How to craft fair, transparent data-sharing agreements

Article by Stephanie Kanowitz: “Data collaborations are critical to government decision-making, but actually sharing data can be difficult—not so much the mechanics of the collaboration, but hashing out the rules and policies governing it. A new report offers three resources that will make data sharing more straightforward, foster accountability and build trust among the parties.

“We’ve heard over and over again that one of the biggest barriers to collaboration around data turns out to be data sharing agreements,” said Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder of the Governance Lab at New York University and an author of the November report, “Moving from Idea to Practice.” It’s sometimes a lot to ask stakeholders “to provide access to some of their data,” he said.

To help, Verhulst and other researchers identified three components of successful data-sharing agreements: conducting principled negotiations, establishing the elements of a data-sharing agreement and assessing readiness.

To address the first, the report breaks the components of negotiation into a framework with four tenets: separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, identifying options and using objective criteria. From discussions with stakeholders in data sharing agreement workshops that GovLab held through its Open Data Policy Lab, three principles emerged—fairness, transparency and reciprocity…(More)”.