Know Your Hubber: Beverley Hatcher-Mbu

Beverley Hatcher-Mbu

Job Title and Organization
Senior Associate at Development Gateway

Tell us what problems your organization is trying to solve and how they are doing that.
Bringing government and stakeholders into the digital age for the purposes of gathering, storing, and using data for better decision making.

How do you help in doing this?
I manage client relations by acting as an interface between clients and developers to ensure that tech and digital design is human centered and addresses the needs raised by clients.  Anyone can build a tool but not everyone can build a tool that is sustainable. My role is to ensure that the tech tool is sustainable by making ensure that it is designed to solve complex problems and makes data easy to see and use.

What are some new exciting projects your organization is working on?
We are currently working on a Gates Foundation project which is tracking, collecting, and analysing data on fertilizer use in a number of developing countries. Fertilizer is an important part of most agriculture based societies. We will use the data to build a fertilizer dashboard to help reveal patterns of fertilizer usage. Data from the fertilizer dashboard can then be used to empower farmers, policy makers, and other agriculture stakeholders.

Another exciting project I am working on is helping the Nigeria Extractives Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to build a tool to help them make their data collection process more efficient during their annual audit of Nigeria’s oil, gas, and mining.  

If I could organize an event at the Hub, it would be...
on how to apply practical skills such as using data visualization tools and techniques as a way to communicate and make data accessible to our grassroots communities.  Data viz techniques help to simplify data so that people can take up information and make it applicable to their daily lives

What do you like most about being a part of the Hub community?
It’s very collegial. There is a shared passion even though we are all doing different things.  I really enjoy the ignite talks such as the ones at the year’s Annual Fall Open House. They really give you a snap shot into the cool and interesting things other people are doing. There is an African proverb which says if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go together. I like that the Hub offers a community whereby we are all working together towards similar goals and it makes the tough aspects of our work a little bit less onerous.

What's the one topic you always wanted to find out more about?
Contemporary African Art. I love to learn about new up and coming artists and where their art is taking them.

Where is the most fascinating place you’ve travelled?
Haiti. It is an incredibly beautiful and complex place. The people are fearlessly dedicated to their history and you can see it in the way they live. They have a unique history outside of the colonial narrative, which I find fascinating. Apart from their history, they have rolling hills and a gorgeous coastline.

What keeps you motivated?
The idea that your sphere of influence is important and that it is within your reach to influence it.  What I do with that sphere of influence is what motivates me. Of course, you can’t change everything but knowing that there is a lot within your control that you can change and make better keeps me going. It can be improving something simple like making a room better than how I found it or cooking a dish or something complex such as improving on a tech tool. That’s what keeps me getting out of bed in the morning.

What is the one book or article that inspires you?
Anything written by Brenè Brown. My favourite book by her “Daring Greatly” is about owning your vulnerability and shame. It is about showing up as your full person everyday. She has a fantastic sense of humour. I love that it reminds me to be authentic and to show up everyday as my full self.

If you could have another career—sky’s the limit—what would it be and why?
If I wasn’t a lawyer and data nerd and if I had another life I would be a curator in a museum.

It may surprise you that:

  • I am a manic dog person. I love dogs so much!

  • I love all things underwater. I love to scuba dive and stare at pretty fish.

  • My comfort food is Indian food.

I can’t live without:

  • Bubble mint chewing gum

  • My family

  • Sunshine