Debating the Post-2015 Data Revolution: will technology or better institutions make more of a difference?
Special Event co-hosted by the Center for Global Development, African Population and Health Research Centre, and PARIS21
Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 10:00 – 12:15
OECD Conference Centre, Room CC16

For more information: contact[at]paris21.org

The High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda first called for a “data revolution” in May 2013. Since then, a broad and numerous chorus of voices have echoed the need to “draw on existing and new sources of data to fully integrate statistics into decision making, promote open access to, and use of, data and ensure increased support for statistical systems”.

However, a consensus has yet to emerge over which concrete steps are required to realize the data revolution. One key area of divergence among “data revolutionaries” is whether to put more emphasis on technology or institutions for bridging gaps in data production, dissemination and use. Technophiles often highlight the potential of rapid and significant advances in ICT and new sources of data, like call logs and online transactions. On the other side of the debate are those who argue that that without a major change in the institutional framework, including funding, technology will not have a lasting impact. They prefer to prioritize the alignment of global monitoring with national capacities while arguing for strong, independent and well-financed National Statistical Systems.

The objective of this debate is to shed light on the relative potential of technological and institutional initiatives to bring about a revolution in data production, dissemination and use and help advance discussions on the Post-2015 data revolution.

The debate will be followed by a presentation of a draft report of the Data for African Development Working Group. This draft report, issued by the Center for Global Development and the African Population and Health Research Centre, explores root causes of slow progress in Sub-Saharan Africa, identifies challenges and strategies to address them, and recommends specific actions for national government, donors and international technical agencies, and civil society and research organizations. These steps will help build the foundation for big-data and open-data initiatives, and for a true Africa-led and sustainable data revolution.

This presentation will provide an opportunity to build upon on the morning’s debate and discussion, and present informed and substantive feedback prior to the finalization of the report.

Download detailed agenda

P21-CGD-APHRC Institutions and Technology Debate.pdf