Search Policy Advice Blog Posts
Farewell to ODW’s Visiting Statistician
ODW’s first Visiting Statistician, Luis Gonzalez Morales, reflects on his sabbatical experience while at Open Data Watch and as he returns to the UN Statistics Division.
Philippines Centralizes Data Governance to Improve Data Use
This case study looks at how the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) successfully centralized the data governance of major national statistical agencies to ensure that datasets are better tuned to user needs and can be efficiently used for policy and planning purposes.
Open Data Watch – Our Story in 2022
As 2022 comes to a close, Open Data Watch (ODW) reflects on what has been achieved and what is left to be done to support open data for development, better data governance, fewer data gaps, and more impactful data use to improve people’s lives.worldwide — all eight billion of them.
Sharp Decline in Gender Data Funding Puts SDG 5 at Risk
Funding for gender data decreased by 55% in 2020 — nearly three times the drop in funding to data and statistics overall. But a four-part strategy to support data for SDG 5 could reverse this trend.
Colombia’s DANE Adopts Inclusive Data Approach
This case study looks at how Colombia’s National Statistics Office (DANE) captures several new data dimensions to improve the visibility of minority groups in national statistics through inclusive, disaggregated data.
Meet ODW’s Visiting Statistician
Open Data Watch is pleased to welcome our first Visiting Statistician, Luis Gonzalez Morales, who joins us from the United Nations Statistics Division.
Report: Overcoming Data Graveyards in Official Statistics
Billions of gigabytes of data are produced daily, but valuable data often pass into “data graveyards” — lost when most needed for evidence-informed decisions on pandemics, climate change, and energy and food insecurity. This report finds best practices to improve data use and impact.
Open Data Roundtable Assesses Recent Progress and Future Risks for NSOs
The push for Open Data has made phenomenal progress in the last five years, but are there risks ahead for National Statistical Offices, data users and partner groups?
Data Portals: Steps towards an Integrated Digital Strategy
Data portals are a primary gateway for evidence-based decision-making, monitoring, fact checking, and reporting. But not all portals have the upstream data management needed to assure coverage, access and use.
Moving from Data Production to Impact: The Role of the NSO
A UN Statistical Commission event, “Moving from Data Production to Impact” discusses the role of NSOs in facilitating greater data use and avoiding “data graveyards.”
The Power of Open Data: Moving from Concept to Action
A UN Statistical Commission event, “The Power of Open Data: Moving from Concept to Action,” reports on the latest best practices for NSOs to implement open data, including “Open Data by Default,” Interoperability, and local-level data sharing that safeguards confidentiality and privacy.
COP26: The World Needs a Better Data Strategy to Tackle Climate Change
The most climate-vulnerable regions of the world lack the adequate environment data to combat climate change. Averting a climate crisis requires a data strategy that promotes high-quality, open, and timely data across all countries.
UN World Data Forum 2021: Moving from “What” to “How”
The UN World Data Forum 2021 was the first major opportunity since the pandemic for development data experts and users to assess the lessons and impact of COVID-19 on Sustainable Development Goals. Four main takeaways show a move from “what” to “how” data can be used to achieve SDGs.
Defining Data Stewardship
A clear definition of data stewardship can help build a common understanding about what it takes to establish a system of resilient data governance built on strong partnerships and effective safeguards to balance data sharing and data privacy.
Find ODW at the World Data Forum!
The UN World Data Forum 2021 gathers data experts and users from governments, civil society, the private sector, donors, international and regional agencies, the geospatial community, the media, academia, and professional bodies to spur data innovation and mobilize high-level support for better data for sustainable development.
SDSN TReNDS Roundtable: Governing the Data Revolution
In this exclusive roundtable on “Governing the Data Revolution,” a selection of TReNDS Expert Members debate many of the themes featured in the recent flagship report, Counting on the World to Act.
Supporting Global Efforts to Strengthen CRVS
In support of good practices to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), the authors of a paper in the latest Knowledge Brief have created a reference guide identifying key gender barriers to registration of birth and deaths, and mapping supply-side issues to needed demand-side research.
#ThePowerOf CRVS for Gender Equality
More than 8,000 participants gathered in Vancouver, Canada for the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls – Women Deliver. IDRC, Data2X and ODW brought civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) into the discussions.
Resources for Data: Transformative Opportunities?
Experts gathered recently in Washington to discuss an issue underpinning all other development issues – the gaps in data and statistics needed to implement Sustainable Developmentd Goals (SDGs). Effective policies to provide a better life for people require more and better data, but how to fund it?
SDG Reporting Platforms Show New Progress & Priorities
National reporting platforms (NRPs) are showing progress in accessibility, usability, interoperability and openness, according to a new study by ODW and CODE. The 36 NRPs analyzed were found to be…
Open Data Day Takes Stock of Progress
The 9th annual celebration of Open Data Day on 2 March is not only an opportunity to highlight the benefits of open data and encourage open data policies by governments,…
Marriage & Divorce Certificates for Women’s Empowerment
When vital life events – such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces – are systemabtically recorded in CRVS systems, they provide proof of identity and legal status that are particularly beneficial to women and girls. They also provide sex-disaggregated demographic data for better policies and planning.
IODC 2018: New Perspectives, Finding Common Ground, Listening & Learning
For the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Buenos Aires, where the focus is on a key action item of the Cape Town Global Action Plan and a related report to the UN Statistical Commission — Open Data — the ODW team arrives with three main goals.
Lessons Learned for Financing a Global Pact for Development Data
The UN’s Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data (CTGAP) calls for urgent action on a global pact to modernize and strengthen national statistical systems in lower-income countries where, despite being under-resourced and under-staffed, they face increasing demands from data users and increasing needs to measure SDGs.
Understanding the Value & Impact of Data
Why do investments in data remain low, despite the often cited need for high-quality data to guide policies and promote evidence-based decision making for sustainable development?
Birth Registration – A Foundation for Gender Equality
Many people take their birth certificate for granted. But in the developing world, birth registration is one of the most important events in childen’s lives.
Once upon a Statistic: Gender Data Impact Stories
The Gender Data Impact Project is gathering stories about the lives of girls and women that demonstrate a strong link between data and outcome, about the pioneers who began the conversation on the importance of unbiased gender data and about the brave champions who continue the work today.
Building Trust in Data and Statistics
In an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” the UN World Data Forum 2018 takes on a topic of particular relevance: building trust in data and statistics throughout the data value chain.
OECD Outlines Six Data Actions for Sustainable Development
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals hinges on harnessing evidence, technology, and data science. A new Development Co-operation Report 2017 from OECD provides a holistic view of data-driven development and identifies concrete actions to advance the job of improving the quality of data and statistics.
Making Progress towards Sustainable Agriculture
Food and agriculture are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, spanning all 17 goals and reflected in 53 indicators, but what are the key elements to measure and across what dimensions? Must data be collected at the farm level?
What it takes to build a strong partnership on statistics
Paris in spring, the backdrop for this year’s PARIS21 Board Meeting, offers a fitting time for this long-time “observer” to reflect on what has changed in the 17 years since PARIS21…
Breakthroughs for Open Data at UN World Data Forum
The UN World Data Forum helped create a better understanding of open data opportunities and accelerated the connections between official statisticians and open data experts. But it left some things remaining to be accomplished.
UN World Data Forum Bridges Communities of Open Data and Official Statistics
The United Nations World Data Forum in Capetown (15-18 January) marked a decisive moment in the race to harness the power of the Data Revolution in service of Sustainable Development Goals.
Strengthening Engagement with Indigenous Peoples for Better Statistics
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) refer explicitly to indigenous people in two places (Goal 2 and Goal 4), but to meet the SDGs commitment to leave no one behind, data are needed that go beyond tracking gender and age to identify all vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples.
Sustainable Funding for Statistics Off to a Slow Start
The Sustainable Development Goals place new demands on the statistical systems of developing countries, but support for building sufficient capacity is lagging behind.
Three Takeaways from IODC
Several sessions were convened at the 2016 International Open Data Conference (IODC), from Oct. 3-5 in Madrid, connecting the open data community and national statistical offices (NSOs) with the aim of fostering and strengthening linkages between them.
Modernizing NSDS to Open Data
The landmark report by the Independent Expert Advisory Group to the United Nations Secretary General — A World That Counts: Mobilizing the data revolution for sustainable development — spotlights the increasing demands and opportunities for national statistical systems.
Overcoming Open Data Worries
In the last five years, many national governments have announced open data initiatives, and states and cities have joined in. Releasing data openly should make governments more credible.
Strategic Planning Resources for National Statistical Systems
Solid, practical, technical assistance must always leverage the energy and diversity of many partners. Many governmental and international agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions, private foundations, and professional societies are already deeply committed to improving the quality and accessibility of development data.
Ending Poverty Needs Better Data
The World Bank’s recently released poverty report, Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies, brings news that the rate of extreme poverty in the world declined again in 2012, reaching a global average of 9.8 percent of the world’s population, although a more relevant figure places it at 15.7 percent of the population in “developing” countries.
Stuffed and Unstuffed: A Comment on Chandy & Zhang
Recently published estimates by Brookings Institution researchers Laurence Chandy and Christine Zhang of the funding needed to produce indicators for monitoring SDGs appears to demonstrate that other cost assessments are far too high. But the analysis leaves out elements and runs the risk of creating complacency over the need for serious, continuing investments in the statistical capacity of developing countries.
How well do partnerships for statistics work?
In Addis Ababa, donors pledged $5 million to support the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. This partnership could play a major role in helping countries revolutionize data production and use.
Many Questions, Many Answers
Two questions — “What is the data revolution?” and “How is it affecting people’s lives?” — lead to many more questions. The world is generating data at an ever increasing rate. What is it good for? Who benefits? Will poor countries be left out?
A Pivotal Moment in Addis Ababa
Representatives of the international community met in Addis Ababa (12-16 July 2015) for the Third Financing for Development Conference. This meeting is a pivotal moment for the post-2015 agenda and the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
Costing the Data Needed for New SDGs
Developing a clear estimate for the scale of resources needed for the statistical capacity of countries to produce the needed data for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is critical. Up to now, it has been a guessing game to a large extent, but now a team of development data experts has done a comprehensive assessment.
Open Data from the Ground Up
The call for open data has been closely linked with the global advocacy campaign for good governance founded upon the principles of transparency and accountability. Starting in North America and Europe and now spreading to developing economies, country after country has announced open data policies, mined archives for releasable data sets, and remade websites to highlight data releases.