Announcement of UN World Data Forum Program Committee

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The first-ever United Nations World Data Forum will take place in Cape Town, South Africa on January 15-18, 2017, hosted by Statistics South Africa, with support from the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics.

The Forum aims to bring together key experts from governments, businesses, civil society and the scientific and academic communities to discuss opportunities and challenges, showcase the latest innovations, and advance initiatives and solutions to improve data and statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This World Data Forum was one the recommendations of the Independent Experts Advisory Group in the report “A World That Counts” presented to the UN Secretary-General in November 2014.

The Forum recently announced the composition of its Program Committee, tasked with guiding and overseeing the development of the various sessions, panels, data labs and interactive platforms, with representatives from governments, the private sector, civil society, the UN system, and the scientific and academic communities. Data-Pop Alliance Director and Co-Founder Emmanuel Letouzé was nominated as member of the Program Committee, to especially provide inputs on Big Data and data literacy. The full list of Program Committee members is as follows:

  • Hernan Muñoz –  National Director of Statistical Planning and Coordination, National Institute of Statistics and Census of Argentina (INDEC)
  • Niels Ploug –  Economist and Director of Social Statistics, Statistics Denmark
  • TBD – Statistics Mongolia
  • Irena Krizman –  Vice President, International Statistical Institute (ISI)
  • Johannes JüttingManager, PARIS21
  • Attila Hancioglu –  Chief of the Data Collection Unit, Data and Analytics Section, UNICEF
  • Janet Gornick –  Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Rein Ahas –  Professor of Human Geography, Tartu University
  • Kenth Engo-Monsen –  Acting VP & Senior Data Scientist, Telenor Group Research
  • Nuria Oliver –  Former Scientific Director, Telefonica R&D; Research Affiliate, Data-Pop Alliance
  • Ola Rosling –  President and Co-Founder, Gapminder
  • Charles Lufumpa –  Director, Statistics Department, African Development Bank
  • Haishan Fu  – Director, Development Data Group, World Bank
  • Minh-Thu Pham –  Executive Director for Policy, United Nations Foundation
  • Robert ChenDirector, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research unit of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • Sanjay Kumar –  Chief Executive, Geospatial Media and Communications, India
  • Judith Randel –  Co-Founder, Development Initiatives
  • Philipp Schönrock  –  Director, CEPEI Colombia
  • Emmanuel Letouzé  – Director and Co-Founder, Data Pop Alliance; Visiting Scholar, MIT Media Lab

The Forum’s agenda will be structured around 6 main thematic areas, co-led by Program Committee Members as follows:

Area 1: New approaches to capacity development for better data
Area 2: Innovations and synergies across different data ecosystems
Area 3: Leaving no one behind
Area 4: Understanding the world through data, including data literacy and data journalism
Area 5: Data principles and governance
Area 6: The way forward: A global action plan for data       

Please visit for further information, including on registration and blog posts by Program Committee Members.



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