Defining Data Justice
Data Justice is the promotion of truth and storytelling that rests on consent from community members seeking services and the organizations who provide services to support them.
Data Justice seeks to bring light and awareness to the whole person and the whole community: strengths, talents, resiliency (not just flaws, traumas, and a percent of poverty level). Data Justice ensures that all interested groups are held accountable to the data they receive, that they honor the data and the person who shared it - in purpose, in use, in decision-making, in actions. Data Justice examines not just the use of data but also the methods of data collection: what questions asked, how the questions are framed and phrased, who collects the data, when the data is collected, where it is stored, and how it is maintained. Data Justice is fluid and shifts in its learning. It holds a mirror to its past, is flexible in its path and is a vehicle to do better in the future.
Data justice is the collection, analysis, sharing, and use of data entirely in service of and with accountability to participants and their communities. Data justice is a lens to evaluate the intended or unintended consequences of researching or collecting data on individuals and communities. Data justice values the dignity, privacy, and humanity of all people. Data justice is active resistance to all oppressive systems within the arena of data as a part of building a better world that promotes dignity, consent, truth, accountability and learning. This work will be necessary as long as oppressive systems exist.
Data justice includes:
- Collecting no more than the minimum amount of participant data required to provide services
- Handling participant data securely and maintaining participants’ data privacy
- The analysis and sharing of that data with intentionality, using an asset-based framework, and situated within the appropriate social contexts
- The use of that data to support participants directly, respond to changing needs discovered through evaluation, and proactively address systemic challenges uncovered
- Accountability to the people being served and their communities