What Counts? Harnessing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

Data is generated more widely, more frequently, by actors thanks to greater awareness of data use, better technical tools, software and analytical advances. A data revolution is paving the way for profound transformations in how we approach development, analyse the challenges and potentially better monitor sustainable development goals.

Event details

Date:8 May 2015
Venue:Citykonferensen Ingenjörshuset, Celsiussalen, Malmskillnadsgatan 46
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clock_femitolv“Data are the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time, designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible.”

A World that Counts, IEAG, Nov. 2014


This data revolution offers opportunities to make more informed political choices and decisions that can advance human development. However, information is power, and the data revolution entails inherent risks to protection of our privacy and to human rights. To achieve objectives of equity, social justice and sustainability the data revolution needs to benefit all instead of widen inequalities, increase insecurity, and threaten human rights.

How can we harness the data revolution for development: increasing data literacy, strengthening means of verification and analysis and minimise the potential risks? Key questions that the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IEAG) grapple with and which are critical for the next global development agenda.

Come and hear Eva Jespersen, Deputy Director of UNDP Human Development Report Office and member of the IEAG, outline the key issues and challenges, and share the current thinking and recommendations of the Expert Group. Viveka Palm (Statistics Sweden and Royal Institute of Technology), will reflect on the topic from their perspective.

Join the debate on twitter via #2015datarev


Eva Jespersen, Deputy Director, UNDP Human Development Report Office

Member of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IEAG)

She contributes to the annual UNDP flagship Human Development Report including through convening stakeholder consultations and commissioning research. Eva also oversees that communication and outreach work of the office, building external partnerships around the human development concept and measurement, and in engagement with academic institutions on teaching and researching human development. Prior to joining UNDP, Eva worked at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence guiding two flagship reports, the Social Monitor and the Report Cards on child wellbeing, which made global headline news, and before that as social policy advisor in the East Asia Office and in New York, contributing to UNICEF’s ground breaking report on Adjustment with a Human Face.

Eva is a native of Denmark and has an advanced degree in macro-economics from the University of Copenhagen, and has also for DANIDA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Denmark.

Click here to download the presentation.

Here is the Data Revolution Report Eva was talking about in the seminar.

Viveka Palm is adjunct professor of applied environmental economics and environmental statistics at the Royal Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Planning and Environment. She also heads the Unit for Environmental Accounts and Natural Resources at Statistics Sweden (SCB), the administrative agency responsible for gathering, analysing and delivering statistical data to government and researchers. She is also member of the Statistical Commission Friends of the Chair Group on Broader Measures of Progress (FOC), which was established by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March 2013 as response to the request of the Rio+20 conference to launch a programme of work on broader measures of progress to complement GDP in order to better inform policy decisions.

Click here to download the presentation.

Coffee and sandwiches will be served from 8:30 AM. The seminar begins at 9:00.

For more information

For further questions, please contact Alexandra Pärnebjörk, UNDP, 0702 30 82 53, alexandra.parnebjork@undp.org

The event forms part of the seminar series “After 2015 – The road towards the next global development agenda,” jointly organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and UNDP Nordic Office.

For further information, please visit www.millenniemalen.nu or www.daghammarskjold.se.