Contracts for Data Collaboration

The GovLab: “The road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is complex and challenging. Policymakers around the world need both new solutions and new ways to become more innovative. This includes evidence-based policy and program design, as well as improved monitoring of progress made.

Unlocking privately processed data through data collaboratives — a new form of public-private partnership in which private industry, government and civil society work together to release previously siloed data — has become essential to address the challenges of our era.

Yet while research has proven its promise and value, several barriers to scaling data collaboration exist.

Ensuring trust and shared responsibility in how the data will be handled and used proves particularly challenging, because of the high transaction costs involved in drafting contracts and agreements of sharing.

Ensuring Trust in Data Collaboration

The goal of the Contracts for Data Collaboration (C4DC) initiative is to address the inefficiencies of developing contractual agreements for public-private data collaboration.

The intent is to inform and guide those seeking to establish a data collaborative by developing and making available a shared repository of contractual clauses (taken from existing data sharing agreements) that covers a host of issues, including (non –exclusive):

  • The provenance, quality and purpose of data;
  • Security and privacy concerns;
  • Roles and responsibilities of participants;
  • Access provisions; and use limitations;
  • Governance mechanisms;
  • Other contextual mechanisms

In addition to the searchable library of contractual clauses, the repository will house use cases, guides and other information that analyse common patterns, language and best practices.

Help Us Scale Data Collaboration

Contracts for Data Collaboration builds on efforts from member organizations that have experience in developing and managing data collaboratives; and have documented the legal challenges and opportunities of data collaboration.

The initiative is an open collaborative with charter members from the GovLab at NYU, UN SDSN Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS), University of Washington and the World Economic Forum.

Organizations interested in joining the initiative should contact the individuals noted below; or share any agreements they have used for data sharing activities (without any sensitive or identifiable information): Stefaan Verhulst, GovLab ( …(More)