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Hack and Learn Summer 2022


The International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO) is an emerging data collaborative interested in sharing data about the design, implementation and evaluation of outcome-based projects. INDIGO’s ambition is to support the creation and use of quality data by policymakers, NGOs, citizen advocates and anyone who is addressing or is interested in complex social problems. Learn more about INDIGO here.  

Government Outcomes Lab

INDIGO is a part of the Government Outcomes Lab at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. The Government Outcomes Lab represents a ground-breaking example of research-to-practice innovation. Our work demonstrates the power of an academic institution walking shoulder to shoulder with governments and related organisations to enhance policy and practice towards better outcomes for people. Explore the Government Outcomes Lab's events, news and tools here. 


Interested in using data to better understand outcomes-based projects? Want to meet and work with other people with the same interest? Our bi-annual Hack-and-Learn event is designed to give anyone interested in learning more about the use of data in the field of social outcomes a chance to connect with others and work on a real-life project. Harnessing skills and experiences from a diverse pool of actors, we provide a space for learning and community building around the use of data and an opportunity to solve problems, co-produce and make better sense of the use of data.  

The Hack-and-Learn is a two-week online event where participants will have the chance to choose from a selection of data-related challenges set by our team at the Government Outcomes Lab and our partners. A letter of participation will be provided to those participants who actively engage in one or more challenges.

While some data enthusiasts might enjoy doing the coding and data wrangling, others might prefer researching, writing and tackling policy issues around the project. Those interested in graphic design can also help out by creating stunning data visualisations.  


  • Kick-off session: 07 September 2022, 1.00 pm BST. Come join our Hack and Learn and pick a challenge to work with. You will meet your team and challenge leaders and start planning your contribution. No worries if you can't attend the session, we know it is a bit early for the participants in the Americas. We will record the session and then circulate it.
  • Hack hack hack: 07 September to 23 September 2022. We will have two weeks to work. As participants may come from very different parts of the world, we will use Slack channels to communicate with each other.
  • Show and Tell session: 23 September 2022, 2 pm BST. On this occasion, all teams will get together and show the outputs of their work. A group of discussants will provide feedback and there will be time for questions and answers from the other teams.
  • Social session: 23 September 2022, 3 pm BST. Come join us for a virtual drink and meet your fellow Hack-and-Learners. Everybody has to wear, use or bring something indigo to the call!
  • INDIGO Peer Learning session: 17 November 2022, 1 pm BST. After the event, all participants are invited to write a blog sharing their learnings and reflections about their work. There will be time to discuss and reflect on this Hack and Learn and ask participants about improvements and changes for the next edition.

The challenges

  1. Impact Bond Dataset template review. Many of you are familiar with our Impact Bond Dataset, our Data Dictionary and the spreadsheet that we use to collect data. This time, we want to think of the variables that we would like to add to our dataset, Data Dictionary and spreadsheet. For instance, we will be thinking about variables to measure the cost of an impact bond project and digging deep into the outcome metrics variable, to make sure that we can collect data at granular levels. This challenge will be led by the Government Outcomes Lab.
  2. Building a dashboard of outcomes-based contracts: This challenge aims to plan and develop a dashboard for the Insper Metricis OBC database. With more than 350 contracts distributed around the world, the database provides information on the contract execution stage, country, start and end dates, target of the intervention, related SDG, among others. For this challenge, participants will understand the database, define the most relevant characteristics of the contracts, think about creative ways to present the information and, finally, create a dashboard of indicators. This challenge will be led by INSPER Metricis, our partners in Brazil.
  3. Outcomes-based approaches to education: Getting the evidence to policymakers While there is a large body of research on outcomes-based provision of social services, it is dispersed and difficult to navigate. Focusing on the theme of education, this challenge is all about helping policymakers to access the evidence. In short, how can we curate and present academic research to maximise its utility in policy and practice? The data we will use on this challenge comes from the GO Lab's systematic review of social-outcomes contracts. Avenues for exploration include a) Designing an interactive data visualisation tool for a policy audience and b) Identifying evidence 'gaps' - what might policymakers want to know which currently isn't being provided by existing research? These data represent the forefront of our collective knowledge on social outcomes contracts for improving education. Help us to organise it and make it accessible to effectively inform policy! This challenge will be led by the Government Outcomes Lab.

This is not the final list of challenges, more challenges will be announced soon!

Have a different idea of what you would like to explore with a team of data and policy enthusiasts? Please let us know and we will give you 10 minutes from our kick-off session. You will pitch your idea and become the leader of your team. 

What we will co-produce 

The aim of Hack-and-Learn is not just to improve data in the field, but also to share learnings with others. At the end of the two weeks, we will host a Show and Tell session on 23 September at 2 pm BST for each team to share their reflections and outputs. Along with our partners, we will then collate these lessons learnt into a blog and discuss them at the Peer Learning session on 17 November. Any participant who wants to share their story is welcome to contribute as co-author of the blog. The blog will be part of our Oxford Government Outcomes Blog.  

Any open-source visualisations created over the two weeks will be either published on the GO Lab website or the INDIGO GitHub account.

For past Hack-and-Learn events, we had teams visualising foreign philanthropy to India, mapping the network of organisations involved in impact bond projects and investigating whether impact investors were aligning their outcomes-based contracts with the UN SDGs. To learn more about what the teams got up to in past editions of the event, you can read our Hack and Learn Technical and Learning Report March 2021 here, our Hack and Learn Technical and Learning Report September 2021 here or our most recent blog on the Hack and Learn event here.

Want your work to be showcased online?

Inspired by the data visualisations developed during our last Hack-and-Learn, we integrate most of the outputs to our website, including our prototype Sankey diagram which examines the relation between social outcomes and SDGs, set up by Hack Team 4, or our new pipeline dataset, designed and brainstormed by Hack Team 12.

What GO Lab will do

  • Partner up with universities and research centres around the world to bring all kinds of experience and expertise to the table.
  • Devise a series of engaging challenges that allow participants to analyse and contribute to. 
  • Provide structured datasets, including our global dataset on impact bond projects around the world, an open-source code for the database and visualisations on the GO Lab website and INDIGO account on GitHub. 
  • Support you during your 2-week journey by answering any queries and providing technical assistance through Slack and email during office hours. 
  • Collate the lessons learned with our partners into a blog post which will be publish in our Oxford Government Outcomes Blog
  • Organise a fun social online event to celebrate the end of the Hack-and-Learn event.


The International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO) is a community of peers with an interest in sharing data about the design, implementation and evaluation of cross-sector collaborations to address complex social problems. We are interested in fostering a culture of transparency, learning, and capacity development across public, private, and third sectors. In addition to publishing open data and open-source code, we want to explore and highlight opportunities to join-up various open data standards initiatives. (We are collaborating and borrowing wheels -- not reinventing the wheels.)  

The International Network for Data on Impact and Government Outcomes (INDIGO) peer learning group is about building shared culture and standards around data in social outcome-based projects. The group meets quarterly and is a forum for civic tech enthusiasts, policy-makers and other actors in cross-sector partnerships for social outcomes to work together towards better data for better social outcomes. The sessions are run by Eleanor Carter, GO Lab Research Director, and Ruairi Macdonald, GO Lab Research Associate. 

Interested? To join the mailing list and register to our quarterly online meetings, please email

INDIGO is a community of peers from different countries, sectors and policy domains with an interest in sharing data about projects that seek to address complex social problems. You can explore our various tools and datasets available as open data here.  

As an emerging data collaborative, we believe that helping more people share and use quality data will improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of these projects.

Interested in sharing your data or participating in any INDIGO events? Get in touch at to join our mailing list and find out more about our upcoming events.

Interested? Have Feedback? 

We will provide updates, including a call for participants via the INDIGO email list along with our partners. We are also open to comments and suggestions on the above session sequencing and agendas. To join the email list or provide feedback, please email

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