About the Webinar series

The United Nations World Data Forum Webinar series is a virtual discussion forum of the United Nations World Data Forum that aims to intensify cooperation and open dialogue with various professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users, as well as civil society stakeholders.

Past webinars

Use of mobile technologies to address data gaps

Addressing the challenges to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires up-to-date and timely data to measure progress and make decisions to improve people’s lives. However, there are gaps in existing data, and too many people are missing from the numbers. Bringing data sources together and creating an enabling environment for the integration and use of non-traditional data sources can fill this gap. This webinar will showcase how one specific type of new technologies and non-traditional data sources, mobile positioning data, can be used to develop innovative solutions to help fill this void in the data landscape.

Representatives from the private sector, national statistics office, and the civil society will share how they leverage mobile positioning data to overcome challenges and fill data gaps in specific areas, including but not limited to tourism, and transportation.

This webinar is part of the United Nations World Data Forum webinar series and provides an opportunity to learn first-hand from practitioners on finding synergies across data ecosystems.

Date: Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Time: 10:00 AM (EDT)



  • Moderator: Mahsa Hedayati, Information Systems Officer, Office of Information and Communications Technology, United Nations

  • Panelist: Emmanuel Letouzé, Director, Data-Pop Alliance   Presentation
  • Panelist: Titi Kanti Lestari, Director of Finance, Information Technology and Tourism Statistics, BPS- Statistics Indonesia   Presentation
  • Panelist: Siim Esko, Head of Sales & Marketing, Positium   Presentation

  • Speakers Bio

Improving Statistical Literacy

Data and statistics are increasingly being used in public debate to prove a point or statement without providing the context in which these figures exist. This has sometimes led to confusion and misconceptions about situations, leading to scepticism about the value of statistics. Often a key challenge is the lack of understanding how to critically assess the numbers provided as well as what may have been left out.

While many people have learned how to critically assess information provided in text format, data or statistical literacy is more limited in many societies. With increased use of data and statistics in public debate, it is key that people learn how to properly interpret this information in order to empower various users and citizens to use data and improve their own lives. Through increased statistical literacy, trust in data provided by the statistical system may also improve.

The statistical community is a key player in helping ensure that statistical literacy is improved. For example, many members of the Global Network of Institutes for Statistical Training (GIST) are currently providing various training material to improve literacy among different groups of the population. This webinar will highlight three key target groups: Policy makers, (school) children and journalists. For each of the groups, examples will be provided on what is being done to help improve their statistical literacy.

This webinar is part of the UN World Data Forum webinar series which provides an opportunity to learn from country and global practitioners about the various tools used to improve statistical literacy among various data users.


  • Moderator: Vibeke Oestreich Nielsen, Inter-Regional Adviser on Statistical Training and Capacity Building, United Nations Statistics Division

  • Panelist: Victoria Glasier, Chief of Statistics in Schools Branch, US Census Bureau Presentation
  • Panelist: François Fonteneau, Co-ordinator of the Data Advisory Services team, PARIS21 Presentation
  • Panelist: Josefina Almeda, Head of Agency and Executive Director, Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) Presentation

  • Speakers Bio

Visualizing progress towards the SDGs

Today, there are many opportunities to deploy SDG data platforms to benefit decision makers so that actionable, ready-to-use data, information and insights can be generated by national statistical and geospatial systems for the implementation of the SDGs. By expressing the SDG data and statistics in the form of interactive dashboard visualizations, users are increasingly able to track progress at the global and regional levels, and drill-in to the national and sub-national level to obtain insights for decision making on the ground.

This webinar aims to showcase some examples of best practices on how countries and international organizations are leveraging the use of technology and data visualization methods to support policy and decision makers in the SDG follow-up and review processes.

This webinar is part of the UN World Data Forum webinar series which provides an opportunity to learn first-hand from global experts and country practitioners on how technology helps make SDG data and statistics accessible and user-friendly for better policy and decision making.

Date: Thursday, July 25 2019

Time: 10:00 AM (EDT)


  • Moderator: Linda Hooper, Statistician, Development Data and Outreach Branch, UN Statistics Division

  • Panelist: Luis Gonzalez Morales, Chief, Web Development and Data Visualization Section, UN Statistics Division. Presentation
  • Panelist: Karen Lizeth Chavez Quintero, Director’s Advisor, National Administrative Department of Statistics of Colombia - DANE. Presentation

  • Speakers Bio

Joining-up Data in the Development Sector

The Cape Town Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data highlights the need for better data interoperability in the context of innovation and modernisation efforts of national statistical systems. Responding to this call, the Collaborative on SDG Data Interoperability was jointly convened by the UN Statistics Division and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data after the first UN World Data Forum.

At the Data for Development Festival in Bristol in March 2018, the Collaborative agreed to produce guidance on data interoperability for development practitioners. This resulted in the launching in October 2018, at the second UN World Data Forum, of the first version of a document entitled "Data interoperability: A practitioner's guide to joining up data in the development sector". The guide highlights how a systematic approach to handling data interoperability issues can support both the achievement and monitoring of the SDGs.

The guide was then presented at the 50th Session of the Statistical Commission in March 2019, where the Commission recognized the importance for countries to have access to interoperability tools and requested to continue developing the guide.

The Collaborative on SDG Data Interoperability is now focused on the next phase of its work, focusing on building and maintaining the Guide by adding new modules and practical examples as well as ancillary materials to help raise awareness of its existence and usability. It is hoped that new synergies will form between data producers, publishers, users, and those providing capacity building and training. In this way, the guidance set out within the Guide can be incorporated into existing training materials and modules, and a consistent approach to the system-wide improvement of data interoperability can start to become a reality in the development sector.

This webinar is an opportunity to learn first-hand from experts involved in the production of the guide, and from country practitioners about the tasks ahead towards improving SDG data interoperability.


  • Moderator: Malarvizhi Veerappan, Program Manager and Senior Data Scientist, World Bank

  • Panelist: Tom Orrell, Founder, DataReady Limited Presentation
  • Panelist: Rachael Milicich, General Manager for System and Partnerships in the Data System Leadership Group, Stats New Zealand Presentation
  • Panelist: Sergio Carrera, Director-General for Data integration, Analysis and Research, INEGI Presentation

  • Speakers Bio

Trust in Data and Statistics

Building on the plenary session on Trust in Data and Statistics held during the UNWDF 2018 in Dubai, this webinar continues the discussions on building trust in official statistics.

In a world with fake news and alternative facts looming around us, the public’s trust in official data and statistics is more important than ever. A better understanding of the causes of a lack of trust can help strategically plan a path to building and strengthening trust in official statistics. By integrating users and their perspectives into all aspects of the data value chain, user needs will be fully addressed leading to enhanced public trust in official statistics. Our communal aim is to strive towards open data and avoid data gripped tightly in private arms, to promote data sharing as a pragmatic reality, and to fully resource, value and trust official statistics and national statistical systems. There are important building blocks underlying trust in data and statistics that should be cultivated to create a data system fit for our future needs. Such building blocks include building strong organizational infrastructures, good governance practices, and multi-stakeholder partnerships; following sound and internationally agreed data standards and principles for production, sharing, interoperability, and dissemination of data and statistics; and integrating users in the data value chain to meet their needs, increase the value of data and statistics, and ensure meaningful impacts.

Bringing together a panel of experts in the development data space, this webinar tackles the issue of trust in official statistics and highlights ways toward a trusted data ecosystem.


  • Moderator: Francesca Perucci, Chief, Development Data and Outreach Branch, UN Statistics Division

  • Panelist: Shaida Baidee, Managing Director, Open Data Watch Presentation
  • Panelist: Pádraig Dalton, Director General, Central Statistics Office of Ireland Presentation
  • Panelist: Hernán Muñoz, National Director of Statistical Planning and Coordination, The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) Presentation