MCC Guidelines for Transparent, Reproducible, and Ethical Data and Documentation (TREDD)

The purpose of these guidelines is to (i) set forth the principles and procedures for implementing transparent, reproducible, and ethical data and documentation (TREDD) for data activities funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and (ii) facilitate MCC’s observance of the general principles of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or “Common Rule”.

1. Purpose and Scope

MCC’s new TREDD Guidelines set forth the principles and procedures for implementing transparent, reproducible, and ethical data and documentation for MCC-funded data activities while facilitating MCC’s general observance of the “Common Rule”.

2. Background

MCC’s evidence-based approach is built on the principles of accountability, transparency, and learning. MCC recognizes the need to balance open data and transparency with proper, ethical data management.

3. Design

TREDD practices begin in study design, when MCC staff and contractors define what data needs to be collected for what outputs and outcomes, how, and why. This section goes into detail on IRBs, informed consent, laws, data sharing, and identifiable data.

4. Documentation Sharing

For independent evaluations, as soon as an Evaluation Design Report is cleared by MCC staff, MCC staff and the contractor will begin documentation sharing.

5. Data Collection and/or Extraction

In the design stage, contractors should identify all required data sources for the study. This includes identifying existing data sources that may provide cost-effective input into the data activity, whether administrative, remote-sensing, or otherwise.

6. Data Storage and Transfer

Proper handling of data, paper-based or digital, is crucial to ethical processes around research and human subjects. This section lays out the preferred methods for the storage, disposal, and transfer of data.

7. Analysis

When conducting analyses, contractors should consider these four points.

8. Data Sharing (Preparation)

Preparation and de-identification of data can take many shapes and may change depending on the type of data at hand. This section delves into the specifics of this process.

9. Data Sharing (Process)

The Disclosure Review Board (DRB) is central to MCC’s efforts to publish its data and this section features some of the intricacies of the DRB process.

10. Unauthorized Disclosure Management

Unauthorized disclosure may occur during data collection and storage (through lost or stolen computers, USB drives, computer hacking) or through dissemination of public and/or restricted access data. Here’s how MCC plans to mitigate these risks.

11. Glossary

Definitions of useful terms used in the TREDD Guidelines.

12. References

A list of the sources used to help develop these guidelines.

13. Annexes

Includes: Informed consent template, metadata instructions, Standard evaluator SOW, satellite imagery guidance, data package worksheet, transparency statement, DRB Charter, DRB Review Process Visual, Identifiable Data Sharing Form, and Disclosure Incident Form.