Putting responsible data into practice

Amy O'Donnell ICT4D, Methodology

Rachel Hastie and Amy O’Donnell introduce Oxfam’s new responsible data training resources and their launch event. 

90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. Possibly the greatest challenge of the information age is how to manage data properly. As data is increasingly used for needs assessments, feedback, accountability and monitoring; management of data is a particularly crucial challenge in humanitarian response.

Oxfam is proud to have recently announced the publication of a set of responsible data training resources designed to make concepts about consent, privacy and data management come to life (available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic). We will be holding a launch event in London on 4th May where you can get hold of a hard copy of the pack – register here.

About the resources

We hope this pack can be used by other organisations working in humanitarian crises coming across dilemmas and challenges with data activities. Especially where the issues are not black and white and we have to come up with creative approaches to mitigate risks or draw lines where implications of the potential harm data could cause might prevent us from conducting certain activities.

The training has three main activities to draw out themes and planning for responsible data good practice. It kicks off with an “Agree/Disagree” exercise to introduce key principles and some of the attitudes and behaviours we need in order to manage data responsibly before moving into a tangible planning exercise using the data lifecycle. The training concludes with an exercise called “What would you do if..?” to challenge participants to think through real life scenarios.

The training pack allows for flexibility in training development and includes; packs of cards with scenarios from our own experience handling programme data in humanitarian responses with an instruction booklet, recommended matrix design and an example PowerPoint presentation. Also included are two information leaflets which can also be used in isolation on “Taking photos responsibly” and “Using the data lifecycle to manage data responsibly.” There is a dedicated web page where we will be building up complementary training notes and links to further resources.

Our future plan is to capture some of the experiences people have in discussions through this training to allow a community to develop around different approaches, contexts and experiences.

We are grateful everyone who makes a regular donation to Oxfam’s Emergency Response Fund. This important work wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Register for the event here

Razan Wazwaz