Responsible Data Toolkit

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18 December 2020 • UPDATED 06 January 2021

Download the toolkit (47.6 MB) ▸

About the toolkit

Mercy Corps works with the world's most vulnerable communities, often in fragile, complex, and insecure environments. Given that context, Mercy Corps is committed to the protection of personal data for programme participants, team members, visitors and partners around the world.

The purpose of this toolkit is to share principles for the transparent, secure and responsible use of personal data, and provide materials that enable incorporation of responsible data principles into everyone’s daily work.


Responsible Data Policy

The Responsible Data Policy outlines the principles Mercy Corps has agreed to follow as part of personal data management across the agency. The policy also outlines high level procedures for compliance, and key areas of ownership.

This toolkit includes a copy of the policy in English as well as Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish.


There are special terms common to the area of responsible data, and are referenced in many of the materials in this toolkit. To aid in familiarity with the key terms, we created a set of standard definitions which you may find helpful.

This toolkit includes a copy of the definitions in English as well as Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish.

Privacy Impact Assessment

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) assist organisations in identifying and managing data privacy risks associated with any new activity, such as a new programme, technology, or policy. To ensure standardisation of PIAs across the agency, we have created a PIA template, guidance document and an example PIA.

At this time, the PIA materials are only available in English.


The Responsible Data Fundamentals course introduces the concepts of:

  • Understanding the value of data
  • Defining data types
  • Considerations for the data collection lifecycle
  • Securely managing data
  • Levels of data responsibility

This toolkit includes offline versions of the training — meaning it can be run from any computer — in English as well as Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish. To run the training, select the language/folder you prefer, and double-click the story.html file. The training will open in your preferred browser.


We will keep this toolkit updated with new guidance, policy updates and related materials. In the next few months, we expect to include a document on Data Sharing best practices, and a template for Data Sharing Agreements.


If you have any questions about this toolkit, please write to and a member of our team will get back to you quickly.