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A data revolution for development

Around 400 development professionals, government officials, technical innovators, statisticians, researchers and data scientists gathered at the end of April in the Colombian city of Cartagena for the Cartagena Data Festival.

With less than a year to go before the start date for the new Sustainable Development Goals the Festival sought to engage participants in a conversation about the role of data, and particularly the new world of bigger, faster and more detailed data (the so-called Data Revolution), in the implementation of these goals.

Eldis Editor Alan Stanley was in Cartagena to showcase the work of Eldis and our partners in the collaborative Open Knowledge Hub project and to explore some of the opportunities and challenges that the Data Revolution might pose for our work and for development more broadly. You can read his interviews and opinion pieces from the event on Eldis and the IDS website.

Data gaps and development goals - counting the missing millions is an interview with ODI's Elizabeth Stuart talking about the new Development Progress report "The Data Revolution – Finding The Missing Millions"

Data brokers and the demand-led digital revolution reflects on discussions at the Festival about the need for inclusiveness to be at the heart of any data revolution for development.


Exploring the role of research in the Data Revolution for development is an interview with Paul Ladd, Director of Post-2105 at UNDP.

Further reading on the data revolution for development

The data revolution: finding the missing millions
E. Stuart; E. Samman; W. Avis; T. Berliner / Overseas Development Institute 2015
For governments wanting to end poverty, steward sustainable environments and foster healthy, thriving populations one key element is impeding progress: data.  As many as 350 million people worldwide are not co...
A road map for a country-led data revolution
Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century 2015
The Road Map for a Country-led Data Revolution sets out the goals, activities and resources needed for developing countries to use data to achieve the sustainable development goals.  It is based on research in more than 30 d...
A World that counts: mobilising the data revolution for sustainable development
Data Revolution Group 2014
This report from the UN's Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IEAG) proposes ways to improve data for achieving and monitoring sustainable development. The report highlights two big glob...
Data for Development: A Needs Assessment for SDG Monitoring and Statistical Capacity Development
J. Espey / Sustainable Development Solutions Network 2015
The discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has renewed interest in strengthening the quality and availability of statistics for management, program design and monitoring performance. The Financing for Development Summi...