Posts about Conference presentation summary

Leveraging Knowledge at PCI

As part of APLIC’s 2015 Annual Conference, Janine Schooley shared how Project Concern International’s ‘Leveraging Knowledge’ and related strategic directions have utilized various approaches such as Chatter, InnovAtion, and regional workshops this past year to share promising practices and lessons learned both internally and externally for optimal efficiency, effectiveness, thought leadership, and performance.

Jean Sack provided her notes about the session:

Founded in 1969 by Dr. Turpin, Coronado Island Pediatrician who went into Mexico to save two children from pneumonia and began his outreach into Mexico, Vietnam War, Hong Kong (floating clinics) Walks for Mankind, and very targeted community interventions with program implementation.

Community-based integrated work for strengthening local people to solve their own problems. Funded US contracts, 60 years office in San Diego, DC office, now in 16 developing countries and US/Mexico border. Will have their PCI Global Summit in DC in early May.

She has worked 15 years and oversees food/nutrition, gender, innovation, local capacity strengthening, documentation, monitoring evaluation report to Janine. Masters in Child and Maternal Health. Janine found commonality with most all the APLIC members’ and their organizations, with many PCI collaborations.

“get our fieldstaff to document lessons learned!” How do we examine impact post-project when funding ceases? 7 Strategic Directors = by 2016 want to have more KM to connect remote locations with different aspects championed by “prime movers” and executive partners. Levering knowledge team and innovations went to a Dreamforce Conference to learn about Salesforce along with a Gender champion.

Chatter app (twitter / Facebook) comes with a database called Salesforce – for nonprofits (has dashboard to track users, groups, feeds, top users, largest groups, total group feed posts)

Sharing Tacit Knowledge (70%). Used internally so that staff are linked and feel connected/cohesive with trusted information – decentralized so all employees can contribute/share project insights regardless of location or title, open access, collaborative rather than top down. Janine can post, so also can a driver in India. Used during earthquake in Bihar who used Facebook to communicate “safe”. Recent example of India’s January announcement of polio-free was applauded by India PCI Director Ed Schol. Comes with a timed feed settings if you don’t want continuous. Email still used normally and not replaced by Chatter which will go to targeted staff in communications. Adoption = Value > Pain / worthwhile greater than pain. New groups act like CoPs. A monthly Chatter King is named from stats and gets symbol of power (gamification). Used to “take the pulse via polling” via chatter on smart phones. The phone works better in low bandwidth areas. Breaking down barriers to far corners. Success in increased awareness of programs and resources but there are IT Gold Standards but also openness to piggy backing to use Chatter more widely in organization. HR and Finance use Salesforce configurations with tinkering possibilities, new business and fundraising and innovAtion (A for adaption

@snapshots from the field testimonials or photos from the field feed into marketing and communications (85% of content)

Sharing Explicit Knowledge(30%). Can strategic information be better shared rather than just with donors? No Intranet, just email and chatter. Growth is from program funding, not in effective fund-raising. Janine says don’t assume anything but do capitalize on natural information hubs/people with a good communications strategy. They have hired a communications staff to link to more technical information on the website, not just marketing. Program quality alignment needs linking with insights from chatter.

Embedding InnovAtion = Makes current practice obsolete, improves value by 50%, provides PCI with unique product, skills, experiences benefitting beneficiaries and donors.   Need to incorporate the feedback loop from lessons learned from projects into the New Programs area to avoid reinventing wheels and to remain competitive. Putting documents on a shared drive. Physical resources library was dismantled because it wasn’t being used and no staff responsible. New Marketing VP is working on branding. Do perform literature searches, local focus groups, and assessments of projects but hard to capture total program implementations.


How can we integrate what we have learned? Document databases (eg Library catalogs) and sharing (eg APLIC listserv).

  1. Theory of change. One of the donors is expecting PCI to produce logframes which is pushing evidence base to show logical connections of purpose and outcomes with evidence. Gates expects delivery research.

Q How were the innovations rolled out to get “buy-in” from staff?

Q Could PCI join APLIC and have a staff person visit some of our DC members to learn? Jessica in San Diego is a possibility.

Q are libraries outdated?

Q sounds like you need an information specialist to gather those innovation insights to get them dispersed to the staff.

A need a more senior strategist to do this

Q we at FHI360 are still struggling to pull out the assets using yammer and intranet.

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Improving Awareness : The San Diego Air & Space Museum

Katrina Pescador talked about one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of aerospace related materials in the world. The collection includes books, documents, films, photos, periodicals, manuals, drawings, and other archival materials. Over the past several years, the Museum has reviewed and revised its processes for cataloging, organizing, and digitizing these collections, as well as improving connectivity. Digitization has dramatically enhanced worldwide awareness of the Museum’s collection.

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Adding Value through Data Curation

Libbie Stephenson, UCLA, and Jared Lyle, ICPSR / Umich, shared information about requirements for access to data generated from federally funded projects

Jean Sack shared her notes from the session:

2003 Data sharing for grants over $200,000. During 2011-13 at least 20 USGA Agencies (over $100m) to respond to increasing access to the results of Federally Funded Scientific research and studies.

Example website for data storage: Posting data, saving plans

Data access can benefit through saved funds, openness for scientists. In a 2011 poll, 85% UK researchers thought data would be of interest but less than ½ have made data available. In USA 33-43% never shared data.

Max access = accessible, complete and self-explanatory, usable

Protect confidentiality= if human subjects, must mask identities; ICPSR secures downloads, virtual data enclave (lockdown browser), physical enclave 6400 restricted use dataset with 2000 agreements.

Appropriate attributes = need citation references for data used ICPSR’s data citations page, IASSIST’s Quick Guide to Data Citation, Datacite (persistent identifier DOI)

Long-term preservation = floppies? Flash drives used currently. Formats important

Data management planning = start when applying for funding for preservation, access, digital formats

(some federal agencies will withhold 10% of grant to deny if data not properly saved for access) Private foundations like Ford, Hewlett are now requiring data management plans (Laurie Calhoun)

ICPSR has sample elements of data management plans on website – ICPSR Collection Development Policy shows scope of repository (supply letters of support to show donors that data is secure and meets requirements of ICPSR) Once images, websites were proposed but steered to different repository. Could attach the DOI (needed for all datasets) as a hyperlink to data to an abstract. Agencies may issue requirements to publish data sooner once results published in journals (embargo will be limited) – Open Access supplementary materials,

NIH biocady/ data discover index; USAID has an open data policy now (Chris) to give access to data immediately.

Data documentation initiative (DDI) formats show which metadata needed. Intellectual property rights must be decided, Creative commons CC-0 removes all rights vs limited access. Formats are important such as SPSS, ASCII, media files. Where will you deposit? Multiple copies? Ability to migrate from one format to another? Storage and backup plans, links to similar data, quality assurance procedures to clean, security and permissions, names of those responsible for curation, cleaning, archiving. What is the budget for preservation – mandated data access does not give extra money so it MUST BE BUDGETED in grant (data preparation!! And management!! Pay for archiving in repository). How long should data be held?

Print copies of two documents circulated:

  1. Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving 5th edition. 2012
  2. ICPSR Guide to Archiving Social Social Science Data for Institutional Repositories 1st Edition

Q How long does ICPSR take to give access to data

A there is a queue now usually month(s). Sometimes delays are because the PI never contacted ICPSR (looks very bad!)

A ICPSR is a consortium of 700 organizations – NICHD has a topic index. Open ICPSR gives open access to anyone (from members) and can be searched through Google or BING. lists 1000 repositories around the world,

Q is there any problem of duel archiving in institution and also in ICPSR?

A does it really matter if you can put in a link? BUT if you change or add to data, both versions need to be edited – which is up-to-date? Most data libraries only commit to store…for 10 years. At ICPSR the data is kept in usable formats and migrated. In journal supplements the zipped data files are potentially dated in future (will Excel be used 10 years from now).

Libbie Stephenson – resources available to us

Data Curation Profiles Toolkit in–

Helps in meeting with researchers about their project data, how long they want to keep it, intermediary files tend not be shared – only final is accessed, what resources are offered? Sometimes code is more important than the data if running simulations,

DMP Template Tool from University California (Discover UC3)

Managing and sharing Data: Best Practices for researchers excellent narrative resource from the UK

Libbie says that frequent checks with PIs about their data management plans is the best idea as federal grants data management requirements are changing. Definitely need copies of questionnaires and codebooks! Librarians should be trained to do curation with appraisal tools! She is training interns from Information Studies schools. Collectica has tools to discover and evaluate data use for other projects…

Peer, Green and Stephenson, IDCC, February 2014 has article on data quality, processes

Who are stakeholders & their roles, policies, usability over long term, staff competencies, finances

Standards and certification may be needed (System_architecture_for_Digital_Preservation_Neil_Jefferies)

Q is training in survey research and data collection/preservation taught in graduate programs?

A Doctoral seminars are given by Libbie at UCLA. Oregon State has courses with syllabi on line, Minnesota has courses. Summer 5 day course at ICPSR is for researchers, archivists to curate and manage data. Green, MacDonald & Rice: Policy making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide




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Conference News : Minnesota Pop Center Data Initiatives

Two reports on data initiatives at MPC were given:

David Van Riper reported on Terra Populous (TerraPop), an NSF-funded DataNet project that seeks to lower the barriers for conducting human-environment interactions research.

Dr. Miriam King reported on the Integrated Demographic and Health Series, a new NICHD-funded data integration project that lowers the barriers to cross-temporal and cross-country research.

Jean Sack posted this resumé based on her notes:

David Van Riper presented Terra Populus: Integrated Data on Population and Environment (one of 5 projects from National Science Foundation), in 2007 DataNet established.

GIS mapping at Minnesota Population Center; collaborative with CIESIN at Columbia University, ICPSR, Institute of the Environment at Univ. of Minnesota, Humans in the environment, INNE crop data (needs documentation and archiving),

  1. DataOne (second 5 years of funding given but reduced) 2. DataConservatory (failed 18 month review and lost funding) 3. DFC Datanet Federation Consortium in N. Carolina 4. ?? 5. SEAD: Sustainable Environments – Actionable Data

Terrapop is like a blender to mix together 3 levels of data to make them interoperable: microdata, area-level data, raster data (land cover tied to spatial coordinates such as trees, crops, water bodies, roads tied to GIS). Terrapop is trying to create tools to quickly link population and raster data with climate data with income data).


Improved data access – some data comes in tiles from FTP sites so now access is simplified to global resource sets broken down into country sets. “Liberating data from hard-to-use formats” Some data in html tables such as in Croatia (not machine readable); Loas data in tables which were converted into digital metadata

Preservation – need plans! Previous versions of data difficult or impossible to find when new collection supersedes old collections.

Documentation – data lacks sufficient (or any) metadata, eg EarthStat lacked on FTP site, Tiff files only without data description, Terrapop wrote a python script to give tips in metadata. need user permissions. Needed area information, linage statement, GLI data is used on National Geographic but it falls apart to gain access.

Data Creation – construct historical subnational GIS data. Eg Departments in 1980 are different than 1970 in Tucuman, Argentina. Brazil and Latin America will be trained with GIS and cameras to disseminate through Terra Pop to study Population changes. Used Harvard’s maps collection, took digital pictures which can incorporate other data sources. Interlibrary loans from Census Bureau International Collection to take photos, Library of Congress,.

Transformations: learning curve for sociologists would be difficult so Terrapop can show precipitation map over the geographic/political traditional authority boundaries. Can calculate % of cover of trees in Brazil. Excellent coverage in South America and parts of Asia with censuses, down to county levels but military and politics often blocks lower level information sharing. 175 crops, landcover, worldclim 1950-2000. 12 MODIS land cover types.

Project year 4 – August 2015 will role out a new Terrapop website.

Q who are your big users and how can I encourage our colleagues to use it

A let’s build it, they will come… we need to talk to environmentalists (who don’t know what data exists). David knows who owns what country data,

Q How can your data relate to other socio-economic indicators?

A type of crop may involve child labor, gender, deforestation for soybean production, etc.

Q Will website give geographic level by country?

A Yes we do have geographic level info and if we have geographic boundary sets

Q could economists use this?

A Yes, Gates Harvestplus folks were excited about the crop information, Yes for women farmers,

Q Is there a group that specialized in environmental and population

A University of Colorado

Q How are you leveraging your data to gain more funding?

A We have post-doc student and are learning about his former datasets. Many datasets do exist but others needed and funding is needed.

Q Can people download maps

A Yes, in August the maps and shape files can be downloaded from the revised TerraPop website

IDHS: An Integrated system

Dr. Miriam King, coordinates the integration of DHS and GIS but level of geography is not good, small samples and only representative geography. Third year of work on interoperability of DHS IDHS countries in Africa, India, with more than two DHS, and committed to integrating newest surveys (as in Nigeria, 2013) 18 countries, 76 surveys to look at dramatic change over time from mid 1980s to recent.

Works like IPUMS so that use carries over into the IDHS They take the publicly available data sets and make them easier to understand and do file management and select variables in   demographics, geography, household possessions, SES, education, media, FP, sex practices & attitudes, condom use & access, HIV/AIDS STIs, antenatal & delivery care, insurances & care access, NEW: Fistula TB; childhood diarrhea respiratory illness child nutrition, alcohol & tobacco use, female genital cutting, domestic violence, household decision-making. May be adding pregnancy termination.

Early 2016 will add: BIRTHS as 3rd unit of analysis and children under 3 as comparison for Feb 2016; many nonstandard variables by country, new countries Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda

How to use IDHS – start with unit of analysis (women or children); select samples of interest

Variable available at a glance – which survey has FGM?

Easy access to variable information

Customized datasets, easy to modify to ignore those you do not need

Variable integration without loss of detail (have now defined variables into a given code)

Users wanting to download data can use DHS/IPF login ID or apply for access to DHS data (info on organization, contact into, reasons for using). Samples can be used from web freely but researchers who might want to upload data must register.

Dropdown menu of topics appears with sample data so subgroups can be seen. Eg Domestic Violence has 14 variables – husband accuses of unfaithfulness to spouse ever threatens with harm – the X shows that the DHS does include the variable. Can learn about individual variables and how they differ between samples, how it changed, clickable link to explanations. Gives case counts on variables so sample sizes are adequate, age ranges match. TABS show how variables constructed, survey question text, other texts are linked to those variables to see context of question, original survey forms and model questionnaires translated into English!

Customized datasets possible after log in, select samples and variables (data cart), merge files on the fly to create a single custom extract over time, select format (SPSS, State, SAS, CSV, ascii), download fully-integrated file (with variables code translated/integrated over time; meanings obvious). Email notification of dataset ready with specifications saved by IDHS. Easy to modify datasets to add or delete samples.

Variable integration without loss of detail: IDHS uses a variety of national surveys, not just DHS, to compare and point out differences for variables, issues of comparability, consistent codes. Uses IPUMS-International using international census data for 3 countries: Bangladesh, Mexico, and Kenya. Excel Translation Table harmonizes codes and labels with 3 digit composite codes. E.g. married, single, divorced. MPC dataset saves so much time in leafing through code books, merging files, focus on questions.

Q Does harmonization occur before samples or on the fly?

A Broadest ranges included (perhaps not monogamy or polygamy)

Q Why didn’t DHS or Macro International [ICF] do this?

A They are funded for getting out in the field, negotiate with country, create final reports, they never had the orientation of looking at historical impact of data and economic change. They lack a backward looking perspective and are too busy getting surveys into field and cleaning data. Minnesota Population Center had much experiences and in-house knowledge of multiple data sets ($2.5m over 5 years which is being cut by 20% is not much to start from scratch) Dee Ruggles of US Census Bureau had experienced his own student frustrations with historical censuses.

Q How do researchers appropriate citations?

A on the website is a link to the proper citation format for using IDHS versions. When people apply for access they are asked to cite the data properly. Funding agencies won’t fund unless we mention the use of IDHS! MPC bibliography names datasets. Working on Youtube instructions, hands-on exercises used at PAA workshop on April 28th and will be put on line, and a help email is on web

Q Are there are other “new” huge datasets that you are using

A USA – based Integrated Health survey will integrate a MEPS survey (treatment, costs of care, drugs taken, combined with status of smokers, depression, education). Micro Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) from UNICEF may be harmonized… Mhanes someday…


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A Study on the Use and Impact of HINARI: A Bangladesh Perspective

Presenter : Dr. M. Nazim Uddin

In this presentation Dr. Uddin makes an effort to analyze the usage status of electronic resource facilities and services offered by HINARI to various libraries of Bangladesh including icddr,b. He discusses the purpose of using e-resources, benefits, impact, and challenges of HINARI, which are faced by users of icddr,b and Bangladesh while accessing e-resources and perceived impact of e-resources of HINARI on users.

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Conference 2014 – Demonstrating the Value of Corporate Libraries

Presenters : James M. Matarazzo, Toby Pearlstein

I found this session to be most pertinent, with important points about establishing and maintaining our value as knowledge management professionals. The presenters are highly qualified on the subject.

Perceived central point : Librarians need to work every day to demonstrate that what they do is essential to the strategic direction of the organization. That means knowing what that direction is and creating links to what we do to that aim.

Resources are slim in all organizations today, and there’s competition.

Favorite quotes :
“It’s not that they don’t like you . . . they want your space.”

“You don’t want them to like you . . . oh, it’s nice if they do. But what you want is that they respect you.”

Not a complete report, but feel free to add your comments . . . and check out the great slides.

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Conference 2014 – Beth Kanter on content curation

Jean Sack offers this look at a dynamic and engaging opening session :

Like most librarians who organize, filter and make sense of information, Beth Kanter, author and IT consultant for Non-profits (, has made a career of “training attention” and scouting out new social impact spaces, monitoring blogging insights, filtering changing story collections, and sharing the best of these new findings very systematically with her social networks via her own wikis and blogs. She recommends “learning the new” from adjacent fields and social media experts such as Janet Hart (tagging content as a swift annotation technique), Huffington Post writer Bruce Jarche (First Focus scans children, health, welfare, rights articles, reads them for sensibility and then shares by tweeting the best resources), and Robin Good’s technique of validating news sites ( Kanter mentioned the program “Scoop it” as a content curation tool which ranks collections and their continued availability or sustainability. She suggested detangling social media sites such as Facebook by typing in keywords to find pages as a “crowd tangle” method utilized by media experts. To demonstrate impact of peer learning, APLIC conference participants divided into focus groups around four key ideas and posted ideas on wall charts to share with the rest of the group.

See the slides for more details and resources.

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Conference 2014 – Creating a Technical Knowledge Hub on SharePoint

Presenter : Sarah Burns, Pathfinder

Allison Long reports :

Sarah is the only KM person at Pathfinder, and she has been tasked with implementing a knowledge / collaboration hub using SharePoint. While things are not even close to perfect, she has come a long way in three years!

In order to create the Knowledge Hub, she had to re-configure iShare (Pathfinder’s SharePoint) because it was a mess. She had to develop a common language for the system, catalog the library, and figure out a way to incorporate Pathfinder’s physical archives and shared drive information while also thinking about how to facilitate collaboration and use of the iShare system. Whew!

Sarah worked with her IT group to improve iShare navigation. She also hosted a mini-information audit/card sorting activity with staff to help with organization of information.

In developing the taxonomy for iShare, she got buy-in from technical area leaders to make sure the words she was choosing were commonly used by those parts of the organization.

Elements of the Tech Hub

She cataloged the Pathfinder library within a SP list.

She worked with technical experts to create Technical Assistance Libraries where the experts can post the best sources on their topics and their reasoning behind their selections.

The archive is crazy big. Archiving project artifacts has become part of the project close-out process to try to control the crazy a little. Still a huge backlog.

Virtual Content Advisor Teams act as communities of practice for specific topical areas on the hub. Sarah wrote a guide for these groups’ facilitation.

Yellow pages to be able to find the right people to talk to

Training– Sarah held training sessions over lunch, and she took the time to teach people in the moment when they asked her every day questions about iShare. She also made a training DVD to send to country staff in order to overcome connectivity issues.

Recipe for success:

  1. Patience
  2. Perseverance
  3. Celebrate small victories
  4. Repeat

Lessons Learned

  1. There is a big difference between getting stuff done in SP and learning about SP
  2. Don’t expect change overnight
  3. Take the time to show people how to do things in SP instead of just doing it for them. They will learn better that way.
  4. Connect technical experts to technical libraries
  5. Don’t divide things you want to be able to search into separate lists. It’s easier to have everything in one place in order to search.



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Conference 2014 : Impact? Intrigue? Value-add? The Ins and Outs of Data Visualization

Presenters : Erica Nybro, Measure DHS, and Amanda Makulec, John Snow, Inc.

Stephen Woods reports :

This session identified four distinct stages for creating a useful visual concept. The first stage of the presentation placed on emphasis on identifying your audience and the context of the information to be visualized. Once this is accomplished then author needs to focus on the “story from the data” by looking for trends, patterns, comparisons or surprises. The third stages considers the type of visualization that would best tells the story that the author identified in the previous exercise. In other words, would a chart, infographic, map, graph best highlight your concept. The presenters provided many useful tools for decision-making at this stage and provided a hands-on session to reinforce this concept. Finally, they briefly discussed mechanisms for dissemination and sharing of visual work.

Get the handout

Presentation slides

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