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Harnessing Data Revolution to Drive Sustainable Development

  • Raft of commitments to tackle data crisis
  • Champions to launch Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data in September

International governments, businesses and civil society today pledged to take action to tackle the data crisis that threatens to hamper the fight against extreme poverty.

Wide-ranging commitments – including funding pledges, the opening up of valuable data sets, technological innovation and analytic support – were made in Addis Ababa, as the first step in a major drive to harness the data revolution to support inclusive growth and sustainable development.

World leaders are set to agree new Sustainable Development Goals in September, but these must be backed with a rapid escalation of robust, high quality data to track resources to results.

To drive that forward, more than 20 international organisations, including the governments of Belgium, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal and the United States, the World Bank Group, UNSDSN, CIVICUS and Mastercard have also committed to be Champions for the formation of a Global Partnership on Sustainable Data, to be launched in September 2015.

Michael Elliott, CEO of The ONE Campaign said:

“We live in a world where millions of people matter so little that they are uncounted. Their births are not recorded; they can’t access basic healthcare, enough food or an education. This year we expect ambitious new global goals to end extreme poverty, but if we don’t deal with the crisis of inadequate data for monitoring and achieving the goals, we can’t have full accountability or a clear picture of progress. Fixing it needs political support, funding and practical action.”

The commitments announced today will catalyse tangible progress in filling known data gaps so that the lives of the poorest and most excluded can be improved.

Amadou Ba, the Senegal Minister of Finance said:

“The commitments made in Addis Ababa today are a great step towards making the data revolution a reality. We have seen new pledges that will drive progress in health, food production and help fight corruption. Harnessing data can drive inclusive growth, and allow governments, citizens and civil society to track resources to results. The Government of Senegal is honoured to champion the formation of the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data.”

The initial group of champions of a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data made specific commitment to invest in, share and use data for decision-making. They drew particular attention to the need to mobilize new resources, noting that at least $1 billion will be required each year to successfully monitor the new sustainable development agenda. They also joined a call to action to form a partnership that will accelerate efforts to increase the availability of high quality data to help improve the lives of those citizens who are currently left behind.

A Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data will:

  • promote new data principles and norms and strengthen those that already exist;
  • incentivize data generation to fill key data gaps that make a difference to people’s lives, in particular the poor and excluded;
  • expand open data access to increase the timeliness, interoperability, use and value of data that already exist; and
  • support capacity building and peer learning of users and producers with a view to measure, monitor, evaluate progress and deliver the Sustainable development Goals.

The Champions aim to build a growing network that will politically launch a Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data during the Sustainable Development Summit and United Nations General Assembly in September.

As a first step, more than 20 organisations announced commitments at the event, including:

  • The ONE campaign will launch the ‘Follow the Money’ portal, a one-stop-shop for the best examples of citizens using data to track corruption, advocate for better budget allocations, and make sure public money gets to where it is most needed.
  • The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will invest $22m in Country Data Collaboratives. The Collaboratives will strengthen country-led health data systems and decision-making.
  • The Mexican Government is committed to the development and launch of an international Open Data Charter; and to provide personalized, timely and focalized information to pregnant beneficiaries of Prospera, the world’s second largest conditional cash transfer program, via SMS to help empower women’s health through scalable data-driven platforms.
  • The Sustainable Development Solutions Network will launch a thematic group on data and information systems for development to identify new innovative approaches to data collection for the SDGs, and to make this input useful for policy makers.
  • CIVICUS will work to build the capacity of civil society, particularly in the Global South, to produce and use data for the SDGs through its DataShift initiative.
  • MasterCard, in partnership with Datakind, will organize data scientists to partner with public sector leaders to develop responsible protocols around data collection and usage; and provide the technical horsepower to analyse, interpret and translate data into concrete development solutions.
  • The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation will invest $20 million in improving data on coverage of nutrition interventions and other key indicators by 2020 in at least four countries. 

More Champions are expected to join in the lead up to the UN General Assembly in September.

Notes to editors

  1. The commitments were made at a high level side event at the 3rd Financing for Development Summit in Addis Ababa. The event was jointly hosted by the Government of the United States of America, The Federal Government of Mexico, The United Nations Sustainable Solutions Network, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and The ONE Campaign. Read the full list of commitments.
  2. Further information, including the initial list of Champions for the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development is available at one.org/ffd3
  3. About ONE: ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of nearly 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes.