About D4D.net

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.

    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.net Core Team

Fiona Chawana

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 Nyaggah

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 Scrollini

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 Walker

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.

Cat Cortes

Cat is a communications consultant and community catalyst. She has led successful fundraising, partnerships and communications campaigns in the development sector since 2012. She was introduced to the use of open data in governance, while managing communications for the British High Commission, Singapore in 2019. Deeply committed to data openness and communities, she is a founding member of Permapeople.

Global Index on Responsible AI Team

Rachel Adams

Dr Rachel Adams is Principal Investigator of the Global Index on Responsible AI. She 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 Akuetteh

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 Aneja

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.

Nicolás Grossman

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.

Leonida Mutuku

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

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 Stone

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 Schroeder

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.

Nawal Omar

Nawal Omar is a researcher with five years of experience handling a diverse set of research projects in different organisations. Nawal has experience working in social and public research, as well as in information systems and data management, strategic planning, policy analysis, ICT & digital inclusion. Nawal holds a Master's degree in Information Systems with a major in Business Intelligence, a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and an Honours degree from the School of Mathematics, University of Khartoum.

Roland Banya

Roland Banya is a Senior Economist at Research ICT Africa (RIA), working on projects that vary from the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Digital/Future of Work, Digital Identity, Cybersecurity and Open telecommunication data. Prior to joining RIA, Roland worked at Genesis Analytics as an Associate in the Financial Services Strategy practice. Before that Roland was employed at Cenfri as an Associate where he focussed on work around livelihoods in the digital economy. Roland attained a BSocsci in Economics and Public Administration and a MSc in Economic Development and International Finance from the University of Kent. He has also completed a PhD in Finance at the Graduate School of Business of UCT.

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.


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

Palestine, Egypt

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.