A khanga embeds data about gender-based violence at a fashion show in Dar es Salaam.


Embrace creative arts to amplify data use

Who is this resource for?

This resource is useful to any organization seeking creative ways to extend the data revolution so that it can reach marginalized communities with low digital literacy or who are unlikely to access important development statistics online.

What does this resource include?

This resource contains:

  • A how-to guide that exposes readers to 5 unique ways to embrace the creative arts.
  • Examples of music, murals, fashion, and more used to make data accessible.

Where has this resource been used?

This resource introduces a five approaches to embedding data into creative arts that were tested in communities across Tanzania as part of the Data Zetu project. These initiatives, led by Tanzania Bora, re-purposed existing efforts from other contexts as well as pioneered new approaches, like the country’s first-ever data-driven television show.

What intangible assets are needed?

Although it varies according to the specific creative industry, the team must have organic and trusted connections with local art, media, and youth communities. Skilled negotiators and compromisers will help to forge partnerships and align outcomes between these actors, many of whom might be unfamiliar with data ecosystems or have ostensibly disparate missions or values.

What other resources could help?

Many efforts are under way to embrace creative arts to support data use:

How do I get started?

Begin by browsing the Data Zetu blog to review posts about the five different creative arts methods highlighted in this resource. Next, get more context by reading this resource, and then start looking for community spaces, art initiatives, youth+art associations, or other partners to help you test these methods in your context.

Are the costs worth the while?

The cost of implementing creative tools to amplify data use vary considerably based on the tool and based on the context and country where these efforts are being led. For example, a data mural can cost between $1000 and $4000, while a full-blown data fashion challenge and fashion show can cost between $20000 and $50000. The measurable impact also varies according to each method; read the resource in more detail to review impact and costs for each approach.

Who owns and updates this resource?

This resource was created by IREX highlighting the work of Tanzania Bora Initiative. and is hosted online at the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI website). For questions, ideas, or comments, please contact


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