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Let’s Talk Data: Collecting Data to Help, Not Harm

October 21, 2020 - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

You have likely seen the stories—in the newspaper or in your own work—that highlight the disparate impact of the current pandemic on different groups across our state and nation. Yet not all states are able to identify these disparities because of an administrative decision to not collect the data.

We often think of lack of data in this situation as a moral problem—a bad actor refusing to give us access for nefarious reasons. And perhaps they are. But sometimes, people make decisions about data with neutral intent that ultimately have negative consequences.

In our own work, we make decisions about what data to collect, how to collect this data, and what categories to use. These decisions ultimately have ethical implications about what we can know, whether we're harming certain groups and benefiting others, and whether our data is actually helping the people we are trying to serve.

In other words: we can intend to help specific groups while impeding our ability to learn about whether we are actually harming them.

Join us for an informal, virtual lunchtime discussion where you will have a chance to talk with other data users about questions such as:

- How can we identify gaps in our own data collection?

- How can we partner with those we seek to serve in our data collection and analysis process?

- How can we improve our practices to reduce the likelihood that we will harm the people we seek to help through our data collection?

Event Type: Webinar
Event Category: General Sustainability Event

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