Welcome to our fifth issue of the Data Economy Lab newsletter! While we had hoped to share updates every two months, we have been dealing with a tough second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. We've also written about how this experience has reinforced the importance of bottom-up, community centric mechanisms for preserving our data rightsin context of humanitarian or public health crises.
The need to build responsible frameworks to unlock value of data for public good has also been reflected in several endeavours across the ecosystem - MIT Technology Review’s Data fairness report, Data for Black Lives’ seminal analysis of inequities in its report on Data capitalism, building a human-centric approach to data governance, as described in the State of MyData 2021paper and theIndigenous Data Governance Protocolwhich outlines an approach to reclaim data and power while safeguarding rights.
Adding to this body of work, we’re also excited to be launching an interactive tool on data stewardship at the end of this month. In the interim, we've also put up a mind map that presents a range of considerations necessary to build a stewarding entity. Drawn from our analysis of 50+ interviews with experts, practitioners and organisations, the aim of the tool is to guide users through various data governance choices related to stewardship while spotlighting case studies.
Watch this space for updates on the interactive tool!
Launch:Visit the new and improved Data Economy Lab Website
Featuring a custom illustration that maps the intricacies of the data economy (by Aashti Miller) and an improved user interface to better feature of all our existing and emerging work
Launch:Check out our new stewardship mind map The beta version of our data stewardship mapper - a compilation of the range choices and considerations foundational to a steward, is now out! We welcome feedback and additions on this evolving map.
In our 'Tracking' series, we spotlight conversations we’ve been having with practitioners to understand the multiple ways in which stewardship can be structured and how this varies across data types, purpose and sector.
We recently spoke to founders of four different organisations - Clue, Driver's Seat, Open Humans and Visions.pol - involved in stewarding data and creating value for users. Watch our interviews with them below!
Civil society organizations possess significant data assets and are well-positioned to better steward data to uphold the data rights and priorities of their beneficiary communities. This piece explores these emerging responsibilities and asks what this will take for non-profits to transform into responsible 'data guardians' or 'stewards'.
Existing mechanisms for health data sharing are opaque and top-down, excluding individuals and communities from participating in data decisions. This piece makes a case for data stewardship in healthcare, to promote an equitable framework for governance to unlock the societal value of data while respecting the autonomy of individuals and communities.
Community ownership and exceptions for research and academia are critical questions to factor in the discourse on database protections, and it is important to have regulatory clarity on ownership of non-personal data before mandating government access. If left unresolved, the encompassing uncertainty is likely to harm the data economy. This piece looks at national and international perspectives on how to incentivize database creation.
Event readbacks: Data Governance Deep Dives The Data Economy Lab
In collaboration with the Digital Commoners Network, Aapti Institute hosts a series of closed door events that bring together practitioners, researchers, academics, and other experts working on models to harness the value of data with the aim of redistributing power in the digital economy.
Read summaries of our last community meetings below :