Data for Policy 2020

Fifth International Data for Policy Conference will take place in London on September 15-16, 2020 (Pre-conference workshops on September 14).

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. In partnership with Cambridge University Press, the conference series has also entered into a new open-access peer-reviewed journal venture, Data & Policy, in order to capture and archive scholarly discussions in this fast-growing field.

Conference submissions are now open for individual contributions, panel session proposals, and for submissions to the special tracks and pre-conference workshops. All conference contributions will be considered for peer-reviewed publication in Data & Policy, a Data for Policy – Cambridge University Press collaboration supported by the Alan Turing Institute, Office for National Statistics and UCL. 

For more information please click here.

COVID-19 Update: 18 May 2020

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the International Conference Organisation Committee has decided to hold the Data for Policy 2020 meeting virtually replacing the physical meeting scheduled for 15-16 September 2020 in London. The committee has also decided to cancel pre-conference workshops for this year originally planned for 14 September 2020.  This decision was not taken lightly but we believe this is the correct decision since we are, first and foremost, committed to protecting our delegates’ health and safety while fulfilling our central purpose as a top international forum bringing together key stakeholders in this space.

Designing and delivering a virtual version of Data for Policy 2020 is clearly a new challenge for us and there are many questions to answer regarding the format of the virtual meeting, what it means for your participation, conference publications planned, registration fees, and more. Please be patient as we continue our work and plan next steps. As new information becomes available, we will share it on our website and social media accounts, and via email to our subscribers. For those already made travel arrangements for London in September please remember to cancel them.

Beyond practical considerations, we also believe the Data for Policy 2020 conference will be a great opportunity to also assess and review the data science responses to the current global pandemic. To this account we have recently added a further Special Track “Re-using data to address COVID-19 and Pandemics” to our conference call. This track will be chaired by Professor Stefaan Verhulst from GovLab at NYU.

We are committed to honouring the high-quality work of our authors and volunteers, and hence will now fully shift our efforts to the development and delivery of a successful virtual conference experience this year. Given the pioneering role of the Data for Policy community, we believe this experience will also enable us to experiment on more innovative and efficient ways to improve our future physical meetings as well.

Thank you for your contributions in making Data for Policy 2020 conferences a top global forum and we look forward to meeting again virtually in September.


Data for Policy Team



International Organisation Committee:

Leigh Anderson – University of Washington
Emanuele Baldacci – European Commission
Jon Crowcroft – University of Cambridge, Alan Turing Institute
Zeynep Engin – University College London
Innar Liiv – Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Christoph Luetge – Institute of Ethics and AI, ITM, Munchen
H. Scott Matthews – Carnegie Mellon University
Barbara Ubaldi – OECD, Paris
StefaanVerhulst – New York University

Special Track Chairs: 

Leigh Anderson – University of Washington
Chantal Brakus – Department of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, Netherlands
Jenny Bunn – UCL Information Studies
Carla Coburger – Rebuilding Macroeconomics, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Claire Connelly – Rebuilding Macroeconomics, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Sylvie Delacroix – University of Birmingham
Gabrielle Demange – Paris School of Economics (PSE), France
Catherine D’Ignazio – MIT, US
Doyne Farmer – Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford
Silvana Fumega – ILDA, Argentina
Sarah Giest – Leiden University
Bilal Gokpinar – UCL School of Management
Jacopo Grazzini – EUROSTAT
Daniele Guariso – University of Sussex and The Alan Turing Institute
Omar Guerrero – The Alan Turing Institute and UCL
Neil Lawrence – University of Cambridge
Elizabeth Lomas – UCL Information Studies
Jessica Montgomery – University of Birmingham
Francesco Mureddu – Lisbon Council
David Osimo – Lisbon Council
Vassilios Peristeras – European Commission
Alison Powell – LSE and the Ada Lovelace Institute
Fabio Ricciato – EUROSTAT
Lorena Rivero del Paso – Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency
Harald Stieber – European Commission
Helena Suárez Val – and University of Warwick, UK
Barbara Ubaldi – OECD, Paris
Annemijn van Gorp – Department of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, Netherlands
Stefaan Verhulst – The GovLab, NYU
Benjamin Welby – OECD, France
Masaru Yarime – Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong; UCL STEaPP, UK; and The University of Tokyo, Japan
Steve Yoo – UCL School of Management

Advisory Committee:

Jean Bacon – University of Cambridge
Kenneth Benoit – London School of Economics and Political Science
Anil Bharath – Imperial College London
Gabrielle Demange – Paris School of Economics
Anthony Finkelstein – UK Government Office for Science
Rayid Ghani – Carnegie Mellon University
David Hand – Winton Capital Management; Imperial College
Helen Margetts – University of Oxford; The Alan Turing Institute
Beth Noveck – New York University
Alan Penn – University College London
Rob Procter – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Peter Smith – University of Southampton
Tom Smith – Office for National Statistics, UK
John Shawe-Taylor – University College London
John Taysom – Privitar
Philip Treleaven– University College London
Dame Alison Wolf – King’s College London
Derek Wyatt – Royal Trinity Hospice; All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics
Milan Vojnovic– London School of Economics and Political Science

Programme Committee:

David Bounie – Telecom ParisTech
Daniel Castro – Centre for Data Innovation
Suleyman Demirsoy – Intel
Jasmine Grimsley – Office for National Statistics, UK
Jose Manuel Magallanes – University of Washington; Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru
Eric T. Meyer – The University of Texas at Austin, University of Oxford
Slava Mikhaylov – Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Suzy Moat – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Mirco Musolesi – University College London; The Alan Turing Institute
Florian Ostmann – The Alan Turing Institute
Martijn Poel – Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands
Tobias Preis – University of Warwick; The Alan Turing Institute
Harald Stieber – European Commission
Jatinder Singh – University of Cambridge
Akin Unver – Kadir Has University
Michael Veale – University College London
Andrew Young – New York University
Louisa Zanoun – UK Science and Innovation Network

Data & Policy Journal Manager: 

Andrew Hyde – Cambridge University Press

Conference Timeline:


Deadline for Special Track proposals 11 February 2020
Call for Papers & Workshops – announcement 18 February 2020
Extended abstract deadline 20 April 2020 20 May 2020
Notification of acceptance 18 May 2020 18 June 2020
Registration deadline for presenters 17 July 2020
Discussion paper submissions  30 July 2020
Public registration deadline 20 August 2020
Pre-conference workshops 14 September 2020
Main conference 15-16 September 2020



Call for Papers and Panel Session Proposals

Submission deadline extended to 20 May 2020 due to Covid-19 disruptions. 

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 Paper and Panel Session proposals at the conference to be also considered for potential post-conference publications in Data & Policy (subject to peer-review). 

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. 

In addition to these Standard Tracks, submissions can also be made to the following Special Tracks that have been shortlisted for this year’s conference.

Submission instructions 

Contributors should follow the instructions on the conference website in order to submit an abstract for their paper or session proposal, or their poster presentation. Abstract submissions will be assessed according to the criteria outlined on the website. 

Dissemination options

Those accepted to present at the conference will be given two mutually compatible, open-access options for disseminating their full paper and/or any related materials. 

The  Data for Policy community platform on Zenodo (, an open-access repository, can be used to share the paper ahead of the conference, along with any related materials such as posters, slides, audio, video, protocol, data sets and code that you think others may wish to view or re-use. 

In addition, there is the option of submitting a full paper to Data & Policy (, the open access journal launched in collaboration with Cambridge University Press (CUP). As outlined on the website the journal considers several article types: research papers, commentaries, replication studies and Data & Policy reports. Authors will receive feedback from editors and reviewers with expertise in different domains, as a result of the peer-review process overseen by the Editorial Board. If accepted, the paper will receive greater impact as a result of formal publication, curation and promotion from our partners at CUP. 

Neither of these dissemination options are required for presenting at the conference, but we encourage contributors to consider the advantages of using them to help build the community and knowledge base concerned with impact of data science on policy and governance.

ContactsFor all questions related to conference submissions, please contact; and for questions relating to publication in Data & Policy, please contact

Call for Pre-Conference Workshops – CANCELLED 

[Important Update]: Due to changes caused by COVID-19 disruptions, the Pre-Conference Workshops and Tutorials are cancelled for Data for Policy 2020 conference. Main conference will now be held virtually on the planned dates. 

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.

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.

Queries can be directed to

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

Special Track 1: Data, analytics and digital transformation in the private sector 

Special Track 2: Data Quality and Development Policy

Special Track 3: Data Trusts: Democratising data governance

Special Track 4: Documenting Data and Data Science: Surfacing Data Processes and Practices

Special Track 5: Feminicide, Data and Policy: data activism, civic information ecosystems, and public policy oriented to ending lethal gender-related violence against women

Special Track 6: ‘For good measure’: The challenges of quantifying complex problems for policymaking

Special Track 7: Harnessing Data and Science to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Special Track 8: Regulating algorithmic trading in financial markets

Special Track 9: Google Economics: Data – Complex Models – well-informed Policy Making

Special Track 10: Data technologies and governance frameworks used for gathering, storing, managing, processing, analyzing and sharing data in the public administrations

Special Track 11: Recent experiences using GovTech to address data sharing challenges and to implement modern data access paradigms

Special Track 12: Data Literacy for Policy

Special Track 13: Data Governance in the Public Interest

Special Track 14: Data Governance for Innovation for Sustainable Smart Cities: Opportunities and Challenges in Public Policy and Institutional Design

Special Track 15: Applying data for improved service design and delivery

Special Track 16: Re-using data to address COVID-19 and Pandemics

Currently submissions are open for paper, panel session and pre-conference workshop/tutorial proposals.


 Abstract Submission Guidelines:

Submissions will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Special Track: Those interested in organising a Special Track at 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.
  2. Individual Research/Policy/Practitioner Proposals:Up to 1000-word extended abstract should be submitted including a title, research/policy question, research methodology and data used, and key findings. All submitted research papers will be considered for special journal issues.
  3. Session Proposals: Session proposals welcome a combination of 3-4 presentations from researchers and/or practitioners each providing a max-1000 word abstract. A max 500-word description of the panel should also be submitted.
  4. Poster Submissions:All individual submissions to the conference will first be considered for oral presentation and then for poster sessions at the conference. Those who wish to make submission for the poster sessions only should make a standard submission indicating at the top that they are only interested in presenting a poster. Please note that all posters at the conference will be considered for the poster competition at the conference and if you want to omit this option, please indicate this at the top of your submission.

Submissions will be assessed according to following criteria:

  • Potential contribution to the debates in the field
  • Potential for stimulating debate in the Conference
  • Freshness of the content, novelty and originality
  • Formulation of the research/policy question
  • Data and methodology
  • Quality of writing and presentation

Extended abstract submissions should be made via EasyChair. Authors are invited to enter their name(s), title and abstract, and keywords. A number of ‘Submission Categories’ are then presented, from which authors can choose the most relevant.



In order to make a submission for the pre-conference workshops and tutorials, authors must first download the pre-conference workshop form:

Workshop Submission Form 

After completing this form, the submission should be made via EasyChair. Authors are invited to enter their name(s), title and abstract, and keywords. This is largely repeated in the form.

In the ‘Submission Category’ section, please select ‘Pre-Conference Workshop or Tutorial’.


Discussion paper submission guidelines:

Accepted authors will be invited to submit their Conference Papers on the Zenodo platform (Data for Policy community profile). Authors who cannot submit full papers will be invited to upload presentations. Instructions for uploading to Zenodo (

  1. After logging in to Zenodo click on the ‘Upload’ tab. Following this select the ‘New Upload’ option.
  2. After ‘Dragging/Choosing files’, search ‘Data for Policy’ under the ‘Communities’ section (users will need to scroll down the options and identify the Data for Policy logo).
  3. The next step is to select from the ‘Upload Type’. Here, those submitting Discussion/Forum Papers should select the ‘Publication’ option. Then, select ‘Conference Paper’ from the ‘Publication Type’ option. Those submitting Presentations should choose the ‘Presentation’ option.
  4. Zenodo will generate a DOI, as such under the ‘Basic Information’ section authors should fill only the ‘Tile’, ‘Authors’, ‘Description’ and ‘Key Words’.
  5. The default option under ‘Licencing’ is Open access. This option is encouraged, however, when appropriate authors can select the restricted options.
  6. At this point, authors will be able to ‘Publish’, all other information is optional.

Submissions should align with the instructions provided by the Data & Policy Journal.   

Please name your file as:

  • Submission Number_Last (family) name of the corresponding author for the paper
    (e.g. 141_Brown)

All submissions will be first used for conference discussions and then considered for conference proceedings and other post-conference publications (e.g. special journal issues and policy reports).

Participant guidelines: 

All participants of the conference are kindly required to read the following guidelines to ensure smooth running of the programme:

Guidelines for Audience & Participants:

  1. Kindly reach the venue on time. There are several parallel sessions, as such, participants should choose which panels they will attend in advance and plan accordingly.
  2. There will be plenty of opportunities to debate, ask questions and share your views. In addition to Question & Answer sections, there are other opportunities during breaks and other networking times for further discussions and private conversations.
  3. Kindly avoid using mobile phones during the sessions. However, you are encouraged to send social media updates about the discussions in the session.

Guidelines for Oral Presenters:

  1. All accepted Discussion Papers/Abstracts will be made available to the conference attendees.
  2. All presenters will be allotted 12-15 minutes (depending on the number of presentations per session) to make their oral presentation, this includes question and answer.
  3. Presenters must bring a copy of their presentation in suitable format saved in a USB stick/Flash drive.
  4. Organize the contents of the slides selectively. The content of the slides need not to be 100% same as the Extended Abstract/Discussion Paper.
  5. You may consider bringing 10-15 sets of hard copies/photocopies of your Extended Abstract or Full Paper or PowerPoint slides/handouts based on your preference.

Guidelines for Poster Presenters:

  1. Please ensure you provide the following information on your poster: (a) Title and your name (clearly highlighted), (b) Contact information for yourself and co-authors, their affiliations, addresses and e-mails (c) Background of your project (d) Method (e) Results (f) Conclusions / Future work (if any) (g) Literature cited 4. The size of the poster should be A1 paper size (height = 841mm; width = 594mm) in portrait orientation.
  2. Please avoid using too many words. The ideal poster should contain between 700-800 words maximum.
  3. Your poster should provide a clear flow of information from introduction to conclusion, and focus on major findings.
  4. You can use the following websites for sample poster templates:,, .
  5. You are advised to prepare a 3-min oral summary of your poster for delegates interested in your poster.
  6. You may consider bringing 10-15 sets of hard copies/photocopies of your Extended Abstract or Full Paper or PowerPoint slides/handouts based on your preference, to distribute to interested participants.

Guideline for Session Chairs

Activities before the session:

  1. You are kindly expected to check the Conference Schedule and be clear about the exact date, time, venue and room of the session that you are chairing.
  2. Please also read the Guidelines for Authors and Guidelines for Audience/Participants to avoid any communication gap.
  3. Your main role is to encourage the presenters to share their knowledge on the topic and encourage the participants to have an intellectual discussion on the subject.
  4. We also invite you to note any critical issues raised during presentations/discussions, to contribute to the post-conference report.
  5. We kindly invite you to familiarise yourself with the Extended Abstracts/Discussion prior to the session.
  6. Announce that the total time allocated for the session is 60 minutes, with 45 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for discussion. Depending on whether three or four presentations are in the session, each speaker should be allocated 12-15 minutes and 4-5 minutes for Question and Answer. It is up to you to make a decision whether to take questions for each presentation after the main talks or have a combined 15-minute discussion at the end.

Activities during the session:

  1. As an expert, we also encourage you to share your views, reflections and observations on the paper as per the time available.

Activities after the session:

  1. Please kindly complete your Session Chair’s Report on the same day and email to conference conveners. This report should include: Any feedback on presentations, on session arrangements, and critical questions raised during your session, which have potential to contribute to post-conference publications.

Please refer any questions to our team at

Registration via Bank Transfer:

We accept registrations via bank transfer* to:

Data for Policy CIC
National Westminster Bank (NatWest)
Account Number: 33915806
Sort Code: 56-00-31

International transfers:

IBAN: GB78NWBK56003133915806

[IMPORTANT NOTE]: If you are registering via bank transfer, please send full delegate information – full name including title, email address, institution, and submission number (presenting delegates only) – and the payment reference to after completing the bank transfer.

Terms & Conditions

We take receipt of a completed registration form as acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

  • Registration with full payment of the conference fees must be received before the registration deadlines:
    • Presenting delegates must register by 31st of May, latest to secure their time slot in the main conference programme. Each delegate can register to present only one paper at the conference and if multiple papers are accepted from the same author, they should either invite co-authors to present additional papers or indicate their preferred paper for presentation at the conference.
    • Public registration to the conference is limited and places will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. If the spaces are filled earlier, the registration will be closed before the deadline. Please note that access to the conference venues will not be permitted without advance registration.
  • Registration fees are non-transferable and cancellations of registration with full refund are allowed until the registration deadline that applies to the delegate. Registration fees are non-refundable after deadlines.
  • Delegates are responsible to arrange their accommodation and travel. Organisers of the conference recommend these arrangements to be made as early as possible to avoid any disappointment as the conference dates may coincide with other major events in the UCL region.
  • Organisers cannot accept any liability for personal injuries or for loss or damage to property belonging to the delegates, either during, or as a result of the conference. Please check the validity of your own personal insurance before travelling.
  • Photography and video-recording will take place at conference venues to be used for post-conference publications and other related online/printed material to be produced by Data for Policy. Any reservations about this condition should be sent to prior to the conference to avoid any disappointment in the future.
  • “I agree to Data for Policy processing personal data contained within the registration process, or other data which may be obtained from me or other people whilst I am applying for the conference.  I agree to the processing of such data for any purpose connected with my attendance at the conference, or my health and safety whilst on event premises.”
  • The organisers reserve the right to change conference programme and venue details, and to cancel the conference in case of any unpredictable event.


Programme Details will follow in the lead up to the conference.

The Data for Policy 2020 Conference is being hosted by University College London.

University College London
Wilkins Building
Gower St, Bloomsbury,
London WC1E 6BT

UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any religion and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men.

UCL operates in a global context and is committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all of its activities: research, teaching, learning, enterprise and community engagement. Its distinctive approach seeks to inspire its community of staff, students and partners to transform how the world is understood, how knowledge is created and shared and the way that global problems are solved.


UCL is located in the Bloomsbury district at the very centre of London.

Bus: UCL’s Gower Street site is served by many Transport for London bus routes. Buses travelling from north to south stop in Gower Street, immediately outside UCL’s main gate, while those travelling from south to north stop outside Warren Street station, about five minutes’ walk from UCL. Services to these stops include route numbers: 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390.

London Underground: The closest tube stations to UCL’s Gower Street site are Euston Square (Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and Circle lines), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria lines), Euston (Northern and Victoria lines) and Russell Square (Piccadilly line)

Rail Overground: London has many mainline rail stations. Most of these are a short journey away from UCL, with the stations at Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras being within easy walking distance. Trains from London serve destinations across the UK.


Delegates are responsible for securing their own accommodation whilst in London. There are numerous hotels and other accommodation options within walking distance of the Conference Centre.

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