By Soujanya Sridharan

The current ecosystem of health data sharing

Health data governance assumes significance due to the highly sensitive nature of information under question, potentially revealing confidential data on medical history, racial or ethnic background and financial status of individuals and the broader communities they belong to. While data sharing promises to significantly improve healthcare quality and health systems performance, unchecked sharing has adverse ramifications for access and affordability of health services for individuals, particularly when such information exists in siloes, dispersed across multiple sources. …


By Suha Mohamed

This article was originally published in Business World on May 13th 2021

The lack of a cohesive government response in the latest wave of Covid-19 has forced citizens and civil society to fend for themselves. Citizens are acting as intermediaries, supporting others by pooling data and amplifying demands for oxygen, medication and hospital beds. This collective resilience is powered by the exchange of critical information, but has made the ability to collate, find and share verified data a key determinant in life or death situations.

To better sort through the high volume of requests and information, apps…


By Soujanya Sridharan & Siddharth Manohar

  1. ‘Communities’ as conceived by the Committee under Section 7.2 is ambiguous and risks causing more harm than good to their interest

The report makes communities the owners of NPD, with a community being defined as “any group of people that are bound by common interests and purposes, and involved in social and/or economic interactions.” A community could be virtual or delimited by common geographic, livelihood, economic or social interests. However, It is possible that a group of individual data principals sharing a common interest, say subscribers of a milk delivery service by BigBasket Daily…


By Suha Mohamed

The need for Responsible Data Governance for Impact

Accelerated by the pandemic, civil society organisations (CSOs) are increasingly capturing data or partnering with other entities to unlock relevant information for societal benefit. Data-led efforts are critical, particularly in times of crisis when the lack of access to reliable administrative data can result in threats to individual and community livelihood, rights and dignity. For instance, Jan Sahas, a community-based organization that focuses on workers’ protection and safe migration in India, stores and manages massive volumes of data through their new initiative, the Migrants Resilience Collaborative, which includes a database of over 1.5 …


By Suha Mohamed

Cognizant of the assymetries present in our rapidly expanding data economy that further perpetuate existing injustices, Aapti Institute supported by Omidyar Network, is thinking about a new social contract for data. We have set out to address this by exploring alternative forms of data governance to rebalance inequities in the data economy.

Our vision — Making data governance work for us all

We established the Data Economy Lab (DEL) in 2019, to think through questions around Data Stewardship, a paradigm of governance that can unlock the societal value of data, empower users/communities to participate in data decision-making while preserving privacy and rights.

To build equitable, accountable and…


By Aapti Institute

The following is a summary piece on our paper titled Data Sharing for Public Good: Theoretical Bases and Policy Tools.

Institutions, businesses and governments across the world have tried various data-sharing and data-handling practices on for size. These are in keeping with their respective commercial and political interests, and have worked as much in tandem as they have in opposition. In the midst of all this, while data gets treated as an economic resource, the groups and individuals whom it belongs or pertains to, must also be considered an equal stakeholder in the process.


By Siddharth Manohar

The ‘trust’ framing of responsibility has emerged as a popular one in discussing the necessary safeguards and governance measures in data sharing for public good. This paper examines the basis for its popularity, the opportunities that it presents, and the warnings shared by some thinkers on the challenges of applying a fiduciary framework to steward functions over data sharing.

Read the paper on our website, or download here.


By Preethi Sundararajan

This article follows “The role of data stewards in enhancing accountability”, to chart an imagination of standards for accountability in data stewardship.

A two-fold framework for accountability is envisaged herein-first is the minimum standards which are either the bare minimum protections/responsibilities or legally mandated requirements. Secondly, enlisted below is a set of standards that serve to reinforce and strengthen the basic accountability standards already laid down as minimum standards. …


Citizen-led Data Governance

This article is the third in a series and forms a core area of research carried out by Aapti Institute’s Data Economy Lab. As part of this study, models from four cities (London, Seattle, Los Angeles and Barcelona) were selected and analyzed to understand how data sharing in cities is currently carried out. These models represent innovative mechanisms for how data may be effectively shared and are critical to consider for their respective strengths. Through this series, we also explore opportunities for data stewardship and how this framework may be useful in solving issues like a lack of accountability and…


This article is the second in a series and forms a core area of research carried out by Aapti Institute’s Data Economy Lab. As part of this study, models from four cities (London, Seattle, Los Angeles and Barcelona) were selected and analyzed to understand how data sharing in mobility is currently carried out. These models represent innovative mechanisms for how data may be effectively shared and are critical to consider for their respective strengths.

Nevertheless, challenges still exist in sharing this data, which arguably reinforce the need for Stewardship in Mobility. Each model has different mechanisms for governance, legal concerns…

Aapti Institute

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