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Review of Narratives and Counternarratives on Data Sharing in Africa


Dr. Tamaro J. Green

TJG News:

2021-03-11 19:21:12 viewed: 566


Abebe et al. (2021) provide an innovative research strategy for identifying applications of machine learning and data science on the continent of Africa.  Their research combines both a historical perspective on the dynamics of African storytelling and how it can apply similarly to the data stories of data visualization.  Abebe et al. (2021) are able to demonstrate that the African stories are able to provide the conceptualization of points of views analogous to how charts and graphs provide convincing The procedure of African storytelling to persuade an audience delivers some key advantages in that the model and simulation of what can occur in data sharing contexts is visualized through the stories.

This mode of research may emerge as a new form of research design.  Abebe et al. (2021) illustrate their arguments through the fiction of African storytelling.  African storytelling has long been a form of providing morals and norms through the characters and events of African stories.  African storytelling has been a tool for providing children with lessons learned from the events of fictitious characters.  Abebe et al. (2021) bring these stories to the realm of data stories, a technique that data scientists employ for data visualization.

Abebe et al. (2021)  develop a phenomenological qualitative approach of combining interviews with storytelling to provide insight into a realm of data science that is largely ignored.   This emerging research mode could avoid a large array of problems for the field of data science when planning international data sharing strategies.  This emerging research mode may guide data scientists in navigating culture and norms when developing projects that involve data sharing.


Abebe, R., Aruleba, K., Birhane, A., Kingsley, S., Obaido, G., Remy, S. L., & Sadagopan, S. (2021, March 3–10, 2021). Narratives and Counternarratives on Data Sharing in Africa. Paper presented at the FAccT ’21, Virtual Event, Canada.


Dr. Tamaro Green is a computer science researcher and the founder of TJG Web Services.  TJG Web Services, LLC is a consulting firm in the field of information technology.  Dr. Green writes on topics of privacy, security, and ethics in information technology and computer science.

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