Weighing the quality of big data for SDG monitoring

Shyam Upadhyaya, UN Industrial Development Organization Big data has raised big expectations among data users. Some users believe that real time data is readily available in large volumes, while official statistics are sparse and reported with a significant time lag. Against a backdrop of arguments about big data, some leaders of international development agencies see […]

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Can we harness the full power of data with half the world still offline?

Nnenna Nwakanma, Web Foundation The new oil, the new soil, the new nuclear power. There is plenty of room for debate about the role that data plays in today’s world. Whichever your favoured metaphor, it’s clear that data will have a profound impact on the development of societies in the coming years. The question for […]

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Producing reliable data for SDG 16: The case of conflict data

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Håvard Strand, PRIO and University of Oslo In 2015, the United Nations stated unequivocally in the last progress report for the Millennium Development Goals that “conflict remains the largest obstacle to development”. Yet, reducing conflict and violence in the world was never a target in and of […]

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How to harness private data towards meeting the SDGs? The need for data stewards

Stefaan G. Verhulst, The GovLab (New York University) To meet the objectives set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is clear, we need not only new solutions, but also new methods for arriving at solutions. Towards that end statistical agencies, for example, are increasingly looking to non-traditional data sources from the private […]

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GEO drives international cooperation on Earth data ahead of World Data Forum 2018

Steven Ramage, Group on Earth Observations In 2014, the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development defined key actions that were needed to advance a data revolution in support of sustainable development. These actions included determining how key data gaps could be filled and strengthening national statistics […]

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How running away from home at 15 made me an advocate for the uncounted

Mark Hereward, Associate Director for Data & Analytics for UNICEF I ran away from home when I was 15. When I did, I removed myself from the radar of official statistics and counting. The last thing I wanted was to be noticed, noted and counted: my aim was to be quiet, on my own, invisible. […]

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Data For All – Building Trust in Data Platforms

Kris Oswalt, Community Systems Foundation The world is going through an unparalleled transition affecting the way communities live and work together. Urbanization, Poverty, Inequality, Scarce Natural Resources, Gender, Health, Education, Climate.  The issues are not new, but a challenge faced by many communities remains: How to put quality data in the hands of policymakers at […]

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Making data protection work: Why we need to get paid for our data

Johannes Jütting, Manager of PARIS21, a partnership in statistics for development  Does your inbox look anything like this these days: “The protection of your data is important for us”; “Updates to our terms of services”; “Important update of our privacy policy”? Why are tech giants, retailers, banks, mobile phone operators and others suddenly so interested […]

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A data revolution is already happening in the streets

How geospatial communities can help to promote innovations and synergies across data ecosystems Javier Carranza, Director of the GeoCensos  The United Nations World Data Forum is a global event, a gigantic magnet for a myriad of data experts in the development realm. Organized by the United Nations Statistics Division and hosted by the Federal Competitiveness […]

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#OpenDataDay for the SDGs

Richard Crespin, CollaborateUp Two people go searching for a partner online. They come across each other’s profiles. Though they come from very different backgrounds, their profiles line up with shared interests and shared values. After some back and forth by email and instant message, they agree to meet at a Waffle House. Who are they? […]

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Statisticians embrace UN World Data Forum as vital to innovation

“Stakeholder revolution” and collaboration seen as key to better data Senior national statisticians and key partners gave a resounding endorsement of the UN World Data Forum 2018, at a side event on 7 March at the UN Statistical Commission, taking place in New York that week. The Forum represents “one of the really big changes […]

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