Hackathons are not just about code. They are about solving problems and sometimes we can hack a problem by crowdsourcing the answers from a collective pool of knowledge.
That’s what we did when we were faced with a problem at #fundingHack on international open data day: my urban sport of skateboarding is amazing but there’s very little UK-based statistics I can use for evidence when applying for funding. What can I do?
A little background: Skateboarding has many benefits but there are few skate parks in the UK and little statistics showing their benefit. Most of the statistics and case studies come from the United States which is different from the UK socially, economically and geographically.
Using a mindmap, we started breaking the problem down into questions and answering the questions we could. We didn’t answer them all, so if you can help, get in touch.
The questions and suggestions are available as qualitative open data, to download and use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: #fundingHack Skate Park Q&A
Doing funding research
Question: How can we overcome the barrier of lack of niche statistics evidence to get funding for an indoor skate park in Keighley?
Suggestion: What activity is similar to Skateboarding?
- Describe why the activity is comparable to Skateboarding
- Use the relevant statistics from that sport
- Describe the unique aspects of Skateboarding and why it is a sport that needs funding in Keighley.
Question: I’m not a researcher! I’m happy to use and talk about statistics but who can help me with researching niche sports?
Suggestion: Get in touch with local universities to see if they have research around these sports or would be interested in working with you to research skate parks.
- Leeds Beckett University has a world class sports research facility in Carnegie centre, maybe they can help?
- The student data labs may be able to put you in touch with phd students working in this area.
- Have you tried #phdchat on twitter?
Question: Where can I find easy to use and relevant statistics that I can copy and paste?
Suggestion: None yet, can you help?
Question: The census is pretty out of date, where can I get up to date statistics?
Suggestion: None yet, can you help?
Impact of project
Question: How can we effectively and persuasively describe the impact of Skateboarding?
Suggestion: Talk about the impact through both stories (and quotes!) and statistics. As UK Skateboarding statistics are hard to come by, we’ll use our similar sport where we need to fill in the gaps.
- What is the impact of similar sport on:
- crime related to young people?
- alienation amongst young people?
- How does Skateboarding captures the imagination of young people?
- Skateboarding gives young people a focus
- Skateboarding is an accessible sport
- Skateboarding has cheap equipment costs
- Skateboarding attracts people who won’t join in certain activities
- because of costs
- because Skateboarding breaks down social barriers
- because Skateboarding removes class differences
- because Skateboarding suits people who don’t like group activities
Need for project
Question: Why does Keighley need an indoor skate park?
Use local statistics to demonstrate the need. This is an area where using health statistics and research from other countries is useful because the health conditions aren’t unique to the UK.
- There is a lack of youth resources in Keighley
- There is a problem with physical and mental health in Keighley and skate parks can help
- young people to get active
- young people with hidden disabilities like aspergers and autism
- young people who are lone rangers or shy
Question: Young people won’t fill in forms? How can I get feedback?
Suggestion: You need to think about data protection and consent when gathering feedback, this will affect how you collect, store and protect their privacy in a safe and legal way.
See if you can collect feedback verbally (Evernote has an audio note tool), through social media, by text or in person.
How about asking simple questions and giving coloured voting cards? Whatever you do, be consistent and be safe.
Image City’s Park by Guilherme Cardoso is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)