UN World Data Forum 2021: Moving from “What” to “How”

Meeting in hybrid virtual and in-person sessions, 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 (SDGs). Four main takeaways show a move in focus 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 brings together data experts and users from governments, civil society, the private sector, donor and philanthropic bodies, 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 very effective in managing and publishing data on the SDGs for public accountability and transparency. Key characteristics were identified that suggest priorities and next steps.

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, business and civil society, but also is an ideal time examine open data implementation around the world.

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.