UN 2023 Water Conference: Using Data to Drive Decisions – Committing to Improved Data Use and Insights
📍Deloitte Offices, New York 🗓️ Thursday 23 March ⏰ 8:00 EDT
🤝 Aquaya, Uganda Ministry of Water and the Environment, Kampala Capital City Authority, WHO/UNICEF JMP, World Vision, mWater, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Deloitte, Global Communities
Data for Decision-Making
“Data and Information” is one of five Sustainable Development Goal 6 accelerators to increase progress towards universal water and sanitation. In this session panelists and participants, including representatives from Member States, civil society and the private sector, will co-create a set of commitments as a call to action to encourage better use of data for decision-making in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. Example commitments (to be refined during the session) appear below:
- Establish sector alignment around key definitions of standard indicators to promote data comparability and coordination. (Lessons and commitments from WHO/UNICEF JMP).
- Demonstrate open data sharing between governments, implementers, private sector, and other stakeholders to maximize existing resources. (Lessons and commitments from Uganda Ministry of Water and the Environment, Ministry of Environmental Health and Sustainable Development (RDC), Deloitte, and Global Communities).
- Promote data quality standards to facilitate data reuse and provide decision-makers with accurate, reliable information. (Lessons and commitments from The Aquaya Institute, World Vision, and mWater).
- Allocate funding for improving the technical capacity and infrastructure of local and national governments to collect and maintain data. (Lessons and commitments from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation).
- Develop open-source or low-cost interfaces that use data analytics to track trends and address actionable questions. (Lessons and commitments from Kampala Capital City Authority, The Aquaya Institute, and mWater).
Recent advances in data availability and analytics provide opportunities to better support water and sanitation planning, investment, and management. A granular spatial understanding of populations lacking water and sanitation access helps to measure achievement of comprehensive, equitable water service coverage across the globe and facilitate targeted, effective actions. By leveraging public data sources, satellite imagery, and artificial intelligence, data scientists help decision-makers better understand the world’s global water challenges and vulnerable communities. This new level of data insights represents a game-changing asset that could better align resources toward accelerating water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) progress and anticipating future crises. Sector-wide commitments toward better data use will help close the gap that often exists between the development of new tools and data sources and the ability of decision-makers to rely on them in their day-to-day work.