Dear Data2X Community,
What a year this has been! As we face an ever-increasing intensity of challenges, from rising temperatures to regional conflict, to headlines about the potential pitfalls of generative AI technologies, and the potential that we will fall short of reaching most—if not all—of the Sustainable Development Goals, it can feel dire and daunting on a regular basis.
And in that context, we at Data2X think daily about the persistent challenges to gender equality, the continued gaps in the consistent collection of gender data across sectors, and the ways that effective gender data, across the value chain, can lead to better policies and better lives for women, girls, men, boys, and gender-diverse people globally.
I remain hopeful and energized by the progress that has been made in gender data in the run up to the Sustainable Development Goals Summit held this past autumn and the lead up to the Summit of the Future. Our fall blog post, ‘From Vision to Action: 12 Milestones in Gender Data Since the Start of the SDGs,’ highlighted some tangible progress made in this space.
There is much work to be done. We must make progress on fostering country and community-led policy dialogue and change and on south-south collaboration. This year, for example, we supported policy stakeholders in Kenya by working closely with Honorable Harriette Chiggai.
We also produced tools to help institutions and governments better incorporate gender data into their plans and policies with our newly published ‘Gender Data Playbook for Women’s Financial Inclusion’ and our ‘Building Responsive Investments in Data for Gender Equality (BRIDGE) Tool’ (created in partnership with our longstanding collaborations with Financial Alliance for Women and Open Data Watch, respectively). We also implemented innovative data collection methodologies through our Gender Data Network partners, facilitating their feedback and buy-in.
In addition to this work, we recognize building the case for data use and uptake is increasingly critical for transformative change. In this regard, we partnered with governments, NGOs, private sector entities, and local communities in 2023, fostering a truly inclusive approach to addressing gender data gaps. Without this community of gender data champions, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do. I look forward to strengthening existing partnerships and cultivating new collaborations in 2024.
This year has witnessed pivotal moments that underscore the importance of gender data in shaping policies and fostering inclusivity. In response we launched policy briefs building a gender data agenda for issues from the care economy to climate justice.
Notably, we have seen an increased recognition of the need for intersectional data that captures the experiences of diverse groups. This was particularly evident during my conversations with leaders at CSW67, UNGA78 at our ‘Building Evidence for Policy Action on the Care Economy’ event, COP28, and during November’s ‘Festival de Datos’ in Uruguay (where I co-hosted a panel on inclusive data being the foundation to success in all data collection).
As we gear up for 2024 and beyond, Data2X remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing gender equality through improved production, uptake, and use of gender data. Our agenda for the coming year is ambitious yet essential. We aim to deepen our impact by advocating for the integration of gender data in decision-making processes across sectors, including our continued work in women’s economic empowerment, gender and environment data for greater climate justice, and the power of gender data in advancing the needs and support of paid and unpaid carers and carees. To accelerate progress, we must push for increased funding, promote capacity-building initiatives, and foster collaboration among global, regional, national, and community partners to build a robust ecosystem for gender data along the data value chain.
We must also prepare for the evolving digital infrastructure and data realities that AI and generative AI will present us with when it comes to the gender data ecosystem. The rapid advancement of AI technologies presents both opportunities and challenges for achieving gender equality. By actively participating in the discourse surrounding gender data and AI, AI ethics and influencing policy decisions, Data2X aims to shape a future where technology becomes a powerful force for dismantling gender disparities rather than reinforcing them and where innovations are connected across geographies.
In closing, I extend my deepest appreciation to each member of the Data2X community for your unwavering dedication and passion. As we enter 2024, let us continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, leveraging the power of gender data to create a more equitable and inclusive world for all.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season and an inspired start to the new year.
Krista Jones Baptista
Executive Director, Data2X