The Global Partnership is an open, multi-stakeholder network committed to harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. The World Bank Group, PARIS21, Open Data for Development, and Open Data Watch are 4 of 150+ partners in this initiative. The World Bank Group aims to improve statistical systems worldwide through financial and technical assistance to countries as well as free and open access to development data. PARIS21 is a global partnership that promotes the better use and production of statistics throughout the developing world. Open Data for Development is a global network of leaders in the Open Data community, working together to develop open data solutions around the world. Open Data Watch is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization that monitors progress and provides information and assistance to guide implementation of open data systems.
Open Data for the SDGs: Who are the key stakeholders?
Building Partnerships to Harness the Data Revolution
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is a global network of governments, NGOs, and businesses working together to strengthen the way that data is used to address the world’s sustainable development efforts. GPSDD works to bring the resources of national governments, independent non-profits, and private companies to bear on the world’s development data poverty.
National Statistical Systems (NSS) are fundamental to the collection, production, and dissemination of the data necessary to track and measure progress towards the SDGs. However, they exist within a diverse and growing data ecosystem including other key stakeholders such as government agencies, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector. As the ecosystem becomes increasingly complex, GPSDD aims to connect actors and catalyze action to ensure data is of higher quality and aligns with standards of openness.
GPSDD strives to bring the best data, analytical skills, and ideas to solve data problems — from assisting countries in their production of Data Roadmaps to funding pilot data innovations to tackle development challenges. We aim to give governments and relevant stakeholders the tools they need to ensure no-one left behind in their development efforts.
Knowledge-sharing to Solve Open Data Challenges
Open Data for Development (OD4D) is a global network of leaders in the Open Data community, working together to develop open data solutions around the world. OD4D supports research initiatives which tackle the question of what works in open data. By looking at case studies and gathering evidence on open data, OD4D aims to build and maintain a global agenda for open data while enhancing the value and impact of open data.
Data is quickly becoming a key infrastructure in a networked world. However, there are still important challenges to be addressed for developing countries to fully benefit from the promises of open data. We need to unlock the supply of data in developing countries, build the standards that will enable collaboration, scale solutions and find innovative ways to build the required data skills that will enable the spread of data benefits around the world.
Supporting National Statistical Systems and promoting open data
The National Statistical System (NSS) is the ensemble of statistical organizations and units within a country that collect, process, and disseminate official statistics. NSSs are responsible for collecting and reporting data to international community, national policymakers, and citizens. These systems are at the heart of the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The data they produce are crucial to both track development progress, and to provide the information necessary to make decisions on environmental, social, and economic policies.
Together, the GPSDD and OD4D are working to support NSSs to open existing data sets and to make use of new and innovative data sources. Opening official statistics can increase the use and impact of these data. By adhering to standards of openness, innovative data use by a variety of actors is made possible. Additionally, as more data sources are made available, NSSs can make use of new information to fill priority data gaps.
Despite the gains that have been made, there is still work to be done in supporting NSSs. One of the efforts of the GPSDD is to foster linkages between NSSs and the wider open data community. The GPSDD seeks to play a catalytic role by connecting NSS leadership with experts on Open Data, including OD4D, to identify opportunities in open data. The GPSDD and OD4D commit to addressing the particularly needs and challenges faced by NSSs. These initiatives will also help to identify opportunities for big returns from NSS investment in open data.
Working Together to Realize the Benefits of Open Data for the SDGs
There are incredible opportunities to leverage open data for the data revolution and to support NSSs. GPSDD and OD4D are working together to capitalize on those opportunities. Some of the challenges we are working to address include:
- How do we support NSSs and other government actors in their achievement of the two goals of adopting open data practices and expanding the use of open data? We recognize the challenges that countries face to make the data open – both technically and legally. As we continue to support efforts to make data more open and make better use of existing and new sources of data, we are committed to supporting NSSs in achieving both these goals.
- How can initiatives such as OD4D and the GPSDD foster linkages within the open data communities? We need collective action among all actors in the open data community to make an impact. Our initiatives are not only rooted in the desire to connect statisticians and experts or officials and advocates but to create linkages for greater social impact. We seek to understand how best to navigate this space.
- How do we ensure that no country or community is left behind in the data revolution? There are many opportunities for data innovation and use, but data resources – whether it be financial, technical, or human capital – are not always equitably distributed. We must work together to discover ways for all decision makers and citizens to access and use existing data and build national capacity while doing so.
- How can we ensure that data innovations, lessons learned, and best practices are shared? There is incredible potential for positive impact facilitated by the Data Revolution and Open Data movements. We are cataloguing success stories, like those described on page 6 of this document, and we are committed to promoting and sharing best practices and new ideas from across the world.
Our sessions at IODC will explore how to work together further and address some of these challenges. Join us!
Understanding the potential of the data revolution (case studies)
There are already exciting examples of how data, and particularly open data, can improve decision-making and the lives of citizens around the world. Here are four inspiring examples that show the potential for a data revolution that is open and innovative.
Data Revolution Case Studies
Using Satellite and Cell Phone Data to Eliminate Malaria:
- Namibia has made great progress in the fight against malaria. For complete elimination, however, health officials need better data on how people transmit malaria as they travel between communities. A combination of satellite and cell phone data is making this possible: satellite images map the environmental conditions in which malaria parasites and mosquitos are abundant, and cell phone records are used to anonymously track population movements. Together, the two types of data allow detailed mapping of malaria transmission in Namibia, and allow interventions like bed-net distribution to be optimally targeted to disrupt the infection cycle. In 2013, Namibia’s Ministry of Health used the data to target bed-net distribution to first reach the 80,000 people most at risk to the malaria transmission cycle as opposed to the previous estimates of 1.2 million people.
Sharing Statistics to Improve Health Outcomes:
- Open data can be a mechanism for best-practice sharing, which can improve the efficiency and quality of public services. When the United Kingdom opened up the infection statistics of all hospitals and listed the hospitals with the worst infection status on its open data portal (data.gov.uk), hospitals were encouraged to share best practices. The transparency surrounding the issues and the response to share what works best where resulted in a decrease of the annual number of infected patients from about 5,000 to fewer than 1,200 in 2013.
Enhancing Decision Making with Open Data:
- Mejora Tu Escuela, a platform created by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, provides parents with information on school performance to help make informed decisions on the education of their child and citizens with the tools to advocate for higher-quality education. The platform also provides school administrators, policymakers, and civil society with data to track corruption, demand accountability, and identify areas of greatest need. This data was a critical component to uncovering widespread corruption in the Mexican education system and providing the necessary evidence behind the claims.
Disaggregating Data to Improve Women’s Lives:
- The Demographic Health Survey collects and disseminates sex-disaggregated information from 82 countries on HIV/AIDS, FGM, and gender-based violence. This data disaggregated has helped identify at-risk populations. In the vast majority of subSaharan African countries, DHS data made clear that women – especially those in their teens and early twenties – were disproportionately at risk for contracting the virus. Governments responded by creating specific curricula on HIV transmission for young women and made this population a priority in the fight against infection. In Kenya, partially as a result of DHS data, women now get tested more regularly for HIV/AIDS and targeted education programs for young women have led to much higher levels of knowledge about transmission.
For more information, join us at the following IODC sessions!
October 5 14:30 to 17:30 Pre-conference session
Openness and National Statistical Offices
A Review of Available Tools and Methods – This working session will focus on the context for interactions among the national statistical offices and open data communities. It will examine the existing tools available to NSOs to support data and open data efforts, and will provide an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses therein.
October 6 9:30 to 10:30: Main session
Global Goals for Local Impact
This high-level panel will highlight the importance of the SDGs for development use at local level alongside the challenges and opportunities for implementation.
October 6 12: 15 to 13:30 Main session
Open Data and the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development
Opportunities for Joint Action – Bringing together representatives from national statistical offices, private sector and civil society organizations, this high-level session will assess the progress made in advancing the data revolution for sustainable development as well as the challenges, opportunities and priority action areas for the year ahead.
October 6 14:15 to 15:30 Main session
Open Data and National Statistical Offices
Experiences and Opportunities – This high-level panel discussion will focus on the context for interactions among national statistical offices and open data communities. The session will covers topics such as the experiences of NSOs actively involved in open data, the SDG data-related challenges NSOs face, and where NSOs can find opportunities for returns on open data investments.