Monday 14.30-16.30 (Salisbury Room)

What do data and condoms have in common? Amy O’Donnell, Oxfam GB; Tom Walker, The Engine Room; Maliha Khan, Independent; Linda Raftree, Independent; Dama Sathianathan, EmpowerHack
Ever-increasing amounts of data are opening up exciting possibilities. Who wants to stop and worry about mitigating risk or getting active, informed consent? Power dynamics, cultural norms, communication, resources and excitement of the moment come into play. Sounds a little bit like pre-1980s sex… but now we know better. We need to talk about how we’re using data: join us for practical demos and idea-sharing about how to be more responsible with the data we handle.

Session Details:

Everyone’s buzzing about Responsible Data – but what does it really mean and what are the practical implications? With so many things to consider – legal frameworks, informed consent, survey fatigue, anonymisation – responsible data can seem like a catch-all for all the complex aspects of digital data that we don’t want to have to sort out. There is hope, though.

The Responsible Data buzz is bringing together more and more evaluators, development organizations, humanitarian agencies, human rights groups and data professionals to figure out ways to protect the privacy and security of people’s data while ensuring that data contributes to improved services and greater participation.

At this session, we’ll:

  • Encourage lively and passionate discussions
  • Work in groups to share ideas and recommendations
  • Map out areas where we’re most comfortable and most challenged throughout the data lifecycle, and share experiences on how to address risks.
  • Delve into the idea of responsible data and what it means in our practical work
  • Name and discuss the tradeoffs involved to prepare us for difficult conversations
  • Share tips and concrete tools and approaches

You’ll walk away with:

  • Demos of at least 3 practical tools
  • A better idea of what responsible data might mean in your particular context
  • Frameworks and tools for assessing the proportionality of risks, harms and benefits to help analyze tradeoffs and make better data decisions
  • Contacts who can help you troubleshoot your own datasets (potentially during one of the MERL Tech breaks!)
  • A reading pack and links to practical resources and policy documents – check out a starting point here:
  • A feeling you’re not alone (hopefully)

Session Leads:

Dama Sathianathan, Communications and Engagement, EmpowerHack. Dama is the communications and engagement lead for EmpowerHack, a global volunteer design and technology collective focused on creating sustainable humanitarian technology for women and children. Interested in all things #techforgood and #opendata, she is also a strong advocate for #commisaid. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @DamaYanthy or visit Empowerhack.

Tom Walker, Research Lead, The Engine Room. Tom is a research lead at The Engine Room, an international organisation that helps social change organisations make the most of data and technology to increase their impact. He works with organisations to develop useful resources for using technology and data responsibly in the human rights, humanitarian and transparency/accountability sectors. More about Tom here, on Twitter @thomwithoutanh or at The Engine Room.

Amy O’Donnell, ICT in Programme Lead, Oxfam. Amy is an adviser on applications of information communications technologies (ICTs) to support programming at Oxfam GB. Her role involves supporting staff working in humanitarian response, campaigning and long term development to explore effective design and good practice in the use of ICTs. Amy has been influential in the development and roll out of Oxfam’s responsible data policy, now focusing on practical support for programme staff. Find Amy on Twitter @amy_odonnell, Linked in, Oxfam, and blogs.

Maliha Khan, Measurement, Strategy and Learning Consultant.  Maliha is a development practitioner in the fields of monitoring and evaluation and learning and accountability and has led in these functions for CARE USA, Oxfam America. She has been responsible for leading internal teams that provide technical support, maintain standards, lead innovation and provide thought leadership in the organizations. She has provided strategic support in these areas to Nike Foundation/Girl Hub and is currently playing that role for Rockefeller Foundation where she is leading the M&E and measurement work for their resilience portfolio. Prior to joining CARE, Dr. Khan was an associate professor of Sustainable Development at World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute where she taught development professionals program design, monitoring and evaluation amongst other things. She has worked as a consultant for a variety of iNGOs, Foundations, bilateral, multilateral and government organizations. Dr. Khan is from Pakistan, where she started her career implementing development projects.

Linda Raftree, Independent. Linda supports strategy, program design, research, and technology in international development initiatives. She co-founded MERLTech in 2014. Linda advises Girl Effect on digital safety, security and privacy and supports the organization with research and strategy. She is involved in developing responsible data policies for both Catholic Relief Services and USAID. Since 2011, she has been advising The Rockefeller Foundation’s Evaluation Office on the use of ICTs in monitoring and evaluation. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Linda worked for 16 years with Plan International. Linda runs Technology Salons in New York City and advocates for ethical approaches for using ICTs and digital data in the humanitarian and development space. She (used to) blog at Wait… What? and tweet as @meowtree.