

      • Angela will archive those into RDS platform for us to look at together; can inform our understanding of the media narratives related to this pandemic and be object of analysis in the future.

    • Aim: collate as much of the available and relevant qualitative/ethnographic data that could somehow tie into/inform current/future work on COVID19 (and other global health pandemics). 

    • Investigate:  How much relevant research data currently exists in portals?

      • Start with Open Data portals

      • Move to our existing networks via orgs and individuals. Find out if researchers will mind sharing with us their research reports.

    • Next meeting: Thurs April 16 5 PM Nairobi:

    Additional organizations to involve:


    • Info held within media.

    • Roping in media representation. Newspapers. Lots of social media. Local data. Sometimes not published.

    Rope in organizations – within the working group, orgs on board. Data – because of how we are penetrated by donor-led projects, lots of data is within orgs. So seeing how we can have them help us know what has been done.




    Creative Commons Licence

    Contributed date

    March 3, 2020 - 3:01pm

    Critical Commentary

    AO: This text artifact includes the running agenda and monthly meeting notes for the Research Data KE design team established out of the Archiving KE event at the end of 2019.


    Research Data KE Design Team

    Cite as

    Research Data KE Design Team, "Journal: Research Data Share KE Design Team", contributed by Angela Okune, Joyce Wangari Ngugi, Wambui Wamunyu , Aurelia Munene and hawi rapudo, Research Data Share, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 18 March 2021, accessed 21 April 2024.