Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth Grants $4.6M to’s Capacity Accelerator Network to Further Diversity and Inclusion in the Field of Data Science

Award to support the Capacity Accelerator Network’s goal of training 1 million purpose-driven data professionals with priority focus on women and minorities to strengthen the human, organizational, and sectoral capacity to use data to drive impact.

Pratima Baral
Pratima Baral, researcher at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Pratima specializes in information and communication technology (ICT) and has been working with smallholder farmers in Nepal to improve their productivity and livelihoods. Here she leads a workshop with female farmers in Surkhet, Nepal. Photo by C. de Bode/CGIAR

New York, NY | March 21, 2022 – Today, announces $4.6M in funding delivered by the Mastercard Impact Fund for’s Capacity Accelerator Network (CAN), signifying a strong commitment toward building greater data capacity for the social sector. This announcement bolsters CAN’s key ambition to train 1 million purpose-driven data professionals in the next decade and to further diversity and inclusion of underrepresented communities, especially women and ethnic minorities, in the data science field.

“As we rebuild a more inclusive and sustainable economy, we have an opportunity to harness data and technology to help individuals and small businesses achieve a sense of economic security that fosters a better quality of life,” said Shamina Singh, president, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “Data-driven insights play an integral role in delivering transformational change as we work towards addressing our most pressing societal challenges.’s Capacity Accelerator Network harnesses this vision and puts these words to practice and we are proud to support this initiative.”

This grant includes a funding award to The University of Chicago (UChicago) Data Science Institute (DSI) to support the creation of a consortium of diverse higher education partners, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority serving institutions (MSIs), and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), to amplify social impact through data science. The consortium, part of CAN’s Financial Inclusion Accelerator, will be a collaborative effort to broaden participation in the talent pipeline, serve communities of highest need, and maximize opportunities for scalability and transferability of this new model.

In leading this new consortium, UChicago DSI brings expertise and experience to building experiential learning programs aligned with inclusive best practices. DSI programs, such as the Civic Data & Technology Clinic, the 11th Hour Project Hub, and the DSI Summer Lab, emphasize collaborative data science projects with positive social impact and provide real-world research experiences for students of all backgrounds.

The grant also fuels the creation of scalable curricula and a Data Science Experiential Learning Deployment Playbook, providing information on how to identify and scope projects, and how to build trust with Social Impact Organizations (SIOs) through data science.

“The field of data science cannot meaningfully advance and realize its potential unless we include students, academic institutions, organizations, and communities that reflect the world we hope to improve,” said David Uminsky, executive director of the UChicago Data Science Institute. “We are excited that this funding and the consortium it creates will enable and expand our partnerships, deepen our impact on education and collaborative research, and help produce a representative next generation of data scientists.”

“Working with a team so committed to centering inclusivity and equity in the field-building process is what makes this partnership with UChicago’s DSI an ideal match,” said Dr. Ronda Železný-Green, program director, Capacity Accelerator Network at “Working with DSI, and its planned network of HBCUs, MSIs, and HSIs, we are setting ourselves up to create what will be an innovative and comprehensive approach to building the field of DSSI.”

With this commitment, will strengthen the field of data science for social impact, to ensure that non-profit and civic organizations are well positioned to take advantage of the data revolution. CAN’s primary learning and engagement tools will include’s Resource Library, featuring over one hundred curated resources and seven guides. The support also extends to a newly launched Data Maturity Assessment, providing a snapshot of an organization’s data maturity, and relevant resources to move forward on their data journey.

This grant is an output of the broader Data Science for Social Impact initiative and initial $50 million commitment from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Impact Fund. The focus of this effort is to drive an innovative model for collaborative philanthropy centered on accelerating the use of data science by empowering non-profit, civic and government organizations with the tools, expertise, and resources to help solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

About the Capacity Accelerator Network:

The Capacity Accelerator Network connects a series of strategic accelerators across the world working towards democratizing data skills and investing in social impact organizations’ capacity to be data-driven which will lead to transformative change. The Capacity Accelerator Network works to increase skills and support organizations, enabling them to unlock the power of data to meet their missions. Starting with a global agenda setting exercise, and with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, this initiative commits to training one-million purpose-driven data professionals by 2032. 

About the Data Science Institute at University of Chicago:

The Data Science Institute (DSI) executes the University of Chicago’s bold, innovative vision of Data Science as a new discipline. The DSI seeds research on the interdisciplinary frontiers of this emerging field, forms partnerships with industry, government, and social impact organizations, and supports holistic data science education. The mission of DSI is to address important scientific and societal questions through coordinated advances in applications, models, algorithms, and platforms. Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth:

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The center leverages the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise, and technology, while administering the philanthropic Mastercard Impact Fund, to produce independent research, scale global programs and empower a community of thinkers, leaders and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the center on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to its newsletter.

About is committed to democratizing data, for good. Founded by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, is a platform for partnerships, and works with organizations all over the world to increase the use of data science to tackle society’s most pressing challenges and improve the lives of millions of people. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @datadotorg.

Media contacts: Nichole Verga |