Capacity Accelerator Network (CAN)

The Capacity Accelerator Network is building a workforce of purpose-driven data practitioners worldwide and enabling social impact organizations to unlock the power of data to meet their missions.

Overview is committed to training one-million purpose-driven data practitioners across the globe by 2032. To achieve this ambitious goal, CAN is empowering a more diverse pool of data for social impact talent, inclusive of historically marginalized people and communities, and trained with interdisciplinary skills to combat our greatest social and environmental challenges. With these skills, this workforce will create and engage with digital public infrastructure to transform the ecosystem.

Training one-million data practitioners in the next decade is a goal that cannot be achieved alone. Collaboration and the power of partnerships are at the heart of’s focus on capacity development. With accelerators based in the US, India, and across Africa, CAN is driving data for social impact in financial inclusion and the intersection of climate and health through training, curriculum development, and experiential learning opportunities with a key focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).

UChicago CAN Summer Lab participants Salvador Tranquilino-Ramos of University of Illinois, Chicago, Launa Greer UChicago Data for Social Impact Software Engineer, Halli Lacanlale of University of Illinois, Chicago, and Gagandeep Kaur of Fresno State.

Data Training in Action 

Explore the global network of local partners and learn about their work developing data for social impact talent, curricula, and resources.

  • United States of America’s US Financial Inclusion Accelerator focuses on advancing data for social impact curricula, with an emphasis on financial inclusion to address systemic issues of inequity. partnered with UChicago to identify seven additional partners to drive this work forward.

    Learn more

  • Africa

    In partnership with The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and their lead training partner, The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), the Africa Accelerator is providing social impact and government professional with interdisciplinary subject-matter expertise in climate and health to accelerating career pathways and contribute to the growth of the social sector.

    Learn more

  • India

    In partnership with J-PAL South Asia and three leading university partners, the India Accelerator will produce a cohort of purpose-driven data practitioners with interdisciplinary subject-matter expertise in climate and health data with a key focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) and intersectionality to effectively drive social impact.

    Learn more

Against a backdrop of the climate crisis, pandemics, and rising inequality, the world faces enormous, systemic challenges. Data science and other data-driven technologies can offer part of the solution through their tremendous ability to scale, but only if we ensure these data professionals are equipped with the interdisciplinary skills to ask the right questions and build trust with the communities they serve.

Danil-Mikhailov Danil Mikhailov, Ph.D. Executive Director


Workforce Wanted: Data Talent for Social Impact

Workforce Wanted: Data Talent for Social Impact is a first-of-its-kind report on global data talent in the social sector. Confronting systemic challenges and highlighting both immediate and big-picture opportunities, this report delivers the current landscape and reveals four pathways forward for building purpose-driven data professionals.

Download the report

Building the Field of Data for Social Impact

Learn more about’s field-building mission and the critical need to develop purpose-driven data capacity across the globe.

To drive sustained action by policy- and decision-makers, journalists, and citizens, we need to make a clear and evidence-based causal connection between climate change and human health. Being able to prove this connection requires active and intentional interplay among data, tools, talent, and policy.