The Data for Development Lab (D4D Lab) is a multi-disciplinary ‘Think and Do’ Lab implemented by The Cropper Foundation and TTLAB. The D4D Lab brings together civil society organisations, computer scientists, engineers, citizens and students in addressing the critical sustainability challenges that face Caribbean Small Island States.
The Caribbean does not have a good track-record on data-driven decision making. However, just the curation and production of data is not necessarily enough – the capacity of decision-makers and influencers to effectively utilise data is also critical to understand in the regional context. The D4D Lab is interested in looking at the data equation from both sides: what are the types of data that we need to collect to ensure that the realities of all groups are represented, when we measure development; and how best can this data be represented and used by the decision-makers and influencers around the Region.
Leveraging the opportunities that ever-increased rates of technological advancement accrue to society must also be a key for the Caribbean. With the advent of COVID-19, Caribbean SIDS are rapidly trying to undertake nationwide digitisation of critical services in the face of the ‘new normal.’ Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, smart infrastructure and precision biology are all on the frontiers of this new technological age. The D4D Lab hopes to be a space where conversations can be started about how these approaches can be harnessed to enhance Caribbean sustainability.
By adopting an ecosystem approach, the D4D Lab will bring together civil society organisations, academic institutions, the State, technical agencies, practitioners and citizens to co-create technology and data-driven solutions to priority issues within the Caribbean.
The Data for Development Lab is co-managed by The Cropper Foundation, a non-profit organisation working for Caribbean sustainability and based in Trinidad and Tobago; and TTLAB, an independent body that serves to catalyse young scientists and engineers to leverage leading-edge research for solving local problems using Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. The Lab is also advised by the EquiGov Institute, a leading Caribbean firm working in Data Privacy, Data Governance, Information Access, Transparency and Monitoring and Evaluation.