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Effective Data Sharing: Beyond Platforms

We are carrying out a landscape analysis of data sharing initiatives at the global level for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and United Nations Foundation


Client: The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the United Nations Foundation
Dates: April 2022 – August 2022

Easily and securely sharing data from multiple providers in the public and private sectors remains a key barrier to the effective use of data across the development sector.

Data sharing initiatives are becoming increasingly widespread to provide solutions for data discoverability, common standards, and frictionless data sharing.

Most data sharing initiatives seek to improve the access and availability of data, while simultaneously addressing technical, legal and commercial barriers to data sharing and use. Common usages center around rapid and critical decision-making, for example crisis response and poverty alleviation for the most marginalized.

The Global Data Access Initiative (GDAI) is being developed to support data sharing through an ecosystem of data and products. GDAI aims to unlock sustainable and responsible access to data and artificial intelligence (AI) for social good by creating a connected and cohesive ecosystem of data and AI products and services. Following a pilot focusing on data sharing to support disaster resilience, it will expand to provide an ecosystem solution for all SDGs.

With this increased investment, there is a need for us to ensure that data sharing initiatives, services and tools are well designed, complementary, and drive synergy. A rigorous understanding of the landscape of data sharing initiatives and other related initiatives, including what they aim to do and why they succeed or fail, is needed to drive a vibrant global data ecosystem.

The piloting of GDAI presents a critical opportunity to reflect on what it takes to build a relevant and successful data-sharing initiative within the development sector.

Our role

Itad is working with Athena Informatics as a high level advisor to provide quality assurance and technical advisory services. Our aim is to help increase understanding of the factors that make data platforms and other data sharing initiatives successful, and to support the application of findings to strengthen the GDAI initiative and others.

Outcomes and impacts

The goal of this project is to improve the relevance and sustainability of data sharing initiatives and other related initiatives. It will provide producers and funders with evidence-based guidance on how to assess and improve their platforms, services and tools towards the common aim of secure and frictionless data sharing at scale. It will also strengthen and inform the GDAI and other similar data platforms and data sharing initiatives.

Team members