Elliott School researchers continue with data management card updates – The GW Hatchet

Elliott School of International Affairs researchers continue to track countries’ ability to manage data in areas such as human rights through an online interactive map as they launch the third phase of an ongoing study.

The Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub launched the Global Data Governance Mapping Project last May, and the team completed two phases analyzing how nations implement data management policies and laws – how countries enforce rules and standards to manage and protect data, according to the project website. The research team will study several countries, collect documents on their data policies and expand its range of “indicators” to assess data management across the globe during its third phase, according to the project’s first year report.

Susan Aaronson, director of the Center and research professor of international affairs, said the project organizes how different countries plan strategies to address issues such as human rights and national laws to help politicians develop international standards for data management.

She said addressing issues related to data management can help address other issues such as the potential international decline in democracy and climate change.

“I’m not saying data management is more important than climate change, but I am saying that if we can figure this out, we can be more successful in these other areas,” she said.

The project observes six data management attributes that value a nation’s strategic, regulatory, responsible, structural, participatory, and international plans when it comes to data, according to the first year’s report.

The research team assigned numerical values ​​to nations that meet criteria in each of the six attributes. Australia scored 75 in the responsible capacity – a measure of a nation’s consideration of the implications of data management on human rights – because it lacked the digital charter indicator – a government formal declaration recognizing its responsibility to uphold the principles of data management, according to the project’s website.

Aaronson said richer nations like the United States did not consistently get high scores, and national histories – including potential privacy violations – could do much more to impact data than wealth. Readers are encouraged to compare national results, but should understand that they are not rankings of countries’ effectiveness when it comes to data management, according to the project’s website.

She said researchers analyzed how 51 national governments and the EU handle data management based on the six attributes of the first phase. She said the latest grants will fund staff observations of a further 19 countries, expanding the total number of countries on the map to 70.

She also said that while future research will incorporate eight more factors to evaluate nations, the team is concerned that adding more indicators will make it harder to assess each nation’s overall performance.

“Funding is a challenge right now,” she said. “We’re fine, but it’s hard to raise money for that kind of thing. It’s never easy.”

Aaronson said the data management center plans to hold study groups to train trade officials from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom on the results of the project and hold further discussion on data management next month.

“Changing the Internet is changing the world,” she said. “It changed the economy, and now it’s changing what we research, how we teach, and when and what we teach.”

Experts in computer informatics said the project is an accessible collection of various data management factors that can help national governments determine which features need to be improved for better democracies.

Jim Samuel, executive director of the computer science program at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, said the principle behind data management is that national governments respect the rights of individuals and entities associated with data such as images and statements.

He said the project can analyze whether data ownership in countries is protected and motivate national governments to behave more responsibly with data management strategies.

“If in the process of collecting this information we are able to collect information on best practices implemented in different places around the world, then it might be interesting to look carefully at these best practices and analyze where it is. , that true property rights are protected, “he said.

Angie Raymond, director of the Ostrom Workshop Program for Data Management and Information Governance at Indiana University, said the website uses a bit of academic jargon, making it easy for users to understand what data management trends are emerging in different countries.

“You can literally go to this map and say, ‘Look, here are all the countries that actually think of data management as something that needs to be part of a strategic plan,'” Raymond said.

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