News Release

IOM and Yale School of Public Health Launch Data Responsibility Initiative

Reports and Proceedings

Yale School of Public Health

IOM enumerators gather data

image: IOM enumerators carry out assessments alongside Lebanese Red Cross in Beirut to understand the humanitarian needs following an explosion. view more 

Credit: IOM/2020

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

Within the past decade, digital data and information communication technologies have been increasingly used in humanitarian response and related sectors for purposes ranging from registration and identity management to supply chain tracking and mobile cash transfers. However, there is mounting evidence that these technologies and techniques could risk increasing the threats to health, human rights, and safety that vulnerable communities already face.

“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.”

YSPH Dean Sten H. Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., said data responsibility is critical.

“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 submission period for the first volume in the series, Defining Data Responsibility: Tensions and Tradeoffs – being compiled by YSPH’s Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) – opens March 3, 2022. Through case studies, quantitative approaches and theoretical essays, Tensions and Tradeoffs will explore what factors may cause organizations to adopt certain technologies, data collection and management strategies, and security policies. Additional volumes will focus on case studies to demonstrate best practices, instances of harm, existing regulations, and standard practices. An agenda for good governance also will be proposed.

Parties interested in submitting content for consideration for the first volume should visit the Humanitarian Research Lab website. Article proposals must include an abstract and short explanation connecting proposals to the themes outlined in the call. Individuals and organizations are asked to submit content by April 12, 2022.




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