Event of the month September 2021

The month of September was particularly busy with 10 events in all.

Data as raw material for a modern state, 1 September 2021

Originally scheduled for October-November 2020, the series of events planned as part of Rendez-vous Bundesplatz was put on hold due to the health crisis. In September 2021, 5 events on the subject of sustainable development and data resumed to set discussions in motion before the United Nations World Data Forum, which is taking place in Bern from 3 to 6 October 2021.

The first event as part of Rendez-vous Bundesplatz was organised by the Federal Statistical Office in Bern in the presence of Balthasar Glällti, National Councillor and President of the Green Party.

The central theme of the event was the role of the state in the Swiss data and information ecosystem. The question discussed was: in a democratic system, how can the state ensure that it does not unnecessarily overburden the population and businesses by ensuring that its data not only serve as a basis for the administration’s activities, but can also make a direct (greater) contribution to society (‘for the common good’)? https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/daten-als-rohstoff-fur-einen-modernen-staat/

The Swiss Statistics Meeting, 6-8 September 2021

The Swiss Statistics Days 2021 took place in Lugano and were dedicated to the theme “Data: from everyone for everyone?” They provided a much appreciated platform for professionals from official statistics, the private sector and science to exchange experience and make contacts.

The theme chosen was linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations, which is structured around 17 goals. Under the motto “leaving no one behind”, the 2030 Agenda is of universal value and aimed at all nations. In order to meet these challenges, high quality, accessible, timely and reliable statistical data are needed to monitor the implementation of these objectives at regional, national and international levels. Detailed data are also needed as a basis for decision-making on actions to be taken. This represents a real challenge for the statistical community!

On Tuesday 7 September, Federal Councillor Alain Berset also gave a keynote address at the COVID-19 workshop. https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/journees-suisses-de-la-statistique-2020/

Doing away with plastic waste – approaches and solutions, 9 September 2021

The second event in the framework of Rendez-vous Bundesplatz was organised by Oceancare and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The panellists included Ursula Schneider Schüttel, National Councillor.

As the name of the event suggests, the theme of this event was plastic pollution.

Plastic has many properties: it is light, flexible, moisture resistant, strong and inexpensive. This leads to excessive consumption of resistant plastic products that degrade very slowly and end up creating mountains of waste. Consumer behaviour and a waste mentality are a burden on the environment, people and animals. Much of this waste also ends up in the sea. In addition to national solutions, global strategies are needed that are supported by all stakeholders. https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/away-from-plastics-approaches-and-solutions/

“The Road to Bern Moscow”, 10 September 2021

The event was organised by Rosstat and the Swiss Confederation in partnership with the World Bank, UNWDF, UNECE and the International Centre for Statistical Expertise (Centrostat).

The event explored ways in which IT companies, the private sector and the general public can play a more proactive role in transforming the way modern statistics are created and used.

For data to remain relevant in the context of rapidly emerging crises, the speed at which they are generated must be significantly increased, while maintaining quality standards. In addition, it is clear that statisticians need an up-to-date and contemporary skill set. How does data science fit into the broader framework of traditional statistical knowledge? Do data, statistics and the ability to provide these in high quality currently meet the needs of statistical offices and businesses? More importantly, where can the influx of new skills, knowledge and ideas take the discipline of statistics as a whole?

During the first panel “What do data users want? User-driven statistics”, video messages were shown, including one by Haishan Fu (Director, Data Development Group, World Bank). Speakers then launched into discussion either on-site or via Zoom, including Johannes Jütting (Executive Director, Partnership on Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (Paris 21)) and Athanasios Thanopoulos (President of Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT)). The second panel “What should a modern statistician look like?

Data management, data science and traditional statistics” brought together several panellists including Pavel Malkov (Head of Rosstat) and Georges-Simon Ulrich (Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office). Finally, the last panel “Official statistics and private data producers: opportunities for collaboration” included speeches from Sergey Avetisyan (Head of “Geoanalytics”) and Steven Vale (Senior Statistician and UNECE Regional Adviser). https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/the-road-to-bern-moscow/

Harnessing the power of data for a better life: World Development Report 2021, 14 September 2021

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the World Bank organised a public, virtual event on the theme “Harnessing the power of data for better lives: World Development Report 2021”.

Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated the need for countries to have solid statistical capacities. Accurate and timely data are essential to better manage emergencies, develop informed public policies and increase government accountability. The potential of data to support inclusive sustainable development and poverty reduction is enormous, but the changing data landscape also brings risks and challenges. How to unlock the full potential of data for sustainable development? How can data be used more securely and ethically, while providing value in a fair way?

These are the questions the World Bank has tried to answer in the latest edition of its flagship World Development Report, entitled “Data for Better Lives”. At the event, the authors of the report presented their main findings and recommendations. A panel of representatives from the World Bank, the private sector, academia and the federal government shared examples and discussed how different stakeholders can help harness the potential of data to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. The discussion was an opportunity for participants to interact with the panellists and World Bank experts. https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/exploiter-le-pouvoir-des-donnees-pour-une-vie-meilleure-rapport-sur-le-developpement-dans-le-monde-2021/

Food systems: are we eating at the expense of the weakest? 16 September 2021

The third event as part of the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz series was organised by Platform 2030 and the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern.

The theme was food systems.

About 50% of our food comes directly or indirectly from abroad with a growing proportion coming from South America, Africa and Asia. The price paid for this is that the current food system is not only increasing CO2 emissions, but also biodiversity loss. In the producing countries of the South, industrial agriculture also affects the working and living conditions of the rural population. So how can we achieve food that is climate neutral, fair and sustainable? https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/ernahrungssysteme/

International cooperation with the private sector, 22 September 2021

The fourth event in the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz series was organised by Alliance Sud.

For 50 years, Alliance Sud has been involved in Switzerland’s international cooperation in favour of disadvantaged people in the South. Recently, international cooperation has increasingly relied on the private sector in this regard: with what opportunities and risks? And to what extent can the private sector contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals? https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/what-is-the-swiss-economys-contribution-to-sustainable-development/

“Data journalism and data collaboration: the role of data in decision-making through case studies”, 23 September 2021 (TBC)

The 4th webinar in the LAC region took place in September 2021.

The theme of this webinar was: the role of data in revealing and overcoming gender inequalities in the decision-making process from a data value chain perspective. The event brought together stakeholders from the development community (implementation and coordination) as well as media professionals and national statistical offices. https://roadtobern.swiss/event/data-literacy-experiences-for-evidence-based-decision-making/

Development Cooperation – Quo vadis? 28 September 2021

The fifth and final event at Rendez-vous Bundesplatz was also organised by Alliance Sud, in the presence of Patricia Danzi, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Global poverty and inequality are on the rise, climate change is already threatening the livelihoods of countless people, while conflict and fragility are also on the increase. What role can and should development cooperation play in addressing all these crises? What is the role of the private sector, NGOs, universities and governments? https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/wie-tragt-die-internationale-zusammenarbeit-der-schweiz-zur-nachhaltigen-entwicklung-bei/

8th Global Forum on Gender Statistics, 30 September – 1 October 2021

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation, organised the Eighth Global Forum on Gender Statistics as part of the Global Gender Statistics Programme and under the leadership of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS).

This event provided an opportunity to deepen the global dialogue between producers, users and communicators of gender statistics from national and international statistical offices, other government agencies, international organisations, academia, civil society, the private sector and the donor community. The Forum was responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting effects on gender equality and the production of gender statistics, discussing ways to move forward and improve data and evidence for gender policies, including in emerging and untapped areas. https://roadtobern.swiss/fr/event/8e-forum-mondial-sur-les-statistiques-differenciees-selon-le-sexe/