HOME 5 Applied Tools 5 Case Study: Sulingituk Scenarios


Throughout the eight applied Community Well-being tools and across the Toolkit website, there are many stories included about a fictional SGIG called “Sulingituk Government.” “Sulingituk” comes from the Inuttitut language of the Nunatsiavut Inuit, and is a general translation of the English term “fictional.” Read about Sulingituk Government in the document “Sulingituk Government Overview.”

On this page, all of the Toolkit Sulingituk scenarios are compiled and presented as a single cohesive narrative, where readers can follow the Sulingituk Government as they navigate through a journey to better gather, govern, and manage their data to support well-being for Sulingituk citizens. This may be a useful way for readers to understand how an SGIG may be able to use the various tools on this site throughout their own journey of data development. The full narrative can also be downloaded as a pdf.


The Sulingituk Government is embarking on a journey towards enhanced data maturity in alignment with its strategic plan. Following the development of vision, goals, and principles for Sulingituk data and a review of existing laws and policies, the Sulingituk Government is pursuing primary data collection as an accelerator project towards its objectives.


Vision, Goals, Principles

SULINGITUK GOVERNMENT: Vision, Goals, Principles

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government has endorsed the following vision, goals, and principles for data, and ensured that these are reinforced in its strategic plan. To support the continued development of a data-driven organizational culture, these key elements form part of employee orientation, and all briefing note templates require presentation of relevant data, and where applicable, how the work aligns with or advances the data vision, goals, and principles. 

Our vision is: Sulingituk Government governs and protects all of our data and information wherever it resides, enabling data’s full potential as a strategic asset to better understand and actionably support the needs, priorities, and plans of our Members, Government, and partners.

Our goals are:

  • Increase our data holdings that align with and advance our strategic goals and worldview.
  • Promote the active use of data in decision-making and accountability at all levels.
  • Create and maintain practical data governance and management policies and processes that effectively balance active data use with privacy and confidentiality for Sulingituk members and sacred knowledge. 

The principles that guide our decisions and actions are:

  • Our Government governs all our data, regardless of where it is stored. 
  • All analyses and publications will be culturally appropriate and reflect our worldview.
  • Data will have an actionable benefit for the well being of our Government and members. 
  • Data are treated in a secure and protective manner regardless of where they are stored. 
  • Our Government will promote the creation, maintenance, disclosure and storage of data within its own environments whenever feasible.
  • Our Government will protect the privacy of individual members.
  • Data will be of quality – accurate, reliable, clear, comparable, timely and coherent.

For more information


Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government would like to undertake a comprehensive primary data collection project to measure and report on community well-being. They would also like to use these data to inform the development of a new Strategic Plan in two years.

Sulingituk Government decides to use the indicators in the Indicator Guide & Recommended Indicator List as a starting point. This will allow them to make comparisons with any other SGIGs that use those indicators, and to work together on shared advocacy and funding analysis priorities. 

Leadership is prepared to support the associated capacity and budget requirements. They approve an initial budget for the indicator selection and development process, including for community engagement, and request that a budget for a comprehensive primary data collection exercise be developed and submitted along with the final list of indicators resulting from this phase of work. 


Fictional Case Study

Since Sulingituk Government is planning a comprehensive primary data collection exercise, they are not worried about staying within a specific number of indicators, and are more concerned with ensuring that all indicators are relevant and meaningful to them.

Sulingituk Government undertakes four open engagement sessions among membership to inform the indicator selection process, and holds workshops with each Department. At these sessions, participants review the Recommended Indicator List, considering the following questions:

  • Does this indicator apply to us?
  • Do we already have these data in a usable way?
  • Do we care about changes to this indicator through time?
  • What would we do about the results?

Through this process, it is decided to remove the following indicators from the Recommended Indicator List:

  • “Safe Drinking Water”, because they have good community water and wastewater infrastructure and the Sulingituk Government monitors water quality for all community residents.
  • “Educational Attainment”, because they have preschool, K-12, and post-secondary graduation data in a high quality and usable form already.
  • “Trust in Leadership”, because they don’t believe they would act upon the results of these data in any way different from the indicator on  “Comfort Participating in Governance”.

Survey Design

Fictional Case Study

While the Sulingituk Government has decided to undertake a comprehensive primary data collection exercise, they have not determined the exact form that this exercise will take – the big decision they are faced with now is whether to undertake a census of their entire population (members plus those living on lands), a census of members only, or a survey among a representative set of members.

To make this decision, the Sulingituk team connects with both leadership and senior administration about their desired outcomes of this exercise. Leadership emphasizes their interest in connecting with all members, as the last time a similar effort was undertaken was in the decision to assume self-government seven years previously. Administration is clear that they have interests in understanding the needs of smaller groups – including those with unstable housing and gender diverse persons  – who are otherwise not well represented in the planning and programming of the Sulingituk Government. As both leadership and senior administration confirm the availability of budget for a comprehensive project, the decision is made to undertake a census, attempting to reach all Sulingituk members and those living in their households.

FOI, Privacy, and Confidentiality

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government has an existing set of laws governing freedom of information,
privacy, and confidentiality. At this point in time, they would like to also ensure that they have policy guidance in
place for the census project they aim to undertake and for any future similar data collection activities.

The Sulingituk Government Freedom of Information Law informs  members what their rights are as it relates to their data that are held by their
government, and how to exercise these rights. 

Sections include:

  • Terminology definitions, purpose and
  • How to make a request: e.g. method,
    detail required, provision of copies.
  • Duty of the SGIG to assist applicants and
    respond to their requests.
  • Time limit for a response.
  • Content of the response to the applicant,
    such as the existence of the requested record, if the applicant is entitled to access, and if so, where, when and
    how access will be given, refusals of access including criteria and reasons for this refusal.
  • How access will be given: including
    accessing copies and/or viewing a record.
  • Extending the time limit for a response:
    length of extension, acceptable reasons for an extension.
  • Routine disclosure of records: obligation
    of the SGIG to make certain information publicly available, e.g. those records that could reasonably be expected
    to be of general interest.
  • Exceptions to disclosure.
  • Information which must be disclosed in
    the public interest, such as public health risks or environmental harm.

The Sulingituk Government Collection, Protection, Retention, Use and Disclosure of
Personal Information Law
aligns with their data sovereignty principles and
meets, at least, the minimum requirements from external governments (provincial and federal) regarding the protection
and disclosure of personal information

Sections include:

  • Terminology definitions, purpose and
    scope including advancing data sovereignty and data governance, ensuring confidentiality, integrity, comparability
    and availability of data, protection of privacy, compliance with
    governance, legal and regulatory requirements,
    and addressing SGIG needs for planning, decisions-making etc.
  • Purpose for which personal information
    may be collected: e.g. SGIG authorization, law enforcement, program or service operation, and/or public events
    such as ceremonies, sports, public information sessions etc.
  • Processes to ensure appropriate oversight
    of data, including data requests and data interpretation.
  • How personal information is to be
    collected: directly from the person, through medical treatment, or via applications such as for bursaries.
  • How persons will be informed about
    information collection including its use.
  • Quality measures: accuracy, corrections
    to information.
  • Protection of personal information,
    processes in the event of unauthorized disclosure.
  • Use of personal information:
  • Scope of permitted disclosure.
  • Right of individuals to access their
    personal information.
  • Review and complaint process.

Consistent with the guidance in its Freedom of Information Law and Collection,
Protection, Retention, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Law, the Sulingituk Government developed a policy
related specifically to its census project. This policy details:

  • Purpose: 
    • Uphold data sovereignty and data
      governance, regardless of custodianship.
    • Respect, represent and uphold
      Sulingituk’s world view, values, culture and language.
    • Ensure that the project answers
      identifiable questions, achieves stated objectives, and meets planning needs.
    • Ensure that the project is of
      actionable and collective benefit to members.
    • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity,
      comparability and availability of information collected.
    • Strengthen internal capacity to
      undertake primary data projects.
    • Ensure that the management of
      information is in compliance with governance, legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Scope: The policy applies throughout the
    full life cycle of the census project, including:
    • Establishment and implementation of
      review and decision-making processes for requests for Sulingituk personally identifiable information. 
    • Production, collection, storage, and
      safeguarding of Sulingituk personally identifiable information.
    • Cleaning and analysis of census data,
      including analyzing comparisons to, and validation of, census data using the Sulingituk membership list.
    • Development and implementation of
      strategy, methods, and products for reporting of census data.
    • Reporting and knowledge transfer of
      census data to Sulingituk council, community membership, and other audiences.
    • Protocols and standards for protection
      of Sulingituk personally identifiable information. 
    • Retention and disposition of Sulingituk
      personally identifiable information.
    • Planning for potential future rounds of
      collection of census data.
  • Policy Statements:
    • The project is endorsed by the
      Sulingituk Government’s strategic plan.
    • Collaboration occurs internally and
      externally to identify primary data objectives. that can advance Sulingituk Government’s interests and build
      mutually beneficial partnerships.
    • Project activities, including the work
      of staff, are subject to Sulingituk Government’s confidentiality policies.
    • The census project team has appropriate
      training and orientation to carry out the project management and oversight.
    • A committee was established with
      representation by directors or designates from all departments involved in the project. The committee’s mandate
      • Alignment with UNDRIP,  OCAP®,
        principles of free, informed and prior consent, relevant Sulingituk Government policies, and census primary
        data objectives, 
      • Terms and conditions of the census
        project, including relevant contracts with external parties.
      • Culturally-based, strengths-based and
        trauma-informed approaches to data collection and analysis, as necessary.
      • Contextualization and attribution of
        census findings to root causes.
      • Vetting and approval of questionnaire
        and reports prior to release.
      • Resolution of issues through the
        delivery of the census project
      • Review of requests from external
        parties for access to confidential data, and recommendations to leadership for approval/disapproval.

For more information


Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk team customizes the terminology on the Indicator Guide & Recommended Indicator List by replacing “[SGIG]” with “Sulingituk” throughout, and uses the terms “members”, “elected leadership” and “Treaty rights” as these are commonly used throughout the community.

The Sulingituk team carefully reviews all survey questions and response options and makes changes such as specifying the types of ceremonies and cultural practices that are commonly practiced by Sulingituk people, customizing the species commonly harvested from the land, and referencing the specific programs that the Sulingituk Government administers. They choose to make these lists as comprehensive as possible, planning to summarize results for community reporting purposes, but use detailed data for program planning purposes.

Questionnaire Design

Fictional Case Study

The decision to conduct a census has sparked significant interest, with numerous staff members putting forth their information needs in the hopes it will be incorporated into the questionnaire. However, given all of these incoming information needs, the team anticipates a challenge in creating an efficient, consistent, and respondent-friendly questionnaire.

To address the multitude of competing interests, the team initiates the process by prioritizing questions related to the previously agreed-upon indicators chosen from the Indicator Guide & Recommended Indicator List. This step is crucial, as these indicators form the core of their previously agreed-upon information needs.

The team then establishes a set of guiding principles endorsed by the senior administrator to facilitate the systematic evaluation of other proposed questions and information requirements in a transparent manner. These principles encompass:

  1. Conciseness: Ensuring that the survey does not exceed 20 minutes.
  2. Durability: Crafting questions that remain replicable and relevant even 5, 10, and 20 years into the future.
  3. Actionable Benefit: Ensuring that the questions generate data that inform government activities.
  4. Reportability: Creating questions that are easy to analyze and likely to be reportable within privacy thresholds.


Applying these guiding principles results in a set of questions that undergoes a thorough review by the senior administrator. Careful consideration is given to the ‘rules of thumb’ to shape the final questionnaire (rules of thumb can be found in the full Data Collection and Analysis tool).

Once the draft questionnaire is loaded into the survey software, the Sulingituk team seeks to test the questionnaire to ensure it meets the four guiding principles and the ‘rules of thumb’ – and to ensure that their decisions on question selection aren’t leaving any major gaps in the eyes of the community. They also want to ensure that the technology, links, and survey structure work as intended. 

Given that many staff of the Sulingituk Government are also members, they decide to use this group to test the questionnaire. Senior administration provides one hour for Sulingituk members on staff to complete the questionnaire, and prizes are offered for their participation. Participants are asked to identify any questions that are unclear or uncomfortable to answer. They are also asked to point out any broken links or other technical snags in the survey. Finally, they are asked to think about whether the questionnaire covers the big things that the community will want to share or talk about with the Sulingituk Government.

Based on the feedback, the Sulingituk team makes a number of changes to the questionnaire:

  • Some terminology is adjusted to reflect the community’s worldview and common language;
  • Additional information is built into the introduction to the questionnaire to explain privacy and confidentiality for all respondents; 
  • One question is added to reflect a gap in the questionnaire related to child care;
  • Some unclear questions are  refined to enhance accuracy, reliability, and clarity.

Communication Strategy

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk team knows that many members have trust issues with sharing their personal data and information with the Sulingituk Government – and this was emphasized strongly by participants in the testing phase.  Accordingly, Sulingituk implements several measures to address these concerns to build trust and encourage participation. 

  • Training and strict protocols: Census staff are trained to follow strict protocols to protect respondents’ privacy. This training emphasizes building trust with the community and adhering to ethical data collection practices.
  • Informed consent: The introduction to the questionnaire includes an explanation of all privacy and security protocols, including that individuals’ responses will be anonymized and not accessible to Sulingituk Government staff and leadership overall. A consent statement is included for all participants to acknowledge.
  • Communications materials: Communications materials are prepared, including Frequently Asked Questions and an infographic, specifically to show how individual respondents’ privacy and confidentiality are protected.
  • Data steward role: To mitigate privacy concerns, a Data Steward is appointed to oversee data security. The dataset is secured in encrypted storage, aligning with Sulingituk Government’s data governance policies. 
  • Policy: The data collection policy is made public and shared with any interested respondent. This policy describes controls for data access and measures to ensure privacy and confidentiality.
  • Community representation: The census team includes representatives from the community to build a sense of ownership and trust, including community leaders and trusted individuals that publicly endorse and support the census effort.
  • Accountability and reporting: Census enumeration progress is regularly reported, building credibility that the Sulingituk Government is taking this effort seriously, and the voices of respondents will be taken into account in future planning.


Census implementation

Fictional Case Study

Before undertaking a census, the Sulingituk Government administration researched existing data sources on topics like housing, employment, food security, and community safety. Significant gaps were found in the level of detail and recency of data needed for evidence-based program planning and to inform the decision makers about community well being.

To get data that are current and sufficiently detailed, the Sulingituk administration decided to conduct a census. Community members received training from FNIGC’s Regional Partner organizations to work as fieldworkers (or, alternately, data gatherers or enumerators) whose job it was to administer the surveys in their community and surrounding areas.

Equipped with laptops and customized data collection software, fieldworkers asked members census questions during a set enumeration period. Following strict protocols, they obtained informed consent and protected the privacy of respondents.

The census team checked the collected data for completeness, accuracy, and consistency.

The Data Steward secured the resulting dataset in encrypted storage according to Sulingituk’s data governance policies. They followed established protocols so analysts could access data based on intended uses outlined in policies, all part of a data strategy that linked the data governance policies to this data collection exercise.

Going forward, analysts will transform census insights into actions. With previously unavailable information on community well being and priorities, programs and policies can now be data-driven to improve well being.

By gathering primary data guided by needs and principles, Sulingituk advanced data sovereignty and self determination. The census provided vital information missing from existing data to drive change and in the process advanced their own data sovereignty. 

For more information


Fictional Case Study

A key reason for Sulingituk Government to undertake a census rather than a survey was that they are interested in hearing from groups that typically do not participate otherwise in community engagement efforts. These groups are challenging to reach, as they feel stigmatized, have low trust in sharing their challenges and needs with the Sulingituk Government, and some have very limited access to technology and no fixed address. The Sulingituk Government develops tailored outreach and engagement strategies to collect accurate representation of these populations:


Friends and family approach

  • The Sulingituk team offers prizes to incentivize members to promote the census among their friends and family, and to share updated contact information with the enumeration team.

Local enumerators and enumeration:

  • Enumerators are recruited from underrepresented groups to ensure familiarity, trust, and cultural sensitivity. 
  • Enumerator teams travel to different locations and urban centres to provide on-site support to collect data in these areas and from underrepresented groups. 

Census period:

  • Recognizing the geographic challenges of reaching members off-lands, the census timeline accounts for ample time for data collection. 

Inclusivity and sensitivity:

  • The census questions are inclusive and respectful of diverse identities, including gender and sexual orientation.
  • Enumerators and staff are culturally aware, sensitive, and respectful when interacting with underrepresented populations, having been trained and provided with tools to address concerns and questions effectively

Data Steward / Cleaning

Fictional Case Study

In the Sulingituk Government census project, in accordance with established policy and procedure, the Data Steward is a core contributor to the census team. The leadership responsibilities of the Data Steward are described in the project charter as follows:

  • Providing final approval of the data collection methodology, instruments and procedures
  • Accountability to ensure quality in data cleaning, interpretation, and reporting 
  • Monitoring access to data and assuring privacy and confidentiality
  • Approving the consent process for participation in the census
  • Validating the accuracy of public communication about the data’s use, and privacy and confidentiality
  • Approving metadata classification, including the major areas of data collection (e.g. population demographics, employment, disability, measures of community and individual wellbeing, and education); variable definitions, classification and descriptions of associated values; location of variables; date of creation.
  • Developing and implementing the data access request process for the census data.
  • Providing for long-term storage of census data.

During the initial data cleaning process, the Steward discovered a number of records with missing or invalid values for certain variables. This presented a data quality issue that could skew analysis if unaddressed.

Following data governance protocols, the Steward led an investigation to determine the root cause. It was found that one of the census field workers had inadvertently skipped certain questions during some interviews.

To mitigate this issue, the Steward oversaw a secondary validation process to flag all incomplete records for follow up. Affected participants were re-contacted to fill in missing responses wherever possible. Where data remained missing, appropriate notation was added in the metadata.

Through identifying this anomaly and guiding the resolution process, the Steward fulfilled their duty to uphold data quality and integrity standards throughout the census project lifecycle. Their oversight helped ensure maximum accuracy and usability of the data asset.

For more information



Fictional Case Study

During data processing, the data cleaning team encounters a situation where they discover duplicate names with different birthdates and the use of nicknames that match birth dates but do not align with legal names on the membership list. These discrepancies raise concerns about the accuracy of the data, as the data cleaning team lacks the necessary community knowledge to verify the identity of these individuals in the
membership list.

To address this issue, the data cleaning team compiles a list of questionable entries and organizes a meeting with the enumeration team, all of whom are Sulingituk community members. During the meeting, they collaboratively work through the list, confirming the legal names of each person and resolving discrepancies. This effort aims to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the membership data, fostering a more reliable foundation for
the analysis phase.


Fictional Case Study

While analyzing the census results, a situation arises where the youth population significantly outperformed other age groups in terms of census participation. This has implications for data analysis, policy formulation, and community engagement. The overrepresentation of youth is linked to their active use of social media, where census-related posts garnered attention and motivated many young residents to participate. This now affects indicators related to education, employment, and substance use, because results are skewed due to their high participation.

Accordingly, the Sulingituk Government has to deliberate between a report that genuinely reflects the voices of those who participated and one that accurately represents the entire population, including those who did not participate. In other words, does the Sulingituk Government want to reflect the voices of participants specifically, or to ensure a comprehensive portrayal of the entire membership?

The Sulingituk Government goes back to the core purpose of their census – to obtain data to inform planning, decision-making, and budgeting. From this perspective, they recognize that a representative report would provide a more wholistic and representative understanding crucial for effective planning, policy formulation, and resource allocation.

To achieve this, they decide to implement a weighting strategy. This involves assigning different weights to the responses from various age groups to account for the overrepresentation of youth. This approach helps ensure that the report represents the voices and needs of all age groups and is, from their perspective, a fair and inclusive approach to take in actioning the findings.

Census Data Analysis

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government recently conducted a census to gather information on the health and wellbeing of its community members. Now that the data has been collected and cleaned, the Sulingituk data analysis team needs to extract insights to inform program and service planning. 

The team first refers back to the original data strategy developed at the start of the census project, which outlined the key indicators and metrics to be analyzed, including prevalence of chronic health conditions, access to health services, food security, and housing quality. This ensures the analysis stays focused on the intended uses of the data.

Guided by their data governance policies, the team takes steps to protect privacy and confidentiality in their handling and presentation of the data. They refer to minimum cell size thresholds for any tables or crosstabs set early on and documented in the data strategy, suppressing small counts that could identify individuals. The full raw dataset is stored securely with only the required level of (minimal) access. Only aggregated
data are shared in reports and presentations that adhere to the minimum cell size requirements.

As they analyze and interpret the data, the team consults with Knowledge Keepers and community members to provide context on root causes and lived realities behind the statistics. This ensures the findings accurately reflect community needs and priorities. 

The results are compiled into a report organized around the key indicators from the data strategy. Infographics and other visualizations are created to communicate insights to leadership, community members, and other audiences. Recommendations are developed based on the analysis to improve programs and services.

Throughout this process, the Sulingituk data team adheres to their data governance policies and Indigenous data sovereignty principles. Their analysis provides actionable insights while protecting sensitive information and respecting community perspectives.

For more information:


Fictional Case Study

At the beginning of the census project, the Sulingituk Government chose a set of key
health and wellness indicators, which included asking respondents about their rates of substance use. The data showed
elevated rates of substance use among older adult males. Sulingituk Government wants to report these data to the
community, but does not want to reinforce stereotypes that perpetuate racism, or create stigma that disincentivizes
people from seeking help.

Therefore, in developing the analysis, interpretation, and reporting on these results,
Sulingituk Government:

  • Presents clearly the rates of substance use among all age groups in a factual manner.
  • Describes the broader historical, social, and cultural context surrounding Indigenous peoples and substance use, and ongoing stereotypes in this respect. 
  • Seeks expertise from addiction and substance abuse professionals to ensure that the representation of the data is factual and non-stigmatizing.
  • Includes a description of support services available in the community, and how to access those services.
  • Describes the intention for using these data to tailor programs to the demographics in highest need for those programs.
  • Invites older adult males who use substances to review the draft report, incorporating their views and perspectives prior to releasing the report to the community.

Data Retention Policy

Fictional Case Study

The data steward in Sulingituk Government has developed a data retention policy for all census materials. As it was determined that the census material has historical value, the raw collected data will have indefinite electronic storage as plain csv text, with five year reviews to assess the stability of the data and the appropriateness of format being used, and to determine the most cost effective and dependable method of storage at that point in time. Sulingituk Government has opted for cloud storage for the short term, as it provides a remotely located storage medium with redundancy back ups. Options for consideration relating to a long term solution include archival-grade optical discs or tape storage. Products of the census data (e.g. reports and analyses) and communication information relating to census activities have been integrated into the Sulingituk Government’s general data retention policy.

For more information

Data Access Requests

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government is setting up a process for its staff to request access to
data from the recent census run among the Sulingituk membership.

Consistent with their policy, the Sulingituk Government developed processes for staff
and external partners to request and utilize data from the census. This includes a workflow and associated forms
overseen by a data governance committee which coordinates data access requests (DARs), prioritizes these requests, and
oversees the management of requests to ensure alignment with policy and appropriate data use. 

The data governance committee terms of reference include: 

  • mandate of the committee 
  • roles, responsibilities and work of the committee
  • where the committee fits into the government’s overall governance 
  • membership 
  • meeting expectations 
  • conflict of interest guidelines
  • evaluation of committee operations
  • consensus and voting
  • code of conduct of committee members.

The DAR workflow and forms have considered the following governance considerations:

  • Identification of the department with primary responsibility for overseeing the DAR process.
  • The steps of a DAR workflow, including how DARs are received, preliminary DAR review (assess completeness of information received), in-depth DAR review by the committee guided by a set of criteria, approval to prepare requested data, review approval of prepared data, and approval of external products using the data.
  • The DAR form includes:
    • Requestor information.
    • Purpose of the data. 
    • Details on the specifics of the data requested: which census questions are of interest, the format of data requested, date required, populations of interest, and cross tabulations.
    • Alignment with the established review criteria of the DAR committee.
  • The review criteria consider the
    • Does this request respect, represent and protect Sulingituk’s worldview, values, culture and language?
    • Is this request being used to answer relevant questions, meet planning needs, and inform decision making, amongst other key governance functions of Sulingituk?
    • Does this request provide collective benefit to Sulingituk members?
    • Can this request be granted while ensuring the protection of privacy of all individuals whose information is represented in Sulingituk data, including personally identifiable data?
    • Does this request strengthen the internal capacity to undertake and meaningfully benefit from Sulingituk data?
    • Is this request in compliance with the
      governance, legal and regulatory requirements?
  • A spreadsheet was developed for tracking all DAR requests. This is also used in the Sulingituk Government’s regular review of performance indicators (see next section “Monitoring, Reporting, Evaluation”).

For more information

Information Sharing Agreement

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government is interested in furthering their knowledge of the health of their members. Given that a large part of Sulingituk health centre’s resources are directed to caring for adults who have chronic conditions, they want to better understand the demographic patterns of various conditions more closely, so that they can design programs and services to age groups within the adult population. The type of data required is collected by their province/territory’s government.

That provincial/territorial government has developed a data request process for external parties. It has instituted Indigenous data governance processes and procedures, and implemented Indigenous data governance principles spanning ethics, community engagement, capacity building, and Indigenous perspectives of knowing which imbue methodological approaches to research and analysis.

This data request requires the sharing of membership information by the Sulingituk Government to conduct a data linkage with the provincial/territorial government database

In order to formalize this partnership between Sulingituk and MOH, an information sharing agreement was developed, and included the following sections:

  • Preamble
  • Definitions
  • Objectives
  • Information / Data to be Shared
  • Use of information / Data
  • Information / Data Sharing Mechanism
  • Data Ownership
  • Publication and Dissemination
  • Confidentiality and Security
  • Information Retention and Disposal
  • Intellectual Property
  • Duration and Renewal
  • End / Termination of Agreement

Due to the existing provincial privacy laws related to information sharing, the data provided by provincial/territorial government is aggregate, with numbers suppressed if the count is below 5, or the population being described is less than 20 (for example, a count of 4 persons aged 25-34 years with diabetes would be suppressed, or a count of 10 persons also would be suppressed if the total population of 25-34 year olds was less than 20). In some cases, this practice has required Sulingituk data to be aggregated into larger population groups to avoid suppression of results.

For more information

Data Governance Structure

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government has integrated data governance into their overall organizational structure. Data governance and associated decision making flow through a committee structure with secretariat functions through the office of the Chief Information Officer. This office also manages centralized data functions, including required hardware and software for data management, and data storage, retention and archiving.

  • An Executive Data Committee is made up of the Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Operating Officer who collectively adjudicate and approve recommendations from a Data Advisory Committee. 
  • A Data Advisory Committee is chaired by the Chief Information Officer, and has membership from departmental Directors (who steward the data at a departmental level), legal counsel, privacy officer, and the manager of the data and analytics team. This Committee’s mandate includes review and recommendations to the Executive Data Committee (for approval/disapproval) regarding new data collection initiatives and DAR submissions, taking into account resource utilization, community benefit, legislative compliance, privacy considerations, feasibility and economic impact. This Committee is a forum for new data initiatives of interest to Sulingituk Government, and also oversees data archival decisions.
  • A staff-wide Data Network meets bimonthly and serves as a form to discuss technical issues, new approaches to data analysis and data management, and provide in depth review as directed by the Data Advisory Committee on selected topics.

For more information

Onboarding New Employees

Fictional Case Study

In the Sulingituk Government, the process of onboarding a new employee starts with recruitment and extends through the first day, first week and first few months of employment. All phases of onboarding provide opportunities to highlight the importance of data in the organization, and to demonstrate the integration of data sovereignty principles and data governance processes throughout all departments. 

Some of the key measures taken throughout this process include:

  • All job descriptions include the position’s responsibilities with respect to data, with reference made to relevant organizational policies and procedures.
  • If an interview is part of the recruitment process, the questions posed to the candidate include ones relevant to data-related duties (if applicable). For candidates who would be working directly with data or its products (analyses, reports, etc.), a scenario question is asked that seeks to evaluate their knowledge of the application of data governance principles.
  • Letters of offer have a preamble that speaks to the organization’s vision, including the expression of data sovereignty and data governance. Applicable requirements to comply with data governance policy and procedure are referenced. If data-related duties are in the letter of offer, these are clearly articulated.
  • A new employee information package includes copies of all policies relevant to their position, and at a minimum include the policy on privacy and confidentiality of personal information
  • Onboarding includes a module on the importance of data to the organization and how this is reflected in the employee’s scope of work. 
  • As the employee settles in, key performance indicators are established for the employee, and include both qualitative and quantitative measures which provide a personal example of the use of data within the organization.
  • Annual refresher training is held in privacy and confidentiality, and emphasizes the Government’s commitment to a data-driven culture.


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New Technology Solutions

Fictional Case Study

As part of its data governance program, the Sulingituk Government wanted to implement new technology solutions to help automate data management processes and enforce security protocols.

The data governance committee gathered requirements from departments across the organization to identify priority needs and pain points. Common pain points included manual data entry, duplicate records, and inability to link data sources. Common requirements included the ability to automatically generate metadata, map data lineage, enforce access controls, validate data quality, eliminate redundant data, integrate with existing systems, provide auditing capabilities, automate workflows, and facilitate collaboration. 

With leadership approval, the committee researched potential systems using the requirements as evaluation criteria. A data cataloging platform was selected that provided automation around metadata, standardization, data lineage mapping, and role-based access control.

Before rollout, committee members held information sessions for staff to explain the purpose and value of the new system. Hands-on training was provided to end users. Tutorials and quick-reference guides were created as additional support materials.

IT technicians worked to integrate the data catalog with existing backends and databases using APIs. Careful testing was conducted to ensure no disruption of daily operations.

As the system went live, technical support staff were available to assist users and help resolve any issues. A feedback mechanism allowed users to identify new requirements for system enhancement over time.

In the first year, metrics showed faster staff productivity related to data tasks, fewer reported issues with duplicate data, and quicker access to data lineage information. The system implementation empowered staff to focus less on manual processes and more on extracting value from governed data.

Through stakeholder engagement, change management, and careful rollout, the new data catalog system advanced Sulingituk’s data governance aims around quality, security, integrity and usability. Ongoing refinement continues to optimize results and user adoption.

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Performance Metrics

Fictional Case Study

The Sulingituk Government monitors the following performance metrics on a quarterly basis:

  •  Data Timeliness:
    • Average time (days) to review DARs, from receiving the DAR to approval/rejection
    • Average time (hours) to prepare data for approved DARs
    • Data issue resolution time (from identification of a data issue such as inaccuracies or gaps in data, to resolution)
  • Data Access:
    • DAR approval rate (e.g. # approved/#submitted X 100)
  • Data Security
    • Number of data breaches (annual)
    • Percentage of high risk data issues that have been identified and mitigated
  • Metadata Management
    • Percentage of databases with up to date metadata
  • Data Quality
    • Percentage of records that meet established validation rules or criteria

The  Sulingituk Government has also adopted an evaluation plan which will assess the following components:

  • The degree to which the organization’s culture is data-driven and the effectiveness of various measures in place to support a data-driven culture.
  • The level of awareness, understanding, and compliance with data governance-related law and policy within the SGIG and in relevant SGIG partnerships, and the effectiveness of various measures in place to support such knowledge and compliance.
  • The compliance of technologies, systems, and work processes with legal requirements, particularly those related to privacy and security.
  • The effectiveness of data-related organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities, including a match between workforce skills and the SGIG’s data capacity needs.
  • The effectiveness of data sharing agreements in serving the needs of the SGIG, and advancing its vision and goals in alignment with its principles. 
  • The effectiveness of the data governance committee, including turnover, succession planning, regular meeting schedule, expedited review and approval processes.

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