2020 did not go as planned. Nevertheless, Open Data Watch continued to support the data revolution by advancing cutting-edge research and maximizing the impact of open data around the world. This was a crucial year for data as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for high-quality and timely data for policy making and effectiveness and the importance of robust data systems during a time of crisis. Now, more than ever, failing to collect and openly publish data can have severe consequences.
As we approach 2021, ODW would like to share a few highlights and accomplishments to look back on from this past year in our favorite medium: numbers!
External blogs we wrote on non-ODW platforms.
This year ODW wrote or was featured in ten blogs for external platforms such as Apolitical, SciDevNet, and Next Billion. There was also a feature of the ODIN launch in the Singapore Straits Times. Our aim for writing on a variety of outlets was to spread message of the importance of open data and evidence-based policymaking broadly. This has been a critical year for relaying our key findings to audiences who may not otherwise take part in discussions of open data, data ethics, and data financing.
- “Is Open Data at Odds with Citizens’ Privacy” Apolitical by Shaida Badiee; 4/9/2020
- “A Vaccine Is Not the Only Answer to COVID-19: Why Strengthening Statistical and Data Systems Must Be Part of the Solution” Next Billion by Deirdre Appel and Shaida Badiee; 7/1/20
- “To Achieve Progress on Gender Equality, Gender Data Must Be at the Forefront” Inter Press Service by Eric Swanson and Tawheeda Wahabzada; 9/30/20
- “An Investment for the Ages: Financing Gender Data to Meet Pandemic and Development Needs” UN World Data Forum by Shaida Badiee and Emily Courey Pryor, Data2x; 11/18/20
- “Where Are Women and Girls Especially Vulnerable to the COVID-19 Pandemic?” by Mayra Buvinic, Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 11/30/20 (This also appeared on Data2x)
- “Why financing data matters more than ever” Apolitical by Shaida Badiee and Johannes Jütting; 12/8/2020
- “Report shows slow progress on sex-disaggregated data” SciDevNet; 12/10/20
- “Opening Data, Closing Gender Data Gaps, and Building Back Better” Data2x by Deirdre Appel; 12/15/20
- A IISD SDG feature on understanding sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data with Global Health 50/50 (forthcoming)
- ODIN feature on Singapore Straits Times (forthcoming)
Blogs and reports about gender data.
This year ODW fortified its commitment to researching and advocating for strong gender data practices.
With our long-term partner Data2X, ODW was able to conduct timely research on the availability of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 cases and deaths data to highlight the need to close gender data gaps during and after the pandemic. In addition, ODW placed a focus on how to finance gender data initiatives and ensure that gender data needs are met and at the forefront of policymaking.
- “Tracking the Gender Impacts of COVID-19” by Mayra Buvinic, Lorenz Noe, and Eric Swanson; 5/28/20
- Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 Blog series
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #1” Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 6/4/20
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #2” Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 6/12/20
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #3” Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 7/20/20
- “The availability of sex-disaggregated information on healthcare worker cases and deaths- Blog 4” Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 7/27/20
- “Tracking the Gender Impact of COVID-19: An Indicator Framework” by Mayra Buvinic, Lorenz Noe, and Eric Swanson; May 2020
- “ConVERGE: Connecting Vital Events Registration and Gender Equality: Commitments and Solutions for Impact – Outcome report” by IDRC Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems, Open Data Watch, UNFPA; 7/14/20
- “Country Profiles – Bridging the Gap: Mapping Gender Data Availability in Latin America and the Caribbean” by Open Data Watch, Data2x, and ECLAC; August 2020
- “Bridging Gender Data Gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean: Technical Report” by Open Data Watch, Data2x, and ECLAC; August 2020 (in Spanish)
- “Understanding Women’s and Girls’ Vulnerabilities to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Gender Analysis and Data Dashboard of Low- and Lower-Middle Income Countries” by Mayra Buvinic, Lorenz Noe, Eric Swanson; November 2020
ODW virtual events.
2020 was the year of Zoom. Like all our partner organizations, we have grown accustomed to sitting in front of our computer screens for conferences that once gathered colleagues from all over the world. Going virtual, however, did not stop the ODW team from participating and engaging in a sleuth of events in the data revolution. This year we participated in eight, including the United Nations World Data Forum.
- Africa Gender Data Network Webinar Series: Methodological Research on Approaches to Gender Data Collection; 3/31/20
- SDG#5 vs. COVID-19: Gender Equality in Times of a Global Crisis; 4/17/20
- Africa Gender Data Network Webinar Series: Building a case for disaggregated data; 5/7/20
- The Power Of Partnership: Advancing Gender Data in the Context of COVID-19; 10/20/20
- World Data Forum; 10/21/20
- Shaping the data governance landscape: A multi-sectoral approach to use, protection, and inclusive digital transformation; with SDSN TReNDS, DataReady, Center for Global Development, and Oxford Insights
- Bern Network for Financing Development Data – Strategic dialogue and launch of new commitments to get to more and better funding support for CTGAP; with Bern Network and PARIS21
- Integrating data partnerships: Data interoperability success stories from around the world; with UNSD and GPSDD
- Devex World – Data Sharing in Development: Can it be Achieved Without Challenging Privacy and Human Rights; 12/10/20
- Gender Data Network Webinar Series: Lessons from the pandemic: Building better gender data in the world of work; 12/15/20
- Health Data Driving the SDGs and Defeating COVID-19 with the Health Data Collaborative and WHO; 12/15/20
In 2020, ODW kept their followers busy reading by publishing seven reports in addition to the many blogs. The reports continued to strengthen the case for the need for open data and accessible national statistics. A key accomplishment this year was the launch of the 2020/2021 Open Data Inventory (ODIN) technical report. ODIN 2021 is a global assessment of the coverage and openness of official statistics. This is ODW’s fifth edition and marks the biggest year yet for open data. ODIN has found that open data is on the rise, with many countries showing the most progress to date. The annual report will be published ahead of the UN Statistical Commission meeting in March 2021. Stay tuned.
- “Understanding Usability of SDG National Reporting Platforms” by Yu-En Hsu and Elettra Baldi; November 2020
- Open Data Inventory 2020/21 by Open Data Watch; 12/2/20
- Statistical Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics article on Open Data (forthcoming)
Blogs published on the ODW website.
In addition to the many blogs published on external platforms, ODW also posted six blogs to our website this year. These blogs have been accessed worldwide. After the United States, the three top countries visiting our website are India, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Our blog with the most views was our “DATA in the time of the COVID-19” piece. It has received 33,000 page views since the start of the pandemic in March. The blog is updated weekly to follow the fast-paced tech and data developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “Learning from coronavirus data use and demand” by Caleb Rudow; 6/27/20
- “Census Data Drives Decision Making” by Open Data Watch; 7/10/20
- “Shining a Spotlight on the Power of Statistics – World Statistics Day” by Open Data Watch; 10/20/20
- “Three Questions to Ask about the Usability of SDG National Reporting Platforms” by Elettra Baldi; 11/17/20
- “DATA in the time of COVID-19“ by Open Data Watch
- “Open Data Day 2020: Where do we go from here?“ by Open Data Watch; 10/7/20
Countries assessed in our Bridging the Gap Latin America and the Caribbean assessment.
Together with Data2X and UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), ODW released Bridging the Gap: Mapping Gender Data Availability in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020. This report is the second of its kind. The first technical report was focused on mapping gender data availability in Africa. This year ODW shifted the geographic focus to Latin America and the Caribbean to understand the availability of gender data in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Paraguay. The report assesses the availability of 93 gender indicators and their frequency on national and international databases. This study has provided insight into how to produce policy-relevant gender data indicators. We are currently undertaking Asia and the Pacific, which a report slotted for February 2021.
Blogs tracking COVID-19 sex-disaggregated data.
ODW dedicated many hours this year to understanding the gender dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, the importance of sex-disaggregated information for understanding the pandemic’s effects and for implementing a policy that closes gender gaps. Lorenz Noe, ODW’s Senior Data Analyst, and Eric Swanson, ODW’s Director of Research, worked with Global Health 50/50 to produce a four-piece blog series on the availability of gender-disaggregated COVID-19 cases and deaths.
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #1” by Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 6/4/20 (The series also appeared on Data2x)
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #2” by Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 6/12/20
- “Tracking Gender Data on COVID-19 – Blog #3” by Eric Swanson and Lorenz Noe; 7/20/20
- “The availability of sex-disaggregated information on healthcare worker cases and deaths- Blog 4” by Lorenz Noe and Eric Swanson; 7/27/20
Year Strategy Focusing on Data Governance.
ODW is happy to announce that Hewlett has extended its General Operating Support grant to ODW for three more years. This is a critical step towards ensuring that ODW will continue to support and encourage countries to increase the quality, coverage, openness, and use of official statistical data. This grant will also help ODW extend its research to understand the value and use of official statistics with a strong focus on data governance, including research on data use and financing for statistics.
Now for something to add to your socially distanced walk: Shaida Badiee, Managing Director of ODW, has participated in two podcasts this year. The first is a discussion with Data Journalism on ODIN 2021, an index measuring the openness and coverage of official statistics across 187 countries. We are looking forward to more podcasts in the future.
- “Taking stock of open data” Data Journalism by Shaida Badiee; 12/10/20
- Digital Impact (forthcoming)
In-person conference in February 2020.
ODW’s in-person presence was naturally limited this year. However, before the pandemic, Open Data Watch partnered with the IDRC Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems and UNFPA to hold a conference on future opportunities and challenges to ensure that all vital events are registered and harness CRVS systems to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The conference was attended by 200 participants and included a wide range of stakeholders in the CRVS and gender fields. To learn more about the conference, you can check out the outcome report or watch all live-streamed session videos.
Of course, none of this work could have been completed without our dedicated partners. We thank them for all their contributions to our work over the year.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and look forward to reconvening in 2021 in our joint efforts to improve the openness, quality, and timeliness of official statistics for the SDGs and beyond.