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.


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.

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.

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.