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Join us as our new diversity, equity and inclusion lead

We are delighted to announce that we’re one of eight north-west organisations who’ve been awarded a share of £50,000 from the Co-op Foundation, supported by Luminate, to further our work on ensuring that digital and data systems enhance people’s lives.

The money is being used to fund a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Data role – open for applications until Sunday 21 February – which will ensure that our work properly addresses issues regarding data, diversity and inclusion, that we are developing our awareness here and promoting best data practice for all.

After the murder of George Floyd, we worked with local diversity and inclusion experts to grow our understanding of structural problems regarding race and inequality, to consider how data exacerbates them, and to decide how to act as a community.

The feedback from our training partner suggested we should be more confident in using our role in the Greater Manchester community to lead on such issues, where appropriate to our data expertise.

As such, we want to create a post devoted to us building this capacity within our community.

Through this role, we will make sure that diversity and inclusion in data are embedded into our ongoing work and events programme, and likewise ensure we share our knowledge for the benefit of our contributors, partners and supporters. These efforts will be reported to and reviewed by our board.

Open Data Manchester’s work on diversity, equality and inclusion in data

We were really grateful to host Dr Safiya Noble in 2018, where she spoke about the bias and prejudice in digital and data technologies, found in her book Algorithms of Oppression. Do watch her talk back if you want to hear about the profound impact that bad data practices can have on people’s lives.

We know they can especially impact marginalised communities and those where there is low awareness of how data is used. So, we help organisations understand the impacts of such data practices and support people to take more control over their data.

Four initiatives that demonstrate our work in this area:

  • Data Cooperatives – building on work done since 2014 to understand the best ways for individuals and communities to collectively take control of their data and use it for social good – now part of an international Data Cooperative Working Group being convened by ODM in collaboration with the Aapti Institute in Bangalore, India.
  • Declaration for Responsible and Intelligent Data Practice – a shared vision for data in Greater Manchester, including a co-designed statement of intent consisting of 23 principles for best practice, which is now going into an implementation stage for adoption by our supporters in the public, private, academic and voluntary sectors, and civil society.
  • Lexicon of Experience – informed by our work with older and disabled people in Stockport, where we found their experiences don’t exist in the technical systems involved with planning and so demonstrated how data systems reinforce existing prejudices and oppressions – this is now being developed into a framework for accessible digital design that intends to fully represent the lived experiences of marginalised groups.
  • People Powered Smart Cities – part of the Greater Manchester Responsible Tech Collective led by Manchester City Council and Reply – we promote humanity in the development of ‘smart city’ initiatives.

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