Microsoft and the Open Data Institute join together to launch a Peer Learning Network for Data Collaborations

peer learning network

Today, in partnership with the Open Data Institute (ODI), we are delighted to announce an open call for participation in a new Peer Learning Network for Data Collaborations. Peer learning networks are an important tool to foster the exchange of knowledge and help participants learn from one another so they can more effectively address the challenges they face.

In April, with the launch of Microsoft’s Open Data Campaign, we committed to putting open and shared data into practice by addressing specific challenges through data collaborations. For a data collaboration to achieve its goals, there are many factors that must come together successfully. Oftentimes, this process can be incredibly challenging. From aligning on key outcomes and data use agreements to preparing datasets for use and analysis, these considerations require time and extensive coordination.

Drawing from the legal expertise of our team and the technical expertise of our colleagues, we want to share some of these learnings and best practices to help other collaborations succeed.

The Peer Learning Network for Data Collaborations will be comprised of up to five existing or recently established data collaborations that are interested in exploring facets of trust, including how to manage different trust environments and issues associated with trust and trustworthiness. For example, where privacy considerations are critical to sharing data, what are the governance and technology mechanisms that can be most effective? Or where the data collaboration is working with less sensitive datasets, what principles can apply to foster data accessibility? The Peer Learning Network will explore these types of questions and more.

Awardees will have the opportunity to:

  • receive up to £20,000 for their time over the six months of the peer learning network
  • learn about and receive guidance from the ODI and Microsoft on different technical approaches, governance mechanisms, and other means for managing data collaborations
  • connect with peers also working on these challenges

For the purpose of the Peer Learning Network, data collaborations are defined as:

  • involving a collaboration of companies, research institutions, non-profits, and/or government entities
  • addressing a clear societal or business-related challenge
  • are working to make their data as open as possible in the context of the collaboration (collaborations working with restrictions related to privacy or commercial sensitivity are encouraged to apply)
  • ultimately demonstrate increased access to, and/or meaningful use of, data in reaching the specific goal

To learn more about the Peer Learning Network and to participate in an informational webinar on October 29, 2020, please sign up here.

We’re excited about this new initiative and look forward to sharing learnings so other data collaborations can benefit and accelerate their work.

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