Hello <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Data Economy Lab Newsletter.  Its been a while since our last broadcast, but we promise we've got a lot of great news and work to share - stick with us for a slightly longer update this time!

Since our last dispach, we’ve been working on a few exciting developments - the release of a new interactive tool, a whitepaper series and new collaborations with key partners in the data stewardship ecosystem.

We’re also actively following developments in India’s data policy regime. We've responded to a recent Open Data Policy proposed by the state of Karnataka which calls for the monetisation of citizen data. Going forward, we continue to focus on delineating democratic pathways to data governance, in ways that include communities in decision making and uphold their rights over data.


 Stewardship Navigator  
Supporting potential builders and ecosystem players on their journey towards stewardship

We’re excited to release the beta version of the Stewardship Navigator, a product of our research on varying models of data stewardship, drawing on insights from conversations with 100+ practitioners and over 45+ case studies. The tool is structured to present users with a series of questions and helps surface relevant decisions, case-studies and data stewardship models 

This tool is in its early stages of development, so we're counting on your feedback, suggestions and collaboration to make it accessible and relevant.


Explore the tool


Health data stewardship: Learning from use-cases
By Soujanya S, Siddharth M, Astha K

Our newest report examines the failures of existing mechanisms for data sharing within healthcare and attempts to make a case for data stewardship – an emerging paradigm for data governance that affords varying degrees of security and consent controls to patients, providers, and caregivers, foregrounding accountability, community control, and user agency as the guiding imperatives for health data sharing.

Read report
Whitepaper Series
To push the envelope on how stewardship can be instantiated across use-cases, the Data Economy Lab has curated a series of whitepapers authored by global experts and practitioners who are piloting and leading critical data stewardship efforts across the ecosystem as well as members of the Data Economy Lab team
The Case for Data Cooperatives

By Julian Tait, Open Data Manchester


The increasing need for trustworthy organisations to help us take greater control of our data, and give us more autonomy in how it is used, has seen multiple solutions emerge within the large umbrella of Data Stewardship.

This whitepaper posits that collectively controlled organisations, such as data cooperatives and data collectives, may offer the best opportunity for data subjects to have the greatest control over how their data is collected, pooled, processed, and shared


From Subject to Sovereign:

By Gilbert Hill



How data unions provide structure to stewardship, and how we bridge the gulf between old and new data economies

As the digital ‘wild west’ age transitions to a mature, hyper connected phase, the reality of data centralisation among a handful of platforms is becoming more evident, and this whitepaper argues that the counterbalance to this must be structural and social. To this end, the whitepaper looks at data unions representing the key to digital free trade by being accountable, transparent structures for individuals to collectively exercise control and bargain for their data’s value.


Exploring a Deeper Edge: 

By Richard Whitt

Gaining Real-World Validation of the Digital Fiduciary Model

Deeper Edge LLC’s chief mission is to serve the marketplace as a digital fiduciary, providing trustworthy, agential, and supportive technology tools to Web users in order to with the goal of anchoring a disruptive Web ecosystem. This paper provides a brief overview of the challenges, the rationale, and the steps being taken by Deeper Edge LLC, to test and validate core elements of being a digital fiduciary.

Data for wellbeing:

By Soujanya Sridharan

An ecosystem approach to health data stewardship

Existing mechanisms of data exchange in healthcare largely privilege private contractual interests over public health concerns, excluding patients and caregivers from decision-making processes and in the process blocking use of data for social benefit. This whitepaper advocates data stewardship to facilitate data sharing in healthcare by highlighting real world examples of data stewards in the healthcare sector that have worked for the interests of the communities they serve along with ensuring public-benefit sharing.

Fiduciary relationships and the feasibility of data trusts to address asymmetries in the data economy:

By Bilal Mohamed


Existing power imbalances in the data economy have rendered notice and consent ineffectual in safeguarding the privacy of individual’s data. Jurisdictions around the world are looking at models of governance that can enable ‘meaningful consent’ and better serve individuals in an environment rife with information and power asymmetries. This whitepaper explores the feasibility of data trusts in addressing this through the use of the legal conception of fiduciary responsibilities.

Empowering Communities with data stewardship:
By Sarada Mahesh

A case study of the Indian agricultural sector

Unequal access to data in the agriculture sector has brought about a crisis of data extractivism where data from and about farmers is being analysed and used to their detriment. Data stewardship, in theory, offers a means for individuals and communities to gain back control over their data, and this whitepaper explores the feasibility of implementing such models in the agriculture sector as a means of helping farmers assert more control over, and derive better value from, their data.

Policy Pathways & Governance Principles to enable Data Stewardship
By Amrita Nanda


Data stewardship has emerged as an important tool to unlock the value of data for public good, while also preserving the rights of, and seeking value for, individuals whose data is being shared. This whitepaper examines the concomitant principles necessary to build a governance ecosystem that will not only allow data stewardship to flourish, but will also spur data sharing and innovation. 


Leveraging Location & Mobility Data:
By Suha Mohamed

Perils & Practices

The use of location and mobility data during the COVID pandemic showcased the immense value that such data has in tackling public issues. However, it also puts on display the various threats that can come from the analysis of such data if there are no effective guardrails around the sharing and use of it. This whitepaper looks at the necessary policy environment that is needed to leverage location and mobility data for societal good, while also nullifying possible harms.

DEL Round-up: Papers, Blogs, Articles and Policy Comments
The Centre needs to re-think its approach to Digital Agriculture in India
By Vinay Narayan

Read our take on the latest in a series of rapid developments by the Indian Government to digitize the agriculture sector, build a national farmer database, and harness the power of agriculture data to tackle a number of issues, such as access to credit, usage of better quality seeds and sustainable land use.
Aapti’s Submission to the NHA’s Consultation Paper on the Unified Health Interface
By The Data Economy Lab team
In June India's National Health Authority (NHA) released a Consultation Paper on the Unified Health Interface (UHI) to invite public comments on the design and functionality of the UHI. The objective of creating a UHI is to provide a foundational technical layer for the various Building Blocks within the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). To this end, the UHI is expected to expand the interoperability of digital health services across India through the use of open protocols. Read our detailed response
Aapti's Response to the Consultation Paper on IDEA
By The Data Economy Lab team
The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer Welfare (hereinafter ‘Committee’) released the consultation paper on India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA). The objective of the paper is to digitize the agricultural sector, in order to overcome the various challenges faced by it such as inadequate market infrastructure or linkages, unpredictable or volatile prices and lack of crop planning due to information asymmetry. Read our detailed response
Rethinking Data Monetization
By Astha Kapoor
This piece nuances our understanding of growing debates on data ownership and monetization by investigating the assumptions and possible implications this may portend for individuals, communities and the broader data economy. It investigates the role of emerging data intermediaries that seek to support individuals in deriving monetary or other value from their data and raises critical questions to consider that relate to ethics, accountability and transparency around these processes.
Ecosytem Events
The Data Economy Lab team socialises the framework of stewardship and explores both the opportunities and challenges it may present across sectors, use-cases and problems through roundtables, events and workshops hosted by our global partners.
Panellist at Digital Debate #7: Cyber Security – A Blind Spot for Civil Society Actors on the Internet?
Suha Mohamed
Interview with The Federal | Karnataka’s policy to sell citizen data is problematic, warn experts
Soujanya Sridharan
Further reading & resources:
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