Media Review

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

“A new commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans (…) look unstoppable. (…)Such dominance has prompted calls for the tech giants to be broken up, as Standard Oil was in the early 20th century. This newspaper has argued against such drastic action in the past. Size alone is not a crime.”

The Economist

India’s Indicators for Mapping SDGs Reveal Our Flawed Understanding of Sustainability

“Adopted by the global community in 2015, the SDGs were supposed to centralise sustainability, and not no-holds-barred development, as their mainstay. It is, therefore, rather ironic that when Indian government experts finally got around to mapping India-specific indicators for the SDGs, the focus was on everything but sustainability. The kind of indicators that have been put out will yield mostly a compilation of governmental data on poverty, health, agriculture, human development and environment, which can be found from any specific database for each of the concerned areas. Indicators for critical sectors like agriculture, gender, climate change, and peace and security do not reveal anything about how sustainability is mapped”

The Wire (India)

How can you leave no one behind when millions of children are uncounted?

“In 2015 the world signed up to the sustainable development goals (SDGs), with a central pledge to leave no one behind. But when it comes to this specific issue, there is a problem in the way progress on many of the 17 goals and 169 targets will be measured; by countries conducting household-based surveys. By their nature, these surveys exclude anyone who lives outside of a traditional household. The homeless, refugees and nomadic peoples – usually the poorest and most vulnerable – will not be counted, and neither will children who live in orphanages or on the streets. Now more than 250 NGOs have called on the UN to include these children in its statistical map.”

The Guardian

Invisible African girls: can data help fight gender inequality?

“Statistics on the under-15s tend not to differentiate between boys and girls, and this keeps the specific needs of young girls in the shadows, according to Plan International’s CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen. “You simply cannot target the program to the girl child, because you can’t analyze the data in a way that will allow you to tailor your programs in an appropriate way,” Albrectsen says.”

The Philadelphia Tribune

ILO urges Sri Lanka to improve acquiring of OSH data

“This year’s World Day for Safety and Health emphasized the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilize reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the capacity to collect and utilize reliable OSH data is even more crucial for achieving country commitments to implement and report on progress made to achieve the SDGs.”

The Island (Sri Lanka)

Civil Society Gears Up For Data Revolution

“The Civil Society Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (CSO Platform on SDGs) and the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is engaging more than 80 organisations across the country in an attempt to revolutionalise how data is produced and used in civil society.”

Peace FM (Ghana)

Development Beyond Aid

“We argue that official development aid (ODA) need not always be concessional, and make the case for going “beyond aid,” toward a broader approach – like that taken by China – that includes trade and investment.”

Project Syndicate

Secret aid worker: why don’t we practise what we preach about gender inequality?

“Of course, I know development is not the only sector with a gender inequality problem at a senior management level, nor is the UN the only perpetrator. But as development workers, we are held to a higher standard than other industries, for good reason. Development will never be successful when the same power structures we seek to tackle in society, are embedded within our own agencies. We cannot stand on our soapboxes until we actually practise what we preach: women’s inclusion at all levels of decision-making.”

The Guardian

Aid Reaches New Peak, OECD Reports

“The latest official data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) show that development aid reached a new peak of US$142.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 8.9% from 2015 after adjusting for exchange rates and inflation. (…)Despite this progress, the 2016 data show that bilateral aid to the least developed countries (LDCs) fell by 3.9% in real terms from 2015”



Something fun:

Ten ways to tell you might be sitting next to an economist

“An academic economist was taken off a plane last week after a fellow passenger became suspicious. He was feverishly scribbling what she thought was "terrorist code" or foreign lettering into a notebook. It turned out that Guido Menzio(..) was working on some differential equations for a model on menu costs and price dispersion. Here are ten ways to tell you might be sitting next to an economist.”

The Economist



Ninth Annual Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) Conference – Harnessing the power of Data for the Sustainable Development Goals

15 – 18 May, Hyderabad, India

Regional Conference on "Youth, Peacebuilding and Regional Solidarity: Lessons from Africa"

9 – 10 May, Banjul, the Gambia


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