To address the challenges of our times, we need both new solutions and new ways to develop those solutions. The responsible use of data will be key toward that end. Since pioneering the concept of “data collaboratives” in 2015, The GovLab has studied and experimented with innovative ways to leverage private-sector data to tackle various societal challenges, such as urban mobility, public health, and climate change.
While we have seen an uptake in normative discussions on how data should be shared, little analysis exists of the actual practice. This paper seeks to address that gap and seeks to answer the following question: What are the variables and models that determine functional access to private sector data for public good? In Leveraging Private Data for Public Good: A Descriptive Analysis and Typology of Existing Practices, we describe the emerging universe of data collaboratives and develop a typology of six practice areas. Our goal is to provide insight into current applications to accelerate the creation of new data collaboratives. The report outlines dozens of examples, as well as a set of recommendations to enable more systematic, sustainable, and responsible data collaboration.