Data revolution

Opinion: The case for metadata

Data use

The introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals has brought with it calls for a data revolution: transformative action to respond to the data demands of the post-2015 development agenda. Much of the focus of the data revolution has been on data collection, capacity building, closing data gaps and using data to promote transparency and accountability. While […]


Helping the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) reach its potential

Data use

This week, we’re representing IATI – an initiative making information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand – at TAG 2017. This is the flagship event for IATI’s global technical community committed to improving transparency and open data in development. To date, IATI has attracted more than 500 publishers, who are sharing information about […]


Reaching the potential of IATI data

Data use

Development and humanitarian actors of all types have traditionally faced challenges accessing quality, timely, forward-looking and comprehensive data on resource inputs and results. In 2008, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) was launched as a voluntary multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the transparency of aid, development and humanitarian resources. IATI has come a long way in […]


Reflections on the World Data Forum

Data use

The key consensus emerging from the conference – which was attended by 1,400 data experts – is that in order to leave no one behind, investment in civil registration and vital statistics is absolutely imperative. Improving registry and administrative data is an essential building block in creating sustainable data infrastructures. That over 100 countries do […]


Long-term investments in a short-term world: Arguments for sustainable data

Data use

Based on discussions that took place at the World Data Forum in January 2017 in Cape Town, this paper argues that the current focus on household surveys will not give developing countries the data they need to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. We must ensure we do not perpetuate a divide between the data systems […]


Common cause, common language: harmonising key concepts in the Data Revolution

Data use

One of the great opportunities at the World Data Forum, which takes place in Cape Town from 15-18 January, is the strengthening of relationships between the world of official statistics and the ‘non-official’ data communities (from the private sector, civil society and academia) – groups that are beginning to collaborate in the revolution for sustainable development […]


UN World Data Forum in Cape Town, South Africa

Data use

Main plenary Counting People to Make People Count: The need for better data to ensure that no one is left behind Date: 17 January 2017 Time: 13:30–15:00 (SAST) DI involvement: DI is hosting the plenary along with UNICEF. Judith Randel will moderate and Tony German will be on the panel About: The main plenary on […]


We live in a world full of data. But what’s the point if none of it joins up?

Data use

If we continue to work in silos, we will never unlock the potential of data to drive real change I was recently sitting in a room with over 100 other people who passionately believe in the importance of data and ­– more specifically – the importance of the open data movement. We were contemplating the […]