Agami, an initiative catalysing innovation and collaborative action to advance systems of law and justice, has launched a first-of-its kind, Data for Justice Challenge.
The Challenge invites entrepreneurial individuals and teams to apply to create a hub that can enable users to share, build-upon and co-create datasets. With a dedicated starting fund of INR 1 crore, Agami is committed to spurring a culture of data collaboration to improve systems of law and justice.
The Challenge draws on a simple idea: Researchers, journalists, civil society organizations, law firms and companies have invested significant time and resources in the creation of valuable datasets in the field of law and justice.
What if they could share, build upon and collaborate on each others datasets and tools? What if easy-to-use tools could enable the analysis and interoperability of diverse datasets? Basically, enable everyone to build upon and co-create datasets and tools to impact our systems of law and justice.
Co-Founder of Agami, Supriya Sankaran spoke about the idea behind the Challenge: “We can leverage technology to unlock datasets already amongst us to create a multiplier effect in society that improves transparency alongside catalyzing data-driven policy reform, advocacy, journalism, and research.“
The Expert Partner for this Challenge is the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance (CLPG), NLU Delhi. Dr. Aparna Chandra, Director CLPG, shared, “Leveraging technology for conducting evidence-based research will make such research easily accessible to a wider audience and will hopefully lead to more and better policy inputs for making the legal system accessible and just.”
The Challenge is also supported by a wide range of highly credible Agami Partners including, Omidyar Network India, an investment firm focused on social impact, impact investors Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, leading law firm Trilegal and social innovation network Ashoka.
The Data for Justice Challenge is being rolled out in phases.
Phase 1, which launched on May 29, 2019, invited inputs from lawyers, researchers, CSO heads, data-journalists, technologists, students and more through the Agami Meetups.
Their on-ground experiences, challenges and needs, have gone into framing the most strategic opportunities for action that can add value to all the diverse users of data in this field and create a multiplier effect.
Well-known independent data journalist Rukmini S who attended the Agami Meetup in Mumbai stressed on the importance of such a Hub, “Too much of the time that journalists should be using for reporting and analysis goes into searching for data, cleaning it and making it usable. This is often enough to put off well-intentioned but pressed-for-time journalists from doing investigative reporting with data, especially on the justice system. A space with easy access and credibility built into the mechanism would be an invaluable asset to journalists seeking to go beyond received narratives.”
Phase 2 of the Challenge, which launches today, is an open call for anyone interested in creating the Hub or creating datasets that will be shared on the Hub.
Create a Hub: In this track, we’re looking for entrepreneurs, technologists, universities, research centers, or others (individually or as a consortium), who can take on the task of creating a DataHub / GitHub equivalent for law and justice (“Hub”). Applicants should seek to combine technology with design that encourages users to share and co-create datasets. One applicant will be selected under this track.
Create Datasets: The first few users of the Hub will define its success. In this track, researchers, civil society organizations, journalists can propose compelling and strategic data driven projects in law and justice and commit to sharing datasets on the Hub. Two or more applicants may be selected under this track.
To apply to either track or for more information about the Challenge visit the link here.