Events from February 2020

  • 1st dialogue of the Road to Bern via Geneva – Collecting data

The first dialogue organised by Switzerland and two international organisations was held on 19 February. In total, four events are planned in Geneva as part of the Road to Bern. These four events focus on one of four data management phases. The topic of the first dialogue was the “Collection of data: How can big data contribute to ensuring that no-one is left behind and the achievement of sustainable development goals? With the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as its co-hosts, the event opened with a talk from Professor Petteri Taalas and Dr Samira Asma. This was followed by contributions from Jos Verbeek and Luca Pupulin, among others, which again provided an insight into the collection of and lack of data and the populations affected by this. After animated discussions and substantial interest in this first dialogue, we will continue in March with the 2nd dialogue on the protection of data with the ICRC and WIPO.

  • Making innovation, funding and governance work for development data in the ‘Decade of Action’

A second international event, organised by PARIS21, the United Nations Statistics Commission, Switzerland and other partners, took place on 28 February in Washington DC. This business breakfast aimed to explore what it means to have more and better quality data, and what can be done to obtain these data in terms of the SDGs.

The agenda included the following:

– Development of the data ecosystem stimulated by technology and innovation;

– New needs in terms of capacity development for systems of national statistics;

– Need to increase resources dedicated to data and statistics via an increase both in terms of the quantity and quality of existing funding with examples of recent developments;

– Importance of establishing a solid data governance with the aim of gaining confidence as we obtain more data.

  • 2020 General assembly of the SDSN Switzerland, 18.02.2020, UNIBE

In addition to the initial statutory part, the meeting consisted of two sets of six “market stands” each lasting 50 minutes followed by a final discussion. The stand called “Road to Bern – FSO” including a presentation offering an overview of the 103 indicators of the 2030 MONET system, accompanied by flyers to the RtB and the UNWDF. The participants were invited to put red stickers on the indicators seen to be unnecessary or inappropriate and green stickers on those thought to be particularly good. They also had the chance to make suggestions on post-its and to stick these onto the relevant SDG or indicator. The stand was well attended by around fifty participants and animated discussions took place with staff from the FSO.

In summary, it was an event that was in perfect harmony with the aims and key messages of the RtB (highlighting the contributions made by official statistics to measuring the SDGs and sharing knowledge with stakeholders).