Open Data Watch at the 2023 UN World Data Forum
by the Open Data Watch Team
4 April 2023
*updated May 2023
The United Nations World Data Forum took place in April in Hangzhou, China with the goal to listen, understand, discuss, and collaborate on how to harness data for the Sustainable Development Goals. The four-day conference featured more than 100 events, 70 parallel sessions, 30 learning labs, exhibits, and much more.
Below is a list of events that Open Data Watch co-hosted or participated in during the UN World Data Forum 2023.
Data in the age of misinformation: Building trust by bridging communities
Co-hosted by PARIS21, Open Data Watch, Development Gateway, Full FactUPDATE: Watch the session video!
Official statistics and other data produced by governments are important for informing public discussion and countering misinformation that may be spread inadvertently or deliberately. But citizens often lack the knowledge of what data exist, how to find them, and their relevance to the issues being discussed. In many places, a new category of journalists called “fact-checkers” who specialize in testing the veracity of claims made by politicians and other public figures has emerged.
This session brought together leading fact-checking organizations to discuss how official statistics are used in public fact checking and what NSOs can do to facilitate access to and use of their data. Data users highlighted what they need from statistical offices and data producers while the latter discussed the measures they take to validate data and ensure trust.
Data in the Care Economy: Creating Care Economy Indicators at the Local Level
Hosted by Open Data Charter; Open Data Watch participating as panelist
Session video coming soon
Female participation in the workforce is an important aspect of gender equality and is influenced by the burden placed on women to perform care duties. Women still bear a large burden of informal, unpaid childcare and household work, which subsequently impacts education performance, job opportunities, and wages. At the municipal level, married women in both Buenos Aires and Mexico City have been found to experience intermittent employment, with the lack of affordable childcare a major influence on outcomes for women. This session highlighted the latest work by the Open Data Charter to close income and gender gaps and require quality data and monitoring systems to understand the state of the care sector and its role in inclusive development. Specifically, the session showcased lessons learned from the Open Data Charter’s collaboration with the City of Buenos Aires to empower their work on a Care Indicators System.
Global Data Barometer: Measuring the state of data for public good and the achievement of the SDGs
Co-hosted by Global Data Barometer, Open Contracting Partnership, Open Data Watch, Open Government Partnership, and Land Portal FoundationUPDATE: Watch the session video!
As the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 approaches, the need to monitor progress on the development goals could not be clearer, as is the need to assess the role of data in advancing toward the goals. To realize the value of data and data-related projects in achieving the SDGs, we need to take a closer look at the latest evidence on where countries stand regarding progress to date as well as highlight trends and opportunities for improvement. This session explored the importance of data to measure the progress in advancing the SDGs and showcased the results of the Global Data Barometer.
High-Level Plenary on Trust and Ethics in Data
Hosted by United Nations Statistics Division; Open Data Watch participating as panelist.UPDATE: Watch the session video!
This plenary session focused on aspects of trust in data pertaining to transparency, openness and visibility of data while examining the intersectionality between professional and ethical principles as well as legal frameworks and institutional practices. Additionally, it aimed to further explore the roles of various stakeholders such as national statistical offices, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector in relation to data stewardship across different regions. Through exploring themes such as ethics and misinformation, this served to add a new dimension to conversations surrounding trust in data while weaving practical real-life ground experience and striking the balance between trust through informed consent, accuracy, international standardization and timely data.
Overcoming Data Graveyards: Country Insights on Advancing Data Use, Uptake, and Impact
Co-hosted by Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Open Data WatchUPDATE: Watch the session video!
Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced globally. Yet, how much of this data is actually being used for decision-making? Why aren’t more governments and leaders across society using this data to make effective and targeted decisions and policies? And how can we prevent potentially useful data from ending up in a “data graveyard” – where unused data become lost and forgotten (Custer et al, 2017)?
SDSN TReNDS and Open Data Watch recently set out to answer some of these key questions with their project, ‘Avoiding Data Graveyards,’ by establishing a proposed transformation process for data use within the National Statistical System. This session highlighted tactics NSOs are applying such as improved governance, increased user engagement, and heightened data literacy. It also garnerned feedback from the UNWDF community on where additional capacity-building efforts, research, and tools are needed to inform future research and project activities.
Moving Gender Data Up the Value Chain: From Production to Impact
Co-hosted by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at UC San Diego, Data2X, Open Data Watch, Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, and the World BankUPDATE: Watch the session video!
Gender data are critical to understanding the lived experiences of women and girls, inform policy development, and monitor progress over time. However, significant gender data gaps persist. This calls for robust action to not only collect more and better gender data but to ensure that it is published, analyzed, and used to impact people’s lives. This session highlighted promising solutions and practices from across the national statistical system to move gender data up the data value chain and ensure that we leave no one behind. The session drew on recent research to shift the conversation from identifying gender data problems to finding practical solutions to gender data gaps.
Preparing for the next pandemic: Applying a system-wide approach to health data
Co-hosted by Open Data Watch (ODW); Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21); and World Health Organization (WHO)UPDATE: Watch the session video!
As the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for timely, high-quality, and comprehensive health data cannot be more critical. Without a better understanding of who is impacted, how health systems are responding, and where there are gaps, policymakers cannot make evidence-informed decisions for response, recovery, and rebuilding.
This session explored how adopting a system-wide approach to strengthen national data systems will improve health data, close gaps in birth, marriage, divorce, and death registration (CRVS), ensure inclusion of vulnerable populations, and help build trust within the data system. It considered some of the challenges and opportunities to operationalize a system-wide approach to health data and outline good practices for better health data governance. It also reflected on how within an interconnected data ecosystem a piecemeal approach to addressing data gaps is insufficient to accelerate along the path towards achieving the SDGs.