Figuring out ‘People Centred Data Management’

by | Nov 16, 2022 | ICT4D |

People centred data management

Earlier this year, the Collaborative Cash Delivery network (CCD) received some funding from ECHO – the EU’s humanitarian funding arm. The project is focused on exploring the governance details of how to put ‘people at the centre of data management’. We have a simple webpage providing details about the project that can be found here. We recognise this is not going to happen over night and there are many different perspectives on how to do this. Our starting hypothesis is that people affected by crises need more access to and control over the data we collect about them. Therefore, we are focusing on governance and digital literacy.

People centred data management is complex. And we know we are not starting with a clean slate. The humanitarian industry is long established and most organisations already have a set way of managing data. Therefore, we are working within a system. A system that requires change.

The first step has been conducting research on what already exists – what do already know. Not just within the humanitarian industry, but more broadly as well. We had a group of amazing researchers conduct a desk review and a set of interviews to help us understand this. We are not starting from scratch but standing on the shoulders of giants.

The desk review provides a landscape of the state of policy and technology with respect to data portability and digital identity in the humanitarian sector. It can be downloaded here.

The second report builds on the desk review and a series of interviews with key experts. It analyses the current situation, outlines the risks, and presents potential opportunities. It can be downloaded here.

Now we are using this learning to develop a series of workshops and discussions to occur in the new year to find a tangible path forward. Meanwhile, we also are gathering digial literacy resources and designing a way to make them accessible to (and meaningful for) frontline project staff and small organisations. These will all be made publicly available.

The team working on this project is a group of amazing people. People far smarter than I’ll ever be. If you are interested in hearing more about the project and how to contribute – please let me know.

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