Posted 26 May, 2016 by Tin Geber

Announcing an Open Call for the first Matchbox Replication Sprint

Do you want to build a working prototype of a license database on natural resources? We can help.

Are you working to increase the transparency and accountability of natural resource governance and the extractives industry? Do you have relevant datasets or contracts but you’re not sure how to make use of them? Are you based in Southern Africa?

Apply to participate in The Engine Room’s first Replication Sprint on natural resource data! Our deadline for applications is June 20.

Why natural resources?

In the past 18 months we have been working with the Windhoek-based Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) to discover trends and flag corruption risks in the allocation of petroleum exploration licenses in Namibia. Their goal was to show how some of these companies get the initial rights to a concession thanks to the political connections of their owners, only to resell at a higher price, and thus increase the chances of fraud and waste.

Through our Matchbox Program and with support from other experts, we have been working with IPPR to open up up a system vulnerable to corruption and analyze the allocation of licenses. We built a web platform for the group that structures and maps data on license ownership, transactions, company ownership structures and hierarchies. Our goal was to simplify the process of turning oil and gas exploration data into usable formats and visualizations.

Over the course of this work our team developed a process and reusable technical components that we are looking to put to use for other organizations facing the same challenge in the region. We are now looking for organisations in Southern Africa to join us for a week-long in-depth replication sprint in early August.

If you want to digitize, map, and analyze contract data for greater extractive industry transparency in your country or city, we want to work with you!

What is a Replication Sprint?

Replication sprints are a part of The Engine Room’s Matchbox Program, designed to develop lasting partnerships with organizations who want to integrate data and technology in their social change projects.

The idea is simple: we spend a week together with a few organizations who are facing the same challenges and interested in developing similar projects, and by the end of the week participants will walk away with components they can use right away. The end product will be complete in design and features, and developed around the specific needs of participants.

Who is the perfect candidate for our first replication sprint?

Maybe you! Our replication sprint will be most useful for your organisation if:

  • You are based in Southern Africa;
  • You work to increase the transparency and accountability of natural resource governance and the extractives industry (such as petroleum, gas, minerals, fisheries, land, timber etc);
  • You use data about companies and governments (for example licenses, contracts, concessions, etc) for your advocacy and campaigning activities;
  • You would love to make that data more structured and easier to understand for everyone;
  • You are ready to dedicate 5 days of your time in early August to work with our team of experts during the sprint;
  • You are willing to spend extensive time preparing for the event in the next two months.

We will be flying you to a venue in Johannesburg in the first half of August 2016 and you will spend five full days with us and the experts working on your project. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

Did you get excited?

Apply to participate in our first Replication Sprint on natural resource data before June 20!

Interested to learn more about how Matchbox works? Read our report on the pilot phase of the program.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

1 thought on “Announcing an Open Call for the first Matchbox Replication Sprint”

Mukasiri Sibanda says:

This is particularly important work to advance mineral revenue transparency and accountability in Zimbabwe given the lack of an institutionalised mineral revenue transparency initiative such as EITI.

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