Centre for Internet & Society

Social Entitlements for the Transgender Community

by Deepa Krishnappa and Tasneem Mewa

This report has been authored by Deepa Krishnappa and Tasneem Mewa, and edited by Ambika Tandon, Gurshabad Grover and Rajesh Srinivas.

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Brindaalakshmi.K - Gendering of Development Data in India: Beyond the Binary

by Brindaalakshmi.K

This report by Brindaalakshmi.K seeks to understand the gendering of development data in India: collection of data and issuance of government (foundational and functional) identity documents to persons identifying outside the cis/binary genders of female and male, and the data misrepresentations, barriers to accessing public and private services, and informational exclusions that still remain. Sumandro Chattapadhyay edited the report and Puthiya Purayil Sneha offered additional editorial support. This work was undertaken as part of the Big Data for Development network supported by International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

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The Mother and Child Tracking System - understanding data trail in the Indian healthcare systems

by Ambika Tandon

Reproductive health programmes in India have been digitising extensive data about pregnant women for over a decade, as part of multiple health information systems. These can be seen as precursors to current conceptions of big data systems within health informatics. In this article, published by Privacy International, Ambika Tandon presents some findings from a recently concluded case study of the MCTS as an example of public data-driven initiatives in reproductive health in India.

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Big Data and Reproductive Health in India: A Case Study of the Mother and Child Tracking System

by Ambika Tandon

In this case study undertaken as part of the Big Data for Development (BD4D) network, Ambika Tandon evaluates the Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) as data-driven initiative in reproductive health at the national level in India. The study also assesses the potential of MCTS to contribute towards the big data landscape on reproductive health in the country, as the Indian state’s imagination of health informatics moves towards big data.

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Can data ever know who we really are?

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

This is an excerpt from an essay by Zara Rahman, written for and published as part of the Bodies of Evidence collection of Deep Dives. The Bodies of Evidence collection, edited by Bishakha Datta and Richa Kaul Padte, is a collaboration between Point of View and the Centre for Internet and Society, undertaken as part of the Big Data for Development Network supported by International Development Research Centre, Canada.

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Data Infrastructures and Inequities: Why Does Reproductive Health Surveillance in India Need Our Urgent Attention?

by Aayush Rathi and Ambika Tandon

In order to bring out certain conceptual and procedural problems with health monitoring in the Indian context, this article by Aayush Rathi and Ambika Tandon posits health monitoring as surveillance and not merely as a “data problem.” Casting a critical feminist lens, the historicity of surveillance practices unveils the gendered power differentials wedded into taken-for-granted “benign” monitoring processes. The unpacking of the Mother and Child Tracking System and the National Health Stack reveals the neo-liberal aspirations of the Indian state.

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Exploring Big Data for Development: An Electricity Sector Case Study from India

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

This working paper by Ritam Sengupta, Dr. Richard Heeks, Sumandro Chattapadhyay, and Dr. Christopher Foster draws from the field study undertaken by Ritam Sengupta, and is published by the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. The field study was commissioned by the CIS, with support from the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield.

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Workshop Report - UIDAI and Welfare Services: Exclusion and Countermeasures

by Vanya Rakesh

This report presents summarised notes from a workshop organised by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) on Saturday, August 27, 2016, to discuss, raise awareness of, and devise countermeasures to exclusion due to implementation of UID-based verification for and distribution of welfare services.

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CFI-ACCION - Panel Discussion on 'Big Data: Challenge or Opportunity?' (Delhi, December 06)

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The Centre for Financial Inclusion of ACCION International is organising a panel discussion on "Big Data: Challenge or Opportunity?" as an associated event of the Inclusive Finance India Summit 2016, Hotel Ashok, Delhi, December 05-06. The discussion will be held at 12:30 on Tuesday, December 06. It will be moderated by Amy Jensen Mowl, CFI Fellow at IFMR, and M.S. Sriram, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Development of Research in Banking Technology. Sumandro Chattapadhyay will participate as a panelist.

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Workshop on 'Privacy after Big Data' (Delhi, November 12)

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and the Sarai programme, CSDS, invite you to a workshop on 'Privacy after Big Data: What Changes? What should Change?' on Saturday, November 12. This workshop aims to build a dialogue around some of the key government-led big data initiatives in India and elsewhere that are contributing significant new challenges and concerns to the ongoing debates on the right to privacy. It is an open event. Please register to participate.

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CISxScholars Delhi - William F. Stafford (Nov 03, 6:30 pm)

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

We are delighted to have William F. Stafford, PhD candidate in UC Berkeley, present on "Public Measurements, Private Measurements, and the Convergence of Units" at the CIS office in Delhi on Thursday, Nov 03, at 6:30 pm. Please RSVP if you are joining us: <[email protected]>.

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Right to Food Campaign, Ranchi Convention, 2016

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The Right to Food Campaign held its 2016 Convention in Ranchi during September 23-25, 2016. While three years have elapsed since the passage of the National Food Security Act, despite improvements in the Public Distribution System (PDS), large implementation gaps remain. This is what the Convention focused on, and gathered researchers and campaigners from across the country to share experiences and case studies on effectiveness and exclusions from the PDS. Sumandro Chattapadhyay took part in a session of the Convention to discuss how UID-linked welfare delivery is being rolled out across key programmes like provision of pension and rationed distribution of essential commodities, and their impact on people's right to welfare services.

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Report on Understanding Aadhaar and its New Challenges

by Japreet Grewal, Vanya Rakesh, Sumandro Chattapadhyay, and Elonnai Hickock

The Trans-disciplinary Research Cluster on Sustainability Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University collaborated with the Centre for Internet and Society, and other individuals and organisations to organise a two day workshop on “Understanding Aadhaar and its New Challenges” at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, JNU on May 26 and 27, 2016. The objective of the workshop was to bring together experts from various fields, who have been rigorously following the developments in the Unique Identification (UID) Project and align their perspectives and develop a shared understanding of the status of the UID Project and its impact. Through this exercise, it was also sought to develop a plan of action to address the welfare exclusion issues that have arisen due to implementation of the UID Project.

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Big Data Governance Frameworks for 'Data Revolution for Sustainable Development'

by Meera Manoj

A key component of the process to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is the call for a global 'data revolution' to better understand, monitor, and implement development interventions. Recently there has been several international proposals to use big data, along with reconfigured national statistical systems, to operationalise this 'data revolution for sustainable development.' This analysis by Meera Manoj highlights the different models of collection, management, sharing, and governance of global development data that are being discussed.

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Data for Governance, Governance of Data, and Data Anxieties

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) organised a panel discussion on 'The Data Explosion – How the Internet of Things will Affect Media Freedom and Communication Systems?' at Deutsche Welle's Global Media Forum 2016, held in Bonn, Germany during June 13-15, 2016. Sumandro Chattapadhyay was invited as one of the panelists.

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Call for Proposal: Big Data for Development – Initial Field Studies

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The Centre for Internet and Society, as part of a project with the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield, is inviting calls from researchers to undertake a brief initial study of a specific instance of use of big data for development in India. This is an exercise to build preliminary understanding of the landscape of big data for development in India, identify key research questions and priorities, and start developing connections with researchers interested in the field. The studies will be 6 weeks long - running from May to June 2016 - and the researchers are expected to produce a 3,000 words long report. We will support three field studies.

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The Last Chance for a Welfare State Doesn’t Rest in the Aadhaar System

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

Boosting welfare is the message, which is how Aadhaar is being presented in India. The Aadhaar system as a medium, however, is one that enables tracking, surveillance, and data monetisation. This piece by Sumandro Chattapadhyay was published in The Wire on April 19, 2016.

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FOV Podcast - Data, People, and Smart Cities

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

For the second part of the Smart City podcast series, Sruthi Krishnan and Harsha K from Fields of View spoke with Sumandro Chattapadhyay on data, people, and smart cities. Here is the podcast. We are grateful to Fields of View for producing and sharing this recording.

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Studying the Emerging Database State in India: Notes for Critical Data Studies (Accepted Abstract)

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

"Critical Data Studies (CDS) is a growing field of research that focuses on the unique theoretical, ethical, and epistemological challenges posed by 'Big Data.' Rather than treat Big Data as a scientifically empirical, and therefore largely neutral phenomena, CDS advocates the view that data should be seen as always-already constituted within wider data assemblages." The Big Data and Society journal has provisionally accepted a paper abstract of mine for its upcoming special issue on Critical Data Studies.

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Open Data Intermediaries in Developing Countries - A Synthesis Report

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

The roles of intermediaries in open data is insufficiently explored; open data intermediaries are often presented as single and simple linkages between open data supply and use. This synthesis research paper offers a more socially nuanced approach to open data intermediaries using the theoretical framework of Bourdieu’s social model, in particular, his concept of species of capital as informing social interaction... Because no single intermediary necessarily has all the capital available to link effectively to all sources of power in a field, multiple intermediaries with complementary configurations of capital are more likely to connect between power nexuses. This study concludes that consideration needs to be given to the presence of multiple intermediaries in an open data ecosystem, each of whom may possess different forms of capital to enable the use and unlock the potential impact of open data.

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