Today, Data2X announced new partnerships for better data to understand and improve the lives of the world’s women and girls at an event with Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michael R. Bloomberg, Chelsea Clinton and other key partners. The partnerships will tackle six areas where data is missing on women and girls: civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), women’s work and employment, financial services, women’s well-being and poverty, big data, and results reporting on U.S. government foreign aid.
Elevating the status of women and girls is essential to the world’s prosperity and security. As new sustainable development goals are agreed upon next year, ensuring rights and opportunities for women and girls is particularly important. But even in a data-driven world, a lack of data on women and girls has hindered policy efforts targeted to them. With more complete and accurate data, policymakers and funders can better identify the unique challenges facing women and girls, better assess causes and consequences, and design more effective policies. That’s why gender data has been a lasting priority for Secretary Clinton, who created Data2X in 2012.
“We believe that if more and better data gets collected, we’ll see more progress in tackling these kinds of problems,” said Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. “That’s why when I was Secretary, we helped launch a number of new initiatives to fill these data gaps.”
Since its launch in 2012, Data2X, powered by the United Nations Foundation, has served as a platform to identify gender data gaps and generate partnerships to address them. As an initial step, Data2X identified 28 gaps in global sex-disaggregated data across five domains: health, education, economic opportunities, political participation, and human security.
“How can we solve a puzzle if we’re missing half the pieces? Data2X is playing a critical role in the global development space by spurring action on pressing gender data gaps. By filling these gaps, we can get a more complete picture of the lives of women and girls, design policy based on evidence rather than on preconceptions, and drive progress around the world,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation.
Today’s event kicked off the next phase of the project, focused on forming strategic gender data partnerships to tackle the gaps most ripe for action based on international momentum, ease of filling the gap and number of girls and women potentially affected.
“There are so many opportunities to improve lives around the world, but many are obscured by a lack of data. Having that data is essential to creating more effective policies and directing investment to where it’s needed most. The partnerships being announced today are a big step in the right direction, and they are going to make a big difference to millions of women and children,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, philanthropist and founder of Bloomberg LP.
New partnerships were announced to tackle the following types of data gaps:
- Civil Registration and Vital Statistics . ( Partners: The UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of CRVS (covering 54 countries in Africa) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (covering 60 countries in Asia-Pacific) . Strengthened Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems are critical to obtain real numbers on maternal deaths and causes of death, as well as marriage, divorce, and other life events of importance to women and girls. Civil registration also helps facilitate access to legal identity, which provides women and girls with the opportunity to exercise their rights. Yet poor and unmarried women in particular are least likely to register their children. This partnership will help national and regional bodies incorporate gender into Civil Registration and Vital Statistics plans through technical assistance and international and national advocacy.
- Women’s Work and Employment . (Partners: The International Labour Organization, the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization). Last year, the International Conference on Labor Statisticians adopted new statistical standards for measuring work and employment. The new standards for the first time recognize all productive activities—paid and unpaid—as work. Full and separate measurement of both paid and unpaid work is crucial for recognizing the economic contributions of women and girls and the unpaid work they do in the family and on farms. This partnership will support the transition to using these new standards in a way that best captures women’s economic contributions and maintains comparability with previous survey rounds.
- Supply-Side Data on Financial Services . (Partners: Global Banking Alliance for Women and the Inter-American Development Bank). Banks do not see women as a distinct client group because they lack sex-disaggregated data; as a result, women clients remain underserved. This initiative will develop a multi-level and multi-stakeholder approach to incentivize the widespread collection and reporting of sex-disaggregated anonymous client data by banks. It will be bank-driven and will commence with a Data Working Group that will outline how all stakeholders can support banks in the process of collecting and reporting sex-disaggregated data. International adoption of the recommendations and standards from this group should help to close financial services gender data gaps globally.
- Improved Gender Data on U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs . (Partners: Millennium Challenge Corporation and U.S. Department of State/PEPFAR). A number of recent initiatives seek to improve the global availability and accessibility of the data collected and reported by all U.S. Government agencies involved in foreign assistance work. This partnership will build a technical standard to harmonize gender reporting to improve the availability, transparency, accessibility, and use of gender results data in U.S. Government partner countries. It will also sponsor an “open data challenge” to implement the standards, derive better sex- and age-disaggregated data, and train partners in the use of gender results data for decision-making.
- Measurement of Women’s Poverty and Progress . (Partner: Government of Mexico – National Institute of Statistics and Geography). Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, INEGI, is a leader in reducing data gaps. INEGI will pilot new approaches to gender data collection and work with Data2X to disseminate knowledge and promote South-South knowledge sharing. INEGI and Data2X will explore the added value of including subjective measures of well-being for men and women along with more standard, income-based measures. This work will fill a data gap on gender, well-being, and poverty, and offer lessons learned for other countries on improving poverty measurement techniques. INEGI and Data2X will also collaborate on big data by analyzing Twitter feeds to explore gender differences in adolescent mental health.
- Big Data and Gender . (Partners: UN Global Pulse and UN Women). Effective use of big data in development policymaking and advocacy could improve the lives of women and girls by resulting in more efficient services and programs. Research and technology development are needed to fulfill this potential and ensure that women and girls—particularly those unreached by digital platforms—are represented in big data streams. In addition, new institutional norms and safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that big data benefits are maximized while reducing the risks of harming women and girls, particularly with respect to individual privacy and sensitive datasets.
Moving forward, Data2X will help advance the existing partnerships, continue to develop new gender data partnerships and seek additional funding to reach the largest number of women and girls possible.
Data2X, named for the power women have to multiply progress in their societies, works to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment by building partnerships to improve data collection and use to guide policy, better leverage investments, and spur global economic and social progress. Data2X is powered by the United Nations Foundation with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with ongoing collaboration with the office of Hillary Rodham Clinton.More information can be found at www.data2x.org and on Twitter @Data2X.
About United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us onFacebook, Instagram,Flickr and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.
About The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, 26,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 36,000 farmers in Malawi and Tanzania have improved their incomes by more than 500 percent; 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced in cities worldwide; more than 5,000 people have been trained in marketable job skills in Colombia; 8.2 million people have access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications; $200 million in strategic investments have been made, impacting the health of 75 million people in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative have made nearly 3,100 Commitments to Action to improve more than 430 million lives around the world.
Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.