BETA v0.1

Resources About


The Data Responsibility Journey for Data Collaboratives is an assessment tool that outlines the opportunities and risks to consider at each stage of the data lifecycle when implementing a data collaborative.


The Data Responsibility Journey was developed by The GovLab at New York University Tandon School of Engineering with support from Luminate and FDCO. It is part of The GovLab’s work to advance systematic, sustainable, and responsible Data Stewardship and Data Collaboration around the world.

The tool is intended to support decision-making by data stewards working in Civil Society Organizations; Humanitarian or Development Organizations; Large Businesses; Public Agencies; and Small Businesses or Startups. It also aims to help these data stewards strategize their engagement with various internal and external stakeholders such as: Partners; Data Subjects; Intended Beneficiaries, external Domain Experts, Management, Operations and Human Resources; Data Science and Data Analytics personnel; Finance departments; Legal teams; and Data Engineering departments.


Data collaboratives have the potential to unlock the societal value of private-sector data to generate insights in health, education, and crisis response, among many other domains. The Data Responsibility Journey serves as an assessment tool for Data Stewards to identify and mitigate risks, establish trust, and maximize the value of their work.


The Data Responsibility Journey helps data stewards identify risks and opportunities at each stage of the Data Lifecycle: Planning, Collecting, Processing, Sharing, Analyzing, and Using.


The Data Responsibility Journey guides users through important questions and considerations across the lifecycle of data stewardship and collaboration. You will be presented with a series of questions and considerations regarding your data collaboration strategy. When you flag an issue as in need of more attention, it will be automatically added to a customized strategy report providing recommendations and relevant resources. It will also identify key stakeholders you might seek to engage to support that work.

Responsible data collaboration is a complex undertaking, so the Journey features a significant number of questions and considerations. We encourage users to involve relevant team members in the use of the tool, as the tasks and objectives it describes are beyond the responsibility of any one individual.

Depending on your circumstance, you can also focus on only questions and considerations most likely to be relevant to you. You can start at different phases of the life cycle; you can filter by key terms and concepts; and you can refine your list of questions and considerations based on whether you work in a Civil Society Organization; Humanitarian or Development Organization; Large Businesse; Public Agency; or Small Business or Startup.

Definition and length of each Journey phase:


32 considerations

Start Planning


28 considerations

Start Collecting


16 considerations

Start Processing


8 considerations

Start Sharing


20 considerations

Start Analyzing


15 considerations

Start Using

What it's not

The Journey is an assessment tool, not a mitigation tool. It raises awareness of risks that can (and have) emerged when establishing data collaboratives. The Journey is meant to be broadly relevant and was not developed for a specific domain or any one type of data collaborative. There may be risks which are specific to a particular domain or type of data collaborative - for example, the healthcare domain - that are not included in the Journey.

The Journey does not aim to offer guidance on how to secure institutional datasets nor does it offer legal advice on how to comply with legal and regulatory provisions. Rather, we hope to bolster the decision-making capacity of those potentially entering into data collaboratives.

Important risks or considerations may have been excluded from the Journey. If you notice a risk that is missing, feel free to reach out to