Workforce Wanted: Data Talent for Social Impact

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Source:, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF), and Dalberg believe in the future in which people everywhere can use data to solve society’s greatest challenges and improve lives around the globe. But to realize this potential, building the next generation of diverse data talent for social impact is essential. 

Workforce Wanted: Data Talent for Social Impact is a first-of-its-kind report on global data talent in the social sector. Confronting systemic challenges and highlighting both immediate and big-picture opportunities, this report delivers the current landscape and reveals four pathways forward for building purpose-driven data professionals. With the values of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) core to this work, Workforce Wanted  identifies an opportunity to shape and support a pool of 3.5 million data professionals focused on social impact in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) over the next ten years. 

This study aims to do three things:

  1. Bring visibility to an emerging pool of talent: data professionals focused on social impact in developing
  2. Explore the potential to accelerate this labor market segment, particularly when it comes to inclusion, diversity,
    equity, and accessibility (IDEA); and
  3. Offer recommendations for like-minded efforts to dramatically grow and expand access to purpose-driven
    data professionals around the world.

To achieve these goals, this report focuses on a few key questions:
• What do we know about the current talent landscape and the challenges it faces—particularly in developing contexts,
and with an emphasis on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility?
• What are the immediate-to-big-picture opportunities for this space?
• What are the pathways for attracting, building, and supporting data professionals focused on social impact? What systemic challenges do the data field, and data for social impact (DSI) ecosystems face? What support,
enhancement or new solutions could accelerate innovation, growth, and scale?
• How can we align interests and develop recommendations for a broad range of committed actors who will foster the
growth and expansion of inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible data talent labor markets around the world?

Read the full report here

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