About the Data for Development Network

A global alliance working to advance new strategies on the use of data to address development challenges around the world

    D4D.net is a global research alliance that works to strengthen collaboration across a broad network of stakeholders by developing and mobilising the knowledge needed to advance the ethical use of data to address critical development challenges across the Global South.

    The global D4D agenda is moving into a new phase. Advances in the broad field of data science can lead to an increase in the abilities of organizations across all sectors. AI in particular, powered by data, is spurring new innovations and transformative social change, both positive and negative.

It starts with a simple premise - The responsible use of data can help us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), understand the impact of the COVID crisis, or identify key priority areas for development programming to be addressed in the future. However, we need to know more, share what we know, and be willing to work together for the public good.

    D4D.net was launched in 2021 as an initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)(Opens in a new tab) and is hosted at Research ICT Africa(Opens in a new tab) and ILDA(Opens in a new tab). It builds on the activities of network partners across the Global South interested in strengthening collaboration on open data, responsible AI, big data, privacy rights, intellectual property, cybersecurity, online surveillance, CRVS, and more.

    The resources available on the site represent a collective effort to address the global knowledge gap around the responsible use of data to address development challenges and advance democracy, while simultaneously addressing ethical and social concerns related to the misuse of data.

    In this initial phase, the objectives of the D4D.net are to:

    • Accelerate Research

      Undertake an accelerated research agenda to address critical gaps in the evidence needed to support local, national, and global decision-making related to data for development strategies.

    • Catalyze Action

      Share knowledge on the innovative use of data in priority development areas, such as gender equality, health, climate change, education, food security, and much much more.

    • Shape the Agenda

      Support Southern-based organizations in shaping a global response to development challenges by bringing “use of data” lessons, capacity building, and community collaboration to the forefront.

Who we are

D4D Network Organizations

The D4D Network is made up of research organisations across the Global South working to advance research and the development of innovative policies and practices to address critical development challenges both globally and locally through the responsible use of data.

Caribbean Open Institute - COI


COI promotes open development approaches to inclusion, participation, and innovation within the Caribbean using data as the catalyst.

Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law - CIPIT


CIPIT seeks to study, create, and share knowledge on the development of intellectual property and information technology, especially as they contribute to African Law and Human Rights.

Centro Latam Digital


Centro Latam generates knowledge, strengthens technical capacities, and promotes dialogue on access to and adoption of information and communication technologies for development in Latin America.


Burkina Faso

CAFDO works to strengthen the use of open data in Francophone Africa to improve policies and citizen engagement, and to drive innovation.

Data for Development Asia Hub

Malaysia, Myanmar

D4DAsia works to improve the availability and impact of open data in Southeast Asia through research and strategic coordination of regional collaboration initiatives.

Derechos Digitales


Derechos Digitales’ objective is the development, defence, and promotion of human rights in the digital environment.



ILDA promotes inclusive development, public and social innovation, and open knowledge through the use of data and the participation of the communities across Latin America.

Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies Asia - LIRNEAsia

Sri Lanka

LIRNEAsia seeks to catalyse policies in the Asia Pacific region that improve people’s lives by facilitating their use of knowledge, information, and technology.

Local Development Research Institute - LDRI


LDRI seeks to influence public policy in favour of strengthening human capital development and mobilising domestic financing for better development outcomes.

Middle East and North Africa Data Network


MENAdata aims to aims to strengthen research and advocacy around the use of data to address long-lasting development challenge.

Research ICT Africa - RIA

South Africa

RIA works to accelerate economic inclusion and social justice in Africa by undertaking rigorous research to inform digital policy and data governance.



Cepei works to influence sustainable development decision-making through research and data in the Global South.

Birtzeit University


Data has become the main tool used in development, and the ongoing digital transformation based on ever-increasing amounts of data will affect all aspects of our lives!

D4D Global Hub Team

A small team supports the Data for Development Network by delivering core activities intended to catalyse an ever-evolving global community of practice and drive the innovative use of data to support sustainable development.


Rachel Adams

Dr. Rachel Adams is Principal Investigator of the Global Index on Responsible AI. She is also the principal researcher at Research ICT Africa, where she directs the AI4D Africa Just AI Project and the AI4D African Observatory on Responsible AI. Rachel is an Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, Editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights, and a member of the UNESCO Expert Group on the Implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on AI in Ethics.


Fiona Chawana

Fiona is the Social Media Officer of the Global Index on Responsible AI. She is a communications researcher and consultant with a Masters in Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Her primary interest is in research and policy development related to the use of data for the public good.