4 reasons why Data Collaboratives are key to addressing migration

Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young at the Migration Data Portal: “If every era poses its dilemmas, then our current decade will surely be defined by questions over the challenges and opportunities of a surge in migration. The issues in addressing migration safely, humanely, and for the benefit of communities of origin and destination are varied and complex, and today’s public policy practices and tools are not adequate. Increasingly, it is clear, we need not only new solutions but also new, more agile, methods for arriving at solutions.

Data are central to meeting these challenges and to enabling public policy innovation in a variety of ways. Yet, for all of data’s potential to address public challenges, the truth remains that most data generated today are in fact collected by the private sector. These data contains tremendous possible insights and avenues for innovation in how we solve public problems. But because of access restrictions, privacy concerns and often limited data science capacity, their vast potential often goes untapped.

Data Collaboratives offer a way around this limitation.

Data Collaboratives: A new form of Public-Private Partnership for a Data Age

Data Collaboratives are an emerging form of partnership, typically between the private and public sectors, but often also involving civil society groups and the education sector. Now in use across various countries and sectors, from health to agriculture to economic development, they allow for the opening and sharing of information held in the private sector, in the process freeing data silos up to serve public ends.

Although still fledgling, we have begun to see instances of Data Collaboratives implemented toward solving specific challenges within the broad and complex refugee and migrant space. As the examples we describe below suggest (which we examine in more detail Stanford Social Innovation Review), the use of such Collaboratives is geographically dispersed and diffuse; there is an urgent need to pull together a cohesive body of knowledge to more systematically analyze what works, and what doesn’t.

This is something we have started to do at the GovLab. We have analyzed a wide variety of Data Collaborative efforts, across geographies and sectors, with a goal of understanding when and how they are most effective.

The benefits of Data Collaboratives in the migration field

As part of our research, we have identified four main value propositions for the use of Data Collaboratives in addressing different elements of the multi-faceted migration issue. …(More)”,