The paper “Governing data to benefit people: Decision-making that builds trust and accountability” by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership) is based on consultation and learning processes within its partner network and aims to identify ways to make data governance more accountable. It also outlines practical steps to achieve this goal.
The authors define responsible data stewardship as practices, policies, and decision-making strategies characterized by sustainability, participation, and transparency. It is argued that implementing responsible data stewardship is essential for building trust among stakeholders in how data is collected, managed, and used. Fair and sustainable data ecosystems can be achieved when trustworthy data systems are used.
Furthermore, it is argued that creating spaces for participation in data governance can be very effective in mobilizing communities and individuals who were not previously involved, even if the demand is not clearly articulated. This argument is illustrated by an example from Senegal, where the trustworthiness of the Ministry of Lands annual agricultural statistics was questioned by data users* until a multi-stakeholder forum was created in 2022. It consists of over 50 stakeholders from business, civil society, and government, and brought together actors to align their interests and resolve conflicts related to data production.
For these reasons, multi-actor partnerships (MAPs) and, for example, public consultations and mutual exchanges are some of the tools already in place to test new approaches to more responsible data governance.
Click here to read the paper.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership) was established in 2015 and brings together diverse actors* to harness the power of data to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).