Data Science for Social Good

Bringing together some of the top talent from data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, to work on real-world data science challenges and deliver positive social impact


Data Science for Social Good Summer Projects 2021 are being run by the University of Warwick. You can find information about past DSSGx projects run by the Turing below.

What is Data Science for Social Good (DSSG)?

The DSSG Foundation’s core summer fellowship was setup in 2013 by Rayid Ghani, former Chief Scientist for President Obama. The US fellowship is based at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

DSSG helps not-for-profit organisations and government bodies to achieve more with their data by improving their services, interventions and outreach so that they can fulfil their mission of bettering the world and people’s lives.

DSSG achieves this by giving non-for-profit organisations and government bodies unprecedented access to inspiring, top-tier data science talent and builds their capacity to use cutting-edge quantitative methods to address important societal challenges across education, health, energy, public safety, transportation and economic development.


DSSGx – The UK programme (2020)

The DSSGx Turing UK Summer Fellowship was an affiliate programme of the DSSG Foundation’s core summer fellowship in the US at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 

DSSGx UK was organised by the Turing Institute Chapter of the DSSG Foundation. It was led by The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and AI in partnership with the University of Warwick, ONS and Imperial College. This 12-week programme taught students to create data science products in collaboration with government agencies, and NGOs, to create positive social impact.

DSSGx began on 15 June and ran until 5 September. Due to COVID-19, the full time 3 month placement took place remotely.

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Project partners

Ofsted Risk Assessing Early Years Providers

The goal of the project was to use a range of data both held by Ofsted and publicly available to build a risk model that identifies early years providers (child minders and nurseries) that are at risk of providing sub-standard care.

This risk assessment needed to fit within Ofsted‘s decision making process and help inform Ofsted’s decisions about when to inspect providers with the primary aim of increasing the number of children receiving a better quality of care and education.

World Bank Identifying and analysing corruption risks in public administration

The collaboration with the World Bank investigated how cutting-edge data science methodologies can link public procurement data and the asset declarations of public officials to support the identification and analysis of corruption risks in public administration. This will allow practitioners, policy makers and civil society to inform policy responses and address corruption risks in the public sector.

The increasing availability of machine-readable open data generated by governments is improving the ability to analyse and understand corruption risks. The initiative will help address the gap of analytical frameworks and data driven methods that are needed. It will explore how big data and machine learning methodologies can support the analysis of the scale, mechanics and impact of corrupt practices within public administration to help increase accountability and integrity in the public sector. The Data Science for Social Good project will contribute to the World Bank’s broader anticorruption research program and the technical advice it provides to governments.

DSSGx  2020 was sponsored by LV and Britford Bridge Trust, and supported by Quantum Black and Refinitiv.


The 2019 DSSG initiative

The Alan Turing Institute and the University of Warwick hosted the 2019 initiative which ran from early June to the end of August. A second initiative was run, in parallel, at Imperial College London. Find out more about the 2019 initiative here.

"Becoming a project partner with DSSG presented us with a unique and exciting opportunity to analyse our StreetLink data and develop models to help improve our systems and ultimately to provide better outcomes for people sleeping rough."

Gareth Thomas, Senior Information Manager, Homeless Link

"The professionalism and expertise of the team working on Ofsted’s project was impressive. Their dedication, not only to deliver a high quality solution, but also to understand how Ofsted works was vital to make the project a success."

James Bowsher-Murray, Head of Early Years and Social Care – Data and Insight, Ofsted


Showcase event – DSSG 2019

The Turing and the University of Warwick hosted a closing event at The Shard in London in August 2019 to mark the end of the successful establishment year.  

The event included a keynote from Rayid Ghani, Chief Scientist for the Obama 2012 Election Campaign and DSSG Director; as well as project presentations showcasing the work undertaken over the last 12 weeks to help non-profits and government organisations to achieve more with their data.

Watch the the closing event below.