Harnessing data for democratic development in South and Southeast Asia
The objective of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Asian stakeholders to generate data and digital technologies that could positively affect democratic and inclusive governance.
The policies, laws and codes of conduct that make up the current data governance system were developed at different times and often overlap coverage or conflict with one another. There are many inherent tensions in policies related to data, including personal data protection, competition law, open data policies, cybersecurity and AI and innovation policies. In developed countries, these conflicts may be resolved in the policymaking stage or through a well-functioning judiciary. However, the policymaking process in South and Southeast Asia is often opaque, non-participatory and non-consultative. The policies themselves are not necessarily evidence-based and could instead be driven by power and political agendas and/or weaponized to intimidate and discourage dissent. Institutions involved in the data governance ecosystem have low levels of capacity to bring about change.
This project brings a cyber policy centre (LIRNEAsia) and Open Data for Development’s (OD4D) regional hub in Asia together to advance a holistic approach to data for development. LIRNEAsia will lead the work to examine data governance policies and a framework in South and Southeast Asia. OD4D’s Asia hub (hosted by East West Management Institute) will coordinate the work focused on strengthening data communities and their agendas across Asia. The project will create opportunities for cross learning and collaboration between the two components and this will be reflected in project outputs. This project will be part of the Data for Development Network (D4D.net). With the support of the D4D Global Research Hub, the project will work in tandem with efforts in other regions and with global efforts to advance policy, innovation and capacity development.