SG announces 'Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere'

Monday, 08 June 2020

Monday, 8 June 2020 | Worldwide | EOSG

As major UN reforms consolidate, our focus is now on building stronger capabilities to better serve people and planet in the 21st century, with a focus on innovation, data and digital.

As a first significant step in this direction, the Secretary-General has announced the Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere – a long-term agenda for the UN’s data-driven transformation.

The strategy was approved by the Executive Committee in April 2020 and introduced at the Chief Executive Board in May.

Data permeates all aspects of the work of the United Nations, and its power – harnessed responsibly – is critical to the global agendas that we serve. The UN family’s footprint, expertise, and connectedness create unique opportunities to advance global ‘data action’ with insight, impact, and integrity.

Such action has never been more important than now, in the era of COVID-19 – where data, with a human face, is critical to protecting lives and livelihoods. 

Our data strategy is centred on the Secretary-General’s vision – to build a whole-of-UN ecosystem that unlocks our full data potential for better decisions and stronger support to people and planet, in the moments that matter most. It is about leveraging data as a strategic asset.

Better approaches to data will deliver better outcomes for everyone: including stronger decision-making and policy advice, greater data access and sharing, and improved data governance and collaboration, amongst others.

We will focus not on bureaucracy but start with data action that adds immediate value for our organization and the people we serve. By concentrating on portfolios of ‘data use cases’ that address opportunities we face right now, we ‘learn by doing’ and raise the chance of success in our work for the global community.

Following this problem-driven approach, we will also advance a transformation in people and culture, partnerships, data governance, and technology.

The strategy is designed for the long-term. This is a data-driven transformation that is complex and will take time. It is, however, critical for the success and relevance of the UN family.

This is an agenda that cannot wait. The time to act is now.