IT for Change Calls for Proposals for  Research Projects on Digital Economy, Data Governance 

Anita Gurumurthy, ED, IT for Change
Anita Gurumurthy, ED, IT for Change

The Bengaluru, India-based non-governmental organization, IT for Change, has put out a call for proposal for research studies outside India, from academic and research organisations; researchers, either independently or in teams in the Global South to apply for its new research project, “Unskewing the Data Value Chain – A Policy Research Project for Equitable Platform Economies”.

IT for Change will award up to seven grants of USD 13,500 to each successful proposal for a period of 12 months.

The project aims to generate original, evidence-based research, and build a robust body of work to inform policymakers and practitioners and recommend policy directions for inclusive and equitable data value chains in the platform economy.

With development outcomes in the digital closely tied to the ability of countries to harness data value chains, the assemblage of intelligence infrastructure layers – comprising the base data layer, cloud computing layer, the intelligence layer, and the consumer-facing intelligence services layer – drive the fundamental transformation of the real economy. As things stand, the digital economy is anything but equitable. Ninety per cent of the market capitalization of the world’s 70 largest Big Tech companies accrues to the US and China. The EU’s share is a paltry 4 per cent and Africa and Latin America together account for 1 per cent. This extremely unequal economic geography, where global data value chains have been captured by Big Tech companies and two countries, is the result of a governance vacuum.

The policy efforts at regulating Big Tech and the gaps in the governance of data value chains tell us that the challenges to realizing an equitable digital economy are many. It is more urgent than ever to cast a critical lens at existing policies for the platform model and analyze how data value chains can be directed towards a fair and just economy.

The deadline for submission of application is October 14, 2020, 06.30 UTC (12.00 PM IST). Although the research is focused on the Global South, applicants from all over the world are however welcome to apply for the call.

The detailed call for proposal is available at the concept note that discusses the issues at stake in greater detail can be downloaded from

The project is being supported by the Omidyar Network.