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Call for Community Partner

We are looking to partner with a community-based organization to explore data stewardship challenges and co-design our Community Data Hubs model.

Published onNov 01, 2023
Call for Community Partner

Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP) is thrilled to announce an open call for community partners to identify and solve data stewardship challenges, ultimately with the goal of co-designing a Community Data Hub (CDH) prototype. The goal of these partnerships is to collaboratively address environmental data governance questions and challenges. The co-design process is designed to:

  • Provide a workshopping space for community partners to work through environmental data governance questions, challenges, and find new opportunities within the CDH prototype (more on the prototype below).

  • Inform the design and content of a playbook that will detail different approaches and potential blueprints for addressing those questions and challenges for the benefit of both the community partner and other community data stewards.

The Community Data Hubs prototype will model a networked infrastructure for storing and sharing environmental data between communities, government, and researchers. OEDP aims to increase data usability in environmental governance by: (1) providing frameworks for communities to make collective decisions about their own data while also (2) modeling complementary data governance structures for sharing between communities and other sectors (e.g. researchers, government). The aim of this work is  to explore challenges and possibilities with partners in order to understand how the CDH model can address challenges in existing environmental governance settings. For more information on our conceptual and strategic groundwork for this project, please see our documentation blogs.

OEDP is open to different partnership structures, but anticipate a general time commitment including: an initial planning meeting, a half-day design workshop, collaborative follow-up to inform the content and design of the playbook, and two post-workshop check-ins. The design workshops will delve into community-defined challenges and priorities related to data governance, including privacy concerns, data sharing procedures, and questions of accessibility. We will explore relevant use case scenarios and examine how varying design considerations of a Community Data Hub model could incorporate the appropriate design considerations given the context. From these workshops, the resulting playbook will be constructed in collaboration with partners, summarizing the workshop, and describing the opportunities, which are meant to both serve as a resource for partners and offer broader guidance for OEDP’s Community Data Hub prototype design. After the workshops, OEDP will be available for two optional check-ins to discuss any follow-up questions or progress.

Potential data governance topics to explore

OEDP is interested in collaborating with groups and organizations who have confronted data governance challenges, including issues related to  privacy, consent, or ownership; stewardship in collaboration with different organizations, researchers, or governments; and data accessibility and use beyond initial data collection efforts. OEDP is primed to offer feedback regarding social, legal, and infrastructural components of data governance, not purely technical issues. Examples might include organizations that collect and use:

  • Water quality data to test for PFAS chemicals, and want to make decisions about how and with whom that data is communicated and shared, and for what purposes

  • Photographic imagery on how flooding affects public spaces, and want to be able to store more sensitive data that captures private residential flooding

  • Energy usage data,and how to use and share this data in order to explore collective energy production and distribution alternatives


In this collaboration OEDP is interested in working with:

  • A community-based organization, nonprofit, coalition, or other place-based group with shared environmental interests and challenges. Ideally, 2-5 representatives from the organization would be present at the meetings and workshops.

  • A group who is collecting, using, managing, and/or storing community-generated environmental data, such as air, water, or soil quality data sets, weather data, satellite imagery, photography, or descriptions of lived experiences and histories. This project is designed for groups who already have data that they are using and sharing, rather than groups who need assistance in collecting data.

Expectations and benefits

Partners can expect to receive:

  • Stipend of $3,300 to cover participants’ and organizational time and effort

  • A guided examination of their targeted environmental data governance questions in a workshop setting

  • A co-designed set of resources for addressing the environmental data challenges, that will in turn, inform the Community Data Hub model and be articulated in the playbook

  • Two post-workshop check-ins at the three and six month mark to track progress and field emergent questions

    Please see our Community Data Hubs Partnership FAQ for more information.

Expected Timeline

Expressions of Interest open

November 2023

Initial meetings with interested groups, and partner selection

December 2023 – January 2024

Planning meetings with community partner

January 2024

OEDP and partner co-host design workshop

February – June 2024

Collaboration on design articulation in playbook

April – August 2024

OEDP available for check-ins

April – December 2024

If interested, please fill out this form and we will be in contact by December 5, 2023. If you have questions, please send them to Emelia Williams at [email protected].

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