UN World Data Forum 2021

UN World Data Forum 2021

3–6 October 2021 | Bern, Switzerland


Hosted by the Federal Statistics Office of Switzerland, the UN World Data Forum 2021 fostered discussions on ways to build a pathway for better data for sustainable development and options to promote data innovation, capacity building, and support.

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UN World Data Forum 2021

The UN World Data Forum brings together data providers and users and other experts from governments, civil society, the private sector, donor and philanthropic bodies, international and regional agencies, the geospatial community, the media, academia, and professional bodies. WDF 2021 took place in a hybrid format from 3-6 October 2021, in Bern Switzerland.

The event was organized around six thematic areas:

  • New approaches to capacity development for better data
  • Innovations and synergies across data ecosystems
  • Leaving no one behind
  • Understanding the world through data
  • Building trust in data and statistics
  • How far have we come?

The meeting also looked at the implementation of the Cape Town Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Development Data and considered emerging challenges and gaps in harnessing the power of data to improve people’s lives and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Global Plan of Action was launched at the first World Data Forum held in January 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. It is a framework for UN member countries to assess, build and strengthen the capacity of national statistical offices and statistical systems with a focus on addressing the monitoring needs of the 2030 Agenda.

The second World Data Forum convened in October 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to discuss challenges and opportunities for harnessing the power of data and monitoring to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. In the Dubai Declaration, participants resolved to ensure that quality, relevant, timely, open, and disaggregated data are made available and accessible to all users and called for an innovative funding mechanism to strengthen the capacity of national data and statistical systems. 

A virtual UN World Data Forum was held in October 2020.

The UN World Data Forum 2021 was a hybrid event offering a variety of session formats including plenary sessions, round table dialogues, debates, break-out spaces, innovation labs and workshops, knowledge sharing spaces, exhibits and virtual forums.

Funding for Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the UN World Data Forum 2021 was provided by the UN Statistics Division.


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