Governance - DLI

Governance structure

  • 1. Program definition

    1. Program definition

    This program is a partnership between Statistics Canada and registered Canadian post-secondary educational institutions to promote and facilitate the availability of Statistics Canada and other Canadian data for educational and academic research purposes.

  • 2. Objectives

    2. Objectives

    1. To promote a culture of data use in Canadian post-secondary educational institutions.
    2. To facilitate access to Canadian public data in support of teaching and academic research.

    The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) program will undertake many initiatives to achieve these objectives. The initiatives are outlined in the DLI Strategic Plan for discussion at the External Advisory Committee (EAC) Meetings.

  • 3. Governance structure

    3. Governance structure

    There will be a body known as the Data Liberation Initiative External Advisory Committee (DLI-EAC) whose roles and membership are outlined below.

  • 4. Terms of reference of the External Advisory Committee:

    4. Terms of reference of the External Advisory Committee:

    1. The External Advisory Committee shall:
      1. identify and respond to the needs and priorities of post-secondary educational institutions for appropriate data, metadata and dissemination;
      2. advise Statistics Canada on appropriate initiatives and ways of implementing them to meet the objectives of the DLI;
      3. advise Statistics Canada on the development and distribution of new products and formats and services in support of data, metadata and dissemination activities;
      4. suggest and promote initiatives for Statistics Canada to increase accessibility to services and standard data products;
      5. promote and communicate the activities of the EAC to DLI institutions;
      6. form a standing sub-committee on training and education responsible for the ongoing development of a data services curriculum for post-secondary staff supporting the DLI. This sub-committee will consist of nine (9) academic members made up of the two Regional Training Co-ordinators, or designate, from each of the four regions, and a Chair who shall serve as an ex-officio member of the EAC. Regional Training Co-ordinators shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. These terms may be extended. The Committee will also contain appropriate members from the DLI area of Statistics Canada. This Committee will normally convene at least once a year;
      7. form other sub-committees as needed;
      8. pricing will be on the agenda of the EAC at every meeting.
    2. Statistics Canada shall endeavour to respond to the advice and guidance of the EAC to the extent possible.
  • 5. Membership

    5. Membership

    1. There will be two (2) types of members, voting members and ex-officio (non-voting) members.
    2. Up to nine (9) voting members from outside of Statistics Canada shall be appointed based on the following criteria, see Appendix 1 for additional information:
      1. these members will be either practicing data librarians, researchers or administrators of DLI member institutions;
      2. administrators of post-secondary educational institutions may come from either the research and/or the library streams;
      3. members will be drawn from both large and small institutions;
      4. up to two (2) representatives will be drawn from each of the four (4) DLI regions of Canada: Atlantic, Quebec and Nunavut, Ontario and the West (Prairie, Pacific, Yukon and North West Territories);
      5. one (1) member shall be the senior library administrator of a DLI member institution
    3. Voting members from inside of Statistics Canada will consist of:
      1. the Director responsible for the DLI;
      2. the Chief or Manager responsible for the DLI Section;
      3. up to three (3) members from data producing or other divisions.
    4. Ex-officio (non-voting) members will include:
      1. other members of the DLI Section;
      2. the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) or delegate;
      3. the Chair of the Professional Development Committee;
      4. research data management representative.
    5. Statistics Canada may, upon the advice of the EAC, invite additional members to committee meetings to act as principal or fiduciary advisors from additional educational institutions and/or data producers.
  • 6. Modus Operandi

    6. Modus Operandi

    1. The EAC will normally meet annually in the fall in person and by teleconference in the spring;
    2. The EAC will elect Co-Chair(s) to serve two years terms who have as responsibility to preside over the EAC meetings. Elections will take place on alternating years as the term for the Co-Chair(s) end;
    3. The academic members of the EAC shall be invited to serve four year terms. Affected membership will be reviewed regularly;
    4. An Executive Committee comprised of the Chair(s), the Director, the Assistant Director and the Manager responsible for the DLI will identify and invite new members to serve as required;
    5. Statistics Canada will provide the secretarial support for the committee;
    6. The DLI Status reports will be prepared for each of the EAC meetings. The report will be disseminated through the Listserv and made available on the DLI repository for the information of the data user community;
    7. The EAC and Statistics Canada shall review these terms of reference as required;
    8. Reviewing the DLI Strategic Plan;
      1. the Cornerstone Principles of the DLI will be reviewed every 3 years by the EAC;
      2. the Project Roadmap and reporting:
        1. current projects will be reported on through status reports presented to the EAC:
          1. a formal report is to be presented at the fall EAC in-person meeting;
          2. status reports are to be shared with the EAC mid-year via a teleconference;
        2. strategic opportunities and upcoming projects section will be introduced at each meeting to get feedback from the EAC on potential projects for the DLI program to pursue.
  • 7. Appendix 1

    7. Appendix 1

    Committee member selection criteria for voting members

    External Advisory Committee
    • All nominees for EAC members must be from an institution member in good standing;
    • Candidates must be willing to commit to attending one face-to-face board meeting per year, plus a minimum of one committee conference call per year;
    • Candidates who serve on the EAC must also be willing to commit to participating in EAC sanctioned Working Group activities;
    • Candidates are expected to be ethical, strategic thinkers who understand the DLI partnership and the committee process;
    • Candidates for Co-Chair(s) must have had at least one (1) year, but preferably one full term, of prior experience on the EAC.

    In order to fill gaps left by departing members, the committee terms of reference are applied, current expertise needs are evaluated and the gaps filled accordingly keeping in mind the need for language capabilities, geographical distribution of members, gender balance, minimizing Conflicts of Interest (COI), etc.

    The EAC Executive retains the final word on EAC membership but does extensively consult as required.

  • 8. External Advisory Committee Members

    8. External Advisory Committee Members

    Siobhan Hanratty
    Data/GIS Librarian
    University of New Brunswick

    Elizabeth Hill
    Data Librarian
    Western University
    519-661-2111 ext. 85049

    Senior Library Administrator

    Atlantic region

    Martin Chandler
    GIS and Data Services Librarian
    Cape Breton University

    Quebec region

    Alex Guindon
    GIS and Data Services Librarian
    Concordia University
    514-848-2424 ext. 7754

    Nathalie Vachon
    Data Librarian
    Institut national de la recherche scientifique

    Ontario region

    Jane Fry
    Data Services Librarian
    Carleton University
    613-520-2600 ext. 1121

    Western region

    Carla Graebner
    Librarian for Data Services and Government Information
    Simon Fraser University

    Sarah Rutley
    Data & GIS Librarian
    University of Saskatchewan

    Non-academic members

    Geneviève Jourdain
    Director, Data Access Division
    Statistics Canada

    Nicole Huard
    Chief Data Access Division
    Statistics Canada

    Mariane Bien-Aimé
    Assistant Director, Consumer Prices Division
    Statistics Canada

    Glen Hohlmann
    Assistant Director, Census Operations Division
    Statistics Canada

    Cory Chobanik
    Assistant Director, Office of Privacy Management and Information Coordination
    Statistics Canada

    Ex-officio members

    Johanne Provençal
    Research Program Director, Canadian Research Data Centre Network
    McMaster University
    905-525-9140 ext. 23661

    Arden Kayzak
    Unit Head, Data Access Division
    Statistics Canada

    Sara Tumpane
    Unit Head, Data Access Division
    Statistics Canada

    Alexandra Cooper
    Chair, Professional Development Committee
    Queen's University
    613-533-6000 ext. 77481

Education and training structure

  • 1. Committee definition

    1. Committee definition

    The Professional Development (PD) Committee is a standing committee on training and education for post-secondary staff supporting the DLI.

    The Committee is accountable to the External Advisory Committee (EAC) and will bring all of its deliberations and recommendations to the EAC for approval.

  • 2. Objectives

    2. Objectives

    The Professional Development Committee will be responsible for the ongoing development of a data services curriculum for post-secondary staff supporting the DLI at their institution and for the support of national and regional DLI training activities. The Committee will monitor all aspects of the DLI Training Program including: frequency of training workshops, budget allocations, curriculum, trainers, special training requirements, etc.

    The Committee supports the promotion of statistical and data literacy to the wider community in which the DLI exists, namely library directors, data users, Statistics Canada survey managers and other groups within the data realm. This includes promoting the DLI Program as well as fostering a deeper understanding of the substance of DLI as well as of data, and statistical and quantitative reasoning.

  • 3. Membership

    3. Membership

    The Professional Development Committee will consist of nine academic members including the two Regional Training Coordinators (RTCs) from each of the four regions and a Chair who will serve as an ex-officio member of the EAC. The Committee will also contain appropriate members from the Microdata Access Division of Statistics Canada.

    The academic members of the PD Committee will be invited to serve a four year term. After one term, the member may be asked if he/she would like to continue as a member. If yes, the member's application will be presented to the EAC to be reappointed to the PD committee. After two terms (eight years), a call out should be made to see if someone else from the represented region would like to become a member. If there is no interest and the current member wishes to continue, it will be recommended to the EAC that the person be appointed for another four year term.

    The Committee will nominate a Chair to the EAC Executive taking into consideration the principles of inclusiveness, regionality and collegiality. This person can be anyone from a DLI member institution.The EAC Executive will present this nomination to the EAC for final approval. In the absence of the PD Committee identifying someone, the EAC Executive will nominate someone as Chair for final approval by the EAC. The Chair will be invited to serve a four year term, with the possibility of renewal.

    The Committee will identify potential candidates and make recommendations to the EAC Executive for the positions of RTCs. This Committee will normally convene at least once every year. Proposals for a PD Committee meeting may come from a Regional Training Coordinator or from the Chair. The Professional Development Committee will form other sub-committees as required.

  • 4. Training roles

    4. Training roles

    Regional training co-ordinators

    The PD Committee will recommend two academic representatives from each of the four regions, Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and the West to serve as RTCs. The responsibilities of these training coordinators are:

    • To identify the training needs within their region;
    • To communicate these needs to the Professional Development Committee both for the purpose of budgeting for training and for coordinating national training activities;
    • To arrange local training events;
    • To design their local region's training program.

    DLI trainers

    Whenever possible, trainers will be recruited from the existing Canadian data library community with the expectation that those who are trained may be called upon to train others. This principle is founded on the understanding that as one learns, one will teach.

    Trainers for a regional training workshop may be RTCs but they may also be other individuals in the region or from other regions where the required expertise exists. Since the RTCs are primarily responsible for local arrangements, planning the program of training events, and communicating training needs to the PD Committee, they may call upon other members to do the actual hands-on training at the workshops.

  • 5. Professional Development Committee members

    5. Professional Development Committee members

    Chair: Alexandra Cooper
    Data Services coordinator
    Queen's University
    613-533-6000 ext. 77481

    Atlantic region

    Sandra Sawchuk
    Liaison Librarian
    Mount Saint Vincent University

    Margaret Vail
    Liaison Librarian
    St. Francis Xavier University

    Québec region


    Giovanna Badia
    Assessment & Data Librarian
    McGill University

    Ontario region

    Vivek Jadon
    Data Specialist
    McMaster University
    905-525-9140 ext. 23848

    Chantal Ripp
    Data Librarian
    University of Ottawa
    613-562-5800 ext. 3881

    West region

    Robyn Stobbs
    Research Data Management Librarian
    Athabasca University

    Tara Stieglitz
    Data Services and Science Librarian
    MacEwan University

    College member

    Caleb Domsy
    Humber College
    416-675-6622 ext. 4501

    Non-academic members

    Nicole Huard
    Chief, Data Access Division (DAD)
    Statistics Canada

    Arden Kayzak
    Unit Head, Data Access Division (DAD)
    Statistics Canada

Training principles

The pedagogical foundations of the Data Liberation Initiative Training Program

  • Principle 1

    Principle 1

    Training under this program is being conducted specifically for:

    1. DLI Contacts and/or DLI Alternates at participating post-secondary institutions;
    2. Staff who will provide services for DLI data at these institutions;
    3. Statistics Canada staff directly involved in the support of DLI, and;
    4. Students from library schools, when possible.


    • Others may benefit from DLI workshops, but these above mentioned groups remain the focus in the design and delivery of DLI training.
    • Each year one person from each institution is eligible to receive a financial subsidy, but a member institution can send as many staff as they wish to DLI training workshops subject to local circumstances.
    • Depending on the availability of seats, institutions considering membership in DLI are welcome to send participants at their own expense.
  • Principle 2

    Principle 2

    Training will be provided to all of those eligible under the first principle through a variety of formats, including subsidized workshops that are delivered regionally.


    • This principle recognizes the importance of existing regional cooperation within the academic library community and specifically contributes to inter-institutional partnerships in the area of statistical and data resources.
    • Conducting workshops regionally strengthens the network of data services providers by bringing them together at least annually face-to-face.
    • Organizing training regionally helps overcome the vast geography of Canada and to address specific needs and interests of the institutions and DLI Contact in Canadian regions.
    • The DLI training program will:
      • Accommodate different learning styles.
      • Increase access to workshops by providing some financial assistance.
      • Employ a variety of training formats, including in-person and remote.
      • Provide a repository of training materials.
  • Principle 3

    Principle 3

    The first training priority is to establish core competencies for basic level of data service skills for DLI Contacts and Alternates (Appendix 1). This training shall be considered the entry level required to work with DLI data. More advanced training will build upon previous levels. Priorities for advanced levels will be determined by the needs of those supporting data services and by the evolution of DLI.


    • An established baseline of skill competencies in working with DLI resources is a first priority.
    • Skills that go beyond the baseline competencies will also be provided through DLI workshops.
    • The advanced skills will reflect both the needs of those providing data services support and new skills required to support changes in DLI products.
  • Principle 4

    Principle 4

    All training will be conducted from a 'service' perspective, that is, from a point of view that focuses on the clientele using DLI data. The purpose of this training is to prepare data services staff to assist their clients with DLI data.


    • A "service perspective" is important because it keeps training focused on knowing how to support DLI resources.
    • DLI training is intended to transfer the skills needed by those individuals who will be assisting the end-users of DLI resources. The data service providers are not usually seen as the end-users.
    • DLI training will teach some statistical and research skills to enhance understanding in providing data services but it is not intended to teach trainees how to become statisticians or social researchers.
  • Principle 5

    Principle 5

    The training matrix (Appendix 2) will guide the course content that is offered through this program. The DLI External Advisory Committee (EAC), through its Professional Development Committee, will be responsible for maintaining this plan and for periodically reviewing its content and direction.


    • The EAC has an on-going Professional Development Committee to recommend changes to the training matrix and to present other training policies and procedures for the EAC's consideration and approval.
    • Training will take place based on Appendix 1 and 2 which should assist Regional Training Coordinators in structuring regional workshops.
  • Principle 6

    Principle 6

    Training will address concerns appropriate both to small and large institutions.


    • DLI was established to provide affordable and equitable access to Statistics Canada's data products to all member institutions regardless of the size of institution, geographic location of the institution, or the instructional or research mandate of the institution. Therefore, training must be relevant to all institutional sizes, locations, and mandates.
  • Principle 7

    Principle 7

    Training will be regionally based with regular national and international exposure when the opportunities arise.


    • Workshops provide an opportunity to network with colleagues in data services and help to create community among those providing support for DLI products. The strength of DLI training will remain with the regional delivery of its workshops.
    • Data services also takes place within an international context. Therefore when the opportunity presents itself, DLI training will also be scheduled to allow those providing support for DLI to participate in an international data event (such as approximately every four years in conjunction with the IASSIST conference in Canada).
  • Principle 8

    Principle 8

    Whenever possible, trainers will be recruited from the existing Canadian data library community with the expectation that those who are trained may someday be called upon to train others. This principle is founded on the understanding that as one learns, one will teach.


    • DLI training is based on peer-to-peer instruction because a peer not only is more likely to know what trainees face in their work, but will also be able to communicate more clearly the information and skills needed for the job.
  • Principle 9

    Principle 9

    DLI contacts at their respective institutions have the responsibility to inform Library Directors, the user community, and other general public to communicate the importance of statistical and data literacy and the importance of publicly available datasets to foster higher education and research.


    • The prospect of a healthy data culture in Canada is dependent on communicating information about DLI and data services to sectors related to our work. This includes the powers that fund and support our local data services, such as Library Directors, and the powers who create data in Statistics Canada and who determine its levels of access.
    • It is also important to communicate this information to the potential end-users on DLI campuses.
    • The importance of data and statistical literacy needs to be communicated to the general public because a society that practices evidence-based decision-making requires access to the data that constitutes the evidence.
  • Appendix 1 - Core competencies

    Appendix 1 - Core competencies

    Core competencies for supporting DLI data outline the basic level of data service skills desired for incumbents serving in the capacity of either DLI Contact or DLI Alternate. Core competencies in this context are defined as the knowledge and skills that can be developed to deliver a DLI data service program within a post-secondary institution.

    In the context of this document, knowledge refers to having a familiarity with or awareness of; understanding refers to comprehension or possessing the skill to deal with; and ability refers to competence or capacity to do.

    There are specific skills that are core competencies for supporting data services and there are competencies that may be acquired through participation in the DLI Community (accessing official documents, exploring the training repository, staying updated via the DLI List and attending DLI training events).

    Knowledge of (refers to familiarity with or awareness of)

    • Basic data literacy, such as measures of central tendencies, descriptive statistics;
    • Data documentation and how that will inform which dataset(s) to recommend to a researcher;
    • Data lifecycle, which refers to the context in which data are produced and reused
    • Various tools for accessing data (including portals such as Statistics Canada's website DLI EFT, ODESI, Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA), Web Data Server (WDS), as well as open data catalogues, such as, and provincial or other open data portals;
    • Various software packages for statistical analysis (B2020, Dataverse, Excel, R, SAS, SPSS, STATA);
    • Statistics Canada's standard geographical classification and geography products.

    Understanding of (refers to comprehension or possessing the skill to deal with)

    • How to recognize a data/statistical/metadata/geospatial question (data reference);
    • Continuum of access for Statistics Canada products and services;
    • Extent and contents of DLI collection including open data sources;
    • How to access appropriate data sources to answer questions;
    • How to direct users to data resources.

    Ability to (refers to competence or capacity to do)

    • Use various tools for accessing data (including portals such as Statistics Canada's website, DLI EFT, ODESI, Statistics Canada Web Data Server (WDS));
    • Design or maintain a data service appropriate for their institution;
    • Promote local data services and the DLI collection;
    • Interpret the DLI licence, or find information on how to interpret the licence;
    • Develop a knowledge of data and statistics external to the DLI collection.
  • Appendix 2 - Training matrix (Revised – March 2018)

    Appendix 2 - Training matrix (Revised – March 2018)

    Appendix 2 - Training matrix (Revised – March 2018)
      Knowledge Skills Attitudes
    Statistics and data literacy
    • Research lifecycle (Framework – statistics and data)
    • Continuum of access
    • What is unique about data?
    • Different ways data are gathered
    • Recognizing a data/statistics/metadata/ geospatial question
    • Data interpretation
    • Data analysis
    • Overcoming the fear
    • Nurture sharing and open access
    • Nurture preservation
    • Where and how are statistics gathered (STC)
    • The collection (DLI)
    • Other data collections
    • Spatial representation of statistics
    • Finding
    • Accessing
    • Using
    • Sharing
    • Re-purposing (creating new: integrating existing)
    • Advocacy
    • Keep digging
    • Creative and bold
    • Understanding the options: data, software, statistical/GIS packages, output file types, post processing
    • Selecting appropriate tools
    • Knowledge of access tools
    • Using statistical packages
    • Using tools for accessing data
    • Search tools
    • Format translation tools
    • Lifelong learning (re-learning tools)
    • Try it - be bold (you won't break it)
    • Positive attitude towards change
    • Options for service models
    • Adopt a service model responsive to internal and external changes
    • Understand the audience
    • Awareness of funding sources
    • Administer the service and DLI license
    • How to do an environmental scan
    • Grant writing
    • Interpret license
    • Service oriented
    • Data champion - proactive promotion of data service
    • Data reference means more time with each question
    • Developing a data culture

Funding policy and procedures for training workshops

  • Policies and procedures

    Policies and procedures

    The DLI External Advisory Committee has adopted the following policies and procedures for DLI Training support:

    • Formal DLI training is offered annually in each of the four regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West). It is financially supported by the DLI with a purpose to ensure that all DLI Contacts are provided with the opportunity to acquire base-level competencies essential for carrying out their responsibilities as noted in the training document.
    • Two regional training coordinators, appointed in each of the four regions, plan and implement the training workshops in their regions.
    • Each fiscal year, the EAC votes on a budgetary item for regional training support. The regional training coordinators independently determine how to manage the funds provided to them. The annual amount budgeted is $15,000 per region.

    The DLI will financially support regional training in the following manner:

    • Travel expenses such as transportation, accommodation and meal allowances, in whole or in part which is determined by the role the traveler. Such expenses will be paid by the DLI to individual participants, contingent upon a Travel Authority Request being submitted, travel being pre-approved and an expense claim being submitted.
    • Full travel expenses (transportation, accommodating and meals allowances expenses) are offered to the Coordinators (host) and Presenters.
    • Participants are offered funding for transportation only. More than one participant from an institution can attend the training, however, only one participant can request DLI funding. In the case where two individuals from the same institution are attending and one is a Presenter (full travel expense), an Alternate participant from the same institution can qualify for funding as a participant.
    • Limits for local arrangement costs based on a set budget, such as overhead expenses, will be provided by DLI staff prior to training sessions. Professional expenditures include professional services, audiovisuals services, room rental, and hospitality expenditures. These expenditures will be paid to the hosting institution in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines and the available budget.
    • Per diems and transportation costs for Coordinators.

    Normally, financial support is offered for a DLI Contact to attend at only one training session per Government of Canada fiscal year. The level of support is based on economy transportation rates. DLI Contacts are welcome and encouraged to attend additional training sessions at their own expense.

    The DLI Program does not pay consultant fees or honour. Training is based on a peer-to-peer model.

    Participation by Statistics Canada subject matter specialists is key and encouraged. Funding is budgeted through the DLI Section's operational budget.

    Representatives from regional Statistics Canada offices and staff from the Research Data Centres are to attend sessions in their region. However, the DLI does not provide any financial support to them.

    Occasionally, special training initiatives may be required. Proposals for these extraordinary initiatives must be submitted to the EAC for budgetary consideration.
    Regional Training Coordinators will post online a training proposal at a minimum of 3 weeks, in advance of any proposed training workshop. The proposal will include:

    • What training is being provided
    • Location and date(s) of the Workshop
    • Detailed outline of the expenses to be covered by the DLI funding
    • Overview of the curriculum as it pertains to regional needs
    • Number of spaces available
    • Names of trainers.

    Following the training session, regional coordinators and/or the DLI team in accordance with the rules and regulations governing Statistics Canada, will:

    • Provide instructions to participants to complete their expense claims. Participants are responsible for submitting their own expense claims, including receipts, directly to the DLI section.
    • Instruct the host institution on how to submit an invoice to the designated Statistics Canada Financial Officer and/or the DLI Section.

    The DLI should be credited in publicity and program notes for support provided.