Updates from our Responsible Data cohort learning programme 

Barbara Paes

In January we launched the pilot of our new cohort learning programme, designed to equip social justice leaders with the knowledge and tools needed for implementing responsible data.

We were delighted to receive many incredible applications from social justice organisations in nearly 30 countries! This resulted in a fantastic cohort of 10 practitioners based in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia, working on sectors such as environmental law, LGBTQI+ rights, gender-based violence and more. Together, we’re working on strengthening their approach to tech and data. 


We kicked off our collective learning by getting more familiar with the concept of Responsible Data: together we reviewed resources such as the introduction to the Responsible Data Handbook, some key RD lessons for social justice organisations and principles that responsible data and acrobats have in common.

In our second session, we focused on the relationship between power, justice and data. We looked at some of the ways that data plays a role in reproducing, replicating, and exacerbating power structures in our societies, and explored some frameworks that bring questions of power and justice to discussions about data, including relevant aspects of responsible datadata justice (and its various meanings and practices), and data feminism

After collectively considering how elements from these approaches could be applied in participants’ contexts, our next step was figuring out what responsible data would look like for each organisation participating, including mapping out some of the main responsible data issues participants have, and identifying some of the ways they’re already applying RD principles in their work.


We still have a few more sessions to go before wrapping up our pilot and we’ll share more updates from those soon, including more resources and useful tools we’ve been using. 

By the end of this learning programme, we hope that members of the cohort will be able to apply responsible data principles to their own work, be able to identify and reject data practices that cause harm to the communities they serve, and continue to build connections with each other. 

Once the programme is finalised, cohort learning participants will be connected to our Light Touch Support programme to receive guidance for their organisation to strengthen a responsible data area of their choice. If you weren’t able to join our cohort learning programme but would like our support – reach out!

Title image by Valery Fedotov via Unsplash and in-text image by Salam Shokor.