Angela Okune is a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Irvine. She studies data practices and infrastructures of research groups working in Nairobi, to explore broader questions of equity, knowledge production and socio-economic development in Africa. On his presentation, Angela Okune discussed her ongoing ethnographic research project and high lightened how research data is produced, shared and contested by a diverse research group in Kenya.
She noted that despite decades of research aiming to solve Africa’s problems, many of those who are studied see little change in their everyday lives. Particular communities such as groups in Kibera demonstrate survey fatigue, falsified responses, and even feelings of being exploited by global processes of scientific knowledge production.Through a comparative study of three Nairobi-based research organizations working in and on technology and development, Angela has been examining negotiations over privacy, quality, ownership, and ethical responsibility enacted by the processes of opening up qualitative research data and discusses the possible benefits of “open data.”