Data Justice For Development: What Would It Mean?
Development Informatics Working Paper no. 63, 2016, ISBN: 978-1-905469-58-1
20 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 3, 2016
This paper looks at the intersection of two growing trends in international development –use of justice in development theory, and use of data in development practice – and asks what data-justice-for-development would mean. The rationale for this can be the presence of current data injustices, and different framings for data injustice point to three different mainstream perspectives on data justice: instrumental, procedural, and distributive/rights-based. These three perspectives are explained but they are also subject to small data, sustainability, Senian, and structural critiques.
A full understanding of the mainstream perspectives and conceptualisation of the critiques is largely the task of a future research agenda. However, the paper does particularly argue that a structural approach should be the foundation for understanding data justice in a development context. It offers three potential ways to conceptualise structural data justice – through the ideas of Iris Marion Young, of political economy, and of the capability approach – and ends with some thoughts on the practical agenda when seeking to deliver structural data justice for development.
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