Skip to main content

Commonly used terms and starter questions

Published onJul 31, 2023
Commonly used terms and starter questions

This is the second post for the Community Data Hubs Documentation series. This series will document the thought and conversation trajectories within the process of creating the building blocks of our Community Data Hubs model and OEDP’s broader data stewardship work.  The first of these blogs will document the progress of the Community Data Hubs Advisory Group, which is working alongside OEDP to tackle conceptual questions related to the model, including social and technical infrastructures, stewardship, and community data.

This post serves as a reference point in two ways: 1) delineating commonly used terms within the Community Data Hub co-creation process, and 2) documenting initial starter questions from the Advisory Group. 

There are many terms used within the Community Data Hubs project that may have different uses outside of the project. Below is a shortlist of project-specific terms. 

Advisory Group


The Advisory Group is working alongside the OEDP team as we ground our work in environmental data stewardship. The Advisory Group consists of four colleagues from our larger network who are working on projects that are similar or adjacent to our work, and are able to provide varied perspectives from their respective fields. The goal of meeting with this CDH Advisory Group is to address blindspots and ensure that we are moving with intentionality and dedicating attention to each aspect of the co-creation process, from research and ideation to creating a blueprint for a Hub design with community.  A list of advisory group members, along with their bios, is available here.

Community Data Hubs

[concept, prototype]

The Community Data Hubs prototype will model a networked infrastructure for sharing community-generated environmental and climate data between communities, government, and researchers. This is the main term for the project and prototype.

Design Workshop


These workshops will focus on creating 1) an articulation of community needs and priorities around environmental governance and data stewardship, 2) data scenarios and user archetypes for a CDH, and 3) design considerations and possible specifications as they relate to privacy, usability, searchability, facilitation of governance feedback loops, and guidance. 

Working Group 


The Working Group will be a team of 10-15 people with backgrounds in collaborative data governance, civic tech, legal issues, community organizing, and other topical expertise. This working group will support OEDP in delineating the design considerations and use cases of a Community Data Hub model. 

Design Articulation


The design articulation will be hosted on our PubPub, and will include the outputs from the design workshops, including use cases and design considerations, multimedia documentation of the design process, and the beginning of a Resource Library for community data governance. 

Resource Library


A collection of resources related to community data governance, including data governance training materials, policy and advocacy templates, legal data sharing agreement templates, and materials for users to reference when drafting legislative or policy recommendations. 

Environmental Data Lab


A workshopping space for environmental data questions, datasets, and challenges related to stewardship, governance, and policy. The 2023 summer series of Labs will specifically focus on questions related to the Community Data Hubs model and data stewardship more broadly, with workshops highlighting two layers of data governance systems: the legal layer, and the technical layer. The Labs will host 5-8 participants alongside our advisory group. 

The Community Data Hubs Advisory Group initially generated a series of questions that informed our first conversations, and built a foundation for future conversations using the data scenarios. Our Advisory Group meetings are not limited to these questions; rather we use them as a springboard into our initial brainstorming.

  • What partnership, process, or design considerations would be helpful when working with a community attempting to weigh or choose between different open practices? 

  • What kind of data will we be working with—data meant for regulatory process vs. increasing awareness, for example? What kinds of expectations can communities expect? How to approach this situation? 

  • What kind of partner do we have in mind? How do we define community?

  • What can “data” mean to communities? How will that inform the design of the data governance tool? Is there a baseline of data literacy we want to work with? 

  • How do we approach facilitating conversations with community partners about the technical and social aspects of the project? How will we structure that process?

  • Relatedly, balancing technical specificity with social concerns can either be where magic happens or where there is a lot of data and metadata friction. How can you avoid or deal with that friction?

  • Projects with technical and social components need translators or bridges that can be attentive to their intermediary role and their capacity. This might be someone embedded in the community who can translate data and language. How should we approach finding community partners to ensure a translator like this is involved? 

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?