The World Bank is calling for strengthened national data systems in order to realize the full potential of the data revolution to transform the lives of poor people.
From information gathered in household surveys to pixels captured by satellite images, data can inform policies and spur economic activity, serving as a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty.
More data is available today than ever before, yet its value is largely untapped, according to the new World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives.
Data is also a double-edged sword, requiring a social contract that builds trust by protecting people against misuse and harm, and work toward equal access and representation.
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said “Data offer tremendous potential to create value by improving program and policies, driving economies, and empowering citizens.
“The perspective of poor people has largely been absent from the global debate on data governance and urgently needs to be heard.”
“Lower-income countries are too often disadvantaged due to a lack of institutions, decision-making autonomy, and financial resources, all of which hold back their effective implementation and effectiveness of data systems and governance frameworks.
“International cooperation is needed to harmonize regulations and coordinate policies so that the value of data is harnessed to benefit all, and to inform efforts toward a green, resilient and inclusive recovery.”