Last January, humanitarians from all over the world with a soft spot for Big Data met in Cape Town for the United Nations World Data Forum. It was an exciting window for what is to come in data collection, processing, visualization, mapping and everything else in store for 2017 and beyond.
Here are some of the most intriguing ideas shared at the event in, hosted by the UN Global pulse and led by its Director, Robert Kirkpatrick:
- Big Data-thrusted SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Mr Kirkpatrick envisions Big Data as a “public good” that will increase accountability and management of SDGs, even as privacy and protection concerns are further addressed.
- Statistical Earnest. The Ecuadorian statistics department shows they continue to push for world-renowned transparency, by going beyond full access to human and machine-readable microdata and metadata, and increasing usability and promotion of its Open Data website.
- Statistical Literacy. If trees fall and there is no one to analyze the “logs“, did it really happen? International Statistical Institute’s Helen MacGillivray makes a compelling case on fixing the literacy issues that permeates even among professional development statisticians.
- Data as Influence. Abasing the “deep fear for numbers” across stakeholders, up to “policy makers / state officials”, means better understandings and more effective policies could take place one day.
- Unify national administrative registers already! Lifelong health, education and civil events could be tracked and correlated to strengthen inclusiveness, design and governance.
This was only a taste of what UNWDF had in store, and the initiatives that makes us enthusiastic about UN Global Pulse’s role in innovative international development.