The Programme of the UN World Data Forum is organized around four Thematic Areas, see below for further details. Throughout the Forum, participants will have the opportunity to interact in high-level plenaries, a range of parallel panel sessions, learning labs, demonstrations, exhibits and much more. Note: the plenaries and parallel sessions will be available to a virtual audience while the other event types will be in-person at the venue only.



The UN World Data Forum in 2023 will promote four main Thematic Areas (TAs) intended to provide a basic organizational structure for the programme. The individual TAs are not meant to be mutually exclusive as they contain cross-cutting themes, such as “innovation”, “leave no one behind”, and “partnership”, needed to drive inclusive and trustworthy data systems. The TAs individually contain the important issues and pressing actions expressed by the global data and statistical community to serve as a rallying call for programme proposals with practical solutions and hands-on experiences on these issues. Your contributions to this call will help ensure that members of the data and statistical community once more come together under the Forum with a determined resolve to do their part on the implementation of 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and to build back better following the Covid-19 pandemic.

TA 1. Innovation and partnerships for better and more inclusive data

Data integration and leveraging of various data sources and methodologies to ensure visibility and voice for everyone

Thematic Area 1 covers efforts to create an enabling environment for the integration and use of different data sources through innovation and synergy across data producers to respond to users’ needs, and ensure data and statistics are fully inclusive and address issues relevant to all population groups. The sessions under this Thematic Area will demonstrate the transformation of national data and statistical systems which provides opportunities for better data that benefit all users, including the most vulnerable, and facilitate in many cases a broader role of national statistical offices—to serve as data stewards for their national data ecosystem. This includes: improving availability and quality of data by fostering data integration and leveraging data interoperability tools; integration of geospatial systems with other data and statistical systems at city and local levels; data-driven algorithms for improved service delivery; solutions to improve granularity of data to ensure that small population groups are not left behind while supporting the participation of those communities in the process of prioritizing and planning data collection and integration, and guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality; maximizing the effective use of new data sources with a view to ensuring relevance to all users and addressing the needs of all population groups.

TA 2. Maximizing the use and value of data for better decision making

Adding value to data through better analysis and communication to ensure full use of data for bettering lives through the agency, respect, and inclusion of everyone

Thematic Area 2 covers efforts to improve literacy so that people can use data and statistics to improve their lives, ensure decision makers are accountable, discern fact from disinformation, and understand the world around them. The sessions under this Thematic Area will demonstrate the value of data and how it can be used to improve lives. They will emphasize the importance of bringing quality data to decision and policy makers, and improving overall data and statistics communication, including creating an enabling environment for extracting value from data – such as deriving the full benefits from open data – and promoting good practices in user engagement, data journalism, and the use of the latest data visualization and other dissemination techniques to make sense of the abundance of data and protect against misinformation and abuse.

TA 3. Building trust and ethics in data

Developing the principles of stewardship within the data ecosystem to balance the full value from data use with the protection of privacy and data rights

Thematic Area 3 covers efforts to apply ethical and professional principles to all data holdings and the data value chain within the data ecosystem. The sessions under this Thematic Area will demonstrate open data and interoperability practices, the application of quality assurance as a defense against disinformation and misinformation, interlinkages between data protection policies and statistics legislation (including the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics), promotion of cybersecurity, and confidentiality methods for the preservation of trust in data and statistics. The sessions will include procedures allowing microdata access to ensure that small population groups are not left behind while preserving privacy and confidentiality; provide good practices on data stewardship; ethical guidance for data use and sharing; and how the practical use and development of legal frameworks and regulations can unlock the full benefits of data.

TA 4. Emerging trends and partnerships to develop the data ecosystem

Supporting global, regional, national and sub-national data ecosystems in the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan including sustainable finance for data and statistics programmes at all levels of organization

Thematic Area 4 covers efforts to harness the data revolution and contribute to the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data to create more resilient national data ecosystems that can weather crises during conflicts and emergencies. The sessions under this Thematic Area will demonstrate the benefits of national statistical office leadership, improved coordination and cooperation mechanisms at all levels, managing capacity and capability improvements as an institution, integrating statistical capacity development into planning, strategic investment in statistical and data systems, and partnerships within and between the public and private sectors.

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