Ways to Practise Responsible Development Data

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About this book

This book is offered as a first attempt to understand what responsible data means in the context of international development programming. We have taken a broad view of development, opting not to be prescriptive about who the perfect “target audience” for this effort is within the space. We also anticipate that some of the methods and lessons here may have resonance for related fields and practitioners.

We suggest a number of questions and issues to consider, but specific responsible data challenges will always be identified through individual project contexts. As such, this book is not authoritative, but is intended to support thoughtful and responsible thinking as the development community grapples with relatively new social and ethical challenges stemming from data use.

This book builds on a number of resources and strategies developed in academia, human rights and advocacy, but aims to focus on international development practitioners. As such, we touch upon issues specifically relevant to development practitioners and intermediaries working to improve the lives and livelihoods of people.

The group of contributors working on this book brings together decades of experience in the sector of international development; our first hand experiences of horrific misuse of data within the sector, combined with anecdotal stories of (mis)treatment and usage of data having catastrophic effects within some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, has highlighted for us the need for a book tackling issues of how we can all deal with data in a responsible and respectful way.

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