Realizing the Promise of Disaggregated Data and Analytics for Social Justice Through Community Engagement and Intersectoral Research Partnerships
Keywords:Disaggregated data, Community engaged scholarship, partnerships, science policy, social justice, inequity, big data
In Canada, community and policy leaders have issued urgent calls to collect, analyze, and mobilize disaggregated data to inform equity-oriented initiatives aimed at addressing systemic racism and gender inequity, as well as other social inequities. This essay presents critical reflections from a national Roundtable discussion regarding how meaningful community engagement within academia–community–government research collaborations offers the opportunity to harness disaggregated data and advanced analytics to centre and address the priorities of equity-deserving and sovereignty-seeking groups. Participants emphasized four key priorities: (1) Building equitable and engaged partnerships that centre community-driven priorities and address structural barriers to community engagement; (2) Co-creating ethical data governance policies and infrastructure to support community data ownership and access; (3) Stimulating innovation and pursuing community involvement to create contextualized, advanced analyses and effective visualizations of disaggregated data; and (4) Building the capacity of all partners to effectively contribute to partnership goals. Capacity building was viewed as a bridge across a diversity of lived and professional expertise, enabling intersectoral research teams to collaborate in culturally safe and respectful ways. Beyond identifying key structural barriers impeding the promise of disaggregated data, we present practical opportunities for innovation in community-engaged scholarship to address social justice challenges in Canada.
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