Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mobilising The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

November 2014.
A World That Counts: Mobilising The Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

The report highlights two big global challenges for the current state of data:

  1. The challenge of invisibility (gaps in what we know from data, and when we find out)
  2. The challenge of inequality (gaps between those who with and without information, and what they need to know make their own decisions)

The IEAG consists of over 20 international experts convened by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to propose ways to improve data for achieving and monitoring sustainable development. The IEAG report makes specific recommendations on how to address these challenges, calling for a UN-led effort to mobilise the data revolution for sustainable development:

  • Fostering and promoting innovation to fill data gaps. New technologies offer new opportunities to improve data, if they are used for the common good. The IEAG proposes a programme for experimenting with how traditional and new data sources (including big data) can be brought together for better and faster data on sustainable development, developing new infrastructures for data development and sharing (such as a “world statistics cloud”), and supporting innovations that improve the quality and reduce the costs of producing public data.
  • Mobilising resources to overcome inequalities between developed and developing countries and between data-poor and data-rich people. The group stresses the need for increased funding and resources, used both to develop national capacity and global data literacy, and for public-private partnerships to leverage private sector resources and knowledge in the global interest. The international conference in July 2015 to discuss financing for new Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity for this.
  • Leadership and coordination to enable the data revolution to play its full role in the realisation of sustainable development. The group proposes a global effort to improve cooperation between old and new data producers, ensure the engagement of data users, and develop global ethical, legal and statistical standards to improve data quality and protect people from abuses in a rapidly changing data ecosystem.

Download ‘A World That Counts’

13-14 November 2014. Rome. FAO, IPCC and IFAD jointly organized an expert meeting “Emerging activities to combat climate change – use of FAO data and IPCC GHG inventory guidelines for agriculture and land use”.

Some 70 participants attended this meeting comprising national and international experts, representatives of relevant institutions, agencies and interested donors. The meeting was a follow up of the 2009 joint FAO-IPCC-IFAD event, organized to discuss datasets for use in the IPCC Guidelines – FAO data and how it can be used in the IPCC Agriculture and Land Use Guidelines.

The 2014 expert meeting was meant to serve both as a reflection of progress made since 2009 and as an opportunity to build on lessons learned and to address emerging needs in the area of improved forest and rural statistics for use not only in national GHG inventory and mitigation, but also for rural development in general. In this regard, experts discussed the new data and tools developed by FAO, such as FAOSTAT Emissions Database and new guidelines on mitigation.

The event addressed the urgent need to conduct analyses, identify actions and implement activities for both mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change.

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