The importance of diversity at CorrelAid: new collaboration with Citizens For Europe for a more inclusive society

In this blog post, we explain why anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion are important to CorrelAid. We also delve into the details of our new collaboration with Citizens For Europe to work towards a more inclusive future - at CorrelAid and beyond. Including a diversity survey within CorrelAid and three Data4Good projects which kick-off with a hackathon from September 9-11. Join us!

2022-08-01 | Patrizia & Frie

The importance of diversity at CorrelAid: new collaboration with Citizens For Europe for a more inclusive society

Why we care about diversity, anti-discrimination and inclusion

Diversity, anti-discrimination and inclusion are core values at CorrelAid and they are expressed in our mission statement and our code of conduct. Importantly, we consider diversity to be a multidimensional and intersectional concept, including, but not limited to the following dimensions: gender identity and expression, sexual identity and orientation, age, disability, neuro(a)typicality, ethnicity, profession, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, physical and mental health, or lifestyle choices.

To work towards a world where diversity is celebrated, power is equally shared and everyone can live their lives free from oppression, violence, and poverty is reason enough to care about diversity, anti-discrimination and inclusion. However, as an organisation at the intersection of volunteering and data science, there are two more specific reasons why diversity, anti-discrimination and inclusion are important to us:

Data science as power: ‘Data science is a form of power’ (Data Feminism by Catherina D’Ignazio & Lauren Klein). Data science systems have enormous potential to influence decision makers and the ways they make decisions. Therefore we believe that a wide variety of people - but especially everyone who is affected by these decisions - should have the opportunity to contribute to and influence the processing, interpretation and use of data. Diversity is also important to us because we think that having multiple perspectives and backgrounds will improve the quality and validity of our work, increase the chances of having a positive impact on society, and reduce harmful errors, blind spots and biases1.

Volunteering as an asset for personal development: Volunteering with CorrelAid gives access to valuable experiences and assets for individuals: Volunteers can build technical skills in our Data4Good projects or in workshops. They can develop organisational and leadership skills by organising a local chapter or leading a team. And finally, they can network with more experienced data scientists and people from the non-profit sector. Individual stories of CorrelAiders attest to the value of volunteering for personal and career development. However, historically, those resources - especially professional networks - have been mostly accessible to people who are already overrepresented in IT and data science. If we want to contribute to breaking this cycle, CorrelAid needs to be inclusive of and accessible to those who belong to one or more of the currently underrepresented groups such as women, queer people, Black people, People of Color, disabled people and other groups2.

Going forward: Our collaboration with Citizens For Europe

To learn more about the needs of our community and to identify areas of improvement, we will collaborate with Citizens For Europe (CFE) over the next few months. Citizens For Europe (CFE) is a non-partisan organisation and non-profit social business established in 2009 in Berlin. With its projects and services, CFE strives for a more inclusive and participatory society at a local level and across Europe. CFE’s division Advocacy for Inclusion focuses on the development of tools, demands and strategies that are necessary to bring advocacy for inclusion to the next level. CFE works with administrations, political parties, academia, companies and organizations that are interested in approaching and fostering marginalized communities, especially racialized minorities. Their applied research, equality data collection and consulting services allow organizations to prioritize diverse communities, identify intersectional discrimination and develop recruitment and organizational strategies that reflect the diversity of our society.

CorrelAid and Citizens For Europe have already collaborated multiple times. For instance, CorrelAid volunteers analysed the electoral potential of people with “migration background” in Germany or developed tools to support the analysis of the Afrozensus, the first comprehensive survey among Black, African and Afro-diasporic people in Germany. In our new collaboration, CorrelAid will support CFE with improving their research experience by working on the design and implementation of a survey research ecosystem for diversity and visibility. At the same time, CorrelAid will gain insights into the current state of diversity and inclusion within CorrelAid as well as recommendations on how to improve it in the future.

This is what we’ll do in the next few months:

  1. From September 9 to 11, 40 volunteers will come together in Berlin for a hackathon to explore options to design and implement a survey research ecosystem for diversity and visibility.
  2. The hackathon kicks off Data4Good projects that run from September until the end of the year. The project teams will build on the results from the hackathon to improve CFE’s data workflows in the areas of exploratory data analysis and anomaly detection, internal reporting UX and infrastructure, devops and sysadmin.
  3. In coordination with the board and employees of CorrelAid e.V., Citizens For Europe will develop and conduct a survey on anti-discrimination and inclusion within CorrelAid, based on CFE’s survey tool. This survey will be open to all CorrelAid volunteers and will be run around the end of the year.
  4. The analysis of the survey results by the experts of CFE (until spring 2023) will use the workflows and tools developed in the three Data4Good projects.
  5. Building on the results and recommendations from CFE, we will implement concrete measures to improve anti-discrimination and inclusion at CorrelAid (from spring 2023 onwards).

Get involved!

We see diversity and inclusion as a topic that affects everyone at CorrelAid. This is why we welcome everyone from our network to join in: Registration for the hackathon is now open! Read more about the event here and register quickly - spots are given out on a first come, first served basis. Of course, you can also express your interest in participating in the Data4Good projects without coming to the hackathon here.

If you want to contribute on a smaller scale, you can suggest edits to the code of conduct by contacting our ethics committee ( We are also working on establishing a new community team which will work along the ethics committee and our community manager to make CorrelAid a place where everyone can have a fun and safe volunteering experience.

Our community manager Isabel ( and Frie ( as the responsible person for the Citizens For Europe partnership are always open for general feedback and suggestions.


To learn more about diversity and inclusion in the data science/AI space, you can check out the following resources (non-exhaustive list) to get started:

  1. Organisations working on this topic include Data for Black lives, Algorithmwatch, Algorithm Justice League, Bertelsmann Stiftung amongst many others. ↩︎

  2. For an overview over the lack of diversity in data science, see this blog post. For insights into the European market, see here. Article on German situation, focused on gender diversity. ↩︎

Patrizia & Frie

Patrizia & Frie

Patrizia is a psychologist and currently works as a neuroscientist at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. She joined CorrelAid in January 2021 and is a member of the board since end of 2021. Frie has been a part of CorrelAid since the beginnings in 2015. Since February 2020, they have the opportunity to work full-time for CorrelAid.