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DataXpresso Podcast Show Notes: Episode 4

How data leadership can transform the non-profit sector

Non-profit organizations are becoming increasingly data-focused and have taken innovative approaches in working with the private sector, using best in class technology solutions to address their analytics challenges.

In our latest episode, we talk to Operation Fistula about the team’s mission to end obstetric fistula for every woman everywhere. We hear about their data-driven approach and their initiative, ‘Visualize Gender Equality’, which brings together data analytics professionals with non-profits and gives those organizations new ways to tell their story through data and visualization.

Here are some highlights from the discussion and links to where you can find out more about the topics we discussed.

What is obstetric fistula?

“It’s the worst thing you’ve never heard of.”

“It’s a childbirth injury, it happens during a prolonged childbirth, where a woman who needs a C-section doesn’t get one in time.”

“Fistula is kind of that apex of gender inequalities.”

Seth Cochran, Founder and CEO, Operation Fistula

“With fistula, we have this terrible thing that is highly correctable. There’s a surgery that’s 90% effective, costs a couple hundred bucks, it’s really a no brainer, right? But really nobody gets treated and that’s because there’s no funding, the funding doesn’t reach the right places. That’s one reason. The other is that the organizations that work on fistula, they don’t fluidly collaborate. Even if they do, you don’t find the hardest to reach patients.”

“We’re trying to fix that broken system. So we have a funding tool that gets that money where it needs to go and we do that using data.

“We bring the world’s best technology into the most high-need environments. We collect data and we make it available visually to everyone and that is so compelling.”

Seth Cochran, Founder and CEO, Operation Fistula

Tackling gender inequality through visualization

The team at Operation Fistula is taking this work even further, through leading the ‘Visualize Gender Equality’ initiative which is directly connected to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

“What we saw in the data confirmed something that we had thought and suspected for a long time, which is that in places where fistula is present there’s a very high incidents rate of other extreme signs of gender inequality.”

“We need to end the gender inequality that causes fistula if we’re to achieve our mission of ending fistula for every woman, everywhere. Viz 5 is part of our work towards that goal.”

“The critical element that really is super exciting about Viz 5 is it’s about using data and visualization to do that.”

Helen Davies, Chief of Staff, Operation Fistula

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