A global cooperative working to advance new strategies on the use of data to address development challenges around the world
D4D.net is a global research cooperative 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.
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.
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.
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:
Who we are
D4D.net Core Team
Fiona 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.
Muchiri’s work for D4D.net focuses on empowering policy actors by strengthening collaboration and dialogue around the critical issues affecting the use of data to improve development outcomes. Muchiri also serves as the Executive Director at the Local Development Research Institute.
Ana Sofia Ruiz Schmidt
Ana Sofia has a Degree in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and a master’s degree in sustainable development from the University of Girona, Spain. She has worked at the Omar Dengo Foundation, Hivos, and ILDA on projects related to the use of data and technology for social change and development in Latin America.
Fabrizio has worked with governments and civil society at international and regional level on transparency, open data projects and public sector reform. He holds a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also the Executive Director of ILDA and co-founded Abrelatam and Condatos.
Stephen led open government and open data activities for the Government of Canada and has been directly involved in multiple international initiatives to advance the use of data for development. Steve has also worked with Open Data for Development (OD4D) and was senior editor of the State of Open Data.
Global Index on Responsible AI Team
Dr Rachel Adams is 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.
Teki is an ICT/Telecom Lawyer, a Privacy/Data Protection Consultant, and Senior Partner at a law firm based in Accra, Ghana. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Digital Rights Hub, a member of the UN Global Pulse Privacy Advisory Group, and a non-resident fellow of the Center for Global Development. Teki holds an LLM in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Political Science from the University of Ghana.
Urvashi is the founding director of Digital Futures Lab, a multidisciplinary research network based out of Goa, India, that examines the complex interactions between technology and society in the global south. She is also a Fellow at Chatham House and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. Prior to this, she founded Tandem Research and was an Associate Professor at the OP Jindal Global University. Urvashi has a PhD in Politics and International Affairs from the University of Oxford.
Silvana is the GDB Project Director as well as the Research and Policy Director of ILDA. She holds a PhD from University of Tasmania, Australia, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a degree in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). She has served as a consultant for several international organizations, governments and civil society groups. In the past few years she has focused her work on the intersection of data and inclusion.
Nicolás is a sociologist and journalist specialising in Data and GIS. In addition to writing widely, he founded Socios.red in 2018. He is concluding his Master’s studies in International Political Sociology at the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), where he focuses on the challenges and risks of big data and AI from the perspective of less developed countries.
Leo is a director and research lead at the Local Development Research Institute, a Nairobi-based think-tank whose work contributes to the efforts of African governments to end poverty, hunger, and reduce inequalities. She offers strategic advice and conducts research on how AI and data innovations can be harnessed to achieve sustainable development.
Nokuthula Olorunju is an attorney and researcher who holds an LLB and LLM with a focus on Cyberlaw/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Law. She has written on issues of gender equality, human rights, AI, the judiciary, and is currently pursuing a PhD in the field of human rights and artificial intelligence.
Kelly is a Policy Development and Research Advisor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Philosophy, and has been working to advance the social, political, and technical capacities of persons across the Global South since 2006.
Zara has a wide background in supporting non-governmental organisations in South Africa with enhancing the visibility and impact of their work. Zara has a Masters in Public Sociology and Anthropology. Zara also has experience in Communications working at Sonke Gender Justice. During her time at Sonke, Zara was involved in the development of a campaign aimed at combatting gender-based violence. Her interests lie at the intersection of gender, equality, ethics and accessibility to AI.
D4D Network Organizations
The D4D Research Hub works with regional organisations across the global South to advance research and the development of innovative policies and practices around responsible use of data to address critical development challenges both globally and locally.
Members of the D4D Network
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.
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
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’ 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
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
MENAdata aims to aims to strengthen research and advocacy around the use of data to address long-lasting development challenge.
Research ICT Africa - RIA
RIA works to accelerate economic inclusion and social justice in Africa by undertaking rigorous research to inform digital policy and data governance.