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Announcing DataKind’s Data Observation Toolkit as a Digital Public Good
December 02, 2022

We’re honored to share that DataKind’s Data Observation Toolkit (DOT) has been recognized as a Digital Public Good and added to the Digital Public Goods Alliance DPG Registry. The goal of the DPGA and its registry is to promote digital public goods in order to create a more equitable world. Being recognized as a DPG increases the visibility, support for, and prominence of open projects that have the potential to tackle global challenges. To become a digital public good, all projects are required to meet the DPG Standard to ensure that projects truly encapsulate open-source principles.

DOT is an open-source, community-informed toolkit capable of automated monitoring and detection of inconsistent or problematic data in a relational database. While DOT’s origins are in strengthening digitally-enabled community health information applications, the tool is highly configurable in that it can be used to monitor data in any relational database, making it amenable to scaling across platforms and domains. 

“We’re thrilled that our tool has been recognized as a Digital Public Good alongside many other incredible open-source projects working to achieve the SDGs. Being recognized as a Digital Public Good means a major vote of confidence in the maturity of our product. This is the balance we’re always striving for at DataKind. That we created a tool that’s both highly robust and accessible to our nonprofit partners is the goal,” said Matt Harris, Head of Data Science at DataKind.

DataKind’s mission is to harness the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity. For more than a decade, we’ve partnered with social impact organizations to advance data solutions into turnkey tools that are accessible and valuable public goods. Working on topics as diverse as increasing data trust for global community health programs to improving local knowledge of housing insecurity in the U.S., we’ve delivered tools with global reach, dozens of citations, and user communities into the thousands. As the worldwide creator community continues to mature and standardize, we’ve evolved our approach to solution creation. 

DOT is highly configurable via a web UI and has the ability to monitor multiple databases

DataKind began exploring solutions for improving data quality as one part of our Frontline Health Systems portfolio in 2019. In collaboration with our partner, Medic, DataKind explored opportunities to disrupt the compounding cycle of poor data quality found to be pervasive in large deployments of digital data collection tools and digitally-enabled community health information systems. Building on the prototype developed in 2020, DataKind and Medic progressively identified sustainable pathways to increasing trust in public health data through changes in tooling, training, and communication. 

For more on DOT as a Digital Public Good, we’ll showcase our work at the Global Digital Health Forum on Monday, December 5, at 5:45pm ET in Washington, DC. We'll demonstrate the key features of DOT, how it works, and current deployment options. We invite our community to contribute questions and feedback to inform further development of DOT as a Digital Public Good.

The Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative endorsed by the United Nations Secretary-General, working to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in low- and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods.

We’d like to thank our partner, Medic, and Chrisgone Adede, Mourice Barasa, and Henok Alemayehu in particular for their support and collaboration. We’d also like to thank Matthew Harris (Data Ambassador), Katy Moore (Project Manager), and Data Experts: Lorenzo Rubio, Lydia Sanyu, Rahul Ragunathan, Iria Enobakhare, and Tyler Dorland for volunteering their time and expertise to DataKind and to the development of DOT. 

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