IOM and Yale School of Public Health Launch Data Responsibility Initiative

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) are teaming up to publish a series of articles capturing best ethical, technical, and contextual data responsibility practices in humanitarian response, human development, and migration management across the public health sectors.

For objectives ranging from registration and identification management to supply chain tracking and mobile cash transfers, digital data and information communication technologies have become increasingly popular in humanitarian response and associated sectors during the last decade. However, there is mounting evidence that these technologies and approaches may exacerbate existing dangers to disadvantaged people’ health, human rights, and safety.

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“The responsible use of data is core to the work IOM staff does in over 100 countries around the world,” said António Vitorino, IOM’s Director General. “How we responsibly use data decides whether we have the trust of the populations we work with. Our partnership with the Yale School of Public Health will help identify and advance best practices in data responsibility and close gaps in practice.”

Dean, YSPH Data responsibility, according to Sten H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., is crucial.

“From COVID-19 to cyberattacks on humanitarians, data responsibility is more critical to the practice and study of public health of migrants and refugees than ever,” said Vermund, Yale’s Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health. “The United Nations and its agencies have a high-level role towards data responsibility, integrating core practices and principles towards health for all. YSPH is proud to partner with the IOM to further this vital work.”

The Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) at YSPH is accepting submissions for the first volume in the series, Defining Data Responsibility: Tensions and Tradeoffs. Tensions and Tradeoffs will examine what variables may lead businesses to embrace various technologies, data collecting and management tactics, and security policies through case studies, quantitative approaches, and theoretical essays. Case studies will be used to highlight best practices, instances of harm, existing regulations, and conventional practices in future volumes. A good governance plan will also be offered.

Those interested in submitting material for the first volume should go to the Humanitarian Research Lab’s website. Article proposals must include an abstract as well as a brief description of how the proposal relates to the call’s themes. By April 12, 2022, individuals and organizations are asked to submit content.

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