What is Data Justice?
Data Justice includes...
●Collecting no more than the minimum amount of participant data required to provide services
●Handling participant data securely and maintaining participants’ data privacy
●The analysis and sharing of that data with intentionality, using an asset-based framework, and situated within the appropriate social contexts
●The use of that data to support participants directly, respond to changing needs discovered through evaluation, and proactively address systemic challenges uncovered
●Accountability to the people being served and their communities
Some Background on Data Justice
In the non-profit sector, data is often extracted from the community or program participants for purposes of reporting to interested groups and funders both public and private. The communities sharing data (including both individual program participants as well as non-profits themselves) are rarely involved in decisions about what data is collected, what happens with that data, and what actions are considered from data results. This is an imbalance of power and in a way, transforms the data into a form of currency that can be exchanged for basic needs, housing, or for nonprofit grant dollars. We posit that this relationship has a direct impact on harnessing truth, storytelling, and organizations’ ability to make data-informed decisions to improve the programs and services they offer. This relationship impacts community trust and the quality of the data that people choose to share about themselves and their situation. MACC Data Network envisions a new relationship and partnership with data, communities, non-profits, and funders grounded in data justice.