Building back better through smart investments in development data


The world needs accurate, timely, and reliable data to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without them, we simply do not have the necessary evidence to develop, implement and monitor policies that leave no one behind. Currently, many poor and fragile countries face severe data gaps, or are relying on data that are too old to design the necessary policies and programmes to deliver a life of dignity for all. This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has increased the need for more and better data for effective crisis management and recovery, while also sharpening data inequalities. In order to build strong statistical systems that can meet this demand, smarter investments in development data are essential. But how can we get there?

This event will explore the new needs, opportunities and innovations linked to smart data investments that can enable us to harness the full potential of data for sustainable development and a resilient recovery. Participants will consider the latest developments and efforts relating to the operationalization of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data (CTGAP), which was adopted in 2017 by the UN Statistical Commission and welcomed by the UN General Assembly as a roadmap for international and national efforts to strengthen and invest in statistical systems. These include refining our understanding of the particular resourcing challenges and opportunities faced by national statistical offices (NSOs) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of data financing to achieve the SDGs on gender equality and health, and the development of a new solution by the Bern Network on Financing Data for Development and its partners to make smarter financing for data a reality.

The session will provide participants with:

  • A better understanding of the needs, opportunities and business case for financing data for the SDGs, with a particular focus on smarter investments in developing countries’ data systems, and thematic entry points such as gender equality and health;
  • Exclusive preview of the Bern Network’s Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data – a new online mechanism to support smarter data financing; and
  • A discussion to generate recommendations for the way forward to better define the implementation of the CTGAP and pave the road to the UN World Data Forum co-hosted by Switzerland and UNSD in October 2021.

Co-conveners: United Nations Statistics Division, PARIS21, Open Data Watch, HLG-PCCB and Switzerland.


13:30 – 13:40 (Swiss time) Welcome remarks

Minister Ariunzaya Ayush, Member of the Cabinet of the Government and Minister for Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia

Dominique Favre, Alternate Executive Director for Switzerland, World Bank

13:40 – 13:50
(Swiss time) Setting the scene: CTGAP and why smart investments in data are critical to build back better from COVID-19

Francesca Perucci, Assistant Director, United Nations Statistics Division

13:50 – 14:00
(Swiss time) Preview: Bern Network’s Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data

Jurei Yada, Bern Network Coordination Lead, and Julia Schmidt, Policy Analyst, PARIS21

14:00 – 14:50
(Swiss time) Better understanding the needs and opportunities: Smarter data investments for country systems, gender equality and leaving no one behind

Moderator: Shaida Badiee, Managing Director, Open Data Watch


  • Yusuf Murangwa, Director-General, National Institute of Statistics, Rwanda
  • Ola Awad, President, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and Co-Chair of the High-Level Group on Partnerships, Coordination and Capacity Building (HLG-PCCB)
  • Juan Daniel Oviedo Arango, Director-General, National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), Colombia
  • Samira Asma, Assistant Director-General, Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact, World Health Organization
  • Emily Pryor, Executive Director, Data2X

14:50 – 15:00
(Swiss time) Concluding remarks

Johannes Jütting, Executive Head, PARIS21

Virtual event – Register here

Event Details
  • Start Date
    15 July 2021 13:30
  • End Date
    15 July 2021 15:00
  • Status
  • Location
  • Organizer



    Open Data Watch, HLG-PCCB and Switzerland.