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Data Ethics Toolkit


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation invited Informing Change to partner with them in the development of an updated Data Ethics Guidebook. In doing so, we considered the evolving ecosystem of values, players, and circumstances in which evaluation is now happening in philanthropy.

In addition to the Guidebook, we developed a companion Data Ethics Toolkit to allow the reader to capture insights and create feedback loops within your team and community. The Toolkit contains Stories from the Field to illustrate key concepts and the complexity within which today’s practitioners are navigating, and which can be used as fodder for team discussions on data ethics or further reflection.

The Toolkit also contains a list of Further Reading for pointers to additional material of interest. The Toolkit also contains additional ways to integrate ethics into practice: The Framework for Ethical Thinking offers an at-a-glance reference for planning and implementing evaluations, while The Learning & Decision Log prompts you to record insights and decisions your team makes about how it wants to do evaluation in future. We also offer consent form suggested language and sample templates.

To access the Guidebook which this Toolkit accompanies, click here.

Read more about the Data Ethics Project here.

A Note on Language Conventions
The evaluation community at-large is always contemplating and reassessing what data ethics should mean in evaluation and applied research, but it is doing so now more intensively than ever. One topic of ongoing debate – not explicitly discussed in the Guidebook or Toolkit – is the best language with which to be inclusive, representative, and uplifting of the identities and communities being discussed in any given research project.

Like many in the field, we find the American Psychological Association’s Inclusive Language Guidelines to be an invaluable resource. However, we acknowledge our personal implicit biases and lived experiences leave us open to inadvertently using language and phrasing that may be harmful, including in the Guidebook and Toolkit.

We consider the Guidebook and Toolkit to be living documents and welcome feedback on these and any other issues for future iterations. To share feedback, please email us at