Responsible data stewardship

This report from the Open Data Institute discusses key concepts including ‘data stewardship’, ‘data ethics’, ‘data justice’ ‘data for good’ ‘responsible data’, ‘data sovereignty’, ‘Indigenous data sovereignty’, and ‘data feminism’.

It also considers how these different terms and narratives have been used differently in different organisations to help people to think about "how data should be collected, used and shared". The report presents findings of research undertaken to develop a normative interpretation of responsible data stewardship that the Open Data Institute could use in their work.

It describes examples of  "responsible data practices", including practices that seek to:

  • protect privacy
  • reduce bias in data processing
  • be transparent or participatory
  • be reflective
  • deliver a public good
  • increase equality and equity
  • reduce data collection to when it’s necessary/proportionate
  • reduce negative impacts from the use of data   

The report discusses different strategies used used “to support and compel organisations to use data responsibly”, including frameworks technologies, training and legislative action.

The report frames responsible data stewardship as ‘an iterative, systemic process of ensuring that data is collected, used and shared for public benefit, mitigating the ways that data can produce harm, and addressing how it can redress structural inequalities’ and sets out future work planned to operationalise this.

The resource is well informed, by the consultation and document reviews undertaken and is very clearly written.

It has excellent links to supporting materials.

This report could be used to plan data collection, storage, analysis and sharing for a discrete evaluation, or for a monitoring system, or for an M&E system.


Massey, J., Moriniere, S. & Parkes, E., 2023. Responsible Data Stewardship, Open Data Institute. United Kingdom. Retrieved from on 14 Apr 2023. CID: 20.500.12592/mtnz3m.