Data and trust

By Stuart Tomlinson

This year more than ever we have come to learn the value of trust and data. Accurate and timely data on COVID-19 cases has provided a shared focus for government, scientists, and community alike. Easy to understand graphs and a bit of education on the number and exponential growth has further enhanced the shared value of quality data.

Similarly, researchers on test and trace options have championed the value of 2-way communication through trusted channels, favouring decentralized models that can untap the value of local trust capital.

Multicultural Futures has, for many years, been advocating for better use of data and trust to secure better outcomes for people from a migrant or refugee background. For example, our Community Ambassador program is designed to fill the trust gap between communities and services, releasing the potential of bilingual and bicultural connectors in the community.

We have also had some wins in the data space. Earlier this year we published research on mental health and alcohol and other drugs. Both literature reviews highlight the lack of appropriate data collection for migrant communities, i.e. we don’t know the extent of the issue, and we don’t yet know how to tackle it. As a result of this research, there is a revitalized appetite to improve data collection in this space.

As we move towards a new year, hopefully 2021 will be remembered as the year the we fully embraced the value data and trust.