Bern Network on Financing Data for Development

The Bern Network on Financing Data for Development is an open, multi-stakeholder alliance to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by promoting more and better financing for data. Focused primarily on poor countries and fragile states, it works to support better identification of needs, improved investment proposals, better co-ordination at the country level and to bridge domestic and external financial and technical support for low-capacity countries. PARIS21 is the Secretariat for the Bern Network.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is being challenged by a severe gap in timely, accurate and reliable data. These missing data reduce the ability of countries to design and implement efficient and effective policies and programmes, spot opportunities, avoid risks and monitor progress.

The most severe data gaps are in the poorest and most fragile countries, where governments lack the resources to build strong statistical systems. In these countries, extreme poverty is widespread. But because there is a lack of up-to-date and reliable data, nobody knows where it is concentrated or what needs to be done to overcome it.

In the next decade, there is a unique opportunity to tackle humankind’s biggest challenges with the right mix of data, tools and technology. Strengthening foundational data systems is a critical ingredient in making this happen. New data and technologies can help derive new insights from traditional statistics, as can digital connectivity. But to do so, we must improve the flow of funding to building strong, modern statistical systems.

To respond to the challenges presented by sustainable development and the effective policy making needs that come with it, investments into data and statistics have to increase in both quantity and quality. National statistical offices in the poorest parts of the world currently do not have the capacity to collect and use timely and reliable data. Studies show that an additional USD 700 million per year needs to be mobilised until 2030 to ensure that low- and middle-income countries can strengthen their statistical systems for the future. This will mean developing the knowledge and skills in-country to channel greater domestic resources into data and statistics, while at the same time finding new and better ways to mobilise external assistance. The assistance that is currently in place will need to be made more efficient so that every dollar spent brings more returns.

Addressing the funding challenge for data will require strong political commitments to put more resources towards building the statistical infrastructure during the Decade of Action. The Bern Network’s mission is to make more and better funding for data a reality by helping scale up support to national statistical systems in developing countries, coordinating assistance and boosting efficiency of cooperation for data and statistics. Together with its members, it will develop a series of concrete commitments for the United Nations World Data Forum in October 2020 in Bern, Switzerland.

In light of these challenges and goals, the Clearinghouse on Financing Development Data, currently being developed by the Bern Network, will provide information on data supply and demand in order to build new partnerships, bring projects to scale, and access best practices. More information


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