More and better data can support efforts to eradicate poverty, fight inequality, and promote inclusive, sustainable growth. But to achieve these impacts, the world needs strong institutions and coordination at both the international and national level. Data needs to be promoted as a crucial input for policies that can achieve concrete development results. With this understanding in mind, our policy advice work aims to advocate for increased investments in data and statistics; promote the use and impact by strengthening the evidence base on the value of data; improve donor practices for building statistical capacity; and encourage strong political leadership for data and statistics.

Working with a range of partners, we respond to the demands that arise in an ever-changing development data sector. We seek out policy makers and institutions providing development assistance to offer the research and policy recommendations they need. Through this, we help strengthen statistical systems to produce better data for better policies and better lives.


Development data are critical for policy-making, planning, and measuring impact both at national and global levels. The Sustainable Development Goals make ambitious promises to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Keeping these promises will require a serious commitment to the collection and use of more and better gender data.

Unfortunately, global development data include many blind spots, and gender data is one of them. Often the most basic information on the lives of women and girls doesn’t exist. Few countries collect accurate and complete data on birth, marriage, and death registration. And a lack of national policies or capacity to ensure the production and use of gender data remains a challenge to improving the status quo.

That is why we are working with partners, like Data2X, to improve the availability, quality, and use of gender data. Specifically, we work to identify gender data gaps by researching the coverage and openness of data and provide the appropriate policy recommendations and support for closing gaps and strengthening capacities.


In partnership with Cepei and PARIS21, Open Data Watch is happy to announce the launch of the ‘Beyond the Numbers: Harnessing Data for the SDGs’ webinar series. The series of five webinars will allow development, data and policy experts as well as practitioners to share and discuss the latest advancements in the field of development data. For more details and a full list of the webinars in this series, please visit our webinar page.



Open Data Watch has leveraged its knowledge of data for development to create brief curated lists of resources for policymakers quickly to find practical information on a variety of issues related to the Data Revolution.  While not exhaustive, the Resource Guide follows trending topics and share relevant available resources. If you have feedback or a request for a certain guide, then please contact us at info@opendatawatch.com.


Data Dissemination in the Digital Age

There is an increasing number of data portals, but their quality and functioning are uneven, and there is no internationally agreed framework. How can we improve data portals?

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.