European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Research on Indigenous Data Governance Protocols: A toolkit for working with Indigenous Knowledge

Project description

Respecting indigenous peoples’ data rights and governance

Current trends in data governance do not align well with indigenous peoples' data rights and governance rules, as they have different epistemological traditions for using and sharing culturally sensitive information. Beyond issues regarding privacy, control and surveillance, this raises concerns related to people’s ability to exert data sovereignty over their natural resources or traditional knowledge. The EU-funded RIDaGoP project will research the gap between traditional knowledge-sharing protocols and existing open-data management practices, to develop a toolkit that contributes to more ethical data governance and upholds principles of indigenous data sovereignty in the context of open-data research. RIDaGoP aims to reframe how indigenous peoples are represented and foresees the potential for wider application to issues such as national statistics and health.


Data governance trends increasingly emphasize the need to open access to data, despite growing concerns over data privacy, control and surveillance. Indigenous peoples, with different epistemological traditions for the use and sharing of culturally sensitive information, add the additional concern of people’s ability to exert data sovereignty. Thus, while interest grow on the documentation and use of Indigenous knowledge, current data governance trends do not align well with Indigenous data rights and governance rules. This is the case of data on Indigenous peoples’ perceptions of climate change impacts collected under the LICCI project (771056-LICCI-ERC-2017-COG). While adhering to the highest EU ethical standards, data collected under the LICCI project failed to address Indigenous data governance. To develop a set of tools to guide the management of Indigenous knowledge and data in the open while adhering to Indigenous data governance principles, in this project, I will conduct “Research on Indigenous Data Governance Protocols” (RIDaGoP). In partnership with organizations working on Indigenous data governance issues, RIDaGoP will undertake four activities in 18 months: i) a literature review to document Indigenous data governance protocols; ii) an assessment on requirements to operationalize Indigenous data sovereignty in an open context; iii) the development and testing of features to operationalize Indigenous data sovereignty; and iv) the dissemination of results. RIDaGoP will facilitate the configuration and use of Indigenous data sovereignty protocols, allowing knowledge holders to set granular terms of access and use of data and to track data usage. RIDaGoP has the potential to reframe how datasets concerning Indigenous peoples are managed and how Indigenous peoples are represented. Beyond Indigenous data sovereignty, RIDaGoP innovation in tackling equity in data governance can be upscale to issues such as national statistics or health.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

See on map

Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)