The Indigenous Data Network (IDN) assists Indigenous communities in developing the technical capability and resources to enable them to manage their data for community advancement. By strengthening communities’ agency in their data, the network empowers them to make informed decisions about their own development.
Bringing together community, university, government, non-government and private sector partners, the IDN creates an ongoing community of practice to address a range of shared concerns related to: data collection, management, discovery, and access; capability development; negotiation with government and non-government organisations; and educational programs.
The Data Network is led by a Steering Committee. A secretariat and administrative hub are based at the University of Melbourne, which is well-positioned in this space given its breadth of experience in Indigenous scholarship and in digital social sciences and humanities for more than two decades.
- Identifying best practice in community data collection, management and access.
- Assisting Indigenous communities to apply best practice in data management by providing technical and educational resources.
- Developing specific strategies and approaches to make better use of data over which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have ownership.
- Creating a directory of databases to increase awareness of existing data sets and how to access them.
- Integrating and archiving Indigenous datasets and preventing the orphaning of important datasets which would be detrimental to communities.
- Negotiating with government and non-government organisations to ensure data activities are aligned with Indigenous priorities, and that data collected is available for sharing under appropriate conditions.
- Working with the Indigenous Research Exchange to develop guidelines and best-practice case studies for research and data analysis in evaluation to improve Indigenous outcomes.
- Coordinating educational programs to ensure the development of a critical mass of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with expertise in the data sciences.
- Developing panels of experts who can provide advice and assistance on data issues.