Thandi Bhengu

data scientist Open Cities Lab

Thandeka (Thandi) Bhengu is a South African data scientist at Open Cities Lab (OCL) - a civic tech organisation that creates tools and interventions that strengthen capacity within government, empower citizens, and improve trust and accountability in the civic space.

In her tenure at OCL, she has worked alongside municipalities and community-based organisations to develop data-driven solutions to problems concerning service delivery. Her work has extended beyond technical tasks to include contributions to gender equality and social inclusion initiatives and training teams and partners on new tools and solutions - embodying her commitment to knowledge sharing, capacity building, and using data to empower communities and safeguard democracy.

Thandeka's journey into data science was fuelled by her passion for education, which led her to seek coding opportunities for her students while teaching mathematics in under-resourced schools in Cape Town. Her early career experiences, including six years capturing Unemployment Insurance Fund applications at the Department of Labour, provided invaluable insights into the transformative power of digitization of public administration processes.

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