[21.10] UN World Data Forum 2020

In October, the World Data Forum is being run in Bern with support of the United Nations and the Federal Statistical Office (BFS), promoting Sustainable Development Data (see naturalsciences.ch or data4sdgs.org) in the form of a „platform for intensifying cooperation with various professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users, as well as civil society stakeholders.“

As Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation - promoting and sharing the values of a diverse global network - and as community partners of the Open Government Data projects managed by the BFS, we are naturally keen to make sure our association will support the event. Today we sent in a session proposal led by our president A.Kellerhals, and we are in touch with several other local groups that have similarly applied. If our session is accepted, we will pick up and elaborate the topic of Citizen Generated Data (CGD, in essence, statistically useful data from non-official sources), as it was discussed at length in the 2018 report from Open Knowledge called Advancing Sustainability Together. And in any case, we will promote the event and use the opportunity to invite our network to take part. Look out for some announcements on :earth_africa: Open Data Day

To give a bit of historical perspective, the first United Nations World Data Forum was hosted in January 2017 by Statistics South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, and for the second time by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai in October 2018. You can catch an impression of the event in responses from around the world, such as in a summary from our colleagues at Open Knowldge Nepal. Several people in our network reviewed our proposal, and agreed that while several topics reflected our goals, the one we felt most competent to present in was:

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

Our session, tentatively titled „Open progress monitoring and interlinking new data by those concerned“, would aim to help participants get some orientation in the ‚data wastelands‘ - to be empowered to use the highest quality open data available - to stimulate the creation of new and citizen generated data, to petition for opening of existing closed data - to have a more active role in the field. Inspired by the School of Data and in the spirit of the workshops previously documented in our Forum, we would run a Data Expedition.

Our session would aim to address essential questions, provide some basic theoretical introduction and practical examples, and focus on a hands-on workshop with datasets about financial transactions and flows of goods. Our goal is to sharpen the understanding of the challenge and breadth of the topic, and to contribute to empowering basic data handling among our participants. In a Data Expedition, our participants will learn to work with open data and how to collect diverse information from legal, authentic sources. We will brainstorm questions related to SDG monitoring and help our participants formulate them as data searches, which we can run on global open data portals and search engines, leave breadcrumbs for others in the form of Data Packages, and train our participants in aggregating this information and petitioning for data opening and further crowdsourcing.

Please let us know any thoughts, and get in touch if you’d like to help with the preparation and take part in activities around the UN WDF. In the meantime, I would encourage you to check out the „Road to Bern“ series of events being run in preparation: