Data for Policy 2020: Call for Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials

Data for Policy is inviting proposals for 1.5-hour workshops for a pre-conference program on 14th September aimed at educating policy practitioners and researchers on current and emerging knowledge and debates on topics that intersect data and public policy.  In exceptional cases, allocation of multiple 1.5-hour slots on the same theme will also be considered.

Deadline: April 20, 2020 extended to May 20, 2020 due to Covid-19 disruptions. 

We are seeking a selection of workshops that preview or complement the conference program.  Proposals from the academic, government, and private sector of a non-commercial nature are welcome. Accepted workshop proposals will be published on the  conference website and advertised for registration.

Workshop Goals

Valuable workshops are those that advance participant’s ability to be critical and informed consumers or producers of data based evidence, understand the differences between causal inference and prediction, and be cognizant of the potential and limitations of new data sources and computational methods for public policy and program delivery.  Topics can fall into three areas and cover:

  • Technical to policy translation on data sources such as the internet, IoT, social media, administrative, satellite and other remotely-sensed, computation methods and technologies (e.g. AI, Blockchain), and popular/ open-access data and document sharing and management tools.
  • Policy to technical translation covering how the policy process works, points of decision-making and the use of data; current methods of program delivery including coverage, measurement and evaluation; legal and policy frameworks governing data production, acquisition, sharing and use.
  • Sector applications in particular policy fields such as health, education, climate, transportation, employment, finance and management, governance and democracy, and security.

We have two target audiences in mind. These are:

Executive, Policy and Practitioner:

These participants are key decision-makers and influencers primarily in the public sector, but also in private and not-for-profit organizations with social responsibility in health, education, transportation or any field where knowledge and expertise will be complemented by a greater understanding of the technical domain, including what is meant by privacy, how to work and communicate with data scientists, using data and technology to improve program delivery, estimating the cost-effectiveness of different digital technologies, and anticipating the regulatory and ethical implications. Proposals that target this audience should think of relatively introductory level instruction pertaining to the language, landscape, value, uses and likely impacts of different technologies and data sources.

Researchers and Data Scientists Specializing in Government and Public Applications:

These participants are researchers and analysts from the social or computing sciences or other fields, such as law and philosophy.  Proposals that target this audience should be clear about any assumed background training for a workshop  more focused on producers of knowledge using new technologies, data, and methods, and the policy implications of the research.

General audience workshops that both groups can attend may also be proposed.

Workshops and Tutorials day is chaired by Professor Leigh Anderson from University of Washington.

Queries can be directed to

Submissions should be made via EasyChair (please see guidelines for further instructions).

Hiring: Research Assistant/Research Fellow in Data Science for Governance and Public Policy

Hiring: Research Assistant/Research Fellow in Data Science for Governance and Public Policy
We are interested in building a collaborative team to lead research in this emerging field whilst also supporting the coordination and management of our two main projects – Data for Policy conference series and the Data & Policy journal.
The primary purpose of this post will be to research, monitor and report on the evolution of an emerging field using data science for policy and public good, with the aim of growing the conference and publications in the journal.
The post holder will support the Data for Policy project activities based at UCL Computer Science.  Depending on their experience and appointment level (planned at Grade 6B or 7), they will be expected to conduct and/or contribute to group research efforts, help with the editorial responsibilities of the Data & Policy journal and the organisation of the annual Data for Policy conferences.
The funding for this post is for 12 months in the first instance.
For further information and to apply for the vacancy please click ‘Apply now’ in the following link. 

Data for Policy 2020: Call for Special Track proposals

Call for conference Special Track proposals leading to Special Collections in Data & Policy – Deadline: February 11, 2020

5th International Conference
Data for Policy 2020

UCL, London, UK
Main conference: September 15-16, 2020
Pre-conference workshops: September 14, 2020  | @dataforpolicy | | @data_and_policy

The Data for Policy conference series is the premier global forum for multiple disciplinary and cross-sector discussions around the theories, applications and implications of data science innovation in governance and the public sector. The conference series has also entered into a new open-access peer-reviewed journal venture, Data & Policy (, published by Cambridge University Press and supported by the Alan Turing Institute, the Office for National Statistics and UCL, in order to capture, assess and disseminate scholarly discussions in this fast-growing field.

Convening for the fifth time in September 2020, the International Organisation Committee for the conference invites Special Track proposals at the conference, leading to the peer-review and potential publication of a Special Collection of articles in Data & Policy after the conference.

Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Data, Governance and Policy: Digital era citizenship, governance and democracy; data and sustainability, data and politics, evidence and information, data-algorithm-policy interactions, public-private sector collaborations, best practices;
  • Governance Technologies (GovTech): Machine Learning (ML) / Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Blockchain Distributed Ledger and Smart Contract Technologies, Behavioural and Predictive Analytics, Internet of Things, Information Security, location-based technologies, user-interaction technologies (chatbots, platforms etc.), and other relevant technologies;
  • Systems & Infrastructure: Data collection, capture, storage, sharing/transactions, processing and visualization systems, mobile applications and web services, high performance computing, distributed and decentralized systems, and other relevant topics;
  • Data Processing & Knowledge Generation: Data representation and pre-processing, data integration, real-time and historical data analysis, mathematical and statistical models, ‘data-driven’ analysis, mixed methodologies, secondary data analysis, web mining, Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), gaps in theory and practice, other relevant topics;
  • Policy for Data & Management: Data governance and regulatory frameworks; General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); data ownership, curation, sharing and linkage; meta-data, standards and interoperability, responsible innovation in governance;
  • Trust, Privacy, Ethics & Law: Personal data sharing, data integrity, algorithm agency and accountability, ‘trustworthiness’ of autonomous systems, algorithmic transparency and interpretability, citizen-government-private sector interactions, citizen/public rights and free speech, other social/ethical concerns and technology responses.

Instructions for Special Track submissions: 
Those interested in organising a Special Track at the Data for Policy 2020 Conference should send a brief description (up to 1000 words) through the conference submission system. If the Special Track is proposed by a group, one person should be identified as the Chair to coordinate with the Data for Policy Team in submissions and the review process.

The Special Track descriptions should cover the following information:

  • The title of the proposed Special Track;
  • An overview of the motivation and topics to be covered;
  • How the collection fits within the scope of the conference themes;
  • Your plans to circulate your Special Track announcement to reach relevant communities and networks;
  • Whether you are interested in editing a Special Collection in Data & Policy, deriving from the Special Track, which will involve guiding submitted articles through the journal’s peer review process, supported by the Data & Policy editorial team and publisher.

The deadline for Special Track Proposals is 11 February 2020

Following review, Special Track leads will be informed and successful proposals will be featured in the main call for papers for the conference.

Special Track assessment process: 
The timeline for the Data for Policy 2020 Conference, including assessment of the Special Track proposals, the Call for Papers and assessment of those papers, is provided at the end of this announcement.

If their proposal is accepted, Special Track Chairs will play an active role in the run up to and during the conference. We expect Special Track Chairs to:

  • Circulate an announcement about their Special Track to their networks, following the Call for Papers sent by the Data for Policy conference team on 11 February 2020 that will ask interested authors to submit extended abstracts;
  • Review the extended abstracts relevant to their Special Tracks and make a recommendation to the conference Organisation Committee, who will notify those accepted to present at the conference on 18 May 2020;
  • Organise the programme for their Special Track at the conference, in conjunction with the conference Organisation Committee – which will, for example, involve the grouping of submissions into panels;
  • Observe the presentations and panels related to their Special Track at the conference and briefly report back on its success to the conference Organisation Committee;
  • Make assessments about the potential for publications arising from the Special Track, especially if the Chair wishes to edit a Special Collection in Data & Policy.

Special Collections in Data & Policy: 
Following the launch of Data & Policy at the last Data for Policy conference, we invite Special Track Chairs to also become actively involved in the process of editing a Special Collection in the journal related to their Track.

This does imply additional work beyond the timeline of the conference, so it is not required, but it is something we encourage in the interest of further disseminating scholarly discussion about data science, governance and the public sector.

Those accepted to present at the conference will be given two complementary options for disseminating their paper and related materials. They will be encouraged to use the Data for Policy community platform on Zenodo (, an open repository, in order to make their conference paper and any related materials – such slides, audio, video, datasets and code – available at the time of the conference.

In addition, authors will have the option of submitting their paper to Data & Policy, in order to undergo a peer review process that could potentially lead to formal publication in the journal.

Special Track Chairs wishing to become involved in the editorial process are invited to act as Guest Editors of Special Collections in Data & Policy. This will involve:

  • Short-listing of the Special Track papers to those that form a thematically coherent collection of publications, presenting the key issues;
  • Guiding submitted papers through the journal’s peer review process (inviting reviewers, recommending decisions to the Data & Policy Editors-in-Chief);
  • Writing an editorial to introduce the Special Collection.

Note that the timeline for Special Collections will extend well beyond that of the conference, with submissions and peer review beginning 30 July 2020 and potentially taking place through 2021. All submitted articles will be peer-reviewed independently, and accepted or rejected on their own merits according to the journal’s process.

Data & Policy is a collaborative effort to produce for this community a peer-reviewed and authoritative resource about the potential and implications of data science for governance, and Special Track Chairs interested in editing Special Collections will receive plenty of support from both the Data & Policy editorial team and the journal’s publisher, Cambridge University Press.


For all questions related to Special Tracks at the conference, please contact; and for questions relating to Special Collections in Data & Policy, please contact .

Official conference page: dataforpolicy.or

Autumn 2019 Update

Videos and publications available from the Data for Policy 2019 conference – please check our YouTube channel for all multimedia material from past four conferences. Latest highlights:

Other material from the conference, in the form of discussion papers and presentations, is also available on our Zenodo profile and on our website.

Thank you all who participated, presented and submitted work – once again making Data for Policy 2019 a huge success! We are excited by the enthusiasm and positive feedback received following the conference.
New Launch – Data & Policy: An open-access peer-reviewed journal in collaboration with Cambridge University Press – Data for Policy 2019 conference also saw the launch of the Data & Policyjournal, a joint Data for Policy and Cambridge University Press initiative. Data & Policy is a peer-reviewed, open access venue dedicated to the potential of data science to address important policy challenges. The journal aims to promote a new theory of policy-data interactions by publishing work that considers systems of policy and data and how they relate to each other. The journal publishes research examining the barriers to the greater use of data and data analytics in policy-making and governance initiatives, and contributions that explore how data can be used in an ethical, responsible and efficient manner. All research articles are accompanied by a policy significance statement that allows a wide audience to understand the potential impact of the findings. Freely available to read, share and distribute across boundaries, Data & Policy welcomes readers and contributors within and outside of academia (e.g. in international organisations, government, non-profit or private sectors, and the general public).

Reflections from conference attendees are available in this launch video.

The Call for Papers is open for those wishing to submit to this new exciting publication venue.
#ValidateAI conference announcement – Data for Policy is pleased to support the #ValidateAI conferencetaking place on November 5that the Royal Society in London. Whilst it is now becoming easier to produce AI solutions at lower cost, we need a more rigorous debate to raise the importance of measuring whether the solutions are fit for purpose, safe, reliable, timely and trustworthy. This conference explores how such systems can depart from this ideal, examining tools and methods for ensuring sound and appropriate behaviour in a variety of different application domains, and looking at open challenges. Issues explored will include accurate and unbiased performance and its evaluation, model testing and formal verification, ensuring resilience against adversarial attacks, and the effective maintenance of systems as their working environment evolves. This last may include changing populations, increasing data loads, new and unforeseen kinds of data, and policy and other changes.

Please check the official #ValidateAI conference websitefor more details and registration.

Please also keep an eye on further announcements from us – we will soon get back to you with the details of Data for Policy 2020. Remember to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebookand YouTube.
With best wishes,

Data for Policy Team

Registrations Open for Data for Policy 2019

Data for Policy is a premier global forum for interdisciplinary and cross-sector discussions around the impact and potential of the digital revolution in the government sector. It is supported by a large number of key stakeholders, including prestigious academic institutions, government departments, international agencies, non-profit institutions, and businesses.

The 2019 conference will be held at UCL, which is located in the heart of London.

This year we have been overwhelmed by a large volume of quality submissions, representing a diverse range of international organisations and subject matter. We are expecting to host over a hundred presentations over two days of this year’s conference.


Keynote and plenary speakers confirmed to date include:

Margot James MP, UK State Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries
David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), UCL
Paula Forteza, Member of Parliament, France
Christopher Holmes (Lord Holmes), House of Lords, UK
Aaron Maniam, Government of Singapore
Laura Rodríguez Mendaro, Government of Uruguay
Junseok Hwang, Seoul National University, South Korea
Stefaan Verhulst, The GovLab, New York University, US
Christoph Luetge, Technical University of Munich, Germany
C. Leigh Anderson, University of Washington, US
Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge & Alan Turing Institute
Innar Liiv, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Diego Kuonen, Universite de Geneve, Switzerland
Julia Stoyanovich,  New York University, US
Nicolas Wright, UCL and Georgetown University
Natasha McCarthy, The Royal Society, UK
Lee Rowley MP, House of Commons, UK
Barbara Ubaldi, OECD, Paris, France
Tom Smith, Office for National Statistics, UK

We are also running a series of Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials on June 10th, including:

  • “Understanding the Data & Curation choices behind the Indicator: SDGs & LSMS-ISA Measures of Progress  – Instructor(s): Ayala Wineman and Leigh Anderson; University of Washington
  • “Digital Ethics & Algorithm Assessment” – Instructor(s): Zeynep Engin and Adriano S. Koshiyama; University College London
  • “Data Stewardship in Action: Workshop on Making Data Collaboratives Systematic, Sustainable & Responsible” – Instructor(s): Stefaan Verhulst, The GovLab, New York University
  • “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence in Government” – Instructor(s): Jasmine Grimsley and Isabela Breton, Data Science Campus, Office for National Statistics, and, Barbara Webber – Cabinet Office
  • “Big-Data for Policy Making & Digital Transformation” – Instructor(s): Francesco Mureddu, Lisbon Council, Italy
  • “Collaborating with Universities: Marriage made in heaven?” – Instructor(s): Olga Sergushova , Vania Sena and Gina Yannitell Reinhardt; University of Essex
  • “Data Sharing & Data Trusts” – Instructor(s): Gefion Thuermer, Johanna Walker; University of Southampton, Peter Wells; Open Data Institute, and Kieron O’Hara; University of Southampton

Please watch this space for further updates on the conference programme and presentations.

Important note for presenters: Presenters should register by April 8 latest to secure a time slot in the conference proceedings.

Queries can be directed to

Important Dates:

Submission Deadline for Extended Abstracts 28 January 2019
Submission Deadline for Pre-Conf. Workshops* 22 February 2019
Notification of Acceptance 4 March 2019
Registration Deadline for Presenters 8 April 2019
Deadline for Discussion Paper submissions 13 May 2019
Deadline for Public Registration 31 May 2019
Pre-Conference Workshops & Tutorials 10 June 2019
Conference in London 11-12 June 2019

Partner Organisations:

CfP’19:Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials

Submissions are closed and notifications sent.

Chair: Prof. C. Leigh Anderson

Data for Policy will hold a one day Specialist/Executive workshops and tutorials pre-conference program. We are therefore inviting proposals for 3-hour workshops on 10th June that preview and complement the conference program. In exceptional cases, allocation of two 3-hour slots (full-day) will also be considered on the same theme.


We are hoping for a selection of workshops that will be open to policy practitioners and to researchers, including those with or without programming skills.  Proposals from academic, government, and private sectors are welcome. Accepted workshop proposals will be published on the conference websiteand advertised for registration.

We have two target audiences in mind. These are:

  • Executive, Policy and Practitioner:

These participants are key policy makers, public sector, not-for-profit and opinion formers in health, education, transportation or any field where knowledge and expertise will be complemented by a greater understanding of the technical domain, including  what is meant by privacy, how to work and communicate with data scientists, use data to improve program delivery, estimate the cost-effectiveness of different digital technologies, and anticipate the regulatory and ethical implications of new technologies. Proposals that target this audience should think of introductory level instruction pertaining to the language,  landscape, value, uses and likely impacts of AI, Blockchain, IoT, and Big Data.

  • Researchers and Data Scientists Specializing in Government and Public Applications:

These participants, from the social or computing sciences or other fields (e.g. law and philosophy), will have some background knowledge and/or training. Proposals that target this audience can make use of this background and present more focused and directed training content on new technologies or data, methods, debates, policy implications, etc.

Note that general audience workshops, that both groups can attend, may also be proposed.

Workshop/Tutorial instructors will receive an honorarium proportional to the number of attendees to their respective session.

Please also note that if instructors are interested in submitting for the full conference program (11-12th June), they will be granted an extension to the submission abstract deadline.

Queries can be directed to

Submissions should be made via EasyChair (please see guidelines for further instructions).

Call for Papers/Presentations, Sessions and Demos – Deadline: 28th January

Submissions are closed and notifications sent. 

Data science technologies, pioneered in the private sector, are now ripe for transforming the public sector. However, both government policy and technology providers need to address two pressing public concerns: DIGITAL TRUST (privacy and security) and PERSONAL DATA (ownership and beneficial exploitation).

The impact from ‘smartification’ of public infrastructure and services will be far more significant in comparison to any other sector given the government’s function and importance to every individual and institution. Potential applications range from public engagement through natural text and speech Chatbots, to providing decision support for civil servants via AI-based Robo-advisors, to real-time management of the public infrastructure through the Internet of Things and blockchain, to securing public records using distributed ledgers, and, encoding and codifying laws using smart contracts.  However, in many cases current uses of automated decision-making systems have been shown to cause adverse impacts on important life events of individuals – examples range from bias in recruitment of job-applicants, to credit scoring in loans and insurance, and to sentencing of criminals. Also, state surveillance and manipulation of voter behaviour have become the early examples of how such developments may amplify the asymmetry of power (between citizen and those utilising such technologies) causing severe damage to the democratic processes. The Bitcoin ‘hype’, with its correlating energy usage, has also shown the environmental cost of the highly complex computations, as well as indicating other potential unpredicted and unintended consequences.  On the other hand, the cost of not using – or the slow uptake of – data science technologies in the public sector is also potentially huge, given that all other aspects of our lives are changing fast under the ongoing digital revolution. It then follows that the stakes could be much higher in both the use and the avoidance of these technologies for public decision making and service delivery. This will require a careful cost/benefit analysis before implementation at scale.

The fourth conference in the Data for Policy series therefore highlights ‘Digital Trust and Personal Data’ as its main theme. The conference will also welcome contributions in the broader data science for government and policy discussions. In particular, submissions around the value and harm of using data in the public sector, deployment experience in government, ‘digital ethics’ and ‘ethics engineering’ concepts, personal data sharing frameworks and technologies, transparency in machine learning processes, analytics at source, and secure data transaction methodologies are encouraged.

Topics invited include but are not limited to the following:

  • Data, Government and Policy: Digital era governance and democracy, data and politics, asymmetry of power, data- and evidence-driven public service delivery, algorithmic government and regulation, open-source and open-data movements, multinational companies and privatization of public services, sharing economy and peer-to-peer services, online communities, crowdsourcing, citizen science, public opinion, data literacy, policy laboratories, case studies and best practices.
  • Technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, blockchain distributed ledger and smart contract technologies, behavioural and predictive analytics, the Internet of Things, platforms, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), biometric identifiers, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, and other relevant technologies.
  • Systems & Infrastructure: Data collection, capture, storage, processing and visualisation technologies; platforms and web services, mobile applications, meta-data, standards and interoperability, databases and data warehousing, high performance computing, algorithms, programming, decision support systems, user-interaction technologies, and other relevant topics.
  • Data Processing & Knowledge Generation:Data representation and pre-processing, integration, real-time and historical data analysis, mathematical and statistical models, ‘data-driven’ analysis, human-in-the-loop (HITL); mixed methodologies, secondary data analysis, web mining; Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), gaps in theory and practice, other relevant topics.
  • Policy for Data & Management: Data governance and regulatory frameworks; General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); data collection, storage, curation and access; data security, ownership, linkage; data provenance and expiration; private/public sector/non-profit collaboration and partnership;capacity-building and knowledge sharing within government; institutional forms and regulatory tools for data governance.
  • Privacy, Security, Ethics & Law: Ethical concerns around data, algorithms, and interactions (both human-machine and machine-machine interactions) and associated technology responses; legal status of digital systems; bias, transparency and accountability of digital systems; public rights, free speech, dialogue and trust.

Extended abstract submissions should be made via EasyChair (please see guidelines for further instructions). After the selection process, submissions accepted for presentation at the conference will also be invited to submit a Discussion Paper. This will be hosted on the Data for Policy community platform on Zenodo for open access publication under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0. Each contribution uploaded on this platform will be assigned a DOI making them uniquely citable. All Discussion Papers will also be considered for post-conference publication in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. In circumstances where a discussion paper cannot be submitted, we encourage poster or presentation slides to be uploaded on the Zenodo platform for open access prior to the conference.

Please note that this is a fee-paying event and all conference participants, including presenters, will be responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation. We have limited funding to support student participation: those who wish to be considered for these grants should send a CV and cover letter explaining their case to This should be done after completion of abstract submission.

All general enquiries about the conference should be sent to

* Please also note that if instructors are interested in submitting for the full conference program (11-12th June), they will be granted an extension for the submission abstract deadline.

Conference Partnership & Sponsorship:

Data for Policy conference series is an independent initiative and fully funded by the income raised through conference registrations and partner/sponsor contributions. Organisations interested in our flexible partnership/sponsorship packages should get in touch with our team via email (

Call for Bids to Host Future Data for Policy Conferences:

We welcome bids from academic, government and private sector stakeholders to host future Data for Policy conferences. Consortium bids bringing together a host country’s academic and government stakeholders are encouraged and demonstration of further industry support would also be an advantage. Interested organisations should send a brief Statement of Interest to, outlining the partnership model proposed and the commitments offered. Bids will be considered on a rolling basis.