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Data • Community data • Completed

Developing Data Standards for Access to Justice Organisations: A Working Paper

Tracey Gyateng  |  6th April 2022

The UK National Data Strategy has cemented recognition of data standards as part of the core infrastructure for a functioning society. This working paper explains what data standards are, how they are created, how they are used and summarises challenges to effective implementation.

Data standards are rules for setting out how data should be recorded and described. Clear data standards support consistent data collection and a shared understanding of what the data means. This enables sharing and collation of data from different sources to take place and is an essential foundation for undertaking research and evaluation.

Creating data standards requires developing a defined problem statement and creating a committed community who either has or is provided with the skills and resources to participate in solving this problem. Successful projects start off small, building the infrastructure, capacity and skills in individual organisations and testing and monitoring impact.

In summary, delivering data standards requires “money, time, rules, tools and influence” Onerhime (2021). The paper reflects on a number of exciting data standards initiatives taking place in the access to justice sector – both in the UK and internationally. These initiatives require support and funding but are a vital pre-requisite for designing and delivering services for people who require legal advice and support.

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