The University of New Brunswick's NB-IRDT has been awarded $200,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to develop a training program for Government of New Brunswick policymakers on how to incorporate data into decision-making.
NB-IRDT currently has research partnerships with four government departments. The new training program will expand on these existing partnerships to more broadly develop data literacy skills, knowledge and capacity across these and other provincial government departments.
The program will also create new mentorship opportunities to support interdisciplinary research partnerships between government and academics, and provide practical, high value research experience for graduate students.
Dr. McDonald was quoted in a UNB news release saying: "Data literacy tends to be concentrated in larger departments or jurisdictions, making smaller jurisdictions like our less able to take advantage of data for decision-making. To our knowledge, no provincial training system exists in Canada, and the strong relationships between NB-IRDT and the Province of New Brunswick make this an ideal place to pilot a Canadian-made data literacy program for government.”