MCC established a Disclosure Review Board (DRB) in 2013 to ensure that data collected from surveys and other research activities is made public according to relevant laws and ethical standards that protect research participants, while recognizing the potential value of the data to the public.
The Vice President of the Department of Policy and Evaluation chairs the DRB, which is responsible for:
- Reviewing and approving procedures for the release of data products to the public;
- Reviewing and approving data files for disclosure, and ensuring de-identification procedures adhere to legal and ethical standards for the protection of research participants; and
- Initiating and coordinating any necessary research related to disclosure risk potential in individual, household, and enterprise-level survey microdata on MCC’s beneficiaries.
The DRB membership consists of representatives from each MCC department with 6-10 members in total. Membership is designed to include a variety of skills and expertise to ensure that every aspect of the de-identification and release of data is considered.
The Importance of a Disclosure Review Board
As part of a data-driven, evidence-based approach to operations, MCC regularly funds surveys and other research activities that yield data products. Consistent with this model and its commitment to accountability, transparency and learning, MCC is publicly sharing data generated in the design, implementation and evaluation of its compacts and threshold programs to achieve three important goals:
- Transparency. To enable any stakeholder, researcher or agency to understand the source data and verify the analysis behind MCC’s evaluations and investments.
- Policy research for the public good. To maximize the benefits of MCC’s investments in large-scale data collection efforts above and beyond the original purposes of the evaluation.
- Protect privacy of respondents. To protect the privacy of survey respondents, which at times will reduce the maximum transparency and data usability.
Data collected in connection with MCC-funded surveys and other research activities may be of a sensitive nature and may therefore be obtained under terms of confidentiality. Recognizing that exposing this sensitive data may pose a risk to the individual or firm that provided the information, MCC seeks to conduct its collection, storage, transfer, analysis, disposal, and dissemination of data (collectively, Data Activities) in a manner that respects and protects the privacy of research participants, while satisfying program needs and MCC’s commitment to transparency.
Alicia Phillips Mandaville
- Vice President, Department of Policy and Evaluation
- Chair of the Disclosure Review Board, Disclosure Review Board