IGF 2023 WS #308 Public-Private Data Partnerships in the Global South

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (06:15 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (07:15 UTC)
WS 3 – Annex Hall 2

Data Governance & Trust
Cross-border Data Flows and Trust

Organizer 1: Helani Galpaya, 🔒
Organizer 2: Philipp Schönrock, 🔒
Organizer 3: Isuru Samaratunga, LIRNEasia
Organizer 4: Muchiri Nyaggah, 🔒
Organizer 5: Maurice McNaughton, Mona School of Business & Management, University of the West Indies

Speaker 1: Darlington Ahiale Akogo , Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: Isuru Samaratunga, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Mike Flannagan, Private Sector, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 4: Mona Demaidi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Philipp Schönrock, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 6: RODRIGO IRIANI, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Helani Galpaya, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Maurice McNaughton, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Philipp Schönrock, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Round Table - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. What are the ways in which private sector is contributing to the data revolution? 2. What are the key policy and practice challenges companies, governments and other stakeholders face in attempting to build partnerships around data sharing for the purpose of monitoring/achieving the SDGs? 3. What are the ways of overcoming these challenges – including policy, economic and technical levers that can be used? 4. How do we align incentives of data collectors/holders, data users, data brokers/facilitators? What do different actors need to do?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Through the initial seeding discussion by the speakers and the extensive round-table participation, the participants will a) gain an understanding of the challenges faced when private sector, governments and civil society attempt to form data partnerships; b) the context in which some partnerships may work while others fail; c) an opportunity to diagnose possible improvements to case studies presented by themselves; d) an understanding of the incentives of the various actors; d) economic incentives that may impact behaviours of data owners, data users; e)an opportunity to reflect on the policy changes that will facilitate data sharing while preserving privacy.


Public-private collaborations in the data sphere have the potential to bring transformative changes and facilitate the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When the “data revolution” was first anticipated, there was much fanfare about how private sector data could help governments measure and achieve the SDGs. Many commitments were made. 7 years from the target date for achieving the SDGs, it appears that much of the anticipated potential wasn’t reached. Challenges including lack of economic incentive alignment for various stakeholders, lack of enabling regulation, lack of skills and trust, and other factors appear to have reduced the opportunities for meaningful data sharing. However, a recent mapping study has also found out hundreds of instances of such partnerships. The roundtable brings together a group of stakeholders from the global South (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East) and from multiple sectors (civil society, government and private sector). They will seed the round-table discussion on the extent to which private sector is collaborating with government and civil society on data related partnerships, specific examples of partnerships, reflecting on the factors that contributed to their success or failure. These participants will present both research as well as their personal experiences pre-conditions for data sharing and data partnerships and the challenges that limit the success of partnerships (including the challenges of complying with privacy requirements of data protection laws; lack of institutional capacities to develop partnerships; lack of operational procedures that facilitate data sharing at a technical level; the different incentives for various stakeholders and so on). The discussion will open up and invite the participants of the round table to provide specific examples of what has worked and what has not when it comes to data partnerships, and enable everyone to pose questions to each other.

Expected Outcomes

1. A policy brief summarizing the key findings of the roundtable that will be circulated to key actors, as part of an ongoing dissemination campaign aiming to increase private sector data sharing 2. Feedback from the roundtable learnings to the research team currently engaged in studying how to catalyse more public-private data partnerships. 3. Session learnings will also shape engagement with private sector and their representative associations, governments, multilateral organizations in developing a roadmap that removes identified barriers and scales up data actions.

Hybrid Format: To facilitate interaction; 1. The initial round of interventions by invited speakers is limited to 30 minutes, leaving 50% of the session (30 mins) audience participation 2. Audience participation will alternate between online vs on-site audience speakers, giving equal billing to those who are participating remotely. 3. The dedicated online moderator will manage the virtual platform and monitor chat rooms, and relay questions and comments that are provided in chat format instead of voice 4. The session starts with quick survey (using Mentimeter) asking the audience the following (or similar) question: “The main reason preventing private sector sharing their data that can help monitor/achieve SDGS is: a) policies preventing data sharing; b) lack of incentives to do so; c) low capacity of governments; d) other 5. Live engagement on social media during the discussion