The UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) speaks of the data revolution as an “explosion” in the volume and production of data matched by a “growing demand for data from all parts of society”. This expansion of the data ecosystem is disruptive as it requires a radical shift in attention to new capacities to deal with the plethora of new, unstructured data sources and demands from new actors and data users (NGOs, civil society and citizens).

Helping national data ecosystems respond to and manage this process requires a new approach to capacity - “Capacity Development 4.0” (CD4.0). The objectives of this approach go beyond the traditional production-side interventions to also include the strengthening of data use, literacy and results.

The SDGs will clearly act as a game changer in this process. The international results measurement framework shifts the needs to new data sources – beyond those that can be produced by NSOs – and new data users who often have little statistical literacy.

Finally, with the strengthened role of new (supply- and demand-side) actors in the data ecosystem, there is an increasing role for capacity development initiatives to strengthen co-ordination at the national, regional and international levels.


CD4.0 Timeline

1) UN World Data Forum (15-18 January 2017, Cape Town, South Africa)


The first UN World Data Forum in Cape Town saw a total of nine sessions on the thematic area of “New approaches to capacity development for better data.” While this message showed that the capacity of national data ecosystems is high on the international agenda, it was also a call for all actors to rethink current approaches to capacity development.

PARIS21 unveiled the concept of Capacity Development 4.0 during the session on "Rethinking Capacity Development."

2) PARIS21 Annual Meetings (5-6 April 2017, Paris, France)

annual meetings 2017

The 2017 Annual Meetings focused on "Revisiting Capacity Development to Deliver on the SDGs" and discussed how new approaches can be integrated into National Statistical Systems. PARIS21 also launched a discussion paper on Capacity Development 4.0.

Realising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development: Towards Capacity Development 4.0


cd4.0 paper

Download CD4.0 Paper

3) CD4.0 Task Team (May 2017 - Present)

During the 2017 PARIS21 Annual Meetings, the Board approved the creation of a Task Team on New Approaches to Capacity Development. The Task Team’s overall objective is to develop a guiding framework with relevant materials that enable countries, donors and other actors to build capacities that better respond to the current needs of producers and users of data and influence and drive decisions for sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda. The Task Team is divided into three subgroups, each working on a different thematic area:

  • Conceptual Framework
  • Operationalisation
  • Measuring Capacity

4) Workshop on New Approaches to Statistical Capacity Development  (December 2017)


The Capacity Development 4.0 workshop was the first in-person meeting for members of the Task Team. The event, which gathered nearly 60 participants, including new members, took stock on the work and intermediary inputs of the CD4.0 initiative. Three main elements framed the discussion during the two-day workshop. A new conceptual framework for designing capacity development programmes in statistics was presented, practices for implementation of programmes were discussed under this framework, and a set of indicators for assessing progress of such implementation efforts was defined.