During the UN World Data Forum, partners launched the Data to Policy Navigator to assist government executives and policymakers in data-driven decision making. The UN launched a Collaborative on Citizen Data to support the “systematic collaboration” between national statistical systems, academia, civil society, and others engaged in data production and use.

The initiatives were launched during the Fourth UN World Data Forum in Hangzhou, China, which took place from 24-27 April 2023.

The Data4Policy Initiative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Digital Office developed the Data to Policy Navigator to provide step-by-step actionable recommendations on how to integrate data into policy and programme development. Designed to be easily searchable and interactive, the Navigator describes practical examples from across the globe relating to every step of the policy development process, from problem definition to policy design and evaluation.

Targeting government officials with no or limited data science knowledge and experience, the Navigator aims to “give policymakers the know-how to systematically integrate new data sources into their decision-making and policy-development processes.” The tool is currently available in its beta version.

The UN Statistics Division (UNSD) of the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is leading the Collaborative on Citizen Data, which will provide a space for sharing knowledge and resources and addressing key challenges such as data quality, ethics, and “further development of guidance based on ongoing research and experiences gathered.” The World Data Forum press release defines citizen contributions to data as “the engagement of citizens in multiple processes in the data value chain.” It notes these contributions are “increasingly recognized as critical to helping overcome many data challenges,” including in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to ensure that no one is left behind.

Also during the World Data Forum, the Data For Now initiative (Data4Now), launched by UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in 2019 and co-led by UNSD, the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), showcased the use of innovative methods to inform decision making with successful use of data sources.

The Hangzhou Declaration notes the adoption of “innovative practices with data and statistics through initiatives like Data for Now” and “the launch of a new programme on citizen-generated data to empower individuals and communities to contribute to data production, take control of their data and improve their lives.” [UN World Data Forum Press Release] [Data to Policy Navigator] [Data4Now]