The Data Manifesto

Development Initiatives: “Staging a Data Revolution

Accessible, useable, timely and complete data is core to sustainable development and social progress. Access to information provides people with a base to make better choices and have more control over their lives. Too often attempts to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental results are hindered by the failure to get the right information, in the right format, to the right people, at the right time. Worse still, the most acute data deficits often affect the people and countries facing the most acute problems.

The Data Revolution should be about data grounded in real life. Data and information that gets to the people who need it at national and sub-national levels to help with the decisions they face – hospital directors, school managers, city councillors, parliamentarians. Data that goes beyond averages – that is disaggregated to show the different impacts of decisions, policies and investments on gender, social groups and people living in different places and over time.

We need a Data Revolution that sets a new political agenda, that puts existing data to work, that improves the way data is gathered and ensures that information can be used. To deliver this vision, we need the following steps.

12 steps to a Data Revolution

1.     Implement a national ‘Data Pledge’ to citizens that is supported by governments, private and non-governmental sectors
2.     Address real world questions with joined up and disaggregated data
3.      Empower and up-skill data users of the future through education
4.     Examine existing frameworks and publish existing data
5.     Build an information bank of data assets
6.     Allocate funding available for better data according to national and sub-national priorities
7.     Strengthen national statistical systems’ capacity to collect data
8.     Implement a policy that data is ‘open by default’
9.     Improve data quality by subjecting it to public scrutiny
10.  Put information users’ needs first
11.  Recognise technology cannot solve all barriers to information
12.  Invest in infomediaries’ capacity to translate data into information that policymakers, civil society and the media can actually use…”

UN Data Revolution Group

Website: “UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked an Independent Expert Advisory Group to make concrete recommendations on bringing about a data revolution in sustainable development. Here you can find out more about the work of the group, and feed into the process by adding your comments to this site or sending a private consultation submission

Consultation Areas

The Trend towards “Smart Cities”

Chien-Chu Chen in the International Journal of Automation and Smart Technology (AUSMT): “Looking back over the past century, the steady pace of development in many of the world’s cities has resulted in a situation where a high percentage of these cities are now faced with the problem of aging, decrepit urban infrastructure; a considerable number of cities are having to undertake large-scale infrastructure renewal projects. While creating new opportunities in the area of infrastructure, ongoing urbanization is also creating problems, such as excessive consumption of water, electric power and heat energy, environmental pollution, increased greenhouse gas emissions, traffic jams, and the aging of the existing residential housing stock, etc. All of these problems present a challenge to cities’ ability to achieve sustainable development. In response to these issues, the concept of the “smart city” has grown in popularity throughout the world. The aim of smart city initiatives is to make the city a vehicle for “smartification” through the integration of different industries and sectors. As initiatives of this kind move beyond basic automation into the realm of real “smartification,” the smart city concept is beginning to take concrete form….”

Making Europe's cities smarter

Press Release: “At a conference today hosted by the European Commission, city leaders, CEOs and civil society leaders discussed the actions outlined in the “Smart Cities Strategic Implementation Plan” and how to put them into practice. The Commission announced that it will launch an ‘Invitation for Smart City and Community Commitments’ in spring 2014 to mobilise work on the action plan’s priorities. The plan is part of Europe’s fifth “Innovation Partnership”.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: “I am very pleased to see transport operators, telecoms companies, vehicle manufacturers, city planners, energy companies and researchers all gathered in one room to discuss the future of our cities. The Smart Cities initiative is a great opportunity to make changes happen for less congestion and better business opportunities in our cities. We need to keep up the momentum and move from plan to action now.”
Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda, said: “The future of infrastructure and city planning will be based on integrating ICT systems and using big data to make our cities better places to live and work. We need to base those new systems on open standards for hardware, software, data and services which this European Innovation Partnership will develop.”
Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for energy, said: “The European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities is about making investments in sustainable development in as many cities as possible. Creating equal partnerships between cities and companies based on synergies between ICT, energy and mobility will lead to projects that make a real difference in our everyday lives.”
The Commission intends to make available approximately EUR 200 million for Smart Cities and communities in the 2014-2015 budgets of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, to accelerate progress and enlarge the scale of roll-out of smart cities solutions. There will also be possibilities to access the European Structural and Investment Funds.
For more information:”

A Data Revolution for Poverty Eradication

Report from “The High Level Panel on the Post–2015 Development Agenda called for a data revolution for sustainable development, with a new international initiative to improve the quality of statistics and information available to citizens. It recommended actively taking advantage of new technology, crowd sourcing, and improved connectivity to empower people with information on the progress towards the targets. Development Initiatives believes there a number of steps that should be put in place in order to deliver the ambition set out by the Panel.
The data revolution should be seen as a basis on which greater openness and a wider transparency revolution can be built. The openness movement – one of the most exciting and promising developments of the last decade – is starting to transform the citizen-state compact. Rich and developing country governments are adapting the way they do business, recognising that greater transparency and participation leads to more effective, efficient, and equitable management of scarce public resources. Increased openness of data has potential to democratise access to information, empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to tackle the problems that they face. To realise this bold ambition, the revolution will need to reach beyond the niche data and statistical communities, sell the importance of the revolution to a wide range of actors (governments, donors, CSOs and the media) and leverage the potential of open data to deliver more usable information”