Data2X, an initiative led by the United Nations Foundation, has announced new partnerships aimed at gathering the comprehensive gender-disaggregated data needed to understand and improve the lives of women and girls around the world.
The partnerships will address six areas where a lack of data has hindered policy efforts targeting women and girls: civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), work and employment, financial services, U.S. foreign aid, women's well-being and poverty, and big data. To that end, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of CRVS, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific will work with national and regional agencies to incorporate gender-focused efforts into their CRVS plans and obtain real numbers on maternal deaths, marriage and divorce rates, and other indicators of women's well-being, while the International Labour Organization, the World Bank, and the Food and Agriculture Organization will support the adoption of new standards for measuring women's paid and unpaid economic contributions.
In the area of results reporting, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), will work to standardize gender reporting to improve the availability, transparency, accessibility, and use of gender results data in partner countries and will sponsor an "open data challenge" to implement the new standards, collect better sex- and age-disaggregated data, and train partners in the use of gender results data for decision-making. In addition, the government of Mexico, through its National Institute of Statistics and Geography, will pilot new approaches to gender data collection and will work with Data2X to disseminate knowledge and promote South-South knowledge sharing, while UN Global Pulse and UN Women will explore the effective use of big data in development policy making and advocacy and ensure that women and girls — especially those beyond the reach of digital platforms — are included in big data sets.
Supported by the William and Flora Hewlett and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundations, as well as an ongoing collaboration with the office of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who helped create the initiative in 2012, Data2X has identified twenty-eight gender data gaps in the areas of health, education, economic opportunities, political participation, and human security.
"Good decisions in government, in business, in life are based on evidence rather than ideology or gut feelings or anecdotes, and that is especially true when it comes to policies that will affect millions of people," said Clinton at a Data2X event last week. "We believe that if more and better data gets collected, we'll see more progress in tackling these kinds of problems."