Data Collaboratives

Policy Brief by Center for the Governance of Change: “Despite the abundance of data generated, it is becoming increasingly clear that its accessibility and advantages are not equitably or effectively distributed throughout society. Data asymmetries, driven in large part by deeply entrenched inequalities and lack of incentives by many public- and private-sector organizations to collaborate, are holding back the public good potential of data and hindering progress and innovation in key areas such as financial inclusion, health, and the future of work.

More (and better) collaboration is needed to address the data asymmetries that exist across society, but early efforts at opening data have fallen short of achieving their intended aims. In the EU, the proposed Data Act is seeking to address these shortcomings and make more data available for public use by setting up new rules on data sharing. However, critics say its current reading risks limiting the potential for delivering innovative solutions by failing to establish cross-sectoral data-sharing frameworks, leaving the issue of public data stewardship off the table, and avoiding the thorny question of business incentives.

This policy brief, based on Stefaan Verhulst’s recent policy paper for the Center for the Governance of Change, argues that data collaboratives, an emerging model of collaboration in which participants from different sectors exchange data to solve public problems, offer a promising solution to address these data asymmetries and contribute to a healthy data economy that can benefit society as a whole. However, data collaboratives require a systematic, sustainable, and responsible approach to be successful, with a particular focus on..(More):

Establishing a new science of questions, to help identify the most pressing public and private challenges that can be addressed with data sharing.Fostering a new profession of data stewards, to promote a culture of responsible sharing within organizations and recognize opportunities for productive collaboration.Clarifying incentives, to bring the private sector to the table and help operationalize data collaboration, ideally with some sort of market-led compensation model.
Establishing a social license for data reuse, to promote trust among stakeholders through public engagement, data stewardship, and an enabling regulatory framework.Becoming more data-driven about data, to improve our understanding of collaboration, build sustainable initiatives, and achieve project accountability.