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Workforce Wanted: Data Talent for Social Impact (2023)

Posted on:
July 11, 2023

This report focuses on global data talent in the social sector. The report reviews the current landscape and offers 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. 

The four pathways:

  1. New Talent
    New data for social impact talent are individuals entering the workforce from traditional or non-traditional educational institutions and programs for the first time. This pathway explores expanding exposure of learners through the development of data for social impact (DSI) use cases; integration of hands-on, practical learning; incorporation of applied learning into curriculum; and stronger alignment of training models with the needs and demands of the nonprofit sector.
  2. Existing Talent
    Existing social talent are professionals already working in social impact organizations (SIOs) who have the potential to be upskilled or reskilled to take on data roles. This pathway focuses on creating models for upskilling and reskilling—such as in-house, outsourcing, and sponsorship models—that recognize the value of existing talent committed to social impact and SIOs.
  3. Transitional Talent
    Transitional talent are data professionals who can potentially move from the private or public sector into the social sector. This pathway seeks to create greater exposure and access to opportunities that allow for more agile flow of talent across sectors; examples include hands-on fellowships, short courses, volunteer opportunities, and rotational leadership programs.
  4. Leadership
    Data for social impact leaders are senior executives or well-positioned individuals who have the role or agency to design or supervise the execution of an organization’s data strategy (e.g., CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, Head of Analytics, etc.), and who will influence an organization’s data usage, practices, and culture. This pathway focuses on enhancing and shaping new models to support design, experimentation, and advancement of data-driven strategies, initiatives, and talent acquisition; investment in allies, such as boards and funders, to advance understanding of data-driven solutions.

Summary

This report focuses on global data talent in the social sector. The report reviews the current landscape and offers four pathways forward for building purpose-driven data professionals.
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