Students Use Data from CARE and Tableau Software to Create Visualizations


Access Africa is a CARE signature program to scale the Village Savings and Loan approach in 39 sub-Saharan African countries. The program started in 2008 with the aim to reach 30 million people.

A Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is a self-selected group of people, usually unregistered, who pool their money in a fund from which members can borrow. The money is paid back with interest, causing the fund to grow. CARE began its first VSLA program in Niger in 1991, the model has since been implemented in 22 countries, 19 of which are in Africa. Over the last decade, Access Africa has reached more than 3 million people.

In order to measure the impact of its intervention, Access Africa is collecting impact data across 10 countries in Africa. We are planning to make our impact data more accessible to the public through interactive and meaningful data visualizations. To make this a reality, Access Africa partnered with Tableau Software to launch the Tableau Student Data Challenge in March/April 2012.

The purpose of the contest was to turn the data into a beautiful story-telling tool using Tableau”s data visualization software. Using VSLA data from Lesotho, students were able to tell appealing stories about the livelihood condition of VSLA members in Lesotho. The result of the contest as well as the show cases are available at: