Why write for Justice Hub?

The ideas behind a data or a community hub are not new. A few members of the Justice Hub team are part of one or the other open data hubs as either users or volunteers. Our work around a few data driven or empirical legal research projects, contributed to this idea of curating a repository of well documented datasets in the law and justice space and with that we started exploring this uncharted territory.

There are a few common challenges which people face when they start working on a new idea, project or a proposal that involves working with legal datasets. Finding data is hard, working with external data is harder and building trust around the datasets, especially when the data collection methodologies are not available, is the hardest. One way of solving some of these challenges, at-least, is through well maintained open data ecosystems that are often backed by a strong community of users, contributors and maintainers.

We started building the Justice Hub in December 2019. It began as a short experiment, where we wanted to explore a few ideas that we had submitted in our grant proposal for the Agami - Data4Justice challenge. In the next six months, all we wanted to do was to learn, from the creators of data, from the users of legal data and from the existing data ecosystems that are operational throughout the world in different sectors. Our idea was to get closer to this community and learn not only about the challenges it faces, but also it’s strengths. We believe that any project or initiative that wants to work for and with the community, needs to constantly learn about its stronger points and curate ideas around them. Doing this is far more productive and engaging rather than just working just with an intention to help someone externally.

This talk by Cormac Russell, on Sustainable community development better articulates this idea.

An in-person discussion with our partners or a group meeting to brain storm a few ideas for the Hub, is the most productive way to collaborate. But given the diversity, both geographical and in terms of work, sometimes it gets difficult to keep everyone involved about the activities around the Justice Hub. This is why, it is important as a group to write about these ideas, share them in a language that people understand and relate to. Only then we’ll be able to walk on the path of inclusivity and collaboration. We, ourselves learn a lot from similar initiatives from around the globe. If they had not shared their journey, we could have not landed here at this time. Writing is our way of giving back, sharing what we have learned and asking for help where needed.

This post focuses on the Why of writing and we have another post that talks about the process on how we write. Please check it out as well, if you’d like to write for the Justice Hub. Also, checkout the post by Richard Bartlett on Minimum Viable Post: the Lean Approach to Writing Your Masterpiece

Here is a list of articles around legal data, data collaborative and everything in between:

Read something interesting ? Please, edit this page and add links to this list.

Apoorv Anand
Data Strategist

Manages Data at Partnerships at CivicDataLab