In September 2021, The White Paper on Empowered Data Societies was published the data policy platform at the WEF-led C4IR centre in San Francisco. The Project was supported by the government of Finland by seconding a fulltime fellow and by the City of Helsinki, which served as a pilot partner. The project was premised on the understanding that, despite ever-increasing supply and demand, data often remains siloed and unavailable to those who seek to use it to benefit people, communities and society.
The White Paper proposes a new, human-centric approach to improving data availability. This approach was piloted by the City of Helsinki, which provided further inputs and refinements. The paper begins by exploring the trust relationships between the data subjects and data collectors, followed by an examination of why the health of such relationships is a critical prerequisite to flourishing human-centric data ecosystems. Finally, the White paper offers suggestions for how these ecosystems can be created and nurtured.
A key observation in the White Paper is that, by prioritising the values, needs and expectations of people, policymakers can drive meaningful actions with positive outcomes for society while maintaining the utmost respect for the people who are part of it. Overall, the White Paper provides frameworks, insights, and best practice for public sector employees and elected officials – from mayors and ministers to data scientists and service developers – to adapt and build systems that use data in responsible and innovative ways.
In March 2021, the C4IR SA joined the project with the Centre Head actively participating in project communities. The C4IR SA contributed to the discussion regarding trusted relationships and targeted interventions and their role in encouraging an innovative practice of proactive services, where service delivery is automatically triggered with the help of data and without the need for a manual request.