Media Review

Will Big Data Transform Development?

“So far most countries, including many OECD member states, have not yet started collecting data for many SDG indicators. There are serious methodological challenges to solve, including the need to figure out a way to strike a balance between the production of data for global monitoring versus data for national policy making. What is clear though is that national statistical offices in developing countries are overwhelmed with these additional data requests. Can big data in this context do the trick? The answer is yes and no.”

Huffpost (blog by Johannes Jütting)

Nepal Implements the International Monetary Fund’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System

“The National Summary Data Page (NSDP) aims to serve as a one-stop publication vehicle for essential macroeconomic data in both human and machine-readable formats.

Publication of essential economic data through the NSDP will provide national policymakers and domestic and international stakeholders with easy access to critical information for monitoring economic conditions and policies.”


We cannot end child poverty in Europe without measuring all of its dimensions

“The European Union measures child poverty as the share of children living in households with incomes below 60 per cent of the national median, but this indicator tells us little about how children fare within their families. A child living in a well-off household may still be deprived of the possessions, services and social relationships that other children take for granted. (…) The opposite can also be true: children in income-poor households may still enjoy fulfilling relationships with friends and family as well as access to high quality public services.”


UK ministers lose early access to official statistics

“The Office for National Statistics will no longer give ministers and government officials an early look at important economic figures, after deciding that there has been a loss of public trust in the process. (…) There have been reports that some economic data may be making its way into the market early, based on studies of market movements in the run-up to data releases.”

Financial Times (UK)

Need for regular survey on informal sector output, says Chief Statistician TCA Anant

““Therefore, ideally, we would like to have a sample survey which would capture unorganised manufacturing more regularly. This is something that will be needed to be thought about and as a Chief Statistician, I think it’s the direction we are likely to go in future. It is being discussed with technical experts,” [Chief Statistician T.C.A.] Anant said.”

Financial Express (India)

Agencies to be compelled to share data after statistics law review

“Speaking to reporters after the launch of the World Bank’s biannual Malaysia Economic Monitor report, Mohd Uzir said the total review of the Statistics Act includes the compulsion of government departments to share their survey information with the statistics department. (…)Abdul Rahman also said the data should be accessible to the public, although there are concerns about privacy and security, and manipulation by people to give a wrong impression of the economy.”

The Edge Markets (Malaysia)

China details regulation on statistical work

“The Chinese government has released a regulation on the implementation of the revised Law of Statistics, intended to prevent the falsification of official data. (…) The regulation calls for standardization of statistical surveys from the source, and lists specifications on how to organize and carry out surveys. Severe penalties will be imposed on officials and staff who intervene in government statistical work and manipulate or fabricate data, according to the regulation.”

XinhuaNet (China)

Government’s open data gets $7.2 million boost

“Statistics minister Scott Simpson has announced funding of $7.2 million over the next three years to speed the release of government data under the government’s open data initiative. Simpson said open data would help businesses, councils, community and charitable groups as well as other data users make faster, better-informed decisions, help solve complex problems and make it easier for businesses to innovate and grow.”

ComputerWorld (New Zealand)

The higher the inequality, the more likely we are to move away from democracy

“In each case, we are dealing with a continuum: justification of inequality is not black or white, and nor are our conclusions about its effect on growth or democracy. (…) Such problems are not likely to be solved theoretically, nor once and for all. They will have to be dealt with empirically. And this is why the new and up-and-coming areas of inequality studies will benefit enormously from Big Data.”

The Guardian (blog by Branko Milanovic)

Leveraging behavioral insights in the age of big data

“One area where the use of big data is emerging is in the field of behavioral insights. Behavioral sciences have a lot of testable hypotheses, but little data to play around with. Conversely, big data has a lot of information, but needs better questions. Some work has already been done at the intersection of both fields but there is a huge opportunity in this space.”

World Bank Blog


Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries




Better Science through Better Data 2017

25 October 2017, London

Open Data Science Conference

12-14 October 2017, London

Leveraging Big Data for Sustainable Development

27-29 June 2017

Nairobi, Kenya


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