Visualize DatA,
tell impactful stories.

Data + Design for Development master class

As the amount of data available increases, it is important to distill data in a way that shares the most relevant information. Moreover, data is becoming a point of reference for professional decision-making and advocacy efforts. You need to be able to present your data in a way that will be convincing to your intended stakeholders, whether they be policy-makers, citizens, or co-workers. Fortunately, there is software that helps craft data dashboards and visualizations with the ability to integrate with a variety of dynamic data sources. But bringing in the data is only part of the puzzle. There are decisions about what to visualize, what data representations are appropriate, and which design elements will speak to your intended audience.

The Data + Design for Development Master Class takes you through the decision-making process and makes you think critically about data and design for development. Applications are now open.

About the Master Class

Tableau, PowerBi, R, Data Wrapper, Infogram and More

The Data + Design for Development Master Class teaches you how to use software and tools to create interactive and dynamic data dashboards. This means that the dashboard updates as new data arrives.

Emphasis on Visualizing Data

It is one thing to share data in simple figures and it is another to bring figures to life. This takes knowledge of data science combined with an artistic flair. We teach you basic principles of aesthetically pleasing data visual designs.

Build a Portfolio

The Master Class results in a professionally designed and dynamic data visualization in a software of your choice and using data relevant to your research and professional field.

Taught by Four Data Visualization Specialists

At the Leaders of Africa Institute, you learn from the best. What is special about the Data + Design for Development Master Class is that you learn from four different instructors that specialize in the different data visualization platforms.

Works with Your Schedule

The course includes six intensive and highly interactive course meetings (six weeks) and individual mentorship meetings to provide individualized feedback on your data designs and assignments. The program is virtual and interactive so you can join from any location.

Applications are Open

The Data + Design for Development Master Class requires a brief application. You will provide the following information on the application:

  • Basic contact information
  • Curriculum vitae / resume
  • Statement of Interest (maximum of 400 words)
    • What are your research, thematic, and professional interests?
    • What shaped your interest in learning to craft data dashboards and visualizations?
    • What do you hope to learn from the Data + Design for Development Master Class at the Leaders of Africa Institute?
  • Community Statement (maximum of 200 words)
    • What do you hope to gain from being a part of the educational Leaders of Africa Institute community?
    • What skills make you ready to be an active participant and contributor to the Leaders of Africa Institute community? How will your participation contribute to Leaders of Africa’s mission to bridge research and creative expression to advance equity, justice, and selfless leadership?
    • How will you be able to take advantage of the events and opportunities at the Leaders of Africa Institute?
There is NO application fee. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 6th at 12.59 PM UTC.


Upon completion of the program you will receive a certificate of completion and a transcript that details all of the skills that you obtain throughout the program. Moreover, Scholars build a portfolio of their work to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. We also aim to aid all Scholars with sharing their work. Finally, at the end of the program, Scholars may ask their professors to write and share letters of references for other academic and professional opportunities. Ultimately, the Institute believes that the actual fruits of Master Class are more important than another certificate. Our emphasis is on your contribution to building original data dashboards.

Leaders of Africa Institute virtual course programs have a competitive application process. We have an Admission Committee that carefully reviews all applications and selects prospective Scholars with the best chance of success in the program. Scholar cohorts are purposely designed to be a size conducive to forming relationships with professors because we feel that this is important for mentorship and support.

All accepted applicants receive an Institute Scholarship of $1,900 USD. All accepted applicants are expected to pay a small fee of $100 USD (Africa-based) or $150 USD (Diaspora-based) for the Master Class. The fee may be paid in installments to accord with your budget. This includes the regular course meetings and all of the mentoring. The fee is only used to provide the Institute with the necessary technological resources to support the Scholars.

All prospective Scholars who are Africa-based or in the diaspora are permitted to apply. We are a Pan-African organization, which means that applications from all corners and islands of Africa are welcome, as well as in the diaspora.

Leaders of Africa

Inquiry + Creative Expression

Applications to the Institute opening in Dec 2021