Alex is part of the growing movement of researchers that want to give back control over data and information to individuals and communities; they recognize data sovereignty (the ownership of data) as something that can empower marginalized communities by giving them one way of exercising control over the affairs of their everyday lives. We need to shift away from the idea that researchers like Alex own the data they collect, and toward a practice of researchers as “data stewards”.
In the shift toward a model of data stewardship, Alex believes that researchers can talk meaningfully about using data without owning and controlling that data. Alex recognizes the importance of transparency in every step of their work, and they believe in the necessity for community consultation to ensure that marginalized communities not only see themselves reflected in surveys and studies, but also see their interests reflected in the results and reports.
Alex draws heavily from the recommendations of British Columbia’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner report, Disaggregated demographic data collection in British Columbia: The grandmother perspective which you can read here. You can reach out to Alex about their work at [email protected].