The 2017 volume of the Development Co-operation Report focuses on Data for Development. “Big Data” and “the Internet of Things” are more than buzzwords: the data revolution is transforming the way that economies and societies are functioning across the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals along with the data revolution are opportunities that should not be missed: more and better data can help boost inclusive growth, fight inequalities and combat climate change. These data are also essential to measure and monitor progress against the Sustainable Development Goals. The value of data in enabling development is uncontested. Yet, there continue to be worrying gaps in basic data about people and the planet and weak capacity in developing countries to produce the data that policy makers need to deliver reforms and policies that achieve real, visible and long-lasting development results. At the same time, investing in building statistical capacity – which represented about 0.30% of ODA in 2015 – is not a priority for most providers of development assistance. There is a need for stronger political leadership, greater investment and more collective action to bridge the data divide for development. With the unfolding data revolution, developing countries and donors have a unique chance to act now to boost data production and use for the benefit of citizens.
This report sets out priority actions and good practices that will help policy makers and providers of development assistance to bridge the global data divide, notably by strengthening statistical systems in developing countries to produce better data for better policies and better lives.