Lists, Dance Partners, and Data

by | May 29, 2020 | ICT4D |

The top of our fridge was always home to a piece of paper and a pen. You moved it at your own peril. It was Mom’s grocery list. Throughout the week she would add items to it. If something wasn’t on the list, it didn’t get bought. Therefore, sometimes my brothers and I would try to insert items too and see what would happen.

Mom was the queen of lists. They were everywhere. Her most famous list was the birthday calendar which hang in the bathroom. It was legendary. People would call us to confirm birthdays of community members.

Mom made lists because she would forget. I’ve inherited the forgetting, less so the list bit. I use a LOT of reminders in my digital calendar.

Therefore I have sympathy for others when we forget to delete data after a project ends. We move on to the next project. Or we forget to delete the data of a person who has been in ‘contact’ a confirmed COVID infected person. We meant to. We are well intentioned. But we prioritise other things and are busy. It happens. And we can relate.

This is another value of project review boards. They can act as reminders, as a list to help us remember. Not only do they help us start well, but they also help us fulfil our intention and finish well.

Lists were my Mom’s aids, her helpers. Ethics Review Boards or Committees can be that too. The more we embrace them and view them as something contributing to making our project better, the better we will become.

And perhaps one day we’ll view them as a dance partner we seek out because they make us look good.

Photo by David Ballew

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