The Data Assembly Logo

The Data Assembly NYC Expert Panel and Live Virtual Town Hall. Learn more and register here.



The Data Assembly is an initiative from The GovLab with support from the Henry Luce Foundation to solicit diverse, actionable public input on data re-use for crisis response in the United States.


The Data Assembly is a collaboration between citizens, civil rights organizations, key data holders and policymakers.

Our work will commence with a focus on New York City, with the intent of expanding to other cities, states, or the federal level.

Our initial focus will be data re-use for COVID-19 measures, but our results will be applicable beyond the pandemic.






Through the use of online deliberations and surveys, the Data Assembly will seek to highlight existing problems, possible concerns, and benefits they associate with data re-use. At the end of this process, there will be a map of challenges and expectations curated and ranked by the Data Assembly.

Download our two-pager



The Data Assembly will collectively ideate and co-design solutions to the problems identified in Phase 1. This ideation process will take place through an online crowdsourcing tool, complemented with other outreach mechanisms, which will allow participants to post their own solutions, up-vote or down-vote ideas posted by others, and provide comments and build upon other participants’ submissions.

Download our two-pager



The GovLab will review proposed solutions developed in the previous phase. Using these as a basis we will prepare a framework that will be presented and discussed during a live, online town hall meeting.

Download our two-pager

Too often, policy is designed and conducted in a top-down manner, with little citizen input. We believe this more inclusive effort will yield trusted and effective data policies in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Mariko Silver

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Henry Luce Foundation

If used responsibly and effectively, data could help to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, but to unlock data’s value, we need to rapidly get smarter about the policy and governance challenges resulting from re-using data; as well what public expectations are.

Stefaan Verhulst

Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of The GovLab

Data is increasingly the primary format for sharing information to understand crises and plan recovery efforts; empowering everyone to better understand how data is collected and how it should be used is paramount. We look forward to learning from the insights gathered by the GovLab through the Data Assembly work they are conducting in New York City.

Adrienne Schmoeker

Director of Civic Engagement & Strategy and Deputy Chief Analytics Officer, NYC Mayor's Office of Data Analytics

We are now witnessing generation-defining civil liberties struggles erupt across America. A central thread running through all debates: communities—especially those have been long oppressed—are rightly demanding "nothing about us without us.” Community voices have been critical in bringing greater awareness to complex policy issues, and in winning long-overdue reforms.

Panthea Lee

Executive Director of Reboot

Discussions on data governance—which have urgent and heightened importance during the pandemic—have typically been deemed to be beyond the interest or understanding of the general public, and thus dominated by technical “experts”. But the questions under consideration will impact us all, and thus require broad discussion and deliberation. The Data Assembly is an important and timely effort to advance this conversation.

Panthea Lee

Executive Director of Reboot

Technology is reshaping cities, their services, and their public spaces. It's key for residents to feel that they both understand and have a voice in that change. We have to raise the bar on civic engagement when it comes to data and technology innovations in our communities.

Denise Riedl

Chief Innovation Officer for South Bend, IN and a Fellow with the Benton Institute

Resolving social trade-offs requires that many different voices be heard. This may sound radical, but it is in fact the original lesson of democracy: Citizens should have a say.

Federica Carugati

Program Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University


Stefaan Verhulst

Co-Founder and Chief R&D Officer
The GovLab

Mary Ann Badavi

Research Intern, The GovLab

Nadiya Safonova

Research Assistant, The GovLab

Michelle Winowatan

Research Assistant, The GovLab

Andrew Young

Knowledge Director, The GovLab

Andrew J. Zahuranec

Research Fellow, The GovLab


* indicates required fields

Thank you for your submission!


The Governance Lab

The Governance Lab's mission is to improve people's lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, e!ectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit

Henry Luce Foundation

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. The Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co- founder and editor- in-chief of Time, Inc., the Foundation’s earliest work honored his parents, missionary educators in China. The Foundation’s programs today reflect the value Mr. Luce placed on learning, leadership, and long-term commitment in philanthropy.