Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Pakistan: Driving citizen engagement and collaboration on open data


Knight International Journalism Fellow Rahma Muhammad Mian launched a series of flagship projects to spark data journalism and citizen engagement through open data in Pakistan. To foster a community of collaboration among journalists and technologists, she launched Hacks/Hackers Pakistan. She also held key events to kickstart data-driven projects, including Pakistan’s first data bootcamp in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Journalism and Code for Africa. Out of this bootcamp, four projects were awarded funding for development:

  • Crime Alert - a series of notification tools that source crime data to alert residents when they are entering an area at high risk of criminal activity
  • Kitnay Ka - a price comparison tool that employs SMS, heat mapping, and GPS data to empower consumers and protect against exploitative pricing practices
  • Inside Honor Crimes - an interactive visual tool to help activists and government track honor-related crimes at the district level where care providers can also offer services to victims
  • Where are the Persecuted Communities - a chronological visual graphic documenting attacks against minorities and people of Pakistani origin who fled Pakistan to better understand treatment of minority communities

ICFJ Knight Fellow Shaheryar Popalzai is carrying this work forward and building on the foundation of data innovation that Mian created. He is guiding the bootcamp teams complete their projects. In addition to this, he is:

  • Designing and building a series of flagship, data journalism projects with Pakistani media

  • Embedding Innovation Fellows into newsrooms to help media organizations build technology capacities and develop data-driven projects

  • Strengthening networks (such as Hacks/Hackers) to establish closer ties and collaborations among the news technology and open government communities in Pakistan

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