New Report Exploring Data as and in Service of the Public Good

Data is becoming a key driver of economic vitality with demonstrated potential to serve the public good. It can play a key role in the fulfillment of human rights, including child rights, and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the lack of timely and reliable access to quality data is a barrier towards realising its potential.

We have a collective obligation to take action. That’s why the Digital Public Goods Alliance, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Jain Family Institute, UN Global Pulse, and UNICEF have co-authored a paper on exploring data in service of the public good as part of a community of practice on “Data for the Public Good,” and in coordination with the UN High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) working group on new global public goods: international data governance, which is led by the Committee of Chief Statisticians of the UN (CCS-UN).

The goal of this paper is to explore when data can be made openly available as a digital public good and propose how crucial data governance questions might be approached in situations where data cannot be made open but still serves the public good. The analytical framework presented in the paper is intended to serve as a foundation for future discussion. The questions raised act as a roadmap to move from diagnosis to solution, with the goal to unlock the value of data in service of the public good.

Many thanks to all the community of practice members for their contributions: Ahmed El Saeed, UN Global Pulse; Alex Diaz, Google; Angela Me, UNODC; Arden Ali, The Jain Family Institute; Caroline Alewaerts, UN Global Pulse; Claudia Juech, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation; David Jensen, UNEP; David Passarelli, UNU-CPR; Deepa Karthykeyan, Athena Infonomics; Denise Mckenzie, PLACE; Em Lewis, Mozilla; Emanuel Moss, Intel Labs; Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, UNU-CPR; Friederike Schüür, UNICEF; Gianfranco Cecconi, Capgemini Invent; Holly Krambeck, The World Bank; Jameson Voisin, Digital Public Goods Alliance; Jay Hodges, The Jain Family Institut; Jean-Martin Bauer, WFP; Jenna Slotin, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; Jennifer Pratt Miles, The Lacuna Fund; JoAnn Stonier, Mastercard; Lea Gimpel, Digital Public Goods Alliance; Lucy Harris, Digital Public Goods Alliance; Mala Kumar, GitHub; Maria Rosaria Conduti, European Commission; Mark Hereward, UNICEF; Martina Barbero, Global Partnership for  Sustainable Development Data; Maximilian Gahntz, Mozilla Foundation; Minke Meijnders, UN Global Pulse; Natalia Carfi, Open Data Charter; Peter Rabley, PLACE; Philipp Schulte, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ); Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNasia; Siddharth Shetty, iSPIRT; Sonia Cooper, Microsoft; Sriganesh Lokanathan, LIRNasia; Stefaan Verhulst, NYU; Stephen Mac Feely, WHO; Tiina Neuvonen, UN Global Pulse; Vivek Sakhrani, Atlas AI; and Yolanda Lannquist, The Future Society.