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ICEGOV 2021 – Roundtable Session 5

Friday, 8 October 2021 | 11:00 - 13:00 | Room Athena [Main Auditorium]


Data-driven governance in the social sector: opportunities and challenges in a changing world

The importance of data-driven processes is widely recognised in the social sector. As a result, organisations are increasingly applying analytics to address ongoing issues and develop proactive responses to new phenomena (e.g., health, employment, fighting fraud, etc.). In this line, data-driven governance could empower social sector organisations to address increasingly complex socioeconomic challenges (e.g., employment and family support to evolving societies). The fast-advancing data technologies – Analytics, AI and Big Data – and the progressively better quality social data would provide the means for such developments.

However, some of the applications mentioned above are not without controversies. In particular, AI explainability and bias prevention, privacy and data ownership, and Big Data management and quality assurance require a thorough analysis and careful application in the social sector. This session will address these issues through a multidisciplinary panel involving researchers and practitioners, policymakers, and international organisations from the social sector.


  • Explore the opportunities and challenges related to the development of data-driven governance in the social sector.
  • Discuss advances on AI explainability and bias prevention in a governance context and on the Big Data management and quality assurance implications for social sector organisations.
  • Confront different perspectives on advantages and risks for data-driven governance in the social sector through a multidisciplinary debate.


  • Context and objectives
  • Short motivational introduction
  • The state of the play on:
    • Big Data management and quality assurance
    • AI in a governance context
    • Q&A
  • Applications in the social sector:
    • MOHRSS
    • Sven Hutse
  • Discussion:
    • What are the main pros & cons
    • Perspectives from two other social security organizations
  • What could be potential approaches to develop data-driven governance in the social sector?
  • Comments of the speakers and panellists (6 x 5 min )
  • Q&A and final comments
  • Conclusions



Raúl Ruggia-Frick
International Social Security Association
Ismael Caballeros
University of Castilla-La Mancha
Moinul Zaber
United Nations University (UNU-EGOV)
Sven Hutse
Social Services Sector
Yanli Zhai
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security