By Elena Simper and Eddy Maddalena – KCL

ACTION coordinator KCL participated in the Citizen Data Science workshop held on 12 March 2020 by the Royal Society in partnership with the Ada Lovelace Institute, the Alan Turing Institute, the British Academy, DataKind UK, the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and the Open Data Institute. The event aimed to share different perspectives on the opportunity for using data to benefit civil society and how principles for the governance of data use can be put into practice in the voluntary sector. 

The workshop structure was formed by the four principles set out in “Data Management and Use: Governance for the 21st Century”, published in October 2017, by the British Academy and Royal Society to review priorities for the governance of data management and use. These principles are: transparent, inclusive and democratic decision-making about trade-offs; Individual and collective rights and interests; seek out good practices and learn from success and failure; and enhance existing democratic governance. 

The report Data governance: from principles to practice – civil society, volunteer data science skills and open datasets went live on the Royal Society’s website on 30 November 2020. The report summarises the discussions at this workshop and concludes with some actions to be taken to promote the data usage by civil society, s.a., supporting collaboration in the civil society community; developing guidance and case studies for organisations to learn from; providing support for technical literacy and in navigating the data space; and promoting inclusive communication.