What is Responsible Data again?

by | Dec 3, 2019 | ICT4D |

This question comes up regularly at the moment. Sometimes I give the wordy answer.

Responsible data is not meant to be a vague concept.  Responsible Data is a collective challenge and duty.  It recognises technology is not neutral.  It moves us beyond the technology and more data and outlines the collective challenges to address the ethical, legal, social and privacy-related challenges that arise in effective data management.  Responsible Data is a set of principles, key elements, tools and guidelines.

Adapted from work done by the Engine Room and Oxfam

Depending on the audience, different parts receive emphasis. However, almost always the fact it is a collective action is discussed. Ideally people walk away understanding it’s not just an IT thing or a technology thing. But rather, it is a human thing that happens to have some aspects of technology about it.

Sometimes though, wordy answers are not helpful or don’t work. If there is paper nearby or some sort of surface to draw on, I draw. Mostly, I draw bubbles and a lot of lines:

Depending on my excitement levels, different bubbles become different sizes and lines are never straight. The drawing looks different each time I draw it. And it is never really finished. But that is not important, the conversation it sparks is the important part. The hope is that people walk away understanding it is not one thing and they can contribute to improving.

So I share it here, with you, in the hope it helps you or sparks ideas for you. I’d love to hear what you think.


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