ANNOUNCING: First of its Kind Executive Course on Data Stewardship — Focused on Data Re-Use in the Public Interest

Learn how to initiate a data strategy in the public interest from key players in the field

The GovLab
Nov 19, 2020 · 6 min read
Photo by Unsplash/Nick Morrison is licensed under CC0

Today, the Open Data Policy Lab is excited to announce a first ever online executive course on Data Stewardship: Developing a Data Reuse Strategy for Solving Public Problems to give leaders in the public sector, private sector, and civil institutions the skills they need to address today’s challenges with data.

The GovLab established this executive education course based on several years of research and practice aimed at enabling more systematic, sustainable, and responsible data reuse and collaboration in the public interest. Our efforts have made clear that positive impact is often muted due to the absence of professional data stewards at the supply and demand side of data collaboration. This course intends to nurture the continued development of this new profession, and to support responsible data leaders seeking to unlock the institutional and societal value of data and collaboration.

Applications for participation are open at this link until December 17th.

What Will the Course Cover?

Data Stewardship: Developing a Data Re-Use Strategy for Solving Public Problems is a new course offering to help leaders in the public and private sector develop a data reuse strategy to solve public problems. Noting the ways in which data resources can inform their day-to-day and strategic decision-making, we teach participants ways in which they can use data to improve how they operate and pursue goals in the public’s interests. By working differently — using agile methods and data analytics — public sector and private sector leaders can further open data and reduce data access inequities in ways that advance their institution’s goals.

What Will the Outcomes Be?

Over the course of eight weeks, participants will learn all the steps required to develop a 21st century data strategy. They will develop a greater understanding of the waves of open data; learn to promote data responsibility and data stewardship within their organization; and create a data collaboration and reuse strategy that can serve the unique needs of their organization; and society-at large.

By the end of the eight-week course period, participants will possess

  • A greater understanding of the three waves of open data;
  • The ability to promote data responsibility and data stewardship within their organization; and
  • An operational Data Collaboration and Reuse Strategy that serves the unique needs of the participant’s organization.

Who Should Apply?

This course intends to attract and develop highly talented aspiring data stewards who are interested in better incorporating data reuse into their operations. To kick-start the course, participation will be limited to a small cohort who already work on data collaboration issues or serve individuals tasked by their organization to act as data stewards. Ideal applicants will have several years of experience in a leadership role and demonstrate the capacity to work across sectors. Successful applicants could work in institutions such as:

  • International Organizations;
  • National Statistical Offices;
  • Sub-National Policymaking Bodies (City or state governments);
  • Technology Start-ups or Companies that want to accelerate their data for good program;
  • Leading Nonprofits and Philanthropies Supporting Data and Governance Innovation; and
  • Research Organizations that seek to act as trusted intermediaries.

How Long Does It Run and What is the Time Commitment?

The course will feature eight weeks of remote training, as well as a project demo day and various “field trips” to learn from experts and practitioners supporting data stewardship and reuse in different contexts. The course will commence in mid-January 2021 and conclude in early April.

Participants should expect to spend 4–5 hours per week in remote learning seminars and completing other course work. The exact timing of these learning sessions (including as it relates to timezones) will be determined based on the accepted cohort of learners. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of their location or timezone.

How Much Does it Cost?

Data Stewardship: Developing a Data Re-Use Strategy for Solving Public Problems is a free course for those selected. We are also working on making our course materials accessible online to all over time.

Will I Receive a Certificate?

Yes, everyone who successfully completes the course will receive a personalized certificate of completion from the Open Data Policy Lab — in both physical and digital forms.

At the end of the course, participants will additionally join a network of course alumni through which they can continue to share regular insights and engage in peer-to-peer learning.

How Do I Apply?

The course is free to senior data leaders interested in better incorporating data reuse into their organization. Interested participants are asked to submit a bit of information on their experience and interest in data stewardship, as well as a resume, letter of support from their organization, and any other supporting materials using this short online form. The application deadline is Friday, December 17, 2020 at 5:00PM ET.

How Is the Course Structured

As we believe in “learning by doing”, each class will be discussion based and give participants the opportunity to talk about the real barriers to data reuse facing them in their day-to-day work. In addition to these extensive opportunities for peer learning, each course will be taught by Open Data Policy Lab staff with academic and real-world experience. Courses will also feature regular expert guests from large technology companies, national statistical offices, and leading nonprofits that can discuss the ways they have solved serious organizational challenges and used data for the public good.

This course will be taught in an interactive, online group setting. Participants will meet every week for eight weeks of live instruction. Each class will include:

  • Half-day seminars delivered by top faculty and practitioners;
  • Discussions with data stewards who have successfully developed data collaboratives or open data strategies for their organization;
  • Custom resources including videos, case studies, articles, and other reading materials; and
  • Hands-on exercises and opportunities to work with peers.

Who Is Teaching the Course?

Earlier this year, The GovLab, with support from Microsoft, launched the Open Data Policy Lab to support data professionals and policymakers at the local, regional and national levels to solve public challenges. The GovLab’s Stefaan G. Verhulst and Andrew Young are programs leads for the Data Stewardship: Developing a Data Re-Use Strategy for Solving Public Problems course. Learners will also receive guidance from an expert roster of Guest Faculty, including:

  • Rudi Borrmann, Deputy Director, OGP Local, Open Government Partnership
  • Jaimie Boyd, Chief Digital Officer, Government of British Columbia
  • Ciro Catutto, Principal Scientist, ISI Foundation
  • Stephen Chacha, Co-Founder, Tanzania Data Lab
  • Lilian Coral, Director, National Strategy + Technology Innovation, Knight Foundation
  • Jessica Espy, Senior Advisor and Director, SDSN TReNDS
  • Nick Hart, CEO of the Data Coalition and President of the Data Foundation
  • Tyler Kleykamp, Director, State Chief Data Officers Network, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation
  • Jacqueline Lu, Data Lead, Mozilla
  • Douwe Lycklama, Founding Partner, INNOPAY
  • Amen Ra Mashariki, Global Director, Data Lab, World Resources Institute
  • Alison Paprica, Assistant Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • JoAnn Stonier, Chief Data Officer, Mastercard
  • Julia Stoyanovich, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, New York University Tandon School of Engineering
  • Barbara Ubaldi, Head of Digital Government and Data Unit, OECD
  • John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer, Sage Bionetworks

Where Can I Learn More and Stay Up to Date?

The Open Data Policy Lab is excited to begin sharing its knowledge on data reuse to foster a community of dedicated experts. Those interested in learning more can visit the course’s page or email us at Please include “Data Stewardship Course” in the subject line.

Data Stewards Network

Responsible Data Leadership to Address the Challenges of…

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