The FabBlog

The FabBlog contains posts about learnings we've made through our work.

What we’ve learned about creating podcasts

For the last couple of months, FabRiders has been working with School of Data on the creation of a podcast series called ‘Data is a Team Sport’ and thought it would be worth sharing what we’ve learned. Why a podcast?… (READ MORE)

QAF’s and Resources to Mitigate Risks in Academic Research

On June 12th and June 13th, FabRiders collaborated with two doctoral researchers, Lydia Medland and Maria-Teresa Pinto, to design and deliver a workshop at the University of Bristol aimed at helping doctoral researchers strengthen their fieldwork practices and protect themselves… (READ MORE)

Building a Better 2017

2016 wasn’t all bad. Here at FabRiders, 2016 was a great year of learning. Every event and project that goes by we find ourselves building and sharing on a body of knowledge that is contributed to and enabled by a fantastic set of partners… (READ MORE)

What we learned at NPDev 2016

This was our fifth year attending Aspiration’s NonProfit Developer Summit (NPDev) and it remains the most important event in the FabRiders’ calendar. There are so many reasons why we love this event: the radical techie community that surrounds it, the… (READ MORE)

Tech Project Specifications and Social Change Efforts

This article will help people working on social change efforts understand what they need to know before undertaking a technology project and how to communicate that to internal technology related staff or a potential external developer/consultant hire. This document was… (READ MORE)

What are we building: communities or networks?

Here at FabRiders, we benefit greatly from our ability to share expertise with a network of technology capacity builders through which we have developed solidarity and close friendships. Recently, LevelUp asked us to help them think about how to improve… (READ MORE)

Data Literacy Research Findings

Introduction In 2015, FabRiders helped School of Data undertake its first research project to understand data literacy efforts around the world.  We published a series of blog posts on the School of Data website to share our findings. This is… (READ MORE)

What We Will Learn in 2016

2015 was a banner year for FabRiders. Here is what our current projects have us positioned to learn in 2016: We’ve explored hacking user centred design for social change efforts with the help of Aspiration and the International Budget Partnership.  Look for our next post in the FabBlog… (READ MORE)

Help Us Learn about Communities of Practice

FabRiders is teaming up with Kristin Antin of the engine room to learn about what makes communities of practice work. We’re hoping you can help us out by taking this survey. We are using this information to help projects who are… (READ MORE)

What I learned at NPDev Summit 2015

Anybody that gets within earshot of me during the months of October and November will hear me wax lyrical about this event (the only one I’ll cross the pond for!). Lasting three days during the third week of November, The… (READ MORE)

Data Literacy Research Update

This was originally posted in the School of Data blog and was written by Mariel Garcia As we shared a few months back, School of Data is working on a research project to understand data literacy efforts around the world. We are… (READ MORE)

What We’ve Learned About Logos

FabRiders finally has its own logo and social media icon!  Since 2012 we’ve been busy establishing FabRiders and building up a substantial body of work. Though we have put it off, what surprised us is how quick the process of the… (READ MORE)

We are learning about ‘data literacy’

What are effective ways of achieving data literacy in social change? Who is doing what and how? How is this work being sustained? How is impact being determined? FabRiders is pleased to announce a new research project we are implementing for School… (READ MORE)

What We’ve Learned About Tech Capacity Building

This blog post is a collaboration amongst ‘technology capacity building’ practitioners, namely: Misty Avila, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater. We are thankful for comments and feedback from our gracious colleagues, including: Kristin Antin, Allen Gunn (Gunner), and Tom Longley. Over… (READ MORE)

Tech Mentorship Guide

The Transparency and Accountability Initiative have published a guide to running technology mentorships, with the aim of improving an organisation’s impact and effectiveness.  FabRiders’ Dirk Slater was honoured to be able to act as a ‘Tech Mentor’ for the project,… (READ MORE)

Leave Your Potatoes At Home, Intro

Or ‘how to work with marginalised communities on using data and technology in advocacy’ By Maya Ganesh, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater. “You are welcome anytime, you’re not like others who come with their own bag of potatoes” It’s with these… (READ MORE)

Data Advocacy Essentials

Data Advocacy Essentials FabRiders provides workshops, webinars and advice on how to use data effectively for advocacy, social change and social justice. This series of blog posts consolidates the information and advice we use. Much of this knowledge has been openly… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned about Impact Assessment

I recently spent two days facilitating a workshop on how to evaluate the impact of data training and learning endeavors for Open Knowledge, several School of Data chapters and like minded organisations including DataKind UK,  SocialTIC from Mexico City, Code4SA… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned About Theory of Change

I was inspired to write this after reading Lucy Chambers excellent post proposing how a dystopian theory of change might be helpful in creating long term strategies. In it, Lucy points to a DIY theory of change template that simplifies… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned about ‘Inbox Zero’

DISCLAIMER: This post is about email best practices. It is NOT about all the different software out there that can help you manage your inbox. I have mentioned a few clients and a few ‘add-ons’ to exemplify practices, but I… (READ MORE)

What I learned at #FTMTech

What is it like to bring over 100 individuals together in a room to talk about the issues surrounding ‘Follow the Money’ (FTM) and the impact that technology and data have on it? On January 21st and 22nd in Berlin,… (READ MORE)

Responsible Resource Creator Manifesto (Draft 2)

Preamble As individuals supporting movements working for rights and justice, we believe in transparency, collaboration, open data, and shared knowledge.  We strongly believe that resource creators should strive to be accountable to the communities they aim to serve. Content creators… (READ MORE)

What We Will Learn in 2015

We had mass quantities of learning in 2014, so it’s only fair to guess that we will have much more in 2015! Here’s a quick list of the top-level learnings you can find in the FabBlog from last year: Unless… (READ MORE)

What I learned at NPDev Summit 2014

Just back from Oakland, California feeling nourished and re-energised after attending the annual Nonprofit Development Software Summit (#NPDev). This is Aspiration’s signature event, bringing together a collection of radical techies, graphic designers, campaigners and non-profit staffers for three days of… (READ MORE)

Stakeholder Mapping & Power Analysis

Understanding how any technology used in campaigning functions as a tactic to further your campaign strategy is essential. For every training session that Fabriders runs, whether it’s about utilising data effectively or social media, we’ve found it important to start… (READ MORE)

The Responsible Resource Creator Manifesto (Draft)

Why a Responsible Resource Creator Manifesto? All too often resources and materials created for our sector are not properly maintained or cared for after their release.  Many of us who rely on these resources have been frustrated by sudden inaccessibility… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned about Maps

Why maps? Because maps can take data about what has happened to individuals and instantly transform it into data about what is happening to a community. In our media-rich world, visual representations of data are well understood by most audiences…. (READ MORE)

Data Tactics Workshop Resources

This is a list of resources prepared for Effective Data Strategies for Activist and Advocacy Campaigns and Data Tactics for a Post-Fact World workshops The Data Tactics Workshop Curriculum is a detailed plan for the workshop that has all the exercises we used plus… (READ MORE)

The ‘Fundamentals’ that Deliver Impact and Save Money

Cross posted form the TABridge Network. Visit to learn more.  Special thanks to Jed Miller for the post and for all his efforts in publicising our new guide. The Transparency and Accountability Initiative is proud to launch a practical… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned about The Cloud

Like most people who have been using computers and the internet, I’ve had a gradual creep of having more and more of my data in the cloud. I’m a long-term (aging?) Apple fan boy and have succumbed willingly to the… (READ MORE)

What I learned at Open Cambodia

I had the privilege of traveling to Cambodia last week to work closely with Allen Gunn (Gunner) and Misty Avila from Aspiration, running an event for the Open Institute called ‘Open Cambodia.’  We had over 100 participants from all over… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned About Mapping Violence

Grateful thanks to Heather Leson (@HeatherLeson) and Maya Ganesh (@mayameme) from Tactical Tech for their valuable insights and input into this blog post. I’m working with Eurasian Harm Reduction Network on a project addressing police violence against women who use… (READ MORE)

The Listening Cycle, Part II

The listening cycle series has been co-written by Jessica Steimer, who has been helping non-profits use social media more effectively as part of her work with Aspiration. Jess rocks! Find her on twitter @JSteim. You can also find a version… (READ MORE)

The Listening Cycle, Part I

We co-wrote The Listening Cycle with Jessica Steimer, who has been helping non-profits use social media more effectively as part of her work with Aspiration. Jess rocks! Find her on twitter @JSteim. You can also find a version of this… (READ MORE)

What I’ve Learned about Data Advocacy

A very special thanks to Lucy Chambers from Open Knowledge Foundation for inspiration, review and advice on this blog post. You can find Lucy on twitter @lucyfedia. Over the last two decades of helping advocates and activists use technologies more… (READ MORE)

Just Say ‘No’

Last week I had the pleasure of facilitating the Open Knowledge Foundation‘s Staff Retreat. Marieke Guy has blogged about the retreat here. I was extremely impressed with the number of passionate, committed and talented people working for this organisation.  During… (READ MORE)

Working Together in 2014

2013 was a great year for Fabriders, and how we are really looking forward to some great work in 2014. Fabriders opened it’s doors in mid 2012 and at the beginning of 2013 we were just starting to get rolling. … (READ MORE)

My History of Circuit Riding (Part III)

As I mentioned in part II, I found the circuit rider network to be absolutely invaluable to getting access to the right expertise in order to do my job. The environment for this was the circuit rider network, and it… (READ MORE)

What I Learned at NPDev Summit 2013

Aspiration’s NPDev Summit was remarkable this year on a number of fronts: most notably the participants were ready to share and absorb knowledge on equal measure, resulting in a dynamic agenda packed full of a wide range of topics and… (READ MORE)