As 2022 comes to an end, I am thinking a lot about momentum and creating pathways for innovation and action in a time of global uncertainty. This year, Data2X celebrated 10 years of working in partnership to put gender data at the heart of gender equality under the theme, A Decade of Progress, A Future of Action. And with 2023 marking the midpoint for the Sustainable Development Goals, the imperative to act is greater than ever.
In that sense, we are at an inflection point, for Data2X as an organization and for the world. In both cases, our mandate is the same—to incubate, replicate, and scale the gender data solutions that will help us make progress faster and smarter. In particular, the need to drive gender data use in policy will be key to unlocking unrealized financial, social and health outcomes for women, girls, and other vulnerable communities. That is why I could not be more honored to be leading the organization at such a pivotal moment. I want to express my gratitude to the Data2X Board of Advisors, our funders, our staff, and our network of partners for welcoming me and joining me in this new and urgent chapter.
A Strong Foundation—2022 Highlights
Thankfully, our shared agenda is built on a strong foundation. In 2022, Data2X continued to deliver on our mission, advocating for greater donor and domestic resources for gender data, supporting national champions to strengthen core gender data systems, incubating new models of data ownership, and demonstrating the catalytic power of gender data to drive women’s financial inclusion to name just a few:
- Measuring Gender Data Progress: Data2X launched our flagship initiative called The State of Gender Data. The initiative, to be updated regularly, provides a global snapshot of progress to date. The State of Gender Data examines the state of funding for gender data, explores promising solutions to fill gender data gaps, and highlights key commitments from stakeholders which accelerate the collection, analysis, and use of gender data.
- A Gender Data Network to Drive Gender Equality and Build Resilience: In 2022, Data2X in partnership with PARIS21, Open Data Watch, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), formally committed the Gender Data Network as a technical assistance partner to the W20 to help elevate gender data within the W20 agenda and inform policy best practices that foster economic inclusion and strengthen resilience.
- Piloting Collaboration for Citizen-Directed and Big Data: With support from the Rockefeller Foundation via the 17 Rooms initiative, Data2X worked closely with the Aapti Institute and SEWA to develop and pilot an in-country “data cooperative,” a model of citizen participation whereby women and girls collect, own, and benefit from their own gender data.
- Using Gender Data to Accelerate Women’s Financial Inclusion: The Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) Partnership released six country diagnostic reports (Bangladesh, Honduras, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) which offer detailed assessments of the availability and use of gender data for achieving women’s financial inclusion, including opportunities to intervene, close data gaps, and expand access to financial services.
- Advancing the Global Advocacy Agenda: Data2X engaged in the Commission on the Status on Women (CSW), conducting direct advocacy with key bilateral donors, and working in coalition to ensure prioritization of gender data. Our recommendations were upheld in the final agreed conclusions, including retention of language on data use; strengthened language on the link to policy; and new language on financing for gender data.
The Road Ahead—2023 Priorities
As I chart the way forward, I walk shoulder to shoulder with all of you who are addressing gender data gaps and building bridges among stakeholders all along the data value chain to make a real difference in communities around the world.
In 2023, the Data2X strategy will continue to evolve even as it remains rooted in collaboration, rigorous research, and evidenced-based advocacy. As we approach the 2023 SDG midpoint, we will be asking ourselves: How can we best collaborate and scale to truly impact lives? As a global partner, how do we amplify stories of change across geographies? And how do we accelerate learning and sharing about gender data—including closing the data to policy gap—in a values-driven, participatory way?
As we refresh our strategy in the context of evolving global events, priorities within the sector, and complementarity with our partners, we see a need for embracing the synergies between gender data and digital. Our flagship State of Gender Data Initiative and tracking of gender data financing will remain priorities alongside the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Measurement Learning Collaborative, and the Gender Data Network. We also see a need to explore ways to broaden definitions of gender, working closely with national and global partners to bring an intersectional lens to gender data research and advocacy. Throughout, we will identify bold new innovations in gender data that can expand and build on progress to date.
Thank you once again for your support and I look forward to acting with you on the future of gender data and the movement for gender equality and dignity for all.
Krista Jones Baptista
Executive Director, Data2X