Washington, DC (June 2, 2023) -  The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data with the support of Sightsavers has selected five organizations to receive the inaugural Fair Data Future Awards. The awards of up to $5,000 support organizations working to improve data for marginalized communities.

The recipients are five small-to-midsize non-profit and advocacy organizations from around the world. Each is working to create a fair data future by supporting communities, including persons with disabilities, women, visible minorities, and LGBTQ groups, to access and shape data for and about them.

Access to funding is a significant barrier for small and midsize organizations to advocate for issues that matter to them. These grants provide catalytic funding, allowing organizations to run activities, deepen ongoing work, and implement shifts to systems and processes that they otherwise would not be able to due to limited resources. 

The Fair Data Future Awards contribute to putting the #DataValues Manifesto into practice. The global Data Values movement seeks to place people at the center of data systems, increase transparency and accountability in how data is used and managed, and to build people’s confidence to engage with data. 

The Fair Data Future Awards seek to increase engagement and the ability for partners to lead and shape the Data Values campaign. The award recipients and projects are: 

Lifeline Youth Empowerment Center | Uganda

  • Project: Enhancing the skills of Lifeline staff and volunteers in collecting, processing, and safeguarding data in an LGBTQ-inclusive manner. The project seeks to create a policy for safeguarding personal data at Lifeline Youth Empowerment Center, and ensure that it adheres to the regulations set forth in the 2019 Data Protection and Privacy Act.
  • “As an organization, we acknowledge the significance of communities possessing knowledge about the meaning of data and its pervasive influence in today's world. Unfortunately, the queer community has been misrepresented in datasets. Therefore, our aim is to empower queer individuals to define their own narrative. This principle lies at the heart of the Data Values Manifesto.”
    • Eric Ndawula, Executive Director, Lifeline Youth Empowerment Center

Data-Pop Alliance | USA, Mexico, Europe 

  • Project: Pursuing racial justice through data in Europe and Latin America. The project seeks to centralize, make visible, create, and share data disaggregated by race, to address and make visible racial inequalities and inequities springing from our discourse on race. 
  • “The lack of consistency in racial data collection hinders efforts to fight against racial discrimination. Inspired by the Data Values Manifesto we decided to take action and search for ways to improve how race is represented in public data and create a culture of data use to address racial inequality.”
    • Sara Ortiz, Communications and Project Manager, Data-Pop Alliance 

Centre for Social Equity & Inclusion/Wada Na Todo Abhiyan | India 

  • Project: Empowering marginalized communities through citizen-generated data. Building on the organization's continued efforts in collaboration with Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, this project aims to build the capacity of marginalized communities in India to use data for evidence-driven dialogues with government stakeholders.
  • “Our project aims to build and amplify the voice and agency of marginalized communities. Our project supports marginalized communities to mark their status against national development indicators and builds their capacity to represent themselves through citizen-generated data. It aligns with the data values agenda entirely and will help create an inclusive environment for creating and using data for development.”
    • Annie Namala, Executive Director, Centre for Social Equity & Inclusion

United Disabled Persons of Kenya | Kenya

  • Project: Increasing responsiveness, inclusiveness, and accountability in disability data in Kenya. The project aims to create innovative models and partnerships that promote disability data, build the capacity of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations and enhance community-driven data.
  • “Our motivation for the project is to empower persons with disabilities to have a voice and agency in data governance and processes at national and local levels. They must not just be seen as objects of research, but they must be involved in what happens to data that they provide.”
    • Sally Nduta, Chief Executive Officer, United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK)

United Belize Advocacy Movement | Belize 

  • Project: Supporting the creation, publication, and promotion of an LGBT-inclusive socio-economic diagnostic report.
  • “Data represents community leadership, imagining the possibilities, control, visibility that is citizen-generated, not state-led. It’s an expression of our lived experience as LGBT citizens that is defined by us. It represents the power of mobilization, transnational partnership, and a vision that shows we are not waiting to be left behind.
    • - Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, United Belize Advocacy Movement

About the Fair Data Future Awards

Funding for the 2023 Fair Data Future Awards is provided by Sightsavers, a disability-focused, international non-governmental organization and a partner in the Data Values Campaign. The grants cycle will conclude in October 2023. The Global Partnership and Sightsavers expect outcomes of this one-time award to include increasing understanding, capacity, and buy-in from communities, organizations or government representatives. Sign up for the Data Values Community newsletter to learn about this ongoing work and about potential new funding opportunities from the Data Values Campaign.

About the Data Values Campaign 

The Data Values Campaign is a global movement involving hundreds of people from more than 60 countries working to create a fairer data future. The campaign recognizes that everyone, everywhere, has a role in shifting unequal and unfair data practices. The #DataValues Manifesto calls on governments, companies, civil society organizations, donors, and others to make positive changes in how data is funded, designed, managed, and used.

The Global Partnership urges anyone committed to creating a fair data future to join the campaign by signing up here. By signing up, you will be added to a community of stakeholders from around the world and across sectors and receive announcements, event and workshop invitations, and updates on engagement opportunities. Please get in touch with us at datavalues@data4sdgs.org if you have any specific campaign ideas and need our support.