AKVO Lumen Training Ends in Liberia


In recent years, UNICEF, Akvo and IRC have worked in several countries in West and Central Africa to improve national water and sanitation monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. While in several countries M&E has improved relatively in terms of inventory of structures, aspects such as functionality and quality of services, water quality, user satisfaction and sustainabil

ity remain to be improved.

In order to have an up-to-date database on the WASH sector, UNICEF, in collaboration with governmental bodies and WASH actors, initiated the implementation of a pilot in the use of

Akvo tools in nine countries. The pilot is aimed at strengthening capacity on determining data needs, data collection methods, as well as data management.

The particular pilot is a perfect fit for Liberia to take its water point data to the next level by the use of Akvo Lumen.

Since 2013, the Liberia WASH sector has been using Akvo Flow (mobile data collection tool) as part of establishing a centralized monitoring system. A data collection exercise for water point mapping was completed with the use of Akvo Flow during 2017. This then asked for a comprehensive analysis of the collected data, contributing to the development of a detailed Water Point Inventory and online Water Point Atlas for Liberia. The use of Akvo Lumen by the Liberia WASH sector adds an extra dimension to the Water Point Atlas, allowing to analyse and transform the water point data collected with the use of Akvo Flow, as well as to create and implement visualisations.

A display of a true African Hospitality also came into scene at the end of the five days training. The trainees showed gratitude by dressing the trainers with nicely designed African lappers.

Lumen Tool and the Training Objectives

Akvo Lumen is a new data analysis, transformation, visualization and publishing tool designed for and by international development professionals. It helps people unlock the stories in their data – even if they’re not data specialists.

Huge amounts of data are gathered via many different collection tools, and stored in countless repositories and silos. Often, useful information never reaches the people who need it.

Lumen makes it easier to combine previously incompatible data sets, and make them accessible to anyone. The hard work of making data usable is substantially reduced, opening up new avenues to explore and innovate. Lumen helps you turn diverse data into high quality information you can understand, trust, share and act on.

Akvo Lumen combines four core functions:

  • Connect: link to or upload data sets from diverse sources, including surveys in Akvo Flow, CSV files, external links, data.worldbank.org and IATI. Data coming from Akvo Flow and external links can be refreshed at a click of a button. In the future, you will be able to schedule these updates to happen automatically.
  • Transform: clean, filter, aggregate and combine datasets, and enrich them with scores, calculations (and soon, also geocoding).
  • Visualise: build graphs, maps and charts quickly and easily that let you see and show what your data is telling you. Visualisations and dashboards are refreshed automatically as soon as new data comes in from Akvo Flow or an external link.
  • Publish: in just a few clicks, design and create automatically updating dashboards displaying your visualisations, with context. Share them with a pre-defined audience or the world, in the form of a website, iframe or widget.

The objective of the Lumen pilot is to provide an easy user-friendly tool for data analysis and visualisation to the public governmental organisations responsible for WASH in Liberia and to strengthen capacity in data analysis, visualisation, and data management.

  • Administrators (data managers) gain expert knowledge in the use of Akvo Lumen, accessible via browser;
  • The Training ran from 27 November – 1 December 2017 in Monrovia (Liberia).

A Training of Trainers in Monrovia was conducted by two Akvo trainers during five days, covering the key aspects of Lumen. The trainees mainly included staff from the Liberia Min. of Public Works, UNICEF Liberia, the Liberia WASH Consortium and the Liberia Statistical Office – about 10 persons in total.


  • Akvo set-up a Lumen platform to be managed by the trainees;
  • Two Akvo trainers conducted five days (27 November – 1 December 2017) of training in Monrovia for a maximum of ten trainees;
  • Various interactive data dashboards are created for different target groups;
  • A data dissemination plan on how to reach the different groups is in place.

Following the training in the use of Akvo Lumen in November 2017, Akvo staff will remain available for additional support in the use of Akvo Lumen, as well as for the integration of the visualisations in the Water Point Atlas (website). As Akvo does not have any ground staff in Liberia, this support will be given upon request via Skype or email.

Training in Photos:









Story by: Habakkuk Watara Sackor | National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Database Manager National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Committee | NWSHPC-Secretariat | Ministry of Public Works Complex Monrovia, Liberia.

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