Stage 2
11:15 - 12:15
Data Confidentiality vs. Shared Data: Enabler or Show Stopper for Development?

Short thesis

Data confidentiality of sensitive individual data is a highly valued good. So is the development of social and economic systems. Practitioners from three African organisations that deal with sensitive, financial data of their clients discuss how they cope with the dilemma when it comes to sharing data to set up efficient processes.


Over the last decades, digital processing of personal data has become a normality for organisations all over Africa that deal with economic and social affairs of their target populations. While the data bases of each organisation used to be isolated islands with little or no data transmissions to other systems, recent trends clearly indicate a drive towards integrated, digital landscapes. Here individual data are shared across institutions – nationally and internationally. On the one hand this brings clear advantages in terms of transparency, coverage and efficiency when bringing services to beneficiaries. On the other hand there are questions arising about the ownership of the shared data, the rights of the individuals and how to protect them from inappropriate use of their data.

In a panel discussion, we give an opportunity to selected practitioners from organisations that deal with sensitive individual data to discuss opportunities and dangers of shared data management on the basis of practical experiences from their organisations. The speakers come from insurance and micro-finance institutions from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana. Their organisations manage detailed records about financial transactions of their clients. The speakers bring in experiences from ICT departments and on-site branch office operations.

The results of the discussion serve as input for valuable follow up discussion with the audience at the end of the session.