“Data can be used to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of programs and activities, with the goal of improving outcomes. They can help us target interventions to the people or communities who will benefit the most. When shared with others, data can help us to build support and consensus by communicating challenges and possible solutions… [However,] data carry substantial risk, both for data subjects and for data stewards. We are responsible for taking appropriate measures to minimize the risk to individuals based on data that is collected.”
Earlier this month, USAID released a set of considerations for using data responsibly. The document raises issues on the balance between the effective use of data, our responsibility to privacy and security, and the importance of transparency and accountability.
Complete with toolkits, checklists, and worksheets, this document comes as more powerful mobile data collection gains momentum and ubiquity in global development.
If you are looking to maximize the benefits of data collection while mitigating its risks, this document is a great way to begin discussions and open eyes with the team responsible for your data.