The Data for Development Network (D4D.net) and ILDA have launched the results of the First Edition of the Global Data Barometer (GDB) at a virtual event on May 11th, 2022. The Global Data Barometer, with the support of 12 regional research hubs and 6 thematic partners, examines the availability, governance, capability, and use of data across 109 countries in order to help shape the future of data policy in areas such as climate action, company information, health and COVID-19, land, political integrity, public finance, and public procurement. IDFI is one of the regional hubs covering 12 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
“We found that shaping data for public good is possible. We see evidence that well-drafted frameworks can deliver better data, but capacity gaps slow down the delivery of value from data. The good news is that partnerships are powering innovation around data use, and the GDB results show evidence of this. We could not have done this work without our regional hubs and thematic partners. Still, there is a long way to go,” said Silvana Fumega, Global Data Barometer’s Project Director.
“Although high scores for the Barometer's scores are meant to be attainable, the generally low scores generated by the first edition are not meant for ranking but rather as a benchmark for each individual country to use to target improvements and track progress over time with subsequent editions of the GDB”, Silvana added, commenting on Barometer use and impact.
Building on the work of the Open Data Barometer, which has been used to drive policymaking, advocacy, and academic research around the world for several years, the first Global Data Barometer investigates to what extent countries are managing data of all kinds for the public good. The Barometer incorporates both quantitative and qualitative assessments, drawing on primary data collected by a network of global partners and researchers, as well as data from existing secondary sources and a complementary government survey.
“The Barometer provides a unique global platform for collaboration that will help communities around the world advance on such issues as climate action, company information, health, land, political integrity, public finance, and public procurement. Based on this new evidence, governments and civil society will be better able to drive innovative uses of data for the public good and make governance more democratic and inclusive,” said Caroline Ford, Director of Democratic and Inclusive Governance, IDRC, who shared some opening remarks at the launch event.
The launch included a roundtable discussion on the state of data around the world with speakers: Francesca Perucci from the United Nations Statistics Division; Haishan Fu of the World Bank’s Development Data Group; Caroline Ford from IDRC; Delia Ferreira Rubio, the Chair of Transparency International; Muchiri Nyaggah, Executive Director of the Local Development Research Institute; and Joseph Foti from the Open Government Partnership; as well as Silvana Fumega, the GDB’s Project Director.
- The publication of open data (free of charge, in machine-readable forms, and openly licensed) has remained stagnant over the last decade with only 10.63% of the datasets surveyed meeting the open definition, although there has been progress in key areas such as procurement data.
- Questions of land ownership concentration and of agricultural policy feature highly among those addressed through data use. For example, in Brazil, the ‘Map of Inequality’ uses records on more than 5.3 million rural properties from the Atlas of Brazilian Agriculture to input into ongoing, and intensely political, discussions on agrarian reform.
- Just 23 countries had evidence of widespread or regular data literacy training for civil servants as part of a planned and sustainable strategy.
- Many of the datasets with greater relevance to the daily life of communities are the responsibility of local governments; however, just 22% of countries appear to have institutionalized capability to manage data effectively at the sub-national level.
- The capability pillar of the Barometer has the greatest range between the highest and lowest scores. In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, the opportunities created by human capital and political freedoms appear to be held back by lower levels of digital skills among the population as a whole, while in the Middle East and North Africa, business and government capacity to use data are strong, but civil society freedoms and capacity remain weak.
- Countries increasingly have laws for protection of personal data. 98 out of the 109 countries surveyed by the Barometer have some form of framework, although in 13 countries these lack the force of law, and in 12 countries, protections are limited to particular sectors, lacking full coverage of both public and private sector data use.
- 30 countries now have legally binding open data policies. For these countries, there is a clear link between laws specifying that data should be published and data being made available, although the implementation gap between requirements to publish and publication varies by sector. Another 44 countries have open data policies in place that are not legally binding.
The Global Data Barometer is a collaborative project of the Data for Development Network (D4D.net) to provide a new benchmark and the essential data needed to drive a fuller understanding of the state of data for development, open data implementation, and data justice around the globe. The GDB is the result of the efforts of over 100 researchers and a network of regional research hubs around the world. The design of the GDB builds on the previous editions of the Open Data Barometer, but takes a broader look at data sharing and use for the public good, including giving additional attention to issues of privacy and inclusion.
The Barometer measures the state of data in over 109 countries in terms of governance, availability, capability and use for the public good. The Barometer approaches this assessment through several sub-themes which include: climate action, health and COVID-19, company information, land, political integrity, public finance, and public procurement. All results of the Barometer will be open access to support use and re-use of data for research, practice, and national actions.
The Data for Development Network (D4D.net) is a global research alliance that works to strengthen collaboration across a broad network of stakeholders by mobilising the knowledge needed to advance the use of data to address development challenges across the Global South. The Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) leads the development of the Global Data Barometer on behalf of the Data for Development Network (D4D.net).
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