Data2X 2019 End of Year Letter

Emily Courey Pryor December 17, 2019

Dear Data2X partners and friends,

When Data2X launched its first round of partnerships in 2014, gender data was not high on the agenda of the global development community. Five years later, the gender data landscape has changed for the better.

Now there are many organizations addressing the issue — from UN agencies and civil society to the private sector and academia. Books like Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men are not only getting published, they’re engaging the general public and winning awards. And high-level champions are making gender data a central tenet of their advocacy strategy.

We are thrilled to have helped build momentum around the gender data movement. As we work side-by-side with many partners to translate attention around gender data into tangible action, Data2X’s goal remains constant: to make a difference in the lives of women and girls by improving the quality, availability, and use of gender data worldwide. As the data voice in the gender space and the gender voice in the data space, we work tirelessly to encourage data producers, policy makers, and donors to prioritize gender data, invest in it, and use it. 

Data2X is fortunate to have a hardworking team, advisory board, organizational partners, and open-minded funders. As the year ends and we look ahead to 2020 — a critical year for gender equality as it marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Beijing Declaration, and the launch of the “Decade of Delivery” for the Sustainable Development Goals — here are a few of Data2X’s 2019 highlights:

  • Filling gender data gaps takes time, money, and creativity. Finding information on gender data shouldn’t. We were proud to launch our new website this year, a home for all things gender data.
  • We have worked on Big Data for Gender for five years, and launched our latest contribution, Big Data, Big Impact? Towards Gender-Sensitive Data Systems at our event in November, which emphasized that conversations about data cannot be divorced from conversations about power.
  • We released Bridging the Gap: Mapping Gender Data Availability in Africa at a side event during the United Nations Statistical Commission. You can read more about the report here.
  • In collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa and Open Data Watch, we launched the Africa Gender Data Network this year to help forge better connections among individuals who work hard to deliver better gender data at the country level.
  • Our Women’s Financial Inclusion Data partnership hosted a three-part dialogue series with financial service providers, FinTech companies, and other stakeholders to understand the supply-side opportunities and challenges of sex-disaggregated data on women’s financial access and use, and discuss solutions to improve financial services gender data. Read what we learned.
  • Mobilizing action for gender data requires understanding the resources we currently have and what we still need: with our partners Open Data Watch we found that the gap in ODA financing for gender data is between $170-$240M a year. We’ll be building on this work in 2020 to drive greater investments in gender data at the national and international level.
  • We were thrilled to welcome two new team members, Natalie Cleveland (Coordinator) and Sarah Boyd (Director of Global Advocacy). Learn more about the Data2X team here.

In a list of highlights, we believe it’s also important to recognize that there are inherent challenges to our work. So we’ll end with this: tracking the journey of gender data from production to use to showing the impact on the lives of individuals is complicated. As data people, we want to be extremely accurate, and as advocates for gender equality, we want to have tangible examples to show others why change is needed. This is an ongoing challenge and will be a focus of our work in 2020.

We will continue to build on this momentum and look forward to welcoming more voices into the gender data conversation in the new year.

With thanks and admiration,

Emily Courey Pryor and The Data2X Team
Executive Director, Data2X

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