NEW: Data Stewards Academy Self-Directed Learning Program

Andrew Young
May 4 · 3 min read

On the occasion of its first anniversary, the Open Data Policy Lab, an initiative from the GovLab with support from Microsoft, launched new course materials to support data stewards in developing a data reuse strategy for solving public problems.

The new self-directed learning program was adapted from a selective executive education course (currently accepting applications until Friday, May 21st). Noting the ways data resources can inform their day-to-day and strategic decision-making, the course provides learners with ways 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, private, and civil sector leaders can promote data re-use and reduce data access inequities in ways that advance their institution’s goals.

The Data Stewards Academy executive education course and self-directed learning program were designed and implemented by program leads Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder and chief research development officer at the GovLab, and Andrew Young, The GovLab’s knowledge director, in close collaboration with a global network of expert faculty and advisors. The eight-week program provides learners with guidance on:

  1. Why It Matters: A discussion of the three waves of open data and how data re-use has proven to be transformative;
  2. The Current State of Play: Current practice around data re-use, including deficits of current approaches and the need to shift from ad hoc engagements to more systematic, sustainable, and responsible models;
  3. Defining Demand: Methodologies for how organizations can formulate questions that data can answer; and make data collaboratives more purposeful;
  4. Mapping Supply: Methods for organizations to discover and assess the open and private data needed to answer the questions at hand that potentially may be available to them;
  5. Matching Supply with Demand: Operational models for connecting and meeting the needs of supply- and demand-side actors in a sustainable way;
  6. Identifying Risks: Overview of the risks that can emerge in the course of data re-use;
  7. Mitigating Risks and Other Considerations: Technical, legal and contractual issues that can be leveraged or may arise in the course of data collaboration and other data work; and
  8. Institutionalizing Data Re-use: Suggestions for how organizations can incorporate data re-use into their organizational structure and foster future collaboration and data stewardship.

It aims to:

  • Empower you to solve public problems through systemic, sustainable, and responsible data re-use;
  • Provide you with a powerful toolkit to draft a data re-use strategy that addresses public needs;
  • Introduce the latest policies, tools and technologies for use in designing, implementing, and managing data initiatives;
  • Enable you to pursue more purposeful, demand-driven partnerships and collaborations with a broad and inter-sectoral group of actors;
  • Guide you on the best ways to mitigate risks and promote responsible data practices; and
  • Ensure you can translate data into insights and insights into meaningful action.

Access the self-directed learning program here. Learn more about the executive education course and apply here.

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