Democracy and citizenship in times of digital transformation


In the 'Datawerkplaats', scientists investigate issues related to data use in the public sector. This leads to fundamental research about democracy and citizenship in times of digital transformation. Binnenlands Bestuur published an article in honor of their one-year aniversary.

This cooperation between local and regional governments and universities was founded to develop applied knowledge about data use. That is going well, says researcher Mirko Tobias Schäfer of the Utrecht Data School. He leads the research and education platform: "It is an interdisciplinary collaboration, in which the external partners actively contribute to academic research." These partners are the municipalities of Almere, Gouda and Woerden and the province of South Holland.

Innovative projects

A big advantage of the 'Datawerkplaats' is that the partners benefit from each other's innovative projects. For example, Data Team Start was developed in Gouda, but is also used by the other partners. For the Province of South Holland, the 'Datawerkplaats' developed a Data Ethics Awareness Test (DEAT), to test how much attention is paid to ethical issues in data projects throughout the organisation. Next year the test will be rolled out at other organisations.

New partners

After the first year, which was used to link the four partners together and to ensure that there was a great deal of mutual exchange about the knowledge process, it is time for expansion. The consortium is looking for suitable partners to expand the partnership.