The United Nations World Data Forum 2020 -- bringing together data producers and users in Bern

With the beginning of the New Year, it is less than nine months until we gather in Bern, Switzerland for the UNWDF 2020.

I am very excited to be part of the process of planning for the third Forum which will harness the power of data and statistics for the data revolution that has been the underlying theme of the United Nations World Data Forum. At this third edition of the forum, we will focus on highlighting innovations and new initiatives in bridging the data gaps, addressing the unmet need for financing for data and statistics, and building concrete solutions and outcomes to modernize national statistical systems.

The UNWDF 2020 continues the mission started in Cape Town in 2017, followed by the event in Dubai in 2018 to bring together experts and data advocates, politicians and civil society representatives, statisticians and data scientists, to discuss data innovations and partnerships. The purpose is to address the changing data demands, which result from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Forum will bring together data experts from the larger data landscape, national statisticians, policy makers and other data users to learn from each other and share key developments to enhance data availability, use and impact at the national and global levels.

As a chief statistician, a member and former co-chair of the High Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity Building for statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Chair of the Programme Committee for the UNWDF 2020, I see the UNWDF 2020 as a place to reinforce the political commitment to the 2030 Agenda and to strengthen the partnerships needed to support more and better data and statistics.  This is a crucial time for data and statistics. We must work to build trust in the national statistical systems. The UNWDF 2020 offers an opportunity to build on the discussions held at the previous two fora and to reiterate the importance of strong and independent national statistical offices, while also providing ample space to discuss how best to integrate new and innovative data sources to respond to the data demands of today's societies.

Through the six thematic areas of the forum, participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences and engage in discussions in a variety of interactive formats. The importance of more and better financing for data and statistics and the response of the donor community will be an important topic at the forum.  

An open call for proposals was launched at the beginning of December on the forum's website to gather the most interesting and dynamic inputs for the forum's programme. We are seeking proposals that engage multiple stakeholders, expand the knowledge base and widen the perspective of forum participants through showcasing innovative, action-oriented solutions to the most pressing data challenges. By highlighting best practices and innovative ideas, the forum will contribute to evidence-based policymaking to ensure the global community reaches the ambitions set out in the 2030 Agenda and can measure progress along the way. Answers to frequently asked questions on the open call for proposals can be found here and additional guidelines for submitting your proposal is available here.

If you intend to submit a proposal you have until the end of this week when the call closes. Simply register your proposal here.

I also encourage you to join the ongoing UNWDF webinar series which provides opportunities for all to participate in discussions to further the dialogue started in Cape Town and Dubai and to actively participate in the webinar series.

I invite you to be engaged before, during and after the Forum to promote solutions for more and better data for sustainable development.

Hope to see you in Bern in October 2020!