Recording and agreeing on a project’s key stakeholders and their roles in data sharing is important for streamlining data sharing.
The data-sharing protocol developed in Guyana specifies who must be consulted before any data can be shared. It defines the level of involvement of community and external actors (shown in the roles diagram, below, and the traffic light system).
Under each data classification (green, amber, red), there is a specific process that needs to be followed for that dataset to be shared and accessed by external actors. The decision-making process is based on the traditional village management structures, which helps ensure local acceptance and ownership of the process.
These guidelines and the agreements on roles make sure that data is used in a most careful and considerate way, taking into account the concerns and decisions of the communities. This also ensures that the project effectively addresses any data sharing requests that might arise throughout the course of the project and thereafter.
The diagram below shows the following data sharing processes and roles:
(i) Data sharing or access requests are submitted via an online website portal or through emails to community and facilitator focal points.
(ii) The community and facilitator data focal points examine and log the request and can, depending on the classification, either proceed with sharing the data, or
(iii) pass the request on to the community decision-making body - the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB); or
(iv) ask that it is discussed further in community assemblies with each village council.
(v) Once agreements and terms are reached, the data sets are then requested from the appointed data administrators who have access to the system. These individuals provide access details or data sets to the focal points.
In projects where many parties are involved, clear roles and processes are essential to ensure that communities maintain control over how data is used and who can access it. A data-sharing protocol is very valuable to set out these roles and processes.