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Big data for development and humanitarian action

What do Master Card, the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) and Leiden University have in common? They all work on new sets of guidelines for responsible data use.

Conference: Big data for development and humanitarian action

On 23 October, a select group of regulators, scholars, private and public sector professionals met in The Hague for a conference on responsible data. The meeting was hosted by UN Global Pulse and Leiden University.  

The discussions focused on the need to develop a global consensus on how to ensure that when crises occur, data can be used to save lives. As we learn more about how we can use new data streams such as cell phone records or social media data, we need to rethink the ways we define risks and harms. In the words of UN Global Pulse director Robert Kirkpatrick: "Data can be used for good or for harm. But l et’s reverse the question: what are the risks of not using data? "

In order to facilitate the debate about how the most appropriate guidelines, the International Data Responsibility Group was launched as part of the conference programme. The IDRG is a knowledge platform that provides best practice for decision-makers who seek to release, process or use data for global challenges.

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