One of the models in which we can use to do this, is through data capacity building, which will need an inspired re-engineering of the data architecture to inspire the data revolution.
The forum has brought together not only producers of data, but users of this data in order to engage with and harness data for innovative and empowered SDGs outcomes. What does this mean for the data ecosystem? It means inclusion, and recognising that the ecosystem is not only made up of data scientists and user-experience engineers, but also the family that participates in the Statistics South Africa census periodically. So what is the bridge to engaging with a data revolution with a digital divide? A data architecture that empowers through:
- Data literacy – the knowledge economy, this including private (employee engagement) and public (educational institutions, civil society engagement) sector engagement is peril for the advancement of an empowered society through data
- Engagement with stakeholders – dialogue with not only policy and decision decision-making influencers in both public and private sector, but civil society creates the trust and transparency that a data relationship should be based on
- Technology – an enabler that is a tool to enable efficiency and timeous execution, an innovation and data accelerant for producer and user of data
- Labour – this speaks to not only an empowered and tech savvy employee force, but the advancement of STEM education and continuation of the production of technical skilled youth
- Media – this might be a lesser apparent element, but the one stakeholder that has the ability to communicate the product of the data harnessed is the media. Feedback and communication of the data produced to either stakeholders is important for the advancement of the global promise of the currency of data, which is Transparency, Results, Accountability, Sustainability and Transformation (TRAST).
Data is for all, and should be for all. With the aspirations of a BOLD (Big Open Linked Data) Africa, an Intra-Africa Trade Data ecosystem and democratized data, I’m hopeful that the coming together of more than 100 countries at the UN World Data Forum will bring forth solutions to explore how we can address the digital divide, and how to make data unite nations and bring about the transformation it has the ability to enshrine.