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Open Data Day



Our March 2021 resource list comes at a special time when the world’s celebrating Open Data Day and International Women’s Day concurrently and at a time when the pandemic has made the poorest and most vulnerable people, mostly women and girls, invisible in data, exacerbating their marginalization further despite the fact that more data is being collected and produced than ever before. 

Therefore, as we celebrate the gains made, we continue to rally for prioritization of the publication and use of open gender data across Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Reading List

Using a Violence Against Children Survey to Drive Change: A Case Study of Tanzania

In 2008, the government of Tanzania, UN agencies, the United States government, and civil society worked together to design and implement a Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) in Tanzania. 

They were seeking to catalyze action and change on violence against children and increase awareness of the problem. The data on violence against boys and girls and the VACS’ multisectoral methodology and government-led coordination process catalyzed and shaped long-term, multi-sectoral change. This case study recounts the story of how the data came to be collected and the factors that led to its uptake and impact. Read more.

COVID-19 and beyond: How the Africa Gender Data Network can help boost capacity for gender data collection, use, and impact

Africa’s National Statistics Offices (NSOs), the official producers of statistics, have not been spared from the effects of the pandemic— making it even more challenging to answer demands for more and better sex-disaggregated data. To support Africa’s NSOs in 15 countries, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has been working closely with Data2X and Open Data Watch over the last year and a half to launch the Africa Gender Data Network (AGDN). The main goal of the Network is to:raise the standard of gender data production to better link with the demand for that data; improve the effectiveness of communication of and about gender data and; encourage gender data use across participating countries. 

To better understand the impact of the pandemic on the statistical activities of AGDN countries, ECA conducted a short survey followed by interviews in late 2020. Overall, the survey found that all 15 countries and their statistical operations have been affected by the pandemic — whether moderately or severely. Read more

Strengthening Gender Measures and Data in the COVID-19 era: An Urgent Need for Change

The ILO has joined with partners in the production and use of gender statistics to issue a call to action to improve gender data, building on lessons learned and gaps exposed or exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This brief highlights 5 key areas where strong and decisive action is required to achieve sustainable improvement in the availability of key gender data, including in the world of work.Read more.

Bringing Open Data to Bear on Gender Inequality in Africa

As stakeholders across Africa continue to push for implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, interventions to accelerate progress on SDGs and national gender equality priorities, we asked ourselves what evidence informs different initiatives. Is the evidence needed to inform gender equality work in the public sector and by non-state actors available, appropriately disaggregated, and open?

This is what we set out to explore through the Gendered Open Data Study exploring the availability of sex disaggregated data for SDGs 1-5 across 19 Anglophone African countries. As we celebrate this year’s International Day of the Girl Week, we draw stakeholders’ attention to the gender data gaps across Sub-Saharan Africa and what can be done to address them. Read more and explore country status dashboards here.

COVID-19, Gender, and a More Equitable Response for Sub-Saharan Africa

We are learning more every day and obtaining more data on how COVID-19 affects all people, vulnerable communities, and especially women. But we must keep in mind that the data are incomplete and often not disaggregated by sex or other socio-economic factors. This, in and of itself, demonstrates how many communities and policymakers do not understand the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on women. Read more 

Why the World Needs More Women Data Scientists

Relying on biased information undermines the effectiveness of evidence-based policymaking. A potential source of bias in many datasets is that most of the world’s data scientists i.e., the people who collect, organize, analyze data, and make decisions, are men. 

Women hold just 18 percent of data science jobs in the United States, and the problem is worse in most lower-income countries, where women are less likely to have access to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education that provides a gateway to a career in data science. In addition to increasing the risk of bias, gender imbalances in STEM and data science training make it harder for women to succeed in high-paying professions linked to the digital economy, further widening gender pay gaps.

Fortunately, several initiatives are putting data into the hands of women and girls, equipping them with the skills necessary to move up the skills pyramid and participate in the digital economy.

The COVID-19 Gender Mortality Gap — is Civil Registration the Answer?

Given the strong likelihood that inequalities in registration could be impacting COVID-19 mortality data, we can expect limited registration of female deaths that are directly and indirectly attributed to the virus. This, in turn, further exacerbates the trend of under-registration of female deaths and the existing bias towards men, both in terms of the numbers of confirmed deaths and excess mortality recorded. Read more

Bridging the Gender Gap in Zanzibar this African Statistics Day

The lack of gender statistics remains one of the most pervasive gaps in official statistics and data across the world. Our understanding of women and girls’ lives – and the constraints they face – is limited because we lack high-quality gender data. That is why Zanzibar’s Office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) has focused our Inclusive Data Charter Action Plan on enhancing the production, availability, and use of gender statistics. Read more. 

Gender Dimensions of Disaster Risk and Resilience

Men and women, boys and girls have different experiences of disasters. Gender dynamics impact both the way they are affected by disasters and their capacity to withstand and recover from them. Gender inequalities can result in gender-differentiated disaster impact, and differentiated impacts can influence gender dynamics, which in turn affect future resilience to shocks. Disaster risk management policies are designed to maximize results, taking local conditions – including gender dynamics – as fixed. 

When women and men are affected differently by disasters, practitioners and policy makers have a responsibility to use the tools available for mitigating disaster impacts to close gender gaps in outcome. An improved understanding of the gender dynamics of disaster risk and resilience also allows for better policy and program design, which benefits all stakeholders. Read more

Making Open Development Inclusive: Lessons from IDRC Research

This resource, drawing on ten years of empirical work and research, analyzes how open development has played out in practice. Focusing on development practices in the Global South, the contributors assess the crucial questions of who is able to participate and benefit from open practices, and who cannot. Examining a wide range of cases, they offer a macro analysis of how open development ecosystems are governed, and evaluate the inclusiveness of a variety of applications, including creating open educational resources, collaborating in science and knowledge production, and crowdsourcing information.Read more.

Situating Open Data: Global Trends in Local Contexts

Situating Open Data provides several empirical accounts of open data practices, the local implementation of global initiatives, and the development of new open data ecosystems. Drawing on case studies in different countries and contexts, the chapters demonstrate the practices and actors involved in open government data initiatives unfolding within different socio-political settings. Read more

Gender and COVID-19 Group on Mendeley 

The gender and COVID-19 Group on Mendeley includes over 500 resources related to gender and COVID-19. This group allows you to locate and find resources relatively easy, as well as include direct citations and references. You can also add your references directly to the group.


Apolitical: How to Use Data to ‘Build Back Better’ Post-Covid-19

This workshop with SDSN TReNDS  provides you with insights on how to best use data to inform your organisation’s recovery efforts and implement effective strategies. The workshop will also highlight practical approaches and guidance from practitioners who are dealing directly with the crisis ‘on-the-ground’ and share lessons learned.

Watch: Open Gender Data for Tanzania – What is Missing? Why Does it Matter?

This webinar  explores the Open Gender Data landscape in Tanzania, and its implications.

Watch: World Data Forum – Making the Invisible, Visible Through New Approaches to Inclusive Data

This World Data Forum 2020 session, hosted by the Inclusive Data Charter, examines a range of creative approaches to getting, using, and sharing inclusive data: from National Statistical Offices integrating administrative data sources to understand marginalized people’s needs, to young people with disabilities generating new data to inform policy.

Watch: UN Statistical Commission Side Event- Inclusive Data Amid and Beyond COVID-19

Hosted by the Inclusive Data Charter, this event explores how inclusive data is being generated and used to inform equitable COVID-19 responses and recoveries. The event features presentations from Tina Chui, Statistics Canada; Dr Yatta Kanu and Iman Beoku-Betts, Ministry of Education of Sierra Leone; Laura Reinoso, National Institute of Statistics of Paraguay; and Omar Seidu, Ghana Statistical Service.

Watch: Open Data as an Asset for Inclusive and Sustainable Development

This webinar was hosted by 254 Policy Cafe o Open Data Day 2021.The webinar explored progress made in enhancing data availability and access for use in sustainable policy development; opportunities for open data in advancing the national and international development agenda; experience of non-state actors in leveraging existing data sources; challenges in utilizing existing data and research in youth advocacy; and possible mitigation measures to enhance uptake of data and research.

Available Training

Know Violence Against Women Data (kNOwVAWdata)

The kNOwVAWdata course provides the depth and breadth of knowledge required to conduct rigorous and ethical prevalence surveys and other research on violence against women. The course leads to improved data literacy for overall measurement and use of data on violence against women (VAW). For further information see kNOwVAWdata.com.

Guidelines on data disaggregation for SDG Indicators using survey data

As a member of the working group on data disaggregation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has taken numerous steps towards supporting Member Countries in the production of disaggregated estimates. 

Within this framework, these Guidelines offer methodological and practical guidance for the production of direct and indirect disaggregated estimates of SDG indicators having surveys as their main or preferred data source. Furthermore, the publication provides tools to assess the accuracy of these estimates and presents strategies for the improvement of output quality, including Small Area Estimation methods.

UN WOMEN: Counted and Visible Toolkit

The Counted and Visible: Toolkit to Better Utilize Existing Data from Household Surveys to Generate Disaggregated Gender Statistics (Counted and Visible Toolkit) provides a compilation of tools and mechanisms used by several countries to produce evidence to inform gender-responsive policies and catalyze actions to leave no one behind. The selected countries are linked to the UN Women’s global gender data programme, Women Count.

This  toolkit was developed by UN Women, in collaboration with the Intersecretariat Working Group on Household Surveys (ISWGHS), and benefited from the outcomes of the Counted and Visible global conference in 2020.

Communicating gender statistics for gender equality

This course is designed to guide journalists and statisticians to use statistics to report on the unique situation and needs of women and men. Through four modules, the course introduces journalists and statisticians to the unique and complementary roles they each can play in promoting gender equality through gender data, highlighting opportunities for collaboration and partnership between the two communities.

Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

This course is designed as a basic introduction to GBA+. You will learn to define the key concepts of GBA+ and recognize how various identity factors can influence the experience of federal government initiatives. You will learn to identify how GBA+ can enhance the responsiveness, effectiveness, and outcomes of federal government initiatives while applying some foundational GBA+ concepts and processes.

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