Did you know 1 in 3 children do not exist officially?
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.
So this week, at the Financing for Development Conference, we are working with governments, businesses and citizen’s groups, including the governments of Mexico, Senegal, Kenya, Belgium and the United States, the World Bank Group, CIVICUS, and Mastercard, to launch a new drive to address the data crisis.
This data crisis feeds corruption, bad management and undermines the fight against extreme poverty.
It can be a life and death issue. Countries with strong birth registration systems have low maternal mortality. Children registered at birth are more likely to be immunised. Proof of age enables prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against children, such as child trafficking, sexual offences, early recruitment into the armed forces, child marriage, and child labour.
At a high energy #DATARevolution event on the margins of the UN Financing for Development Summit, wide-ranging commitments – including funding pledges, the opening up of valuable data sets, technological innovation and analytic support – will be made by global governments and businesses as the first step in a major drive to address the data crisis.
We will launch the ‘Follow the Money’ portal, a one-stop-shop for the best stories of citizens using data to track corruption, advocate for better budget allocations, and make sure public money gets to where it is most needed!
Companies that launch satellites into space to monitor crop yield, mobile phone companies, governments and civil society have all joined this effort to create a more transparent and accountable sustainable development agenda.
And these commitments are just the start. More than 20 international organisations have also committed to be champions for the formation of a Global Partnership on Sustainable Data, to be launched in September 2015.
Together we are launching something that could mean everyone is counted!