This project, and the resulting report, provides a first step in the assessment of data financing as a mechanism for social good in the data economy.


The commercial world is undergoing a broad transformation associated with recent technological developments that generate unprecedented volumes and types of data. The so-called ‘data economy’ thrives by unlocking value from the analysis of data streams that describe social and individual phenomena. However, the explosion of value that has been set off comes with its own set of social challenges, such as information security and personal privacy. Moreover, large sections of global security have yet to experience the benefits brought by these transformations.

This project, and the resulting report, assesses the feasibility of  data financing: a type of innovative financing intended to capture a small slice of the value created in the commercial exploitation of data and redirect that value towards achievement of broader social objectives.

Final Report: Data Financing for Global Good

Lehdonvirta, V., Mittelstadt, B. D., Taylor, G., Lu, Y. Y., Kadikov, A., and Margetts, H. (2016) Data Financing for Global Good: A Feasibility Study. University of Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute.

Oll Rockefeller Data Financing for Global GoodThe project report summarises the results of a study commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation and conducted by a multidisciplinary team based at the Oxford Internet Institute to investigate the feasibility of data financing. The purpose of the study was to take the first step in assessing whether and how data financing mechanisms might work to address global funding gaps, and what forms they could and should take. The study focused on a series of four expert workshops, bringing together stakeholders from around the world across academia, the public sector, and data-intensive industries. The result is a wide-ranging map of the issues and challenges involved, by no means exploring each avenue anywhere near to its end, but providing a chart of the general lay of the land.

Acknowledgement: The project team would like to extend its gratitude to participants in the project’s four workshops, whom provided extremely valuable insight and critical feedback without which the report would not have been possible.



  • Professor Vili Lehdonvirta

    Associate Professor, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

    Principal Investigator

  • Dr Brent Mittelstadt

    Researcher, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


  • Dr Greg Taylor

    Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


  • Yin Yin Lu

    DPhil Candidate, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


  • Artem Kadikov

    DPhil Candidate, Law Faculty, University of Law


  • Professor Helen Margetts

    Professor of Society and the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford