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Largest Data Journalism Conference in Latin America Coda.Br Starts Nov 8

By Blog, Events

The largest data journalism conference in Latin America reaches its sixth edition in a row bringing discussions on the climate crisis, access to information, and data protection, in addition to dozens of workshops with experts.

What is the role of data journalism in preventing and mitigating climate collapse? How can the right of access to public information be reconciled with data protection regulations? These and other issues will be discussed in the sixth edition of the Data Journalism and Digital Methods Conference (Coda.Br), from November 8th to 13th, 2021.

Editor’s note: There are four R-related workshops @ Coda.Br 2021 (Data and health: Sivep without secrets, Tools to mitigate AI biases, Creating a reproducible project in R, and Graphs everywhere: how to create and analyze graphs). Please see below for details.

The conference was created by Escola de Dados (School of Data Brazil), the Open Knowledge Brasil’s data literacy program, Coda.Br is the leading data journalism event in Latin America and will be entirely online for the second year in a row, with free and paid activities.

Three main debate panels, three keynote presentations with international guests, and the final of the Cláudio Weber Abramo Data Journalism Award will be broadcasted openly and free of charge on the event’s website. Paid activities include more than 30 hours of hands-on workshops with experts in the field. The audience can join the workshops with a simple registration (from R$40) or via the Escola de Dados membership program.

Two hundred ninety-five free subscriptions will also be offered to increase the attendance of underrepresented groups. The public call is open until November 1st.

The sixth edition of the Digital Data and Methods Journalism Conference is developed with Google News Initiative and has the support of the US Embassy and Consulates in Brazil; the Hivos Foundation; the Brazilian Institute of Teaching, Development, and Research (IDP); the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism; the Brazilian Institute for Research and Data Analysis (IBPAD); from Insper; R Consortium and Datopian.

LAI and LGPD, book launch and climate crisis

Focusing on the complementary relationship between transparency and privacy, the first panel will discuss how public institutions deal with the Law on Access to Information (LAI) after the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) came into force in Brazil. Fernanda Campagnucci, CEO of Open Knowledge Brasil, will moderate the discussion of the following speakers Maria Vitória Ramos (Fiquem Sabendo), Jamila Venturini (Derechos Digitales), Paulo Rená (Instituto Beta).

The panel “Data Journalism in the World” marks the launch of the Portuguese version of “The Data Journalism Handbook: Towards a Critical Data Practice” with Natália Mazotte (Insper), one of the founders of the School of Data in Brazil, in addition to the participation of Cédric Lombion (Open Knowledge Foundation), Liliana Bounegru and Jonathan Gray (King’s College London).

And while the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) brings together global leaders, Coda.Br will debate the coverage of the climate emergency by journalism, pointing out problems and possible solutions in this area in the panel “Climate crisis in data journalism”. The activity will be moderated by Gustavo Faleiros (InfoAmazonia) and will feature Letícia Cotrim da Cunha (UERJ), Francy Baniwa (National Museum), and Clayton Aldern (Grist).

This year’s keynote presentations include Gurman Bhatia, an independent data visualization designer; Sondre Solstad, data journalism editor at The Economist; and Jim Albrecht, director of product management at Google. The Cláudio Weber Abramo Award for Data Journalism ceremony ends the Conference, with presentations by the finalists and the announcement of the winning projects of this edition of the award.


6th Coda.Br – Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods

Date: November 8th to 13th

Value: R$40 (access to all event activities) or R$180 (one-year subscription to Escola de Dados, which allows access to the event and other benefits).

Registration and more information about the schedule:

Registration for scholarships:



School of Data is a global network aiming to empower citizens to contribute to the strengthening of democracies. Escola de Dados is the local chapter of this network and part of Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBR). The program trains researchers, NGOs and journalists, teaching them how to use open data to promote well-informed debates and create effective narratives for their agendas. 


Created in 2013, Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBr) is the local chapter of Open Knowledge Foundation. It is a non-profit Civil Society Organization (CSO) that uses and develops civic tools, projects, public policy analysis, and data journalism training to promote open knowledge in various fields of society. 

R-related workshops @ Coda.Br 2021

Data and health: Sivep without secrets

By Carolina Moreno and Raphael Saldanha

Come learn how to analyze the most useful database to cover Covid-19 in Brazil: the Sivep-Gripe. It is using it that authorities, experts and journalists follow the trends of hospitalizations and deaths. This anonymized base is public and is available to anyone who knows how to handle large datasets. However, knowing the code to manipulate the data is not enough. In this workshop, you will have access to specific knowledge about the correct filters to be made, in addition to the dynamics of information systems and epidemiological issues that must be taken into account in the coverage.

Carolina Moreno is a senior data journalist for TV Globo. She has been a journalist since 2006, specializing in journalism editing since 2009, and has produced data-driven reporting since 2017. She covers Covid-19 pandemic data from its beginning for local and national news programs. Winner of the 2014 and 2015 Andifes Award, second place in the 2019 Impa Award. Participant in R-Ladies São Paulo since 2019.

Raphael Saldanha is a health data scientist, with PhD in Health Information and Communication from Fiocruz, one of the most prestigious health institutions in Brazil. He works on quantitative health research and the production of data visualization dashboards. He has been working with COVID-19 data since the beginning of the pandemic, building Fiocruz MonitoraCovid-19’s COVID-19 monitoring panel. He has been teaching R courses since 2010.

Tools to mitigate AI biases

By Gabriela de Queiroz e Paolla Magalhães

In this workshop, you will learn how to measure and mitigate bias in your data and models using the AI Fairness 360 open-source toolkit. You will learn which metric is most appropriate for a given case and when to use many of the different bias mitigation algorithms. The workshop will mention the R package.

Gabriela de Queiroz is a Chief Data Scientist at IBM California leading AI Strategy and Innovations. She drives the AI adoption across existing and potential customers, lead outreach strategy across our open source ecosystem and data science community. Previously she was a Program Director working on Open Source, Data & AI Technologies at IBM.

Creating a reproducible project in R

By João Santos

In corporate and scientific works we are increasingly faced with scenarios where we try to reproduce the code written by someone else and we find inconsistencies and errors. The solution to these problems lies in a series of practices and conventions that ensure that your code runs consistently. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop a reproducible project in R. We will make use of libraries and directory organization best practices, making our results permanently consistent.

João is currently a Jr. Data Engineer at Account Split. He serves as a research assistant in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, where he researches political disinformation. He is a major in International Relations at PUC-Rio, and holds the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification.

Graphs everywhere: how to create and analyze graphs

By Janderson Pereira

The purpose of this workshop is to present the concepts of graphs and relational data used to identify groups and their subjectivities. The idea is to show how to extract data from social networks, especially Twitter or Youtube, and then treat them to visualize interactions in order to be able to find groups that emerge when individual behaviours are aggregated. The R language and the Gephi program will be used to create the graphs.

Janderson is a data scientist and coordinator of innovation and forecasting at Natura & Co. He is a researcher at Citelab/UFF – Research Laboratory in Science, Innovation, Technology and Education and has a major in Media Studies at the Fluminense Federal University. He develops research in the area of social network analysis, focusing on methodologies for disseminating disinformation on social networking sites.

Brazil’s R Community is Vibrant and Active

By Blog, Events

R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program (RUGS) provides grants to help R groups around the world organize, share information and support each other. The wealth of knowledge in the community and the drive to learn and improve is inspiring. We were able to talk to Adriano Belisario, program manager at School of Data Brazil (Open Knowledge Brazil) and associated researcher at MediaLab.UFRJ to find out more about the da R community in Brazil, how they are dealing with the pandemic, what trends are happening in R in Brazil, and how they are heading forward.

RC: What is the R community like in Brazil?

The R community in Brazil is very vibrant and generous. There are a lot of initiatives like meetups, events, open classes, and tutorials for people who want to learn to program in R. Personally, I would like to highlight three initiatives from the Brazilian community: R Ladies Brazil, Curso-R, and R Brasil Telegram group.

In a country with so many levels of inequality, the R Ladies Brazil does an amazing work on making sure that R would be accessible to women and other underrepresented groups. Curso-R creates courses, free books, tutorials and a lot of excellent materials for those who use R in Brazil. They also have a YouTube channel that provides live streams, debates and live coding in Portuguese in R. Finally, the Telegram group has more than 2000 active members currently. It is a very active channel for the community, where people discuss, exchange information about events, support others with technical issues, and offer help to other users. 

RC: How has COVID affected your ability to connect with members?

Since 2016, the School of Data Brazil has organized the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (Coda.Br), the main event of this area in Latin America. This conference and most of our activities used to be in-person before COVID. The exception was an experience doing online courses (MOOCs) with the Knight Center for the Journalism in America (University of Texas), but since the beginning of the pandemic we needed to reinvent all of our methodologies, courses and community activities towards the online environment. Although we miss in person meetings, this change has allowed us to work with people all across Brazil. We had excellent results with the last conference, which was also supported by R Consortium.

RC: Can you tell us about one recent presentation or speaker that was especially interesting and what was the topic and why was it so interesting? 

Talking about Coda.Br and R-Ladies, I will mention the presentation of Gabriela de Queiroz on AI Bias. She introduced the topic explaining for a broad audience some critical implications of AI nowadays. In the talk, Gabriela presented the general issue of dealing with bias in data and went over how to mitigate these biases using open-sources programs. She introduced toolkits, software, and libraries that are used to address this problem, like Fairlearn, Lift, What-If Tool and AI Fairness 360.

RC: What trends do you see in R language affecting your organization over the next year?

Thinking about not only my organization, but the entire field of data journalism and the use of R language by journalists, I would say that with the general election for the government coming up, access to election data, governmental budget might be an important topic. While we have access, it is not always easy to query it. There is a lot of work in collecting, preparing, cleaning, and transforming the data so it can be analyzed for public use. That’s why the work done by initiatives such as Brasil.IO or Base dos Dados is so important. They offer open data well structured, cleaned and ready to use. The last one also has a package in CRAN. So we might see some impact in terms of academic research and data journalism, since it is becoming easier to realize more complex analysis merging several datasets. Finally, along with the election, environmental data will be important as climate change is an urgent topic globally and locally. In School of Data Brazil, we have created a course about environmental data journalism, in partnership with the Earth Journalism Network.

RC: Do you know of any data journalism efforts by your members?  If not, are there particular data journalism projects that you’ve seen in the last year that you feel had a positive impact on society?

Since the School of Data is focused on data journalism and data literacy, there are a lot of people across the country in our network with experiences in these fields. We also have a membership program with hundreds of journalists, researchers and developers. The program offers benefits such as webinars, dedicated channels and free entry in Coda.Br, for those who support our activities through a fee, as we are a nonprofit organization.

Another way we support data journalists is through the Claudio Weber Abramo Award. This awareness recognizes and stimulates high-level excellence in data journalism in Brazil. The award and this open forum we’ve created help to highlight the best works in the country and keep the community engaged. One of the highlights of the Award is the fact that the summary of all subscriptions of the last edition are available on the website. 

RC: When is your next event? Please give details!

Our conference – Coda.Br – is going to be held online, November 8-13. Second online convention due to the pandemic.

RC: There are four projects that are R Consortium Top Level Projects. If you could add another project to this list for guaranteed funding for 3 years and a voting seat on the ISC, which project would you add?

I would love to see an effort to promote data literacy. Not just for journalists, but for everyone. We need to make sure that most people have access to the basic mindset to properly understand, analyze, and criticize data.

How do I Join?

R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program (RUGS) provides grants to help R groups around the world organize, share information and support each other. We have given grants over the past 4 years, encompassing over 65,000 members in 35 countries. We would like to include you! Cash grants and accounts are awarded based on the intended use of the funds and the amount of money available to distribute. We are now accepting applications

Major Success! Highlights from the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (

By Blog

On November 2 – 7, 2020, the 5th edition of the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (CODA.Br) took place with 50 national and international guest speakers and 16 workshops. CODA.Br is the largest data journalism conference in Latin America and this year was completely virtual.

Open access to all debates, keynotes, lightning talks and presentations of the second edition of the Cláudio Weber Abramo Data Journalism Award is available on the website (in Portuguese):

Organized by Open Knowledge Brasil and Escola de Dados (School of Data Brazil), CODA.Br is backed by the support of multiple large scale associations including the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), R Consortium, Hivos Institute, Embassy of the Netherlands and the United States Consulate. 

With more than 500 attendees, CODA.Br held cutting edge panel discussions covering topics such as avoiding bias in AI with open source tools, Health in journalism and Covid-19, and challenges in the Amazon. Workshops were also held covering a broad range of contemporary subjects like evaluating election data with R and analysis of socioeconomic data in QGIS were held totalling over 24 hours of programming.

Coda.Br made itself even more accessible to the public by offering 150 free passes to build a more diverse, impactful audience. The event attracted participants from 25 states and the federal district in all Brazlian regions. With an average of 73 attendees per workshop, more than half of participants surveyed considered the workshops to be “excellent”.

 We can’t wait to see what next year brings for CODA.Br!

Register now! Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods – Coda.Br 2020

By Blog

This November 2nd-7th, 2020, the 5th edition of the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (Coda.Br) will be taking place with 50 national and international guest speakers and 16 workshops. Coda.Br is the largest data journalism conference in Latin America and this year will be completely online.

Organized by Open Knowledge Brasil and Escola de Dados (School of Data Brazil), Coda.Br boasts the support of multiple large scale associations including the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), R Consortium, Hivos Institute, Embassy of the Netherlands and the United States Consulate. 

For 2020, the conference will be offering main panels, keynote presentations, lightning talks, and a ceremony to announce the winners of Cláudio Weber Abramo Data Journalism Award. Coda.Br and its partners will also be offering 150 free yearly subscriptions to the School of Data Brazil membership program, granting free access to all event activities.

Tickets will be available for R$180 (1 year subscription to Escola de Dados membership, which allows access to workshops and the event chat, among other benefits) and R$40 (workshops only). This translates approximately to USD$32 and $7, respectively.

For more information and to register, please visit the Coda.Br website.