United Nations World Data Forum 2021

Following last year’s postponement of the in-person meeting of the UN World Data Forum, the Forum is back to planning for a hybrid event to take place in Bern, Switzerland between 3 and 6 October 2021 where leaders from across different data communities will come together to exchange ideas, showcase innovations, identify solutions, discuss future strategies, and provide mutual learning opportunities on a wide variety of topics organized across six thematic areas of the Forum.

Mini-Call for special topic sessions

The Programme Committee has concluded their review of the session proposals submitted as part of the call conducted last year and have decided to conduct another focused mini-call to obtain select topics related to the Covid-19 experience.
You are invited to submit a proposal for consideration by the Programme Committee for inclusion in the UNWDF 2021 on the following topics:
  • Innovations in agile and resilient data systems during Covid-19 (risk prevention, mitigation and recovery)
  • Leave no one behind in Covid-19 health data
  • Data communication and use for informed decision-making during Covid-19
The session may also highlight data innovations for means of implementation to build a better future after the pandemic.

Selection process

Proposals will be evaluated against a set of criteria to ensure that they meet all the key requirements for the Forum.
The Programme Committee will consider the following criteria when evaluating proposals:
  1. Relevance and impact – session is aligned with the specific topics requested and contributes to the overall objectives of the Forum;
  2. Diversity of speakers – session speakers, presenters and moderator reflect a mix of data communities, different geographical regions and balanced gender representation;
  3. Data Innovation showing a fresh approach – session includes discussion of innovative data sources, approaches, method, partnerships;
  4. Creativity in session format –a creative session design is likely to foster engagement/interaction with the audience;
  5. Demonstrates concrete and practical experiences –session showcases and discusses concrete experiences with data production and data use, and offers concrete recommendations or launch of new initiatives and partnerships.

Only proposals with a balanced gender representation will be considered.Also, preference will be given to sessions that include a higher mix of data communities and different geographical regions. Where possible, special emphasis on engagement with policy makers and the inclusion of high-level speakers will be considered an asset.

The Programme Committee encourages collaboration and joint proposals bringing together various data communities to strengthen the proposals and ensure a diverse representation. Furthermore, the Programme Committee or the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building (HLG-PCCB) may request revisions to some proposals, or for proposals with very similar content and/or with the same speakers to be merged. Revised proposals are subject to the approval of the Programme Committee and/or HLG-PCCB.

Please note that decisions about the inclusion of a session proposal is based on the content and composition of proposal as well as the proposed session format, when submitted. If there are significant changes to the session, in its composition, focus, or session format, the Programme Committee and/or HLG-PCCB reserve the right to cancel sessions.

The final programme will be approved by the UN Statistical Commission’s High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building.

Mini-call for session proposals will close on Friday, 2 July 2021.

Information required (in submission form)

  • Focal point to be contacted for follow up on the proposal (name, affiliation and email)
  • Session Title
  • Session Description – short description of session, including focus, scope, and objectives.
  • Submissions to previous UNWDF or other venue/forum/meeting/workshop
  • Session Format
    • Expected duration of each session is 60 minutes. There will be approximately 5-7 sessions selected from this mini-call to fill a limited remaining set of places.
    • Different modes of delivery are encouraged besides panel discussions to ensure effective interactive exchange with the audience and for the Forum to be as participatory as possible. Considering the hybrid format for this Forum, further information will be provided on the set-up at the venue and there will also be the option to conduct your session entirely virtually.
    • Interactive formats of delivery are encouraged to ensure that the Forum is as participatory and interactive as possible.
    • Please describe the requested format for the proposed session, including the IT requirements and room setup.
    • Please note that the programme might not be able to accommodate all suggested formats.
  • Proposed speakers, including name, gender, position, affiliation/organisation and country for each speaker
  • Proposed Moderators/Chair/Discussant, including name, gender, position, affiliation/organisation and country
  • Session organizer(s)*, including name, gender, affiliation, country and email
  • IMPORTANT: Incomplete submissions/ forms will not be considered

*Session organizers are responsible for:

  • ensuring contact with the panelists and moderators of their sessions and proper communication of organizational aspects based on the information provided by the Secretariat of the Forum
  • ensure that speakers register for the Forum and make their own travel and accommodation arrangements
  • responsible for collecting all presentations from the speakers, ensuring speakers are present at the time of the session, and to prepare a short summary of the session to be submitted after the event to dataforum@un.org

PLEASE NOTE: Neither the Programme Committee nor the United Nations offer supporting funds to facilitate the travel and participation of proposed speakers or sessions. The involvement of speakers (and participants) must therefore by completely self-financed, including travel, accommodation and any other related expenses. There are no registration fees to be a participant or speaker at the Forum.