Indigenous Data Sovereignty

D4D Asia has provided space for indigenous populations to participate in data for development projects and have more of a seat at the table, highlighting the importance for indigenous communities to have sovereignty over their data and traditional knowledge.
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Synthesis/ summary of this project 

EWMI-ODI has coordinated an indigenous working group among Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam stakeholders to look at the inequalities of data availability on indigenous issues, particularly for women. This work also connects to the linkages of our work on the Sustainable Development Goals, which gained momentum as each of the countries worked towards localization and reporting to align their development achievements against the 169 targets. As a result, we have built a number of partnerships with national, regional and global stakeholders who are interested in monitoring and reporting on progress against the SDGs. This forms a crucial aspect of our long-term strategy and provides a direction for continued future relevance. ODM now partners with AIPP in collaborating on Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS) work across the region.


The teams across the Mekong conducted consultative workshops and meetings with relevant indigenous groups to identify the data gaps and needs of communities. During these sessions, Indigenous Data Sovereignty as a concept was discussed and translated into value prepositions that reflected indigenous knowledge ecosystems. Training support for data literacy was also provided which would then support indigenous communities to take control over data governance and knowledge ecosystems.  

Project Outputs

Highlight unique/innovative outputs from the table below

  • Through consultative collaborations, IDS principles and the new Be FAIR and CARE principles released by the Global Indigenous Data Alliance have been disseminated to indigenous constituents throughout Asia.  
  • Engagement at regional and global levels has raised awareness of the importance of not only indigenous rights but the unique applications of indigenous data within the Open Data movement. 
  • Engagement with stakeholders to develop low-literate handheld data collection tools appropriate for indigenous contexts. 
  • Data literacy training provided in Laos targeting indigenous communities. 
  • Data and information published in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
  • 3 videos documenting traditional cultures and practices of ethnic minorities.