Towards Collaborative Data Governance: A Case Study From UQAM's Research Chair on Ecological Transition

As part of Montréal in Common, an innovation community led by the City of Montréal, the Research Chair on Ecological Transition helped partners in the food sector to assess and evaluate their projects. The participatory evaluation process of the food stream of Montréal in Common can be consulted on Praxis.

Following three co-construction workshops and personalized coaching sessions, the participatory evaluation process led to the development of a platform designed to bring together the partners’ data: Évaluation en commun . This platform includes :

  • a form-creation tool where partners can collate their data; 
  • a database;
  • as well as a dashboard that presents processed data in various forms (graphs, boxes, etc.).

The aim of this platform is to pool evaluation data from projects in the Montreal food system and, subsequently, to visualize this data. 

A Data Sharing Policy for the Évaluation en commun Platform

Reaching an agreement on common data storage and access mechanisms quickly became a necessity. This objective led the team, which includes the Conseil du Système alimentaire montréalais, to take a broader look at the governance of the data generated by its projects. To this end, the team worked on the development of a pdf Politique-de-partage-des-donnees-sur-la-plateforme-evaluation (French version only), in parallel with the creation of the evaluation data dashboard.

This key document was designed by the Chair with the support of Open North, and in collaboration with the Conseil du Système alimentaire montréalais and the partners involved in evaluating their projects. More specifically, this policy details the terms of data sharing, conservation and ownership. It also aims to obtain the consent of organizations to participate in the evaluation project. 

In developing this data sharing policy, a number of obstacles emerged: first, the disparities in knowledge and ownership of the issues surrounding data within the various organizations. Second, there was a lack of preliminary reflection and action on data governance, with the exception of the platform itself. Finally, ethical issues were raised concerning data confidentiality and anonymization, as well as questions relating to the intellectual property of data.

Informed Choices and Flexibility for the Policy

Through the support provided by Open North, the team was able to define the essential conditions for the success of the research project, incorporating issues relating to data storage and access. 

"We have opted to present the data without anonymization on the public dashboard, with the exception of financial data. In addition, the raw data will be available as an 'open source' resource, regulated by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. This demonstrates our commitment to transparency and collaboration, while respecting the intellectual property of shared data. Our experience in data governance has not been without its challenges, but it is a testament to our perseverance and determination to continually improve our practices." - Éliane Brisebois, Research Officer at UQAM’s Research Chair on Ecological Transition

Ultimately, the first version of the data sharing policy laid a solid foundation to ensure transparent collaboration around data sharing, and thus contribute to the success of the participatory evaluation led by UQAM's Research Chair on Ecological Transition.

Participatory workshop on indicators held as part of the participatory evaluation process for the food component of Montréal in Common.

Éliane Brisebois, Research Officer at UQAM’s Research Chair on Ecological Transition, shares her thoughts and the actions taken by her organization develop their data sharing policy and the Évaluation en commun platform in this case study: Developing a Data Sharing Policy for a Partnership Project: A Case Study of the Évaluation en commun Project Supported by UQAM's Research Chair on Ecological Transition.

About the Montréal in Common Data Governance Workstream

As the lead of the Data Governance Workstream within Montréal in Common, Open North proposes a data governance journey to the innovation community in order to progressively operationalize the principles of the City of Montreal's Digital Data Charter. The program explicitly focuses on collecting, sharing and leveraging data to inform collective and individual decision-making. 

Montréal in Common brings together an innovation community led by the City of Montréal, whose partners are experimenting with solutions in food access, mobility and municipal regulations in a desire to rethink the metropolis. Thirteen projects are being implemented as part of Montréal in Common thanks to the $50 million prize awarded to the city by the Government of Canada as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.

Did you like this blog post? Would you like to know more about data governance? Not sure where to start? Find other resources, free training courses and more on our website: 

Author: Open North
Research and editorial contributions: Jérémy Diaz and Éliane Brisebois (UQAM)
We extend our thanks to all our partners and clients, whose work continuously expands and evolves our understanding of data governance and its best practices.

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Intégré par Nord Ouvert, le 28 mars 2024 10:13

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