In August 2014, the United Nations Secretary-General set up an Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development which in turn came up with recommendations on how to drive the data revolution forward on a global level. Pulse Lab Jakarta – a joint initiative of the United Nations, through Global Pulse, and the Government of Indonesia, through the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) – has used the Advisory Group's recommendations to move from theory to practice in data innovation for policy making in Indonesia.
The International Conference on Data Innovation For Policy Makers was hosted by Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning and organised in partnership with Pulse Lab Jakarta (PLJ), the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) and UNDP Innovation Facility in November 2014. The focus was on how data can be used to provide better services for the public.
The two-day event brought together both Indonesian and international experts to discuss the new data landscape for policy makers, the challenge of translating the data deluge into actionable policies, complementarity between new and old data, the right policy framework for data philanthropy and ways to generate solutions for policy issues. Prototypes and tools for data collection and analysis were presented in an exhibition.
We are pleased to share the full conference proceedings, now available for download (PDF) or to view online:
There were three main conclusions from the conference:
- Make data more accessible to the public: Digital platforms must be created so that organisations and individuals can access them, analyse them and generate new evidence. Governments could use open data as a means for dialogue and consultation with citizens when making policies.
- More citizen involvement: Citizens are making the most of new technologies and are self-organising to collect and interpret data that is important to them. The channels have to be opened and nurtured for citizen involvement to become instrumental in empowering decision makers to make data-driven decisions.
- The need for ‘data ecosystems’: Harnessing the benefits of data sharing and use requires a trusted, transparent and balanced environment. To achieve this, we need to create legal and technical frameworks for data sharing.
In addition, participants recognised that active data collection must be done with specific purposes in mind, in order for those studying it to mine its full potential. Simple collection formats make data analysis easier and their design should be informed by user feedback whenever possible.
Many thanks to all the experts and organizations who were involved in the conference. Special thanks to the Ministry of National Development Planning for hosting the event, as well as to The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia, the Knowledge Sector Initiative and UNDP for their support.
For more on the conference, see these related stories:
Top image: Data innovation for policy makers conference participants [Image credit: KSI, 2014]