The Programme of the UN World Data Forum is organized around six main thematic areas covering a wide range of topics. Throughout the forum, participants will have opportunities to interact in plenary sessions, break-out spaces, innovation labs, knowledge sharing spaces, exhibits and virtual forums.

The Programme for the UN World Data Forum is developed through an open call for session proposals. The open call is launched in December 2019. Please stay tuned.


TA 1. New approaches to capacity development for better data

    Supporting broad data ecosystems in countries

    Thematic area 1 covers new approaches to capacity development to address the changing needs of data producers and data users in the context of new interdependencies and collaboration frameworks across data ecosystems. Sessions under Thematic Area 1 will focus on integrating statistical capacity building into strategic national planning; developing new skills within NSOs and in other government and non government agencies to fully harness the power of new data sources; developing new ways to measure outcomes and impacts; leveraging south-south cooperation and peer learning; fostering partnerships between public and private sectors; and broadening the donor base and creating financial instruments to support systems for SDG measurement.

TA 2. Innovations and synergies across data ecosystems

    Bringing data sources together and creating an enabling environment for the integration and use of non-traditional data sources

    Thematic area 2 addresses innovations and synergies across different data communities by creating an enabling environment for the integration and use of new and traditional sources of data. The sessions under thematic area 2 will also explore how to champion the changing role of NSO’s as they move from data producers to service providers; to nurture collaboration between NSOs and non-traditional producers of data; to integrate geospatial information and statistics; and to leverage opportunities and mitigate risks associated with use of big data and other new data sources. Sessions can also address data-driven algorithms for improved service delivery, uses of machine learning and predictive technology.

TA 3. Leaving no one behind

    Generating and leveraging data and statistics to ensure visibility and voice for everyone

    Thematic area 3 focuses on making the most vulnerable visible through data. Sessions under thematic area 3 will center around improving availability, quality and understanding of data on specific groups; addressing issues related to capturing particularly vulnerable groups in data gathering through traditional and innovative approaches; addressing challenges in providing access to microdata to ensure that small groups are not left behind, while guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality; producing and using data effectively at city and local levels; and integrating geographical units of analysis (e.g., cities, human settlements, urban/rural areas) into data production and dissemination processes.

TA 4. Understanding the world through data

    Making data and statistics relevant and usable to all users; increasing data and statistical literacy and data communication; strengthening the use of data in journalism

    Thematic area 4 covers data and statistical literacy and the importance of a proper use of data and statistics to understand the world around us. The sessions will explore how to bring quality data to decision makers; how to optimize the communication of data, tailor data communication strategies to different user groups, and how to empower citizens to use data in order to improve their own lives. The sessions will also aim to provide contextual information that helps make sense of today’s abundance of data by strengthening data and statistical literacy and promoting best practices in data in journalism.

TA 5. Building trust in data and statistics

    Applying data principles and governance to new and existing data sources and implementing open data principles and practices

    Trust in data and statistics is paramount to the production and use of data. Thematic area 5 focuses on building trust in data and statistics by applying ethical and data principles, governance and innovative technological solutions for new and existing data sources and implementing open data principles and practices. The sessions will discuss how data principles and good governance are essential in building trust in data and statistics; explore ways to strengthen the coordinating role of National Statistical Offices; discuss how to pragmatically embrace open data principles and adopt data standards in tandem with technology and user needs; draw attention to data privacy and security in a changing data ecosystem; identify areas where data principles and standards need to be expanded, particularly in relation to non-traditional sources data; and promote multi-stakeholder partnerships to develop inclusive standards and governance frameworks.

TA 6. How far have we come?

    A look at the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan; Addressing emerging challenges of fully harnessing the power of data to improve people’s lives

    Thematic area 6 is about taking stock of how far we have progressed, and taking practical steps towards fulfilling the implementation of the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data. The sessions under this thematic area will also identify emerging challenges that need to be addressed by the global data community, focusing on issues such as: prioritizing the needs of developing countries in vulnerable situations; mobilizing strategic investments in modernization of National Statistical Systems; addressing all aspects of statistical capacity building; and fostering cooperation and coordination across stakeholder groups.

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