IGF 2022 Day 0 Event #48 Data Stewardship, an alternative governance framework for Data Justice

Monday, 28th November, 2022 (14:20 UTC) - Monday, 28th November, 2022 (15:20 UTC)
Press Briefing Room

Research ICT Africa
Amrita Nanda, Aapti Institute, Civil Society - Asia and Pacific (Rapporteur) Suha Mohamed, Aapti Institute, Civil Society - Asia and Pacific Roland Banga, Research ICT Africa - Africa (Moderator) Kristophina Shilongo, Research ICT Africa - Africa


Amrita Nanda, Aapti Institute, Civil Society - Asia and Pacific (Rapporteur) Suha Mohamed, Aapti Institute, Civil Society - Asia and Pacific Roland Banga, Research ICT Africa - Africa (Moderator) Kristophina Shilongo, Research ICT Africa - Africa

Onsite Moderator

Kristophina Shilongo

Online Moderator

Suha Mohamed


Roland Banga


11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Production and Consumption
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land

Targets: SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable In response to the need to build citizen-centric cities that are democratic, inclusive and sustainable there have been a range of data-driven approaches that orient around community participation and accountability. Many well known and referenced case studies of this in action are located in the Global North. While these exemplify interesting possibilities - they may not be adaptable to the unique political, socio-economic, infrastructural capacities and capabilities of countries in the Global South. Our playbook aims to speak to these challenges - particularly relevant in light of the growing rhetoric around smart cities which often does not translate into substantive impact or realisation for communities in the Global South. SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Key to our work on data stewardship is exploring how data-driven technologies can beneficially contribute to building sustainable, green, circular economies in the global south. This will allow policymakers to ensure sustainable consumption and develop non-wasteful production patterns. SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development Fisheries management has emerged as a field that offers useful insights into how the value of data can be returned to data generators in the global south. Use cases analysed by us also exemplify opportunities for how responsible data governance and usage can help communities negotiate better on their economic rights. The data collected by these organisations is also being actively leveraged to explore new sustainable modes of fishing. SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification Indigenous communities across the world have been noted for their long-standing histories of preserving and conserving biodiversity. However, technology driven solutions have typically been designed to further aid the corporate capture of land and resources for mineral mining or deforestation. Insights from our case studies in this sector will form the basis of unique plays and recommendations that aim to showcase how indigenous data sovereignty can be realised through policy efforts, partnerships with civil society organisations and opening up funding channels to enable greater capacity at the grassroot level to pilot these efforts.


This pre-event is intended to introduce stakeholders across the world interested in developing and strengthening community-based data governance approaches in the environmental sector. The event will summarise the playbook in the form of a poster (jamboard for those online), introducing its various components as well as act as an invitation for stakeholders to make comments or inputs via a an online platform or tablets onsite.


The paradigm of data stewardship is cognizant not only of emerging potential harms, but foregrounds the potential societal value that may be unlocked if structures around collection and sharing of this data could enable greater agency, control and transparency around its usage and sharing. This builds on an existing body of work around Data justice, which recognises how historical injustices and the structural inequalities intersect and are reproduced by technical systems. Thus, greater attention must be paid to equitable and responsible data governance approaches that centre communities’ rights and are aligned to environmental justice goals. Countries in the Global South have already reckoned with collective opportunities and related harms that can emerge both from personal and non-personal data. However, a gap exists in conceptualising and translating these data justice oriented approaches on ground. Applications of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Data stewardship and other commons oriented approaches are showing promise in the context of environmental justice/climate action work. These initiatives will be the starting point for the proposed pre-session, and a subsequent workshop which aims to draw from and build upon the collective findings of organisations and experts in South Asia and Southern Africa, between RIA and Aapti Institute. The project’s objective is to develop a playbook on data stewardship approaches with a focus on environmentalism. The playbook will illustrate the intellectual underpinnings and needs for the sector, analyse use cases and identify policy requirements which can support collective/community-based data governance. While the playbook will specifically focus on environmentalism and sustainability, the underlying objective is that it will provide evidence for adoption into other sectors or systems (such as Urban Governance) where there are limited examples of justice approaches to data governance. *links to be provided at a future date

Onsite attendees and speakers will have access to a poster summarising the playbook. People will be invited to make comments or give input on the playbook via booths where they are welcome to discuss in small groups or do it individually. Online attendees will be able to join the room online, and will have access to a jamboard replica of the poster and will be allowed to join breakout groups if they so wish. 15 minutes: introduction of the team and objectives/overview of the playbook 20 minutes (with one interval at 10 minutes to check in): Breakout groups and discussions about the playbook, onsite and online moderators to check in with each group 15 minutes: Share group feedback for the team 10 minutes: Closing and invitation to workshop (if accepted)