IGF 2019 WS #387 The Case of Improving How Data Serves Developing Countries

Organizer 1: Wisdom Kwasi Donkor, Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation
Organizer 2: Marilyn Cade,

Speaker 1: Ankhi Das, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Andre Laperriere, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Masanobu Katoh, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Claire Melamed, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Lal Radhika , Intergovernmental Organization, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

Questions: Addressing data gaps; Encouraging data use and strengthening the data ecosystem in the developing countries

Q1: Is data of sufficient quality for use by policy-makers? What action is necessary and by whom to improve the data quality?

Q2: Are there gaps in required data or challenges in accessing it? Where data is missing or incomplete, what methods are used for obtaining better data? Are there any data issues in the developing countries that could be addressed at a systemic level?

Q3: What kind of data regime is needed for the most effective and robust system for the implementation of the SDGs?

Q4: What kind of technology gap that needs to be address in order to enhance the production of quality data? What alignment with national and regional agendas will impact data collection.

Q5: What opportunities exist to further develop the administrative data system with a view to ensuring harmonization, comparability, and quality of data?

Q6: What can be done to solidify the multi-stakeholder approach to achieving and measuring the SDGs, and create new data communities?

Relevance to Theme: The sub-theme provides a multi-stakeholders prospect to continue this discussion, bringing the regional, sub-regional stakeholders together towards finding solutions to address these critical challenges, engaging the existing and emerging opportunities for addressing regional gap, while stirring the region towards marshaling a stakeholders’ intervention for a sustainable action within the framework of the overarching theme of this year forum.

Key Areas of Concern:

This workshop will present the situation of data production systems and management at the regional, sub-regional and National levels and presents ideas about opportunities and approaches to filling data gaps.

The session will be organized around three core issues, each of which have a number of objectives:
1. Addressing data gaps
• Present baseline situation for sub-regional capacity to produce SDG indicators and highlight data gaps
• Discuss opportunities to strengthen census and survey regimes
• Discuss opportunities to further develop the “administrative data systems” at national levels in particular
• Present possibilities for using new data/ technology to address identified data gaps, including uses of artificial intelligence,
big data analysis, etc.
• To determine how alignment with national and regional agendas will impact data collection and indicator production and
reporting, to improve statistical reports for both International organizations, and those entities in the business sector that
rely on such reports.

2. Encouraging data use
• Have an open dialogue with key gatherers and suppliers of data information and experienced policy decision makers on how
improved data/ statistics can better meet their needs and inform improved policy initiatives
• Identify ways to harness the opportunity of the momentum around data for the SDGs to strengthen the sharing, accessibility and
presentation of data
• To raise the profile of data production and use with key stakeholders such as policy-makers and the media to encourage improved
evidence-based decision-making.

3. Strengthening the Data Ecosystem
• To solidify the multi-stakeholder approach to achieving and measuring the SDGs, and create new data communities.
• To identify and discuss solutions to major funding/capacity gaps created by increased demand to ensure sustainability.
• Provide an opportunity for country-to-country learning in the SDG indicator production process.
• Ensure high-level political buy in for the Roadmap process
• Capacity building at the institutional and community levels.

Relevance to Internet Governance: In recent times both at regional, sub-regional, national and global levels, extensive discussions and dialogues are happening at all levels of engagement and development to harmonies data production system in the developing countries. The key objective of this data governance programs was to best understand the relevance of data and data roadmap processes using a whole of multi-stakeholder approach to harness the data revolution for sustainable development in the developing countries. This process is defined based on regional, sub-regional and national priorities, in line with national development policies to bring together key stakeholders across sectors, to address the key issues, challenges and opportunities in regards to the SDGs that supports defining a path forward. The monitoring requirements of the national, regional, sub-regional and global development agenda place considerably increased demand on the national statistical systems (NSS) to provide a wide range of data many of which are not readily available. Significant amount of discussion is required to heighten the appreciation of the data producing institutions of the need to generate the requisite information and undertake the necessary programmes to bridge the data gaps within the sub-region.

Three of the key proposed frameworks that will dominated the discussions include:

1. Data producers will be clear about their responsibilities with regard to data production for the SDGs in the short, medium and long-term. The objective is also to engage with non-state actors in this regard as part of a broader ecosystem for data.
2. Data users will be facilitated in finding information and will have fora where they can also interact with the data producer community.
3. National Statistical System (NSS) will have a clearer picture of resource availability for its activities and ways to manage coordination.

Apart from key thematic data gaps in the developing countries, there are a number of issues that must be addressed across all areas in order to produce the type of quality, nuanced, and timely data required by the SDGs.
The cross-cutting issue of data disaggregation Underpinned by the commitment to Leave No One Behind, the Inter Agency Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals has stated that “indicators should be disaggregated, where relevant, by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, and geographic location, or other characteristics, in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of Statistics”.


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Description: In September 2015, the United Nations’ 193 member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. The SDGs build on but move significantly and substantially beyond the 2000–2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Whereas the MDGs comprised eight largely social goals, the SDGs cut across the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. The 17 SDGs are broken down into 169 concrete targets, and the international official statistics community has identified 232 indicators1 to measure progress. A major principle and commitment underlying the 2030 Agenda is to “leave no one behind.”

Developing and adopting the goals, and the related implementation and monitoring agenda that governments are starting to address, has increased awareness of the huge demands for data, both to provide the raw material for the monitoring framework and also as an essential part of the infrastructure for delivering the goals. The expectations of governments are high and rising, and running an effective health or education service, understanding how to raise agricultural productivity, or how to incentivize investment in new industries all require huge amounts of data for governments and other stakeholders to make effective decisions and implement good policy.

One of the most critical conditions for the realization of the ambitions expressed in the 2030 Agenda will be the more effective and efficient use of dynamic and disaggregated data for improved decision-making, service delivery, citizen empowerment, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and innovation to help achieve and monitor the SDGs and their targets.

This increase in demand has come together with a huge increase in supply, driven by new technologies and methods of data production and collection. There is a transformative ‘data revolution’ under way, by means of which in response to both the increase in demand for data and new opportunities for how these data can be sourced, distributed and used.

In order to provide the information that will be required by the global framework, a robust data production and tracking systems will need to be built in every country so that achievements at the national and local levels can be assessed and fed into the wider global framework.

Expected Outcomes: 1. Identify opportunities and lessons learned that would support the alignment of SDGs with individual nation development priorities. (examples could be to work with such groups as OAS

2. Identify key data and technology gaps including priorities and opportunities that can help advance the achievement of the SDGs

3. Better understand the developing data ecosystem in the sub-region including data producers and users across sectors and how to begin creating data communities on sectoral and crosscutting issues.

4. Identify opportunities for aligning national open data programs with the SDGs

5. Identify key issues on funding, resources and capacity to complete the development of the roadmap

6. A draft overview of issues, priorities and commitments that support data roadmap processes for sustainable development moving forward.

Onsite Moderator: 
Online Moderator: 

Stephen Mawutor Donkor, Technical Community, African Group


Lily Edinam Botsyoe, Technical Community, African Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session will be structured around three core segments with specific policy questions that examine the respective topic, plus a concluding wrap-up session:

• Session introduction, Orientation to Session Format, Key Note and Presentation:
• Segment 1 Addressing data gaps and encouraging data use
• Segment 2 Strengthening the Data Ecosystem in the developing countries
• Q&A, In-room and remote audience
• Conclusion and wrap-up

There will be an initial presentation to give a clear understanding of the situation followed by the three segments. (a) Addressing data gaps and Encouraging Data use (b) Strengthening the Data Ecosystem. Speakers of the two segments will be invited on a panel with 6 minutes each to response to identified policy questions, and other key points. Followed by 15-20 minutes of questions from online and in situ participants. To speed up the engagement with participants and remote participants, a unique approach will be used to gather questions in writing /text from both in the room and remote participants, to speed the ability to address the questions. The questions will be read out alongside Q&A for the speakers to respond to the questions.

Online Participation: 

To speed up the engagement with participants and remote participants, a unique approach will be used to gather questions in writing /text from both in the room and remote participants, to speed the ability to address the questions. The questions will be read out alongside Q&A for the speakers to respond to the questions.

Proposed Additional Tools: I will be using facebook and twitter alongside the official remote participation platform


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals