16,697 Unskewing the Data Value Chain – A Policy Research Project for Equitable Platform Economies.

IT for Change is looking to collaborate with researchers and scholars working on issues of the digital economy and data governance in the Global South for our new research project, ‘Unskewing the Data Value Chain – A Policy Research Project for Equitable Platform Economies’.


The aim of the project is to generate original, evidence-based research, and build a robust body of work to inform policymakers and practitioners and recommend policy directions for inclusive and equitable data value chains in the platform economy. The project is supported by the Omidyar Network.

With development outcomes in the digital closely tied to the ability of countries to harness data value chains, the assemblage of intelligence infrastructure layers – comprising the base data layer, cloud computing layer, the intelligence layer, and the consumer-facing intelligence services layer – drive the fundamental transformation of the real economy. As things stand, the digital economy is anything but equitable. Ninety percent of the market capitalization of the world’s 70 largest Big Tech companies accrues to the US and China. The EU’s share is a paltry 4 percent and Africa and Latin America together account for 1 percent. This extremely unequal economic geography, where global data value chains have been captured by Big Tech companies and two countries, is the result of a governance vacuum.

The policy efforts at regulating Big Tech and the gaps in the governance of data value chains tell us that the challenges to realizing an equitable digital economy are many. It is more urgent than ever to cast a critical lens at existing policies for the platform model and analyze how data value chains can be directed towards a fair and just economy.

Towards this, we are issuing a Call for Proposals for research studies outside India, with an aim to build an interdisciplinary network of scholars and researchers in a cutting-edge policy domain. We will award up to seven grants of USD 13,500 each for a period of 12 months.

Here is our detailed call for proposals and the concept note that discusses the issues at stake in greater detail.


Deadline for submission of application: 14 October 2020, 06.30 UTC (12.00 PM IST)

Who can apply: Academic and research organizations, researchers (independently or in teams)

Regions: The research is focused on the Global South. However, applicants from all over the world are welcome to apply for the call.


We look forward to your participation and would be grateful if you can circulate this in your own networks.

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