On Wednesday, participants at the first UN World Data Forum engaged in discussions during 20 parallel panels, addressing topics such as the future of data production, means of implementation, national experiences with establishment of a mechanism for national reporting, and data journalism.
During the closing plenary session, John Pullinger, Chief Executive, UK Statistics Authority, invited panelists to provide final thoughts on the way forward and urged participants to “step up” as the custodians of one of the planet’s most precious assets: statistics. On partnerships and collaborations, Lisa Bersales, National Statistician, the Philippines, suggested that, traditionally, statisticians have used very clear ingredients and the usual recipes, but now, after discovering colleagues from different spheres at the Forum, they need to learn how to use new partnerships and tools to “cook more nutritious and delicious food.”
Gabriella Vukovich, President, Hungarian Central Statistical Office, noted that national statistical offices, as central managers of information in countries, need to use their best qualities and assets, such as structured thinking and preference for standards, and make others use them as well. Nnenna Nwakanma, Africa Regional Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation, stressed the importance of partnerships at all levels and underscored the need to communicate with everyone, including those not digitally enabled, and break down scientific knowledge in a manner easy to understand by all.
To close the Forum, Stefan Schweinfest, Director, Statistics Division, UNDESA, emphasized its success in bringing people together and generating new thinking, interactions, partnerships, ideas and actions. He said the Global Action Plan is only the beginning, and there is work to do in order to achieve results on the Plan before the second Forum, in two years’ time. Pali Lehohla, Statistician General, Statistics South Africa, expressed thanks to all involved in organizing the Forum and to all participants for attending. Schweinfest closed the first UN World Data Forum at 5:30 pm.