A wide range of data challenges and issues face organizations working to monitor and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Often the value of data is poorly understood, and available data languishes unused.

Open Data Watch provides technical expertise, building country capacity and supporting international organizations to increase the use and impact of data. For example, gender data are crucial to improving the lives of women and girls. ODW identifies gender data gaps and maps solutions to close them, leveraging the power of networks.

Increasing the value, use, and impact of data

The path from data to impact is complex. Our goal is to build a public body of knowledge that can increase the use and impact of data for sustainable development.

To improve our understanding of this complex issue, Open Data Watch created the Data Value Chain — a tool that can be used to structure the process data undergo from collection to publication to uptake to impact. The tool is used to help frame thinking around the value of data and how more is generated by moving up the data value chain. Unfortunately, many national statistical offices (NSO) remain focused on production and publication as opposed to use and impact.

The Overcoming Data Graveyards project is an undertaking by Open Data Watch and SDSN TReNDS to create a framework for transform NSO processes to create an enabling environment for data use by improve the capacity to govern data, meet the needs of users, and address and improve skills surrounding data literacy.


Identifying gender data gaps

Open Data Watch conducts in-depth research into gender data gaps in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and other global indicators.

The Bridging the Gap series examines at 104 gender-relevant indicators in five Sub-Saharan Africa countries, 93 gender-relevant indicators in five Latin America and the Caribbean countries, and 98 gender-relevant indicators in five Asia and the Pacific countries.

The series offers researchers, development practitioners, governments and donors a clearer view of where gender data gaps exist, why the gaps occur, what can be done, and how gender data can be intersected with national gender equality plans and strategies.

Bridging the Gap links:

Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific

The methodology used for all regions.

Using the power of networks to increase country capacity to produce, analyze, and use data

Collaboration and partnerships are fundamental to increasing the use and impact of data. Open Data Watch works closely with representatives from national statistical offices and creates networks to ensure that the data produced reach their full potential.

The Gender Data Networka joint initiative between PARIS21, Data2X, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, brings together gender data experts from national statistical systems in 15 countries to share innovative solutions to overcome common barriers for producing and using high quality gender data.

Open Data Inventory country engagements are another example of networks aiming to strengthen the capacity to implement open data practices. Open Data Watch works directly with national statistical offices and offers trainings, support, and guidance to improve the coverage and openness of official statistics.


Welcoming Francesca Perucci to the Open Data Watch Team

Open Data Watch (ODW) is thrilled to announce the newest member of our team, Francesca Perucci, an expert in the field of development data and the advancement of global data initiatives.

Bringing NSOs’ Existing Strengths to Data Stewardship

Data stewardship presents challenges for National Statistical Offices, but NSOs also start from points of strength — like experience with fundamental principles, rigorous data definitions and standards, and a strong peer network — that are real assets for effective data stewardship.

UNWDF: Advancing Data Use and Overcoming Data Graveyards

As our rate of data production grows exponentially, gaining insight into the needs of users of official statistics is key for countries and was a hot topic in World Data Forum discussions on data graveyards and institutional barriers to effective data use