The World Bank has called for stronger national data systems to realise the full potential of data revolution to transform the lives of poor people. The bank said, “from information gathered in household surveys to pixels captured by satellite images, data can inform policies and spur economic activity, serving as a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty”.
It pointed out that although more data is available today than ever before, its value is largely untapped. This is contained in the just released new World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives. It says “Data is also a double-edged sword, requiring a social contract that builds trust by protecting people against misuse and harm, and work toward equal access and representation”.
The World Bank Group President, David Malpass said “Data offer tremendous potential to create value by improving programme and policies, driving economies, and empowering citizens. The perspective of poor people has largely been absent from the global debate on data governance and urgently needs to be heard. Lower-income countries are too often disadvantaged due to a lack of institutions, decision-making autonomy, and financial resources, all of which hold back their effective implementation and effectiveness of data systems and governance frameworks…”