Cities@Tufts: Co-Design in Global Development Data Initiatives
DATE / TIME
Dec 06, 2023 - Dec 06, 2023
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
UTC/GMT -04:00 - America/New_York
Join Cities@Tufts for Co-Design in Global Development Data Initiatives with Dana R. Thopson, PhD on Wednesday, December 6 at 12:PM ET. RSVP
About the Talk What is co-design, and what does it look like in global initiatives that produce data about development indicators? Projects that strive for inclusivity might hold well-designed multi-stakeholder engagement workshops throughout a project, but still see limited local uptake of their data in the end. Why are multi-stakeholder workshops usually not enough? How might global data initiatives find grounding in the multitude of realities that exist across, and even within, communities? This presentation reflects on how global data initiatives might unintentionally exclude the voices they care about most, and introduces a framework for (more) equitable and inclusive data co-design processes.
About the Speaker Dr. Thomson has worked at the intersection of demography, public health, and geography for two decades, and strives for open data, user-centered design, equitable partnerships that address historical inequities, and co-design of meaningful information. Dana helped to establish, and now coordinates, the Integrated Deprived Area Mapping System (IDEAMAPS) Network which brings together experts from traditionally-siloed “slum” mapping traditions including community members, government officials, humanitarians, and data scientists. Several projects within the IDEAMAPS Network are building the infrastructure and processes necessary for “slum” residents and local experts to not only access the data they need in appropriate formats, but also to validate modelled outputs (maps), and for modelers to access continually generated validation data to improve models. The idea is (a) generate routine accurate data about city deprivations and assets by (b) facilitating bidirectional flows of knowledge and trust among stakeholder who might not normally interact, or who have fraught relationships (c) without putting people who live in “slums” and other deprived areas at risk of harassment, fines, or eviction. Co-design with communities and city governments is core at all stages of projects including inception and design of models, data outputs, platforms, and learning materials. Dana holds a BA in Geography from the George Washington University, an MSc in Global Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and an MSc and PhD in Social Statistics from the University of Southampton (UK). Her research has evaluated the accuracy of gridded population estimates and their feasibility for household survey fieldwork in lower- and middle-income countries, as well as several large-scale evaluations of health systems using geospatial and household survey data.