Data for Policy 2022 Inclusion Scholarships Open to Applicants

Data for Policy 2022 Inclusion Scholarships Open to Applicants

Data for Policy is delighted to announce that it will award inclusion scholarships which cover 90% of the 2022 conference registration fee. These scholarships will allow recipients to attend their regional conference in-person. Exceptional candidates may be awarded additional travel support.

Inclusion scholarships are part of Data for Policy’s commitment to support participation from communities underrepresented in our activities due to financial reasons. This year, our fund for scholarships is increased thanks to a valuable investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Scholarship awards are based on the level of financial need, and the appropriateness of the opportunity afforded to the applicant. To be eligible, applicants must have no other source of funding to meet the cost of registration, and be based in a low or middle income country.

To apply for an inclusion scholarship to attend one region of Data for Policy 2022 in person, please send your CV and a detailed cover letter to team@dataforpolicy.org, including the following information:

  • Eligibility for the award
  • Relevance of current position to the conference
  • Evidence of activity in a wider community/network relevant to the conference
  • Benefits gained from the conference for the individual and their community/network

Please note that applications that do not contain the requested information may not be assessed.

The deadline for application is 16 September.

HIRING: Senior Researcher/Consultant (Africa Engagement)

HIRING: Senior Researcher/Consultant (Africa Engagement)

Senior Researcher/Consultant – Business case and strategy development for sub-Saharan Africa engagement

Click here for pdf version

Salary budget: £45k (full-time or part-time)

Mode of work: Remote work with occasional in-person meetings and travel

Term: Starting immediately or as soon as possible – duration of the work will be adjusted to the candidate’s experience level.

Closing date for applications: August 15th, 2022 (applications will be considered on a rolling basis)

Overview:

Data for Policy CIC is a premier global community of interest (independent non-profit) operating at the interface of data science and governance/policy. Its annual flagship conference series has been running since 2015 and attracts a large number of submissions from top universities, public and private sector institutions, intergovernmental organisations, and the voluntary sector. In 2019, the community launched an open-access journal, Data & Policy, in collaboration with Cambridge University Press (CUP).

The Data for Policy network reaches across 73 countries in the six continents, and we are ambitious to increase involvement of countries which are not well-represented in the global debate. The community has a positive commitment to inclusion and equity, demonstrable by initiatives such as the inclusion scholarship programme for conference attendance, and by support for open research and data, exemplified by its open access partner journal Data & Policy, published by Cambridge University Press.  To date we have seen organic growth of the network, but we now wish to expedite this through a positive strategy of engagement in under-represented regions.

Data for Policy CIC  is therefore delighted to enter into a new collaboration for 2022-23 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR) at the University of Washington. We are looking to hire an experienced researcher/consultant to work with our leadership team in developing a longer term strategy and business case to facilitate sustainable collaboration with academics and policy practitioners/experts from sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Depending on securing further funding, the role may develop into an enhanced and/or longer term engagement of the candidate with the Data for Policy Global Community of Interest and its project partners.

Job Purpose: To produce a complete business case, setting out a plan for expansion of Data for Policy CIC engagement with African countries, and in particular sub-Saharan Africa. This business case will be used to attract further investment, leading to implementation of the plan.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Research into the status of the emerging research field of data for policy in African countries;
  • Identify potential outreach, content and funding partners in Africa who most directly serve local policy capacity, design and implementation needs;
  • Conduct discussions with Data for Policy CIC and its project collaborators (the Foundation, EPAR and CUP) as well as relevant partners in Africa. Four potential (overlapping) regional policy-related networks to be consulted are RUFORUM (http://www.ruforum.org/), ARUA (https://arua.org.za/), RenaPRI (https://www.renapri.org/) and AGRODEP (http://www.agrodep.org/), and we are looking to expand this list with recommendations from the consultant and the broader Data for Policy networks;
  • Lead the organisation of meetings and workshops in sub-Saharan Africa (one week travel visiting multiple organisations with the core project team) and Seattle (during Seattle edition of the Data for Policy 2022 conference in December), and potentially also in London/Cambridge where Data for Policy CIC activities are centred;

These activities are to be reported as a complete business case, proposing a detailed engagement strategy and implementation plan using evidence from all activities. We anticipate the core work to include elements of both desk-based research and proactive conversations and field engagement.

A primary success measure for the role will be the level of further funding attracted by the business case for implementing the strategy. We also highly value the organisational learning and development that will be gained through this engagement.

Qualifications and Experience:

We are looking for an experienced researcher/consultant with skills in business strategy development and familiarity with the sub-Saharan Africa context in the Data for Policy CIC areas of interest. Familiarity with  how knowledge is produced (conference papers, journal articles, reports, grey literature and other formats), disseminated and accessed and the particular challenges for African authors, policy practitioners and decision-makers, and other audiences is relevant. Early career researchers/consultants may be considered on a case by case basis.

How to apply:

Please send a CV and detailed Cover Letter to team@dataforpolicy.org by August 15th latest. Please note that applications will be assessed on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is identified.

Data for Policy receives investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Data for Policy receives investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Data for Policy global community of interest is delighted to announce that it has received investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Our community has a positive commitment to inclusion and equity, demonstrable by initiatives such as the inclusion scholarship programme for conference attendance, and by support for open research and data, exemplified by its open access partner journal Data & Policy, published by Cambridge University Press. The community already reaches across 73 countries in six continents, and we are ambitious to increase involvement of countries which are not well-represented in the global debate. To date we have seen organic growth of the network, but we now wish to expedite this through a positive strategy of engagement in under-represented regions.

Data for Policy CIC  is therefore delighted to enter into a new collaboration for 2022-23 with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR) at the University of Washington to develop a strategy to increase participation and engagement in the community of under-represented regions, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.

The funding will support organisation of our Data for Policy 2022 conference in three regional centres (Hong Kong, Seattle and Brussels), and will also enable us to enhance our Data for Policy Inclusion Scholarship Programme. This programme supports participation from communities underrepresented in our activities due to financial reasons. More details of our scholarship programme can be found on on this page.

In addition, we will launch a project of pro-active engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa. We are now recruiting a researcher to work with us to deliver this. Please see our news item for full details of the role and how to apply.

Data for Policy joins Algorithmic Governance Workshop

Data for Policy joins Algorithmic Governance Workshop

On 27 June, Data for Policy took part in the workshop ‘Academic-Policy collaborations on human-centric algorithmic governance’ hosted by UCL, and organised by Zeynep Engin (Data for Policy and the Alan Turing Institute), Natalia Domagala (UK Cabinet Office) and Nicola Buckley of Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), University of Cambridge.

Algorithmic governance is a growing field of research concerned with the design and execution of governance processes through, by, and with algorithms. It also draws significant relevance from an adjacent field – governance of algorithms. Complex and important decisions that affect individuals, societies and the environment are increasingly delegated to or supported by algorithmic systems, but the relevant research and policy landscapes are alarmingly fragmented. New practices are needed in both policy and research terms. The workshop was envisioned as the start of a global conversation bringing together stakeholders from cross-sectoral research and practitioner communities to build a transdisciplinary and cross-sector ecosystem around this key field.

The workshop welcomed experts both in-person and online. It commenced with a scene-setting invited panel discussion on capacity-building to lead the global debate, featuring Gina Neff (Minderoo Centre for Technology & Democracy), David Pym (UCL), Maria Axente  (PwC) and Adrian Weller (Alan Turing Institute). 

Participants spent the day discussing questions such as what could/should good governance look like; whether algorithms can help overcome systemic problems (e.g. prejudice, inequality) of human decision-making in governance and the effects of algorithmic governance on power and domination in existing governance mechanisms. 

Interspersed in the table discussion was a series of fascinating lightning talks on the topic of human-centric algorithmic governance in practice, its challenges and mitigations from Roger Taylor (Open Data, and former chair of Ofqual),  Hannah Knox (UCL), Giles Herdale (Royal United Services Institute)  and Jenny Brennan (Ada Lovelace).

The workshop concluded with talks on public sector algorithmic governance initiatives from Omar Bitar (Policy Advisor, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat) and Rose Woolhouse (UK government Office for Artificial Intelligence). 

It was a full day of inspiring and engaging conversation, and we are very grateful to our co-organisers and to all the participants, in particular our speakers.

A number of outputs from the day are already available. You can watch curated video highlights on our YouTube channel. You can also read Zeynep’s Data & Policy blog, which gives insights to her interest in the area, poses key questions for algorithmic governance research, and looks to widen debate around the topic.

Lastly, we could not bring together this meeting without funding from UCL Innovation & Enterprise and EPSRC, and UCL Public Policy and Research England.

Call for Papers at Data for Policy 2022

Call for Papers at Data for Policy 2022

We are now accepting submissions to Data for Policy 2022

The seventh edition of the conference will embrace a hybrid physical-virtual format, with one-day, in-person conferences held in three regions: Asia (Hong Kong), America (Seattle) and Europe (Brussels). We are now welcoming submissions from those who wish to present at the conference.

Submissions of the following type are invited:

  • Full papers
  • Extended abstracts
  • Panels

We will also consider submissions in other formats (e.g. workshops) on a case-by-case basis. For full details of requirements for each submission type, see our call for papers webpage.

Submissions can be made to any of the six broad, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral areas of interest, which form the established standard tracks of the conference, or five special tracks. In addition to these, and reflecting its three-regions model this year, the Data for Policy 2022 conference highlights “Ecosystems of innovation and virtual-physical interactions” as its theme.

General information on the conference is available here.

Data for Policy Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Data for Policy Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Data for Policy CIC condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ensuing war in the strongest possible terms. As a community network, with connections across the globe, including the Russian region, we are horrified at Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and wish to express our solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine, and also for those in Russia who share our horror.

As a global conference, we receive consider submissions from individuals located in any part of the world, and as advised by Universities UK will not make a blanket boycott of submissions from Russia. Therefore, our approach will not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location of authors. We will consider contributions from unaffiliated individuals on a case by case basis, with our usual rigorous peer review, and informed by Government guidance.

As this tragic situation continues, we will continue to monitor developments, and may revise this policy accordingly.

Call for Area Editors working across Data for Policy community

Call for Area Editors working across Data for Policy community

Overview:

The Data for Policy community is looking to appoint additional members to its six Area Committees. These committees contribute to the activities of the Data for Policy conference and Data & Policy journal, enabling and promoting global dialogue and research dissemination into the impact and potentials of data in governance and government. Both conference and journal are deepening knowledge of how policy and data relate to each other, building a new, highly interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral field of research.

In 2021, we appointed the first tranche of Area Editors, working in committees across six areas of interest for journal and conference. We now wish to expand the membership of the committees to further develop their role in the community.

Key tasks:

  • Associate Editor for Data & Policy: Taking submitted papers through peer review to decision recommendation.
  • Programme Committee Member for Data for Policy: Work with a team of experts to develop the conference programme through soliciting submissions, peer review, and speaker suggestions.
  • Community Research: Opportunity to author reports commissioned by the journal.
  • Community Development: Build knowledge of and connect with relevant individuals, institutions and events to introduce to the community.
  • Community Advocacy: Disseminating information about community activities to own networks.

These tasks may be distributed, so that not all committee members perform all tasks.

About the Community:

The centre of the community is the Data for Policy Community Interest Company, registered in 2018, which is supported by key stakeholders in academia and government. Its main project is the global Data for Policy conference.

The peer-reviewed, open-access journal Data & Policy is owned by Cambridge University Press and published in association with Data for Policy.

Person specification

Essential:

  • An understanding of data science and associated technologies (AI, IoT, Blockchain etc.) and their impact on policy, public service provision and societal and ethical questions.
  • A PhD or proven research skills and engagement experience in a relevant field.
  • Having or being part of a network of peers and experts on data and policy that could be leveraged for the journal
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a distributed team
  • Capacity to contribute consistently to committee’s activities

Desirable:

  • A demonstrable track record in the area, e.g. in the form of publications, presentations at conferences, involvement in relevant working groups and initiatives.
  • Prior experience of acting as part of an editorial team.
  • An interest in Open Research and the ways in which the research and publishing process can be made more transparent and collaborative.

We welcome applications from any discipline, sector, or location. We particularly encourage applicants from outside the UK and USA, who are currently underrepresented on our committees.

There may also be opportunities for those who do not meet the essential criteria to join the committees in an operational support capacity. Please indicate this in your cover letter, when applying.

Term

An initial one-year term, which may be extended.

How to apply

CV and covering email explaining how you meet the person specification, and the general categories that interest you, to team @ dataforpolicy.org (removing spaces).

Deadline: 18 March

Benefits

Area Editors will be recognised on the website, marketing materials and communications related to the journal and conference. Commissioned articles will also credit the Area Editor.

Time commitment is expected to be the equivalent 1-2 days/month with approximately monthly meetings held by video call.

Areas of Interest

Candidates should indicate an interest in developing one of the following broad, non-domain specific areas (expertise across all components of an area is not essential, or expected). The interrelatedness of all categories is undeniable, and the categorization does not indicate siloed activity. It is rather an articulation of the breadth and depth of the vision and mission for improved data-driven decisions and policymaking, which is the ethos of the Data for Policy community.

Area 1: Data-driven Transformations in Governance and Policy

The area focuses on the high level vision for philosophy, ideation, formulation and implementation of new approaches leading to paradigm shifts, innovation and efficiency gains in collective decision making processes. These include but not limited to the following categories:

  • Data-driven innovation in public, private and voluntary sector governance and policy-making at all levels (international; national and local): applications for real-time management, future planning, and rethinking/reframing governance and policy-making in the digital era;
  • Data and evidence-based policy-making;
  • Government-private sector-citizen interactions: data and digital power dynamics, asymmetry of information; democracy, public opinion and deliberation; citizen services;
  • Interactions between human, institutional and algorithmic decision-making processes, psychology and behaviour of decision-making;
  • Global policy-making: global existential debates on utilizing data-driven innovation with impact beyond individual institutions and states;
  • Socio-technical and cyber-physical systems, and their policy and governance implications

Area 2. Data Technologies and Analytics for Policy and Governance

The area is concerned with data in its variety of forms and sources, and infrastructure and methods for its utilisation in policy and governance:

  • Data sources: Personal and proprietary data, administrative data and official statistics, open and public data, organic vs designed data, sensory and mobile data, digital footprints, crowdsourced data, and other relevant data;
  • Digital Twins, Visualisation and User Interaction Technologies, data and analytics infrastructures, cloud and mobile technologies;
  • Methodologies and Analytics: Mathematical and Statistical models, Computational Statistics, Machine Learning, Edge Analytics, Federated Learning, theory and data-driven knowledge generation, multiple disciplinary methodologies, real-time and historical data processing, geospatial analysis, simulation, gaps in theory and practice.

Area 3. Policy Frameworks, Governance and Management of Data-driven Innovations

The area focuses on governance practices and management issues involved in implementation of data-driven solutions:

  • Data and algorithm design principles and accountability;
  • Local, national and international governance models and frameworks for data and associated technologies;
  • Data and algorithms in the law;
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regulatory frameworks;
  • Data intermediaries, trusts and collaboratives;
  • Meta-data, interoperability and standards;
  • Data ownership, provenance, sharing, linkage, curation and expiration.

Area 4. Focus on Ethics, Equity and Trust in Policy Data Interactions

The area examines the issues which must be considered in technology design and assessment:

  • Digital Ethics: Data, algorithms, models and dynamic interactions between them
  • Digital trust, and human-data-machine interactions in policy context
  • Responsible technology design and assessment
  • Privacy and data sharing
  • Digital identification, personhood, and services
  • Uncertainties, bias, and imperfections in data and data-driven systems
  • Algorithmic behaviour: equity and fairness, transparency and explainability, accountability, and interpretability
  • Human-machine collaboration in strategic decision making and algorithm agency
  • Human control, rights, democratic values, and self-determination

The following are areas which fall within the above categories, but are highlighted as being of special interest:

Area 5. Algorithmic Governance

The area focuses on:

  • Data-driven insights in governance decision making, black-box processing;
  • Algorithm agency along with human and institutional decision-making processes;
  • Government automation: citizen service delivery, supporting civil servants, managing national public records and physical infrastructure, statutes and compliance, and public policy development;
  • Algorithmic ‘good’ governance: participation, consensus orientation, accountability, transparency, responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, equity and inclusiveness, and the rule of law.

Area 6. Data to Tackle Global Issues and Dynamic Societal Threats

The area considers:

  • Human existence and the planet;
  • International collaboration for global risk management and disaster recovery;
  • Global health, emergency response, Covid-19 and pandemics;
  • Sustainable development, climate change and the environment;
  • Humanitarian data science, international migration and gender-based issues;
  • International competition and cultures of digital transformation.

Data for Policy goes global for 2022

Data for Policy goes global for 2022

Data for Policy 2022 – Ecosystems of innovation and virtual-physical interactions: Call for Special Tracks

The seventh edition of the international Data for Policy conferences will expand to a hybrid physical-virtual format in December 2022, with in-person conferences held in three regions. We hope that this model will allow maximal, inclusive participation from all geographic regions, while limiting environmentally unsustainable, long-distance travel. This is an experimental model that we are keen to try, to enable efficient global knowledge sharing in the post-Covid world.

The conference has six standard tracks, corresponding to its areas of interest, introduced in 2021. The 2022 conference chairs also invite special track proposals, which can lead to publication of a special collection of articles in Data & Policy. Special tracks will draw on and build communities around areas of interest, with a view to continuing in future years. Proposals are directed to developing conference sessions in one or more of the areas of interest, or in relevant emerging areas. We particularly encourage authors to consider areas of importance/challenge in their regions. The theme of the conference provides another frame of reference for authors to consider, reflecting current hot topics for global dialogue. This focus should not be seen as limiting, and we welcome special track proposals on any relevant topic.

Those interested in organising a special track at the Data for Policy 2022 Conference should visit the Call for Special Tracks webpage for full details of the submission, review and post-acceptance process. The deadline for Special Track Proposals is 10 March 2022. Following review, we will inform Special Track leads and feature successful proposals in the main call for papers for the conference.

For further information, please visit the 2022 conference webpage.

‘Digital Colonialism: the Evolution of the US Empire” – a talk by Dr Michael Kwet

‘Digital Colonialism: the Evolution of the US Empire” – a talk by Dr Michael Kwet

Data for Policy presents its first standalone Zoom talk in association with UCL’s Critical Digital Studies Reading Group (organisers Naigwe Kalema and Josh Entsminger), December 8th 17:00 GMT

Dr. Michael Kwet will discuss digital colonialism, exploring moral and geopolitical dilemmas relating to digital infrastructures and the global digital economy. Following his lecture, there will be an audience Q-and-A. Kwet received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Rhodes University and is a Visiting Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. He is the author of “Digital Colonialism: US empire and the new imperialism in the Global South, host of the Tech Empire podcast, and editor of the forthcoming volume, The Cambridge Handbook of Race and Surveillance due out in 2021 on Cambridge University Press. Dr. Kwet has been published at numerous outlets, including The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Intercept, VICE News, Wired, Counterpunch, and ROAR Magazine, and he works on activist campaigns to resist digital colonialism.

Attendees can participate online via Zoom: please register on Eventbrite (link will be circulated after registration). 

Following Dr. Kwet’s Zoom talk, the Critical Digital Studies (CDS) Reading Group series will be exploring Kwet’s piece, “Digital Colonialism: The evolution of US empire”, featured in ROAR Magazine. An optional reading by Kwet includes “Digital Colonialism: US empire and the new imperialism in the Global South” featured in Race & Class, an academic journal.

You can read more about the Critical Digital Studies Group at UCL here

Latest Exciting Opportunities to Contribute to Data for Policy Community

Latest Exciting Opportunities to Contribute to Data for Policy Community

The Data for Policy community is looking for Communications Editors

We are seeking people with an interest in the interface between data science and policy to help us develop our digital communications for two related projects.

This is a unique opportunity for people to both network with important contacts in an emerging research area of great public importance, and gain experience that could enhance their career development in a number of ways (academic field-building, communications, publishing and editing).

Data for Policy is an international conference series for interdisciplinary and cross-sector exchanges about the impact of data science on policy and governance. Over the course of six years it has created a network of individuals and institutional partners in academia, government, international agencies, non-profit institutions, and businesses.

Data & Policy is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by Cambridge University Press that is dedicated to deepening understanding about how systems of policy and data relate to each other (“policy-data interactions”), and engaging with new trends in the dissemination of knowledge.

The Communications Editors will join a small team of people developing the community involved with these two projects. We outline some of the likely activities below. The ideal candidates are all-rounders, capable of thinking strategically about the channels of communication to embed this ethos, as well as being prepared to deliver more routine tasks. We are also interested in candidates with specialist skills.

Activities

We do not expect one individual to cover all of the tasks below, but in your application you should refer to your interest and experience in any of the following areas.

Social media management: The Conference and Journal both have a well-developed presence on Twitter, which is  important as a means for disseminating information to the wider network:

  • Preparing regular tweets about announcements and publications;
  • Identifying and responding to news stories and trending topics;
  • Re-highlighting past Conference and Journal material at opportune moments;
  • Engagement with key individuals and institutions in the community;
  • Maintaining lists and building the network of followers to the accounts;
  • Measuring impact through the use of analytics;
  • Incorporating video content in social media posts;
  • Developing other social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)

Video: The Conference has an under-utilised wealth of material on YouTube and we are also seeking to re-use video content and develop new contentAn understanding of how to direct, present and edit video content, together with skills to improve discoverability of this content and drive engagement with the Data for Policy YouTube channel are important to our next phase of development.

Blog: Data & Policy has a blog that needs to be maintained and edited by someone with an eye for topical relevant posts and skill with language;

  • Sourcing monthly blog posts with the aid of the Data & Policy editorial community;
  • Liaising with authors, developing and editing posts;
  • Using the blog to amplify Conference announcements and activities and further the impact of Data & Policy publications

Community Newsletter:  A quarterly Data for Policy eNewsletter was launched earlier for an audience of several thousand recipients. Tasks include:

  • Sourcing content for different sections of the newsletter and integrating it in a coherent way;
  • Contacting and profiling members of our community in the newsletter
  • Adding graphical content to make the newsletter visually appealing
  • Sending and maintaining the frequency of the newsletter (via Mailchimp)
Person Specification
  • Educated to degree level (essential), ideally in a technical subject
  • Strong knowledge of social media platforms including but not limited to Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube (essential)
  • Strong English language skills, verbal and written (essential)
  • Experience building a social media and communications strategy;
  • Experience editing blogs and newsletters;
  • Experience editing and producing video and animation
  • An understanding of how to improve discoverability, e.g. through search engine optimisation;
  • Interest in data science and public policy
  • Experience of volunteering, especially in social media or communications capacity

Candidates should also be collaborative with strong organisational skills and good attention to detail. Flexibility and the ability to act on your own initiative are also essential.

Benefits

This is an ideal opportunity for someone developing an interest in data science and/or looking to gain contacts and experience that can help with an academic career, or a career in communications or publishing.

Communication Editors will receive additional benefits from Cambridge University Press and the Data for Policy Conference.

Time Commitment

Expected to be a few hours a week, including attending regular meetings.

Term

For an initial period of one year and the potential for a longer-term extension.

How to apply

CV and covering your experience and how you meet the person specification to the Data for Policy community address team@dataforpolicy.org