The Data Manifesto

Development Initiatives: “Staging a Data Revolution

Accessible, useable, timely and complete data is core to sustainable development and social progress. Access to information provides people with a base to make better choices and have more control over their lives. Too often attempts to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental results are hindered by the failure to get the right information, in the right format, to the right people, at the right time. Worse still, the most acute data deficits often affect the people and countries facing the most acute problems.

The Data Revolution should be about data grounded in real life. Data and information that gets to the people who need it at national and sub-national levels to help with the decisions they face – hospital directors, school managers, city councillors, parliamentarians. Data that goes beyond averages – that is disaggregated to show the different impacts of decisions, policies and investments on gender, social groups and people living in different places and over time.

We need a Data Revolution that sets a new political agenda, that puts existing data to work, that improves the way data is gathered and ensures that information can be used. To deliver this vision, we need the following steps.

12 steps to a Data Revolution

1.     Implement a national ‘Data Pledge’ to citizens that is supported by governments, private and non-governmental sectors

2.     Address real world questions with joined up and disaggregated data

3.      Empower and up-skill data users of the future through education

4.     Examine existing frameworks and publish existing data

5.     Build an information bank of data assets

6.     Allocate funding available for better data according to national and sub-national priorities

7.     Strengthen national statistical systems’ capacity to collect data

8.     Implement a policy that data is ‘open by default’

9.     Improve data quality by subjecting it to public scrutiny

10.  Put information users’ needs first

11.  Recognise technology cannot solve all barriers to information

12.  Invest in infomediaries’ capacity to translate data into information that policymakers, civil society and the media can actually use…”

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