MCF Member Briefing: Data Justice

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT

Data can provide us with valuable insight and foresight. In the nonprofit sector, a compliance orientation means that data is often extracted from the community or program participants for purposes of reporting to interested groups and funders both public and private. This compliance orientation to data sharing rarely involves individual program participants (and to some extent the individuals responsible for collecting the data). Data Justice shifts the focus away from compliance. It offers a framework for assessing equity, inclusion, access in decision-making about data collection and data dissemination. It seeks to uncover best practices to ensure harm-free data collection/data informed decision-making.

Data Justice includes:  

  • Best practices in collecting data to reduce potential harm to participants, community and organizations
  • Decision-making regarding which data should be collected, and for what purpose,  
  • What happens with that data once it has be collected and after it is shared
  • Decisions about what actions might be taken from data, and who decides which actions should be considered

The Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC) is a member based collaborative of nonprofits located in the Twin Cities metro. The MACC Data Network includes members who have come together to develop best practices in data strategy and evaluation for nonprofit community based organizations. In 2021 and 2022 our group has begun to explore and define the concept of Data Justice as it relates to our work in the community. This session will share out our learnings thus far and will discuss what is included in a data justice framework that supports community based nonprofits in equity, inclusion, and access in data informed story-telling and organizational learning.

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