SDG Counting
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SDG Counting

Data for Good: Toward a Sustainable Ecosystem, Beyond Philanthropy

SDGCounting UN World Data Forum Session Notes

This post is part of a series highlighting sessions from the 2020 UN Data Forum. Watch every session or read our summary.

Summary: Leaders from major corporations discuss how large companies in industries such as finance and telecommunication can leverage the data they have for global development. In particular, these entities have access to timely information that can be leveraged for policy decisions. However, concerns about privacy and monetization must be considered.


Key Takeaways

Richard Benjamins, Telefonica

We are at a point where, due to COVID, privately held data is being shared at unprecedented rates. But, thus far it has largely been ad-hoc and we don’t yet know if that is sustainable in the long term.

Stefaan Verhulst, The GovLab

Make the business case and finance such changes. We must make it systematic and sustainable, but also responsible.

How do we organize ourselves from a supply side and match our work with the demand side?

“Data for Good” initiatives often get started because there is access to data, not because there is a pressing question that people are trying to answer.

It is often difficult to find the contact person at corporations who has access to the data that could be useful to answering important development questions. How do corporations organize themselves to participate?

JoAnn C. Stonier, Mastercard

The discussion outlines how private corporations with access to important data balance data security and privacy with the potential for good. Stonier states that working with more than one partner is difficult.

Mastercard doesn’t talk about “Data for Good” anymore, but instead talks about the social impact aspects of the business.

Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, Telefonica

There are multiple ways to manage the data provision options: to businesses (contract), mandatory (government), partnerships, pricing models, etc.




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