Data2X is excited to welcome over 30 speakers and 100 guests to our November 12 event, Big Data, Big Impact? The Future of Gender-Sensitive Data Systems, where we will be celebrating achievements to date on big data for gender work and, importantly, discussing what is to come.
In September 2017, Data2X awarded grants to ten research projects through our Big Data for Gender Challenge, which sought to fund research projects applying big data innovations to fill gender data gaps and improve understanding on key aspects of girls’ and women’s lives.
These ten projects were selected from a pool of over 125 proposals and they represented 29 researchers, from 20 institutions, across 8 countries. And on November 12, the research will be celebrated as the results of the projects are showcased publicly and in a new report that will be launched at the event.
But November 12 is not simply about research achievements. Throughout the day we’ll hear from prominent voices from the research, policy, private sector, and donor communities and we’ll set out to answer some critical questions about how to integrate big data with traditional data systems, and how to ensure that data systems are working for all people, especially women and girls.
Here’s what to expect.
Presentations from research grantees will illuminate which data types and analytical approaches have shown the most impact in providing new gender insights. (For a sneak peek, check out our Big Data and Gender brief series.)
These projects span a diversity of topics, including urban mobility, financial inclusion, street harassment, access to technology, women’s paid and unpaid work, and attitudes towards violence against women. Each project not only adds to our knowledge about the lives of women and girls, but also pushes the boundaries of social and economic analytical techniques.
Panel discussions and conversations interspersed throughout the day will also consider wider enabling factors that must be tackled to ensure that data systems are inclusive. We are fortunate to have partnered with The GovLab at NYU to build out an exciting program for the day, which can be viewed here.
There will be a special focus on how bias in datasets can be detected and corrected, something which Data2X has drawn considerable attention to in recent years. Often this bias is not introduced intentionally, but rather results from the intersection of gender inequality in society and statistical systems that fail to adequately represent the concerns of all genders. Now is a critical moment to prevent gender bias in new data systems, and by doing so, harness data systems’ potential to accelerate the achievement of gender equality.
When Data2X set out on our Big Data and Gender journey five years ago, we wanted to understand whether big data could really deliver for gender research. This exploration has run concurrently with the overarching interest in big data for social good, which has evolved from excitement to guarded optimism to a demand for rigorous demonstrations of use and impact.
As rounds of pilot projects and proofs of concept come to fruition across topic areas and the demand for data increases, the wider community is now under increasing pressure to scale up particularly effective solutions.
We hope you will join us in person or online to celebrate the research achievements to date — and to consider the opportunity we are seeing now: to ensure that these solutions, and the data systems of the future that result, are gender-sensitive.