Unlocking Impact : Driving Data With Purpose

Did you know that an estimated 230 million children worldwide are still unregistered, and that only four in 10 of the world’s deaths are registered? To put an end to those unacceptable data gaps and help build sustainable and open data ecosystems across the world, we’ve been working with our colleagues at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the United Nations and the World Bank on a high-level campaign to accelerate sustainable development, tackle emergencies, and transform livelihoods through better data.

The Data With Purpose campaign reached an exciting peak this week with an event at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a letter in the Financial Times, and the publication of a report which shows that every dollar invested in data systems creates an average of $32 in economic benefits, and drives economic, social, environmental and institutional outcomes. Read on to hear more about a busy week…

The UNGA event convened world leaders, including: Brad Smith,
Vice Chair
and President of Microsoft; Anne Witkowsky, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations, U.S. Department ofState; Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organisation; Amina Mohammed, UnitedNations Deputy Secretary-General; and Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director of Policy and Partnerships. The panellists discussed the role of data to drive development and humanitarian outcomes, and progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, advocating for the unlocking of at least $50 million annually and $500 million over 10 years. Catch up on the event by watching it here.

In a letter published in Financial Times yesterday, a high-level group of academics and civil society champions joined this call to scale up and develop robust data systems,  Signatories included: Dr Claire Melamed, CEO of Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE, Professor of Statistics at the University of Cambridge; Mo Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation; Danny Sriskandarahah, CEO of Oxfam GB; Alex Pentland, Professor of Media, Arts and Sciences at MIT, and Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). .

We are also proud to have supported the development of a report, published by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, which demonstrates that every dollar invested in data systems creates an average of $32 in economic benefits. Alongside the economic return on investment, the research – which was conducted by Dalberg – shows that stronger data systems drive a diverse range of powerful benefits, improving quality of life, livelihoods and leading to greater efficiencies in social programmes. 

These great achievements are the result of months of intensive work, marked by a high-level event at the World Bank Spring meeting and a series of meetings with high-level representatives in Germany, Brussels with the European Commission, Sweden and Norway.

We’re proud to be part of this high-impact campaign to tackle some of the biggest problems of our time by unlocking the power of data. As we continue campaigning for better data and data ecosystems across the world, stay tuned for further developments.