IGF 2020 WS #247 ICTs, SDGs, and Existing Data Gaps for Measuring Progress

Time
Thursday, 12th November, 2020 (16:10 UTC) - Thursday, 12th November, 2020 (17:40 UTC)
Room
Room 3
About this Session
This panel will focus on a roadmap for a broad set of actors to address data gaps for sustainable development. The panelists, drawn from different stakeholder groups will share current practices, reflecting upon the past couple years of progress and setbacks, and develop tentative recommendations on future best practices. The panelists will provide practical strategies to overcome the existing setbacks and highlight successful country and local-level practices.
Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania
Organizer 2: Muge Haseki, University of Pennsylvania
Organizer 3: Leon Gwaka, University of Pennsylvania

Speaker 1: Lorrayne Porciuncula, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Antonio Garcia Zabellos, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Christopher Yoo, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

We would like to replace the 3rd speaker (Christopher Yoo) with the following speaker since Christopher Yoo would be the moderator.  

Anne Delaporte - Senior Insights Manager, Connected Society, Mobile for Development, GSMA 

Moderator

Christopher Yoo, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Muge Haseki, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Leon Gwaka, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

● What are the main challenges in the production of quality, timely data, and an effective and inclusive national data system? ● How should collaboration among a broad set of actors occur across all stages of the data process? ● What work needs to be done to fully implement and monitor the SDGs? ● What is the role of incentives in data governance at the local and national levels? ● What should be the roles and responsibilities for individuals in producing quality and timely data?

Challenges: Lack of impact indicators of ICT-based interventions in achieving SDGs Data gaps Data quality Data timeliness Measuring the progress towards SDGs Opportunities: Innovative institutional arrangements Roles and responsibilities Incentives Policy

SDGs

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Description:

Description: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are targets for global development set to be achieved by 2030. However, these SDGs appear to be heading for a similar fate as the Millennial Development Goals. Thus, with only 10 years left to achieve these goals, it appears that most countries are not on track to achieve the targets. Parallel to this, developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) suggest opportunities to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs. Over the past several years we have seen a surge in initiatives and organizations dedicated to advancing ICT-based services for sectors like education, healthcare, financial services, and agriculture. However, the successful integration of ICTs to enable sustainable development requires a deep understanding of their impact. Furthermore, interventions, including ICT-based services, need to be evidence-driven. Without timely, relevant, and disaggregated data, policymakers and practitioners will be less capable of developing informed interventions. However, data gathering mechanisms have been poor at local and governance levels resulting in significant data gaps. Therefore, with limited time left to meet the SDGs, it is imperative that we focus on building robust, inclusive, and relevant local and national data systems to support the curation and promotion of data for sustainable development. This panel will serve as an opportunity to discuss a roadmap for a broad set of actors to address data gaps for sustainable development in consideration of institutional arrangements, roles and responsibilities, and incentives. The panelists, drawn from different stakeholder groups, including academics, statisticians, policy makers, mobile network operators, and the private sector, will share current practices, reflecting upon the past couple years of progress and setbacks, and develop tentative recommendations on future best practices. The panelists will provide practical strategies to overcome the existing setbacks and highlight successful country and local-level practices. This panel underscores the need for better information to assess progress, make real-time course corrections, and aims to lay out an action plan for multiple stakeholders to kick-start the kind of systemic change that we need. Outline: The moderator will open the session by welcoming the participants, introducing the topic and the speakers. Then he will present the findings on data gaps based on the analysis of 120 case studies of ICT-based connectivity initiatives in various areas including digital skills, women empowerment, health, and economic growth, raising questions and issues for discussion (15 minutes) Then each of the four speaker will share their views on the topic, reflecting on existing trends, data gaps, and action steps. The moderator will keep an eye to the audience for comments and questions for the speakers at any point. (40 minutes) Right after the discussion with panelists, the moderator will engage the audience to get their questions and comments on the discussion (15 minutes) The moderator will then identify the overarching themes from the discussion with panelists and audience and ask the panelists about their take-aways and roadmap to address these issues. (10 minutes) Finally, the moderator will wrap up the discussion by summarizing the key points, policy and institutional guidelines on data governance, and best practices (10 minutes)

Expected Outcomes

There are three main expected outcomes of this session. First, to present key issues on the role of ICTs in facilitating SDGs and existing data gaps for measuring progress. Second, to explore the role of institutional arrangements, roles and responsibilities, and incentives at the local, national, and international levels. Third, to develop an action plan on data governance principles and guidelines and policy suggestions.

The discussion will be facilitated by the Onsite Moderator who will guide the panel in each of the proposed interventions for the workshop as well as during the Q&A and comments session. All experts and audience will make comments and raise questions in regards to the speeches presented, guided by the moderator.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Sustainable development is the main focus of internet governance, and there are data gaps and lack of adequate coordination in the course of data production to ensure sustainable development. Lack of timely, quality data is still a great challenge. The data challenge includes data quality, timeliness, data sharing and those issues are not only at the local scale, but also at the regional and global scales; and this requires coordination collaboration of multiple-stakeholders. All these issues require deep understanding and discussion in the context of internet governance. In order to recognize data challenges to ensure sustainable development, address the issues more efficiently, and find out effective solutions, a common understanding of data governance should take place now.

Relevance to Theme: Data access, quality, interoperability, competition & innovation In 2015, countries agreed on adoption of a new sustainable development agenda to achieve by 2030. ICTs can play an important role to promote economic growth and the well-being of the citizens, and thereby achieving SDGs. We need better data governance systems to track the role of ICTs and to develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of society and economy development. The best practices on production of timely and quality data and the coordinated actions between communities, countries, and international governance platforms will play important roles in enhancing joint efforts and achieving SDGs.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool.

 

Agenda

The moderator will open the session by welcoming the participants, introducing the topic and the speakers. Then he will present the findings on data gaps based on the analysis of 120 case studies of ICT-based connectivity initiatives in various areas including digital skills, women empowerment, health, and economic growth, raising questions and issues for discussion (15 minutes) Then each of the four speaker will share their views on the topic, reflecting on existing trends, data gaps, and action steps. The moderator will keep an eye to the audience for comments and questions for the speakers at any point. (40 minutes) Right after the discussion with panelists, the moderator will engage the audience to get their questions and comments on the discussion (15 minutes) The moderator will then identify the overarching themes from the discussion with panelists and audience and ask the panelists about their take-aways and roadmap to address these issues. (10 minutes) Finally, the moderator will wrap up the discussion by summarizing the key points, policy and institutional guidelines on data governance, and best practices (10 minutes)

1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
What are the main challenges in the production of quality, timely data, and an effective and inclusive national data system?
What should be the roles and responsibilities for individuals in producing quality and timely data?
What is the role of incentives in data governance at the local and national levels?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed
  • Cost of data
  • Trust issues when data sharing
  • Incentives to encourage data collection
  • Privacy and security of data
  • Roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders
  • Disaggregation of data - gender 
3. Key Takeaways

 

 Roles and responsibilities

  • Governments must choose to allocate resources to invest in data systems, choose to develop the regulatory and legal frameworks to promote the safe sharing of data and the protection of rights, and create a culture for the routine use of data in decision-making and accountability. Governments should also lead by example, making all public data open by default while respecting privacy and confidentiality conditions
  • Companies have to choose to share their data in an accessible and affordable manner, and use it to make decisions that advance the SDGs.
  • Civil society leaders need to amplify people’s voices in the data they collect and use for social change at a local level.
  • There must be collaborating with UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to create a picture of progress on the SDGs.
  • Academic institutions and think tanks play a role in supporting methodological testing and analysis of gender data for insight
  • National statistics offices are crucial partners for improving efforts to collect and disseminate nationally representative data.
  • In terms of data governance, chief statisticians should push for the UNSC to extend its role and become a more inclusive international platform for data sharing and coordination.

Incentives are necessary to catalyze multi-stakeholder collaboration. We need to create a new incentive structure and infrastructure to encourage private actors who currently monopolize digital technologies to share their information, thereby overcoming data and digital asymmetries between countries and between the private and public sectors. A key component of this incentive structure would be private company access to public data, which they could better understand new markets and opportunities, while concurrently ensuring the protection of privacy and confidentiality. One important approach is to establish good practice coalitions and platforms to make international data sources, methods, and innovations more standardized and accessible across countries

 

 

6. Final Speakers

Anne Delaporte, Insights Manager, Connected Women Programme, GSMA

Lorrayne Porciuncula, Economist/ Policy Analyst on Communications Infrastructure and Services at the Digital Economy and Policy Division, OECD

Antonio Garcia ZaballosLead Specialist, Technology, Inter-American Development Bank

7. Reflection to Gender Issues
  • Disaggregated data is important to get a sense of the specific fields that require support
  • There are numerous reasons for persistent gender data gaps. These include low prioritization, low resources or capacity driving a low country coverage in gender data collection efforts; poorly developed or non-existent international standards for data used to construct indicators; the complexity of monitoring systems needed to capture desired gender data and indicators; most data collected at household rather than individual level
  • Civil registration data, which includes births, death, and causes of death, marriage and divorce, are critical for a number of health and civic initiatives
8. Session Outputs

 

  1. Why is data important?
  • Too many people are invisible in data and therefore invisible in decision-making. Setting policies without core information or timely analysis means resources are wasted and their impact is limited.
    • Lack of timely and comprehensive data also means that investors do not have all the information needed to target financial investments to promote sustainable development
  • Data is critical for gathering a sense of how well we are doing in meeting certain targets fundamental in creating initiatives- cannot create functional and effective initiatives without the proper data
  • A significant lack of data has corresponded to a lack of investment toward achieving the environmental dimension of the SDGs
  • There are not only social and environmental benefits, but also economic benefits from well-function data systems.
    • It would not only appeal to national governments and multilateral investors, but also to private and philanthropic investors looking to build systems with maximum social, environmental, and economic returns
  1. What are the main challenges in the production of quality, timely data, and an effective and inclusive national data system?
  • Many countries do not have national systems in place for producing and monitoring data.
  • Public fears, lack of regulation, and lack of leadership mean that many governments and NGOs are not applying the power of data for decision-making, data is being abused, and companies are hoarding vast data resources.
    • Data is used in ways that reduce public trust, rather than serving the public good
  • Big data analysis also raises challenges concerning data privacy and security, while governments and other stakeholders will need to build capacity and resources to maximize its value.
  1.  What should be the objectives among a broad set of actors occurring across all stages of the data process in producing quality and timely data?
  • Governments must choose to allocate resources to invest in data systems, choose to develop the regulatory and legal frameworks to promote the safe sharing of data and the protection of rights, and create a culture for the routine use of data in decision-making and accountability.
    • Governments should also lead by example, making all public data open by default while respecting privacy and confidentiality conditions
  • Companies have to choose to share their data in an accessible and affordable manner, and use it to make decisions that advance the SDGs. Data collected and reported by multilateral organizations and other international development partners must be harnessed and leveraged
  • Civil society leaders need to amplify people’s voices in the data they collect and use for social change at a local level.
  • There must be collaborating with UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to create a picture of progress on the SDGs
  • Academic institutions and think tanks play a role in supporting methodological testing and analysis of gender data for insight
  • National statistics offices are crucial partners for improving efforts to collect and disseminate nationally representative data. They should demonstrate the value of collecting data and improve their capacity to communicate information to program and policy decision-makers in a timely manner
  • In terms of data governance, chief statisticians, in their capacity as members of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), should push for the UNSC to extend its role and become a more inclusive international platform for data sharing and coordination. The UNSC needs to build trust and common cause among official and unofficial data providers, specifically around data gaps and capacity challenges
  1. What is the role of incentives of internet stakeholders in data governance at the local and national levels?
  • Incentives are necessary to catalyze multi-stakeholder collaboration.
  • In particular, we need to create a new incentive structure and infrastructure to encourage private actors who currently monopolize digital technologies to share their information, thereby overcoming data and digital asymmetries between countries and between the private and public sectors      
  • A key component of this incentive structure would be private company access to public data, with which they could better understand new markets and opportunities, while concurrently ensuring the protection of privacy and confidentiality
  • One important approach is to establish good practice coalitions and platforms to make international data sources, methods, and innovations more standardized and accessible across countries
  • Another incentive is frontier technologies and their support for safer systems for data sharing
    • satellite and drone data are being integrated with other sources of data to map ecosystem extent; satellite imagery and telecommunications data are being combined with census records to produce more accurate and timely population, migration, infrastructure, and housing estimates; and telecommunication and sensor data are being used to track informal commuter patterns, transport systems, and economic opportunities.
    • BUT the majority of these new technologies and approaches are being used exclusively by private industries and, to a lesser extent, academic institutions, largely in the Global North
    • We need to move towards a system that enables the equitable sharing and exchange of technology for the public good
  • a new social contract among companies, governments, and citizens where mutual obligations and responsibilities are spelled out
    • Multiple benefits and also provides a degree of incentiv
  1. Why is the disaggregation of data important? What are the key gender data gaps, and what actions can different stakeholders take to bridge the gender data gap?
  • Disaggregated data is important to get a sense of the specific fields that require support
  • There are numerous reasons for persistent gender data gaps. These include low prioritization, low resources or capacity driving a low country coverage in gender data collection efforts; poorly developed or non-existent international standards for data used to construct indicators; and challenges brought by the complexity of monitoring systems needed to capture desired gender data and indicators.
  • Disaggregation remains a key challenge across sectors as most data are collected at household rather than individual level
  • Civil registration data, which includes births, death, and causes of death, as well as marriage and divorce, are critical for a number of health (as well as civic) initiatives
  • Women over reproductive age; our poor understanding of whether education is preparing girls with the digital literacy skills necessary for the future of work; our partial picture of women’s political engagement; and the nascent field studying the interplay of environmental issues and gender.