First-Ever UN World Data Forum

The first UN World Data Forum will be hosted by Statistics South Africa from 15 to 18 January 2017, with support from the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It will be an opportunity for data and statistics experts from around the world to:

  • JOIN together in this unique event with governments, businesses, civil society and the scientific and academic communities.
  • EXPLORE innovative ways to apply data and statistics to measure global progress and inform evidence-based policy decisions on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • CONTRIBUTE to important discussions, data labs and interactive platforms aimed at improving the use of data for sustainable development.
  • LAUNCH new initiatives and solutions that will deliver better data for all.


The forum will cover a wide range of themes and topics, including:

New approaches to capacity development for better data

  • Strengthening institutional capacity and leadership

  • Political leadership and governance of the statistical system

  • Stakeholder engagement and coordination

  • National Strategies for the Development of Statistics

  • Developing human capacity for data and statistics

  • Financing data development, including innovative ways of financing official statistics

Innovations and synergies across different data ecosystems

  • Innovations in household surveys, censuses, administrative data, and civil registration and vital statistics

  • Unleashing the power of new data sources (e.g., big data)

  • New approaches in data collection (e.g., citizen generated data and perception surveys)

  • Integrating geo-spatial and statistical data and information

  • Bridging the scientific community with the data community

  • Cooperation strategies between official statistical systems and the private sector

Leaving no one behind

  • Innovative approaches for SDG follow-up and review on all groups

  • Data in post-conflict countries

  • Data and human rights

Understanding the world through data

  • Use and value of data and statistics

  • Matching data production with users' needs

  • Empowering users through data literacy

  • Data and technology in everyday decision making

  • Innovations in data communication and visualization

  • Data needs at the local level

  • Data journalism

Data principles and governance

  • Openness and transparency vs. privacy and confidentiality

  • Data quality and validation of new data sources

  • Standards for data sharing and integration

The way forward: A Global Action Plan for data

  • Connecting communities through global, regional and national partnerships

  • Meeting the data needs of the 2030 Agenda

Watch for more information and registration details on this website, and follow on Twitter @UNDataForum